Audi: iPads will spread beyond the showroom

Audi executives told dealers at the make meeting that the Apple iPads that are rolling into showrooms will soon make their way to the parts and service departments.

Audi says 80 percent of its U.S. dealers have placed orders for Audi-subsidized iPads. Stores that already have iPads will be able to use Audi's software without buying new ones.

Mark Del Rosso, Audi of America COO, told Automotive News after the meeting that the iPads will allow a salesperson to quickly show a customer color and wheel options, or explain how adaptive cruise control works. But this is just the beginning, he says; parts and service are next.

Michelle Primm, dealer principal at Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said Audi has taken a well-thought-out approach to make sure the iPad rollout succeeds. Said Primm: "They're not the first one to do it, but they did it right."

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com

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