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Old 13th September 2012, 12:49   #16
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
Mitsubishi was one of the first companies to create something similar and host it on their website.
Very true. In fact, Mitsubishi was quite adept and ahead in this.
Ages ago when Mitsubishi started sales of the Lancer in India, i think it was around 1997-98??, HM-MMC had given their sales people laptops and an interactive CD which gave a full demo of the vehicle including accessory additions. It was simple, brilliant and gave a very "techno" feel to the customer about the entire buying process. Don't know what's the situation nowadays though.
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Old 13th September 2012, 13:57   #17
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Post Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Nice initiative by MB India. As manufacturers of premium luxury cars (and being on second grid behind market leaders), they are forced to reinvent themselves, to innovate constantly in their sales process. To me, this is clearly, an example of that. It also helps that their consumers are primarily from higher socio-economic backgrounds who will also readily appreciate the incorporation of technology and will not be averse to its use.

However historically these things start off with great gusto on the part of salesmen and customers alike and then quickly fizzle out. In part, due to resistance from prospective buyers for whom the "touch and feel" aspect of a product is an indispensable part of the buying process.

Last edited by Omtoatom : 13th September 2012 at 14:04.
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Old 13th September 2012, 14:10   #18
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

There are quite a lot of apps on the App Store detailing features of many cars, including Rolls Royce. This one coming from the manufacturer is probably the first time.

Well, what stops the manufacturers from making the apps available over App Store, not just to their sales force? Buyers will step into dealerships better informed and dealerships can close the deal sooner.

MB chose iPad for the app, not Galaxy. It means a lot; class, not mass.
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Old 13th September 2012, 15:28   #19
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

To me this would all be a sales gimmick excepting for rendering of the vehicle with accessories on the look alone

If i am planning to buy a vehicle and pay through my nose (whether it be the M-Benz or the Tata), i would prefer to look at the car, touch it, feel it, hear the engine roar or purr, sit inside the cockpit and get the feel of the leather and then make a decision

Also, how long does it take for the salesman to ask the customer to sit in front of the table and then book his car. Its not like the restaurant where the waiter takes the order on his berry or whatever and it goes to the kitchen directly even before the person has said "thank you, your order will take 20 minutes to deliver"
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Old 13th September 2012, 16:26   #20
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

Not quite to the level of making an app, but Toyota has a portal where in you can customize the accessories and get the prices calculated.

Had used it last year for my F-I-L's Etios

http://www.toyotamakemycar.in/
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Old 14th September 2012, 02:14   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subraiyr
To me this would all be a sales gimmick excepting for rendering of the vehicle with accessories on the look alone.......

..........Also, how long does it take for the salesman to ask the customer to sit in front of the table and then book his car. Its not like the restaurant where the waiter takes the order on his berry or whatever and it goes to the kitchen directly even before the person has said "thank you, your order will take 20 minutes to deliver"
It is in no way Sales Gimmick. Keep in mind that all high end cars are more customized than your regular cars. And it is not feasible/possible for dealership to have all possible options available. As you said, you would like to see how your car will look like before putting your money - this is when it is useful. You can try and see all different configuration possible to come to the one that you like. Think about Mercedes/BMW/Audi dealers, how many cars with different combinations are possible?

Moreover, high end car customer usually does not go to showroom due to limited showrooms that they have in India. So dealer usually sends TD car to customer's door step. Tablets are going to be useful here as well.
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Old 14th September 2012, 12:06   #22
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Post Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by Nitrous Power View Post
It is in no way Sales Gimmick. Keep in mind that all high end cars are more customized than your regular cars. And it is not feasible/possible for dealership to have all possible options available. As you said, you would like to see how your car will look like before putting your money - this is when it is useful. You can try and see all different configuration possible to come to the one that you like. Think about Mercedes/BMW/Audi dealers, how many cars with different combinations are possible?
I agree. It is not merely a 'sales gimmick'. The sheer number of permutations and combinations of various configurations/trims/interiors etc. possible with premium luxury cars means they are forced to innovate in the way they engage with their customers. If a prospective buyer picks a combination that involves high levels of customization or something that isn't the most popular, a salesman armed with a fully functional app such as this can quickly and effectively demonstrate and address his doubts/queries. Sometimes that can make the difference between a sale or otherwise.

MB prides itself on innovation globally - not just in technology and car-making but also they way they go about engaging with their audiences. They're a company known to listen very closely to and understand their customers. This might also turn out to be another effective channel to do that.


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Originally Posted by Nitrous Power View Post
Moreover, high end car customer usually does not go to showroom due to limited showrooms that they have in India. So dealer usually sends TD car to customer's door step. Tablets are going to be useful here as well.
Yup, like I said earlier, use of technology surely isn't a concept that will be lost on Mercedes' TG.

Last edited by Omtoatom : 14th September 2012 at 12:08.
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Old 14th September 2012, 13:13   #23
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

All Fiat Caffes have these.
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Old 14th September 2012, 13:22   #24
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All Fiat Caffes have these.
I think mahindra was the first to introduce tablet and apps for Xuv 500. Not iPad though.
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Old 15th September 2012, 00:13   #25
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

That's a good move by Mercedes and of course such innovations are expected when you pay that much for a car!

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Just wondering. How difficult is it for other car makers (Tata/Mahindra/MUL etc) to make similar apps and port them to their websites? Wudnt it be great that we can go online, customize our cars, add accessories and warranties etc then get a tentative quote, all before we go to any dealer? What if they can take orders for custom specials online? How difficult is it, to think and ease our lives?
Though not with this much of customizing options, Ford have had this in their website where you can select colors and few other stuffs and get a quote.
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Old 15th September 2012, 12:55   #26
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
To me this would all be a sales gimmick excepting for rendering of the vehicle with accessories on the look alone

If i am planning to buy a vehicle and pay through my nose (whether it be the M-Benz or the Tata), i would prefer to look at the car, touch it, feel it, hear the engine roar or purr, sit inside the cockpit and get the feel of the leather and then make a decision
No. You didnt get it. Let me try an example. Suppose you go and test drive a car say a Nano. Unfortunately at the moment the showroom has only a Basic Nano. So you test drive it and are impressed by the car. However you want some shiny alloys, a spoiler, some custom green color, may be brown leather interiors. Now if the sales man had an iPad/Tab application which could add on these features, change the color, do some mix and match, and give out an instant quote, you would be very happy in deciding what you would want. And your custom order may be sent to the Tata plant and you may be given a delivery date for your ride.

Now wouldnt such an app be useful in retaining a choosy customer like yourself, who would have otherwise walked away from a bare bones Nano?
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Old 15th September 2012, 15:00   #27
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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The examples you have quoted, Tata/Mahindra/MUL, have at least half their sales done in rural/semi-urban markets. So far, rural people are hardly aware of anything called a website.
I would say a Tata/Mahindra/MUL/VW/Hyundai would find more takers for this kind of tool in their website, than a Merc or an Audi. If you take the average age or tech "savi-ness" of a typical Merc buyer, they hardly use websites for buying. Most of the e-commerece and web based buying in India happens among the 21-35 age group, who aren't Merc's target group.That must be the reason why Merc has this in an ipad to be operated by the sales guy rather than have it in their website.
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Old 15th September 2012, 15:46   #28
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Most of the e-commerece and web based buying in India happens among the 21-35 age group, who aren't Merc's target group.That must be the reason why Merc has this in an ipad to be operated by the sales guy rather than have it in their website.
Remember, Mercedes is trying to get rid of the uncle tag, and trying to infuse some youthful zest in their cars and media interfaces. Looks like itís working pretty well
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Old 15th September 2012, 20:04   #29
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Post Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

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Remember, Mercedes is trying to get rid of the uncle tag, and trying to infuse some youthful zest in their cars and media interfaces. Looks like it’s working pretty well
Absolutely! Snazzy apps like this are certainly going to catch the eye of youngsters who will accompany their moms/dads to a MB dealership for a TD.

Slightly OT: Recently I read an article about an insight study conducted internally by MB India which revealed how it is perceived as a "for my uncle/dad car" unlike their rivals Audi and BMW. That is its biggest peeve and challenge now. To recreate its brand image.

MB has quickly realized it cannot afford to ignore the 21-34 age group if it has to become a market leader again. Young India is increasingly an active influencer, if not a decision-maker already. No wonder, MB's recent communication is heavily skewed toward positioning itself as a more youthful brand. Consequently its engagement with this demographic has also increased significantly. Just look at they way they've deployed social media to connect with the youth. Quite astonishing.

For Mercedes Benz, it isn't about innovation or excellence alone anymore, it is about being a young achiever.

Last edited by Omtoatom : 15th September 2012 at 20:08.
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Old 16th September 2012, 01:18   #30
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Default Re: The Mercedes Salesman, his iPad and the iSales App

didnt read the entire thread but we were doing this back in 2011 when i worked for audi. we did it for exclusive cars like the a8/r8/rs5
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