Your next car may double as a mobile drop box for everything from parcels to dry cleaning if Volkswagen’s research partnership with DHL and Deutsche Post continues to bear fruit.
According to Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen’s global head of sales, marketing and after sales, the carmaking giant is aiming to, “make a direct connection to customers with rapid, seamlessly integrated services to, “bring back our customers with a single, direct touch service platform, similar to Amazon”.
“We have to live up to modern world connectivity. Consumers will not accept what we’ve done for the last 70 years”, Stackmann said.
“What we do has to be tailored by market, to provide meaningful messages and services. We’re working with IBM Watson on the timing of intelligent, relevant offers that relate to specific customer needs.
“We will know how much fuel is in your car. That’s data that will be available. If we send an offer for excellent good fuel ahead of you, that becomes relevant, and a perceived value-add offer. That offer made five minutes too late, or one hour too early becomes a complete annoyance. It’s just spam. So we need to be timely and accurate,” he said.
One lateral idea, currently under trial is using a car as a physical delivery point, with customers granting remote, once-only open and close access to the car to service providers.
A total of 500 Polos have already been dedicated to pilot projects with DHL, Deutsche Post and others, in which selected participants can use the cars as mobile delivery addresses.
In short, Stackmann sees a time when the car becomes much more than A to B transport. “Imagine the convenience of the dry cleaner using your car to pick up or deliver your order,” he said.