Several manufacturers who do not use satellite or in-house cable TV have other high-tech communications methods to keep in touch with their dealers and employees.
Subaru of America Inc. uses video conferencing, which transmits pictures to a TV monitor using telephone lines. Subaru uses the Picture-Tel system to link with its five regional offices, said spokesman Richard Marshall. Each regional office has a video conference room with a 30-inch monitor.
Subaru uses the system to share human resources issues and to conduct sales meetings.
'We're not big enough to create our own TV system, but we are trying to find an alternative way to improve our ability to communicate in real time,' Marshall said.
American Isuzu Motors Inc. uses modem-based e-mail to communicate with dealers, said a spokesperson.
Nissan North America Inc. rents satellite TV time about six times a year, usually in one- or two-hour increments, said spokesman Kurt Von Zumwalt. Nissan broadcasts all-employee meetings and dealer meetings. The company also uses video conferencing.
Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc. is considering setting up video conferencing for dealers, said spokeswoman Donna Boland.
She said Mercedes' information system experts say the telephone technology has caught up with or perhaps surpassed satellite technology.
She said: 'We're looking at it; it's still a ways off. It's nothing you'll see in 1997.'