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Charles Hurst Group, Northern Ireland’s biggest car retailer, has unveiled a new customer-led concept which it believes is the future of modern car retailing.

The unique approach has been launched at the group’s newly refurbished Nissan dealership on Belfast’s Boucher Road and represents an investment of £250,000.

Charles Hurst, the only car retailer in Northern Ireland to boast the new showroom design, has replaced the traditional sales desk with a more customer-friendly, paperless environment which utilises modern technology to give the customer better control and a seamless purchasing experience.

Alan Thompson, Franchise Manager at Charles Hurst Nissan, explains the thinking behind the changing face of car sales:

“Through the internet, customers are now better informed, connected, and empowered in their purchasing experience and knowledge. The majority of our customers are spending more time researching online, utilising social media and car comparison websites before they contact the showroom. This new approach allows the customer to retain their lead in the sales process and enables us to provide a more transparent and holistic service which is seamless from initial contact, through to sales and after-sales services.”

Customers are able to book appointments online and are then checked-in using iPad technology and greeted by a host before being shown to one of the comfortable consultation areas which have replaced the formal sales desks. This new format enables the customer to take the lead with the use of iPads to select or design their choice of car and its unique specifications, which avoid the use of brochures and other unnecessary paperwork.

The showroom interior is bright and modern with feature walls, Wi-Fi enhancement points, PlayStation to entertain children and plasma screens which showcase the latest car models.

Colin McNab, Operations Director, Charles Hurst, said the new showroom underlined the company’s commitment and continued investment in customer focused services which is up to date with changing trends.

“Charles Hurst is constantly adapting and investing in modern car retailing and the new approach at Charles Hurst Nissan showcases the future of car sales which puts the customer first.

“We have worked closely with Nissan to ensure the new showroom delivers a first class customer interface. As the leading Nissan dealer in Northern Ireland, it is important to us that we are at the forefront of the latest technology and customer offering, not just in terms of car models but also world-class service, and this new showroom and approach allows us to do that.”

In addition to the new Nissan showroom, Charles Hurst has also invested £250,000, in the opening of its new Van Centre which has adapted the same concept in modern motoring retail and offers the biggest selection of new and used vans in Northern Ireland as well as a van rental service.

Charles Hurst Group is Northern Ireland’s largest car retailer. A division of Lookers plc, one of the UK’s principal automotive retail and distribution groups, Charles Hurst covers 20 franchises across seven sites, offering customers across Ireland the most comprehensive choice of new and used vehicles, parts and servicing.

Founded in 1911, its headquarters are located in Belfast on a 20-acre site, making it the largest automotive retail park in Europe.

With more than 700 employees, Charles Hurst is committed to exceptional customer service, and its mission statement and policy of “Customers For Life”.