London - Peugeot has opened what it claims is the world’s smallest car dealership... in a phone booth.

And before we get into any clever repartee about sharing space with Superman, this is for real. The iconic red phone booth in London’s Russell Square has been converted into a fully connected online showroom, decorated in the company’s Peugeot’s signature blue,

Peugeot Russell Square is open from 7am until midnight 7am and midnight every day from 12 September until the end of the month. You enter the phone booth by getting a special code from www.peugeot.co.uk/russellsquare, and inside you’ll a tablet connected to Peugeot’s online portal, where you can browse, configure, finance and ultimately order a new car.

You sit at a specially designed desk, where you can browse a miniature forecourt - a counter displaying 1:64 scale model cars. The booth has been kitted out with Wi-Fi and an iPad to enable you to do everything as you would at home; you configure your new car, sort out a finance plan, get a trade-in value for your current - even book a delivery date.

Peugeot’s online sales system lets you do all the hard part online and then visit a normal-sized dealership for a test drive; then you can log from anywhere (you don’t have to go to Russell Square!) and you’ll find your previous specification still stored.

Since the system went live in January a million customers have logged on; 134 000 of them have completed car configurations and 35 000 were given trade-in valuations. Traffic counts show that Thursday afternoons are the most popular time for ordering a car, and the 208 is the model most ordered, accounting for two in every five cars bought online.

Peugeot UK managing director David Peel said: “The world’s smallest dealership is a perfect example of how technology changes the way we do business.

“Not many years ago buying a new car involved reading lots of brochures and walking around dealerships - now you can organise the second-biggest purchase most people make in a lifetime from anywhere – even inside a phone booth.

“This way you can browse online, without having to negotiate or make snap decisions, chop and change what you want and make a decision in your own time, in your own space.”

IOL Motoring
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