NORCROSS, Ga. - On April 7, Saab Cars USA, Inc. opens the doors to its all-new Interactive Showroom, located at www.saabusa.com. Modeled after the architectural design for new Saab retail facilities, the Saab Interactive Showroom is the first on-line showroom to duplicate a real-life dealership environment. Inside the front doors, customers find a comprehensive shopping experience, from a video showcase of safety, performance and heritage segments, and a gallery of Saab innovations, to a Java-based "Build Your Own Saab" function that automatically generates a virtual window sticker with options and pricing information.
Like the actual future Saab showroom design, the on-line version offers distinctive customer environments. Visitors are greeted at a Saab host station, where they can get a fast overview of the Showroom's features. In the Saab Gallery area, Saab world-first innovations like the Saab Active Head Restraint system are displayed in museum-type "jewel boxes"—also a unique design element of future Saab retail showrooms.
Near the product area, Saab enthusiasts can choose to watch one of six informative video segments on the Video Showcase. Presented on a virtual flat screen video display, the safety, performance and Saab heritage segments are shown courtesy of RealMedia streaming technology. The result is superior quality streaming video, which can be viewed without lengthy download times.
The car display is the centerpiece of Saab's Interactive Showroom. Here customers can specify the Saab 9-5 or Saab 9-3 variant of their choice with exterior color and wheel choices.
Once a car is customized, and additional available options are selected, the Java program can dynamically generate a virtual window sticker, and the appropriate manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). Then, with the click of a button, the shopper has the choice of sending the car specifications and customer contact information to a local Saab dealer. The virtual window sticker can also be printed out for comparison shopping purposes.
In addition to exploring these Showroom features, Saab also invites visitors to step into the driver's seat of a Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3—on-line, of course. Using technology developed by Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based International Pictures Corp., (IPIX), customers can take a 360-degree interior tour of each Saab, while seeing the virtual showroom outside the windows. While inside the car, customers also learn more about the many innovative features found in the passenger cabin. Each interior tour includes a number of "hot spots" that a customer can zoom in on, and each feature such as the Weather Band button or Wide Angle Passenger Mirror—includes a brief text overview.
Saab's Internet development partner is Reston, Virginia-based Proxicom (www.proxicom.com). In addition to Saab, Proxicom develops Internet-based business solutions for such leading companies as MCI, Mobil, Cox Interactive Media, and Merrill Lynch.