Auto manufacturers and dealers are looking for new ways to remain relevant in the age of Amazon and online shopping. Although the American dealer franchise system won't allow online sales like in other parts of the world, manufacturers and dealers are looking at providing more online services to customers than a simple inventory search.
Subaru offers the MySubaru website and app to connect with customers after they buy a Subaru. Here customers can enter the details about their car, which is tracked through the system by its VIN. They can track the car's service history, which is automatically updated each time it visits the dealer, and add to the history manually if the car is serviced outside the Subaru dealer network. Additional information about the car, such as online manuals and how-to videos, are also available, as well as listings of Subaru events and stories about Subarus in the company's typical feel-good style.
Sesi Motors of Ann Arbor, Michigan has gone a few steps further, reports Automotive News. Sesi creates a personalized website for customers when they buy a car, regardless of whether it's a Lincoln or Mazda. (Volvo will be added in February.) Each customer's website contains similar information and features as MySubaru, plus a bit more. The site also contains financing information, so customers can see the details of their loan or lease. Customers can view their service schedule and schedule service right through the site.
Online services such as MySubaru and Sesi Motors let customers view and update their information anytime, anywhere. It doesn't matter whether the dealer is open, and doesn't require the annoyance of a phone call.