Friday, May 17, 2013

Build your Toyota on Google?

I'm excited to see clever uses of technology make their way into the automotive world, especially when it's something that can make car shopping easier. At my dealership, we've been equipping salespeople with iPads so that they can spend less time sitting behind a desk with customers, and more time showing them all the features of the car they're interested in. The response has been great- we've been enjoying that extra level of detail we can add, whether it's shooting a personalized video or being able to compare similar vehicles from other manufacturers right on the spot.

At a recent Google conference, Toyota announced a new way of car shopping that I hope we can become a part of- they're calling it "Toyota Collaborator", and it lets you build a car in a way you never would have guessed!

Toyota Collaborator, Car Building App, Google Hangout

Just about every car company has an option on their website for building your own car, but Toyota wanted to take that to the next level by adding a social element to it. With this new app (developed by Joystick Interactive) car shoppers can get immediate feedback on their potential purchase by inviting family and friends to a Google+ Hangout interactive video chat. You can get up to 5 of your friends to be a part of the design team, offering real time suggestions on color, accessories, and models. Whatever changes your friends make, you all see it happen simultaneously!

When you're done designing your car, you can share it on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, and then use Google Maps to take a "virtual test drive" around your neighborhood, or wherever you'd like. Pretty cool!

This all sounds great and a lot of fun, but where do we come into play to lend you a hand? Well, if you have any questions while building your car, you'll be able to click a button and bring a salesperson from a local Toyota dealership into your live hangout. They'll be able to answer questions, find you vehicle specials, even get you information on trading in your old car! Some of our long time Fusz customers may have a salesperson they prefer to work with, and while we don't know if this feature will initially be available to where you can request a specific salesperson (who can video chat), we certainly hope it can be implemented down the road. If you don't have anyone specific to go to, the live assistance is a great opportunity to get to know someone new before you set foot into the dealership.

Would an app like this be useful to you?

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