Transformation of Design & Architecture…

…in the Automotive Retail Industry.

By Wisute Sukphong, Founder & Managing Director at V2 Design Studio

Global awareness of sustainability is exerting a direct impact on the automotive and mobility landscape. Several countries have set targets to achieve 100% sales of zero-emission vehicles by 2035. This policy is fundamentally altering the product development strategies of established automotive brands and has resulted in significant growth among new “born-electric” brands emerging from the United States and China in recent years. The shift is evident not only among manufacturers but has also influenced consumer behavior. This dynamic context presents challenging approaches to exploring conceptual strategies that empower retail design throughout this transition.

Designing an integrated showroom that synergizes with the digital online presence can create a seamless customer journey.

Online platforms play a crucial role in capturing brand attention and providing product information, while the physical showroom concentrates on creating a bespoke storytelling experience through direct interaction with the actual products. This includes the tactile exploration of the vehicles, culminating in test drives. These strategies aim to leverage the emotional connection before transitioning to sales and service conclusions.

There is a growing consumer trend that demands a higher level of personalization.

Architectural and interior spaces are evolving into venues that offer a broad variety of products and an intimate presentation of specific models. An exemplar of this is the BMW Pattanakarn Srinakarin in Bangkok, which features dedicated display corners across multiple mezzanine levels. While separated by level and location, these spaces remain visually interconnected through a central atrium. The new car handover is another critical component that brands use to embed a memorable experience. Each customer’s name is personalized and matched with their vehicle using various immersive media and techniques, often translating into motion content for social media promotion. In the premium and luxury segments, architecture and interior design are enhanced to encourage longer visit durations, fostering an atmosphere akin to a lifestyle social club rather than a space for short-term hard selling. Lounge areas that incorporate product displays are designed to be flexible, accommodating various marketing activities. An example of this is the Chris Craft River Club in Pathumthani, where luxury cars and riverboats are displayed together, facilitating co-branded activities in a spatially voluminous setting.

The range of activities available expands the opportunities for customer engagement. Beyond standalone showrooms with full functions, including sales and aftersales services, there is a growing trend for establishing urban touchpoints within shopping malls, aimed at achieving higher public exposure.

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The value of architecture extends well beyond aesthetics and the adoption of contemporary technologies. It is grounded in a profound understanding, and it is the passion for continuously pursuing new design possibilities that respond to evolving human behaviors, which serves as a crucial element in rejuvenating architecture for a rapidly advancing world.

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Wisute Portrait

Wisute Sukphong, Founder & Managing Director at V2 Design Studio An architectural graduate of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn university, Wisute worked on wide variety of residential projects before joining Orbit Design in 2005. His practice had since grown to encompass exceptional projects in the commercial, hospitality, facade design and retail with numbers of projects located in Bangkok, Delhi, Mumbai, Shanghai, Jeddah. He also expertise on automotive retail with comprehensive experience with several high-end brands including BMW, Maserati, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Azimut and Chris Craft boat. Wisute was responded as architectural Director in Orbit Design, before set up his own design firm, V2 Design Studio, in 2019.

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