HIROSHIMA, Japan—To provide a more positive car shopping experience for customers, Mazda will expand the deployment of its 'Visual IT Presentation' tool system to dealers across Japan through the end of March 2007. This system utilizes personal computer (PC) terminals that are placed inside dealer showrooms, providing salespeople with easy access to animation, computer graphics and actual three-dimensional (3D) computer aided design (CAD) data employed during a vehicle's development process, to help them explain product features to prospective Mazda owners. The Visual IT Presentation system's technology enables sales associates to better describe specialized product details, such as vehicle safety features, that are difficult to explain with traditional brochures or media.
Starting in 2005, Mazda introduced enhanced brand strategies at its Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealers to raise its brand image and improve the customer experience amid an intensely competitive automotive market in Japan. Since then, an increasing number of dealers have been renovating their showrooms to strengthen their appeal with potential customers. Part of this process includes the launch of the Visual IT Presentation system, which was first tested in Tokyo and Yokohama outlets in July 2005. After it received positive reviews from both sales associates and customers, the "VIP" system was rolled out nationally to 22 distributors and 465 outlets. Mazda now plans to launch the system to 42 distributors and 700 outlets throughout Japan by the end of March 2007.
During vehicle purchase discussions with a customer, a sales associate can utilize the new IT tools to display images of Mazda R&D staff explaining product details as well as provide a description of collision safety features through actual 3D-CAD data used during the vehicle's development. In addition, the Visual IT Presentation system also contains video content that illustrates Mazda's Zoom-Zoom brand message. Sales associates can access all content through PC terminals connected via wireless land area network (LAN) to a central server located in the dealership, which stores the content. With this connectivity, Mazda headquarters in Hiroshima can update each dealers' server at any time to reflect the most up-to-date content or information.
Mazda applied for a business model patent for its Visual IT Presentation technology in August 2005. In the future, augmented tool content that integrates new Mazda vehicle information as they are brought to market will be deployed to dealers throughout Japan.
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