Case Study – Autopalace Group

May 11, 2023

5 min

Group AutoPalace started its activity in the Czech Republic in 1991 as an importer and dealer of Mazda cars and today it is one of the two most important dealers in the Czech market. In 31 years of its operation on the Czech and Slovak market, the group has sold almost 195 thousand cars. It offers its customers in its four sales centres in Prague and one in Brno and Karlovy Vary, the sale of cars of the following brands - Audi, CUPRA, Ford, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Hyundai, SEAT, ŠKODA, Opel, Volvo, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It also owns two branches in Bratislava, Slovakia, where sales and service is focused on BMW, Mazda, MINI and Mitsubishi cars. Currently, AutoPalace is the largest dealer of Ford, Hyundai, Mazda and Mitsubishi vehicles in the Czech Republic.

In fact, the history of the Dutch company AutoBinck (which started it all, but it's much older) is one of the oldest car trading companies in the world. Its history begins at the beginning of the 20th century, when Walter Joachim Jochems, an enthusiastic motor sportsman, started selling Mercedes cars at his company Auto Palace in The Hague. In 1906, his company Auto-Palace was just a sales office at 10 Laan van Meerdervoort in The Hague. The move to 7 Houtweg in 1907 marked the beginning of the history of the oldest car importer in the Netherlands, with concessions also in the then Dutch colonies. Walter Joachim Jochems was also a great sports enthusiast. He raced and won many competitions with his 60-horse Mercedes. In 1908, he also raced at the newly opened circuit at Brooklands near London.

Auto Palace had long been looking for a supplier of a suitable technology solution to collect data on customer movement at their showrooms. As we have been working together on a number of projects for a long time, this was the topic that came up. The goal was to identify and continuously analyze the behavioral pattern of visitors to the showroom in Prague Vysočany. In relation to the requirements, we proposed 2-3 possible solution options, of which the one that made the most sense was the one that was able to use the existing camera system for motion monitoring. Thus, it was not necessary to interfere with the placement of the cameras, add them or anything else. We set our goals for an initial 6-month period, where we identified suitable cameras and provided AP with computing power to monitor key showroom locations online and create image analysis from them.“ Jan Čulík, Project Manager, INNOVIS

1940-1949: The showroom in The Hague would be expanded thanks to increasing sales of the ŠKODA 1101, which at the time sold for 4,580 Dutch guilders.

Auto-Palace expanded in the 1970s to become Europe's largest importer of Mazda cars. Mazda stand at the AutoRAI Dutch Motor Show in the late 1970s.

„With INNOVIS, I know how many people come to our showrooms and I can change my sales and marketing strategies based on a lot of data. This then helps us not only with these strategies, but also, for example, with the layout of the showrooms“ Jozef Becska, Marketing Director, Auto

„As it happens, the requirements at the beginning of the communication may not be precise and feasible. That's why we started with the simplest processes and gradually built on them. Since there was no data collected on the showroom until this point, we started to create traffic statistics on the main entrance. Gradually we moved to other areas and at this point we are providing AP with traffic data for each segment of the showroom (used/new vehicles). We are tracking front desk utilization and service utilization. But what is important is how many vehicles were sold, how many customers were contacted, etc. So we also focus on the areas that are specifically for dealing with potential buyers. No less important information is the model of the actual process of receiving a customer for service. How many trips are made with the customer between their vehicle and the service itself before work on the vehicle begins. This and many other pieces of information can be legitimately combined with each other to find answers to questions that no one in AP could answer just six months ago. All the data I collect is collected as a basis for comparison with data from other sources. Orders, checkout, reservations, scheduled appointments, etc. However, this activity is entirely the responsibility of AP for the time being as it is very sensitive and valuable data.“

„As we have already announced, we have a successful pilot project behind us, from which we are building on together. We are in communication about extending the delivered solution to other showrooms, which brings the possibility of comparison in terms of efficiency within AP branches. We have also opened up topics for further use of image analytics, but we will keep that to ourselves for now.“ Jan Čulík, Project Manager, INNOVIS

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