GO

Mercedes to Use iPad as Sales Tool

Posted: Jun 01, 2010 10:42 a.m.

Mercedes-Benz is using the iPad to revolutionize the dealership buying experience. “A new approach, being tested by Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz dealerships starting this week, aims to keep shoppers near the car rather than in a cubicle by letting dealers access information from Apple Inc.’s iPad,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

They add that Mercedes-Benz Financial “will equip 40 dealerships with an iPad loaded with its MB Advantage application. Dealers can use the application to see the latest discounts and begin the credit application process.”

The program, called Mercedes-Benz Advantage, allows dealers can enter the car’s VIN number to find rebates, begin the credit application process or enter information on a returned lease vehicle – all while the customer watches.

If the pilot program is successful, Mercedes-Benz may eventually distribute iPads to all 350 of its dealerships.

“We dig that Mercedes is thinking outside the box to deliver an expedited shopping experience, but even better, we love the fact that the Apple iPad might help customers avoid the dreaded trip to dealership's finance room,” concludes Autoblog.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen is also using the iPad as a business tool. They recently introduced an interactive iPad application in the form of a digital magazine.

“The magazine includes Volkswagen related stories, 360 degree car views, videos and a feature to test the ascent angle of the new Touareg,” explains Pad Gadget. “The magazine will be published quarterly in five languages.”

Short for DAS, which stands for “Digital Automotive Space,” the application is available for free in the App Store.

Top Speed adds: “Now, if you don’t own an iPad, you won’t need to worry about accessing the DAS because Volkswagen has already announced that it will publish an Internet version of the quarterly digital magazine at the end of June, making it accessible to just about anyone who has a working Internet connection from every corner of the world.”

VW and Mercedes-Benz aren’t the first automakers to take advantage of the iPad. Hyundai plans to include a free iPad with purchases of its Equus-sedan,-and-will-even-replace-the-paper-owner’s-manual-with-an-iPad.-And-Audi-has-announced-that-the-2011-A8 sedan will offer optional in-car WiFi via the iPad.

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.