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Zen and the art of tuner bliss

Retail

Another hot import from the land of the Rising Sun has made it to US shores, and tuners couldn't be happier. Super Autobacs is a veritable theme park for auto enthusiasts, and it's positioned to become the defining brand for the full car experience.

Another hot import from the land of the Rising Sun has made it to US shores, and tuners couldn’t be happier. Super Autobacs is a veritable theme park for auto enthusiasts, and it’s positioned to become the defining brand for the full car experience. When the first Super Autobacs Creative CarLife store opened in the Metro Tokyo area, Japanese car culture aficionados rejoiced. Fueled by Japanese race queen culture and the country’s love of driving as a hobby activity, Super Autobacs fast became THE auto experience destination and the most successful auto parts chain in the country. From customization, maintenance services, and (of course) auto parts to the latest hot rims, electronics, music, and tuner fashion, the superstores provide a full one-stop-shopping experience in a hip-yet-functional environment designed to appeal to the aesthetics of tuner culture. Super Autobacs quickly expanded to Taiwan, France, Thailand and China, and with the recent opening of its first US superstore in Orange County, stateside tuners can now indulge in Autobacs-bliss. The 35,000 square-foot Orange County store will carry over 20,000 separate products including the newest and hottest brands, but the product selection is just the tip of the Super Autobacs iceberg. Central attractions include the autobay-as-art, where customers can watch hot customizations being installed by Autobacs mechanics (also known as “automotive Iron Chefs”) while reclining in comfort in the custom-designed waiting rooms. The 35,000 square-foot Orange County store will carry over 20,000 separate products including the newest and hottest brands, but the product selection is just the tip of the Super Autobacs iceberg. Central attractions include the autobay-as-art, where customers can watch hot customizations being installed by Autobacs mechanics (also known as “automotive Iron Chefs”) while reclining in comfort in the custom-designed waiting rooms.Racing videos playing on 50-inch plasma TVs, a multi-screen movie theater, an extensive automotive bookstore, in-store restaurants, and a Kids Park child care service elevates the car maintenance and servicing experience to a mini-vacation. Super Autobacs also sells used and custom-made cars, has a music department full of all the latest releases courtesy of Tower Records, provides tuner culture updates on the latest trends from Japan, and hosts ARTA Race Team events and how-to classes. No wonder tuners are swooning.

Opportunities

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY is not a fad, it’s actually in its infancy. Servicing is becoming a lifestyle — needs, nuances, and all. Super Autobacs tuned its business model in a country where little details are a big thing, comprehensiveness is a given, and superior service coupled with outstanding aesthetics is expected. Their US debut has definitely raised the bar for the automotive service industry – why should consumers sit in an uncomfortable chair in a grungy waiting room when they can indulge in every aspect of their hobby in comfort and get top-rate, competitively priced repairs for their ride?If you’re in the automotive sector but you’re not in the market to bankroll a new Super Autobacs store in your region, consider upgrading your business model to address your customers’ needs beyond the basics. And automotive dealership owners should take notice, too; if Super Autobacs expands its car sales division, incumbents will have some hellacious competition on their hands. Consider the ways you can covert your showroom from a utilitarian workhorse into a pop culture destination.

Website: www.superautobacs.com/

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