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Vitrual reality showrooms are go

Manufacturers and dealers are working together in the US to allow customers to visit showrooms virtually through Google Earth.

The new process has been pioneered by GM’s Saturn brand across the Atlantic. However, a panel of automotive executives at AM’s round table, believe it’s only a matter of time before dealers in the UK start to discover the potential of Google Earth to communicate with customers.

Jim Saker, Ford’s professor in automotive retail and part of the AM roundtable panel, said: “Google Earth’s searches for dealerships, which is where the dealer comes out and actually introduces you, that sort of stuff is much more prevalent in the Sates, and I think it’s something that will take off in the UK too.”

  • The video below is an example of how American dealers are harnessing the power of the web to communicate directly with customers.

    Google Earth is a free downloadable online programme which combines the power of Google’s search functions with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings. You can:

  • Fly to your house. Type in an address, press search, and you’ll zoom right in.
  • Search for dealerships, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Get driving directions.
  • Tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings.

  • To read AM’s full feature on ‘Exploring online retailing’ subscribe to AM magazine. Click here or call 01733 468659. A subscription to AM can only benefit your business.

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