Subaru has launched what is likely to be the first of a network of Do Service centres based in major shopping complexes, allowing customers to pick up some groceries, get a haircut or watch a movie, while their car is serviced.
The initiative is an evolution of the Japanese car maker’s first Do Store at Werribee Plaza, which marked the start of Subaru’s shopping centre-based retail premises, but now offers maintenance bays broadening the range of services available to owners.
Customers simply park in the centre car park and a Subaru service technician will complete scheduled maintenance or minor repair work while the owner browses the extensive retail complex.
Like many other outlets at the Plaza, the Subaru Do Service centre is open six days a week and shares the extended late-night opening hours on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Subaru Australia public relations coordinator Chloe Fraser explained that more service centres are likely to be launching in shopping centres if the pilot is well received.
“As with each of our other “Do” initiatives, if the response is as positive as we expect it to be and other opportunities arise, we would look at expanding,” she said.
Service times depend on the model of Subaru and the required attention, but Fraser said an average duration is about one to two hours, allowing customers to use their time productively at the centre.
Servicing costs do not attract a premium for the convenience of Do Service Centre work, with the company’s capped-price deal ensuring pricing is unchanged regardless of where the work is completed.
Subaru started disrupting the conventional dealership bricks and mortar ownership model with its pop-up stores, which later evolved into permanent outlets. The latest extension brings a further facet to the unorthodox platform that the company says ‘removes obstacles’ for customers.
“As part of Subaru Do, we continue to look for new ways to innovate and bring the Subaru brand to our customers, when and where it suits their lifestyle most,” it said.
“The Subaru Werribee Service Centre is yet another example of how Subaru continues to deliver on its promise to make buying and owning a Subaru easier and more convenient.”
It’s not the only brand to attempt to break the traditional dealership model. Tesla has also dabbled with pop-up stores and retail experiences away from glass-box dealerships, while Genesis recently told WhichCar it would relaunch in Australia exclusively in high-end retail spaces without any conventional dealership presence.