It was less than two months ago, in October, when Microsoft released the software development kit for it’s new touchscreen device, Surface, and BMW already has a program set up for it. It’s called Product Navigator, and it has a tabletop touchscreen interface that allows users to build the exact car they want. Pick the model, change the colors, the interior, wheels, options, and you can even save the result on a thumb drive and take it home with you. And as you’re building your dream car, the plasma screen TV in the showroom is displaying the car complete with specs and pictures.
It’s a genius move by BMW, since more and more people are researching new cars online, building the car they want online, shopping around for prices online, and only coming into a dealership when they have everything they want figured out. With Product Navigator, BMW is hoping they can bring some people into the showrooms just to look around like they used to, if only to see the cool new technology. And once they have you in that showroom, you’re many times more likely to buy a new car. Another example of the tight market pushing new technologies to the forefront. Less people buying means more competition, which means higher quality from the car makers, not just in the cars, but in the showrooms and the salesmen, and the deals the offer.