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Ford trying iPads for sales consultants at dealerships

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Ford has launched an iPad app specifically for its dealers around the US to use. Fourteen different dealerships participated in a test program earlier this year, in which sales consultants (car salespeople) used iPads to access information about cars on sale, show presentations on various car features, and even track customer preferences, both helping customers choose the right car for them and helping salespeople convince them to buy.

One dealer in New Jersey is getting behind the app full stop: He says he plans to ditch PCs at his dealership completely, instead using the more "relationship friendly" iPad for all of his sales transactions. He cites the iPad's security and ease of use as big factors in putting them on the sales floor as well. The iPad isn't yet usable as a pricing or contract tool, however, so presumably sales associates will have to back to a regular PC for that right now. But soon, says the dealer, all of those functions will be handled by Apple's tablet, and he's looking forward to that.

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