Geek Squad, the on-call electronics installation and repair crew owned by Best Buy, is getting a new look and a new set of wheels. The retailer announced today that it was replacing a portion of its fleet of Volkswagen Beetles with 1,100 Toyota Prius C hybrids. The new vehicles will help reduce Geek Squad's emissions by 50 percent — as well as contribute to Best Buy's company-wide commitment to reduce pollutants 45 percent by 2020.
Geek Squad employees were known to drive classic cars
As consumer electronics have gotten easier to install and use, Geek Squad has shifted its focus too, said Geek Squad chief inspector Nate Bauer in a statement. "Today's Geek Squad Agent is more likely to help a client with a new home theater experience, optimizing their Wi-Fi or smart security solution than the family computer," he said.
Geek Squad has 20,000 agents who make 13,000 house calls a day and 5 million a year, Best Buy says. In the early days, after its launch in 1994, Geek Squad employees were known to drive classic cars, like a '58 Simca Aronde 1300 Elysee, '60 Ford Falcon, and '53 Morris Minor. After Best Buy bought the company in 2002, the VW Beetle was adopted as the new Geekmobile, which at the time was still a new and offbeat ride. The choice of the Prius C, however, seems to be an acknowledgement that the Beetle is no longer a core part of Geek Squad's image
Best Buy, the biggest consumer electronics retailer in the US, has seen its brand wane as more and more consumers are shopping online at sites like Amazon. Geek Squad has always been one of Best Buy's advantages over its competitors. But the company is forecasting sales and profits below expectations for the current quarter.