Saab Cars USA Inc. has opened an interactive showroom on its Web site that is modeled after the architectural design created for new Saab retail facilities.
The virtual showroom, which was created by Web site developer Proxicom, of Reston, Va., is an attempt to duplicate a real-life dealership environment online. Visitors are greeted at a Saab host station, where they get a fast overview of the showroom's features.
The showroom offers the following:
A car display lets customers configure a Saab 9-5 or 9-3 with exterior color and wheel choices. Once the prospect selects options, the Java program can generate a virtual window sticker that can be printed out for comparison shopping purposes.
Customers can send the vehicle specifications, as well as their mailing addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, to local Saab dealers.
A product information area of the showroom allows Saab prospects to watch one of six video segments. Using RealMedia streaming technology, Saab presents product features and company history on a virtual flat-screen video display. The technology does not require lengthy download times.
A 360-degree interior tour of each Saab model is also featured. The tour allows Saab prospects to zoom in on important vehicle features. Customers also can read a brief text overview for each of these features.
A historical 'Saab Gallery' area on the Web site shows off such exhibits as the Saab active head restraint system in museum-type 'jewel boxes,' which also will be featured in future brick-and-mortar showrooms.