OB Prestige Auto using Simulators for the fun of it!
At OB Prestige Auto in Gatineau, Quebec, staff members are as passionate as their clientele about driving.
“We all enjoy driving and racing, and we pass that on to the people who purchase these vehicles,” says Haig Kanadjian, performance specialist for this exotic automobile dealership.
All of OB Prestige Auto’s customers share one passion: cars. Some come in to upgrade their Lamborghinis while others trade their BMWs for Turbo Porsches, or find the muscle car that will be their perfect retirement gift.
To help them decide is a VRX simulator on the showroom’s second floor. Kanadjian refers to it as “a piece of art to look at”. The three-screen simulator helps customers operate a car – before they get it on the road. Users can practice handling the road by customizing suspension and tire settings, graphics, dimensions and feel. “The simulator is the closest thing to being on a race track,” he says.
There are other benefits of having a simulator around. It helps OB Prestige staff members get to know better their customers. With drivers of all skill levels coming into the dealership, the simulator lets them try out vehicles safely.
“If we can get you behind a simulator and then behind the wheel, you’ll be confident enough to know what the car is doing because you’ve been in that type of situation before,” explains Kanadjian.
In his view, it’s all about customer satisfaction. “The last thing you want is a guy who spends two or three hundred thousand dollars and realizes he no longer enjoys the car just because he doesn’t know how to drive it! He will be left with the impression that it wasn’t as good of an investment as he thought it would be.”
The VRX simulator offers D-BOX’s rich motion-cueing system that provides just enough vibrations to make users feel like they’re driving the real thing without becoming dizzy, uncomfortable or unsafe. According to Kanadjian, it is “the best balance between an inactive simulator and one that moves too much.”
Originally, the simulator was a practice tool for the dealership’s driving instructors and racing team members. Using a visually precise software (which can adjust speed, type of transmission, power track and more), it enables drivers to experience specific tracks. The simulator also helps make sure endurance racers don’t develop bad habits. As well, it is a safe way to practice driving at high speeds without hurting yourself or others, or damaging the car.
These days, it’s hot with customers looking to try out a new car, practice racing or just come in with their friends and have fun. It adds a fun-loving vibe to the dealership, which also features pinballs machines for kids. Revelers can even rent it out by the hour at an accessible rate for entertainment purposes.
“It’s a cool product to have here on display, and [the fact that] it adds to the value of the dealership, services and fun factor is fantastic!” Kanadjian says. “Everyone instantly becomes a kid when they try this machine.”