About 140 of Ford’s 3,300 dealerships have signed up for the six-month Ford Motor Co. pilot program to test an Apple iPad application dubbed the Showcase App in dealership sales departments, according to Michelle Moody, Ford technology communications manager. One of those dealers is New Jersey-based Rich Savino who plans to remove all 20 personal computers on the tables of his sales consultants by Oct. 1. Savino has ordered one iPad for every manager and sales consultant at All American Ford of Old Bridge, N.J. Savino said that the PC’s era is over. He said that the PC is a “wall” between the dealer and the customer. During the pilot, the 20 sales consultants of the store, shared six iPads.
Ford launched the nationwide iPad program on Aug. 1. Moody said that the optional application is linked to Ford's ordering and sales reporting systems, aiding the sales consultants in making the process easier. Ford CEO Alan Mulally, which is a known fan of Apple products, has been urging for technology to boost the sales process. The app is the product of Razorfish, a digital marketing agency, with the help of Ford Direct, a service jointly established and owned by Ford and its dealers to assist them with making an online presence known.
Staffers in several areas have helped. The Showcase App is expected to help sales staffers in several areas. It comes with short, Web-based instructional videos to explain new technology in Ford and Lincoln vehicles, like the MyFord Touch infotainment system, Sync voice recognition and Park Assist. The app also includes a list of vehicles that dealerships have their stock. Information about packages, features and window stickers have been also been released.