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Prepare for virtual test drives on internet sites

The internet opens up limit-less opportunities to attract customers and to reduce dealers’ costs, particularly with use of imagery, according to an AM/eBay round table meeting.

Retailers attending the session heard that virtual test drives could cut their costs and appeal to consumers in the same way as PlayStation driving games.

Jay Nagley of RedSpy says: “In 10 years’ time there’s going to be much more imagery; it’s going to be videos and virtual test drives. That’s what people are used to now, with the whole success of YouTube; they want to see, they don’t want to read, and that has to be a huge shift in the way that cars are presented by manufacturers and dealers.”

Jim Saker of Loughborough University agrees: “Virtual test drives on the internet are being done a lot in the States. You just click on, choose your route and choose your city. Also, the Google Earth’s searches of dealerships, where the dealer comes out and actually introduces you, is much more prevalent in the States. It will take off here.”

The full report from the AM/eBay round table meeting, including the views of dealers on the role of the internet, will be published in the next issue (Feb 9).

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