Mazda is tagging Mazda6 sedans bound for Enterprise rental fleets with a bar code to connect renters to local dealers for information about the vehicles -- and, possibly, to be a first step toward a future sale.
The quick response -- or QR -- codes can be read by smartphones. The codes contain Internet links that open smartphone browsers to a Web site. The site contains information about the vehicle, links to local dealers and other information.
The Mazda6s are bound for about 1,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations, says Rob Milne, director of sales operations for Mazda.
The goal: Make it easier for consumers driving rented Mazda6s to get more information about the vehicles. Those consumers are a source for sales leads, Milne said.
The vehicles will be sent to Enterprise insurance replacement offices, which provide temporary replacement vehicles to customers whose vehicles were damaged in accidents or are being repaired.
"These rentals are happening in their home market, so the customer is experiencing the Mazda6 as they would in their everyday life," Milne said.
Milne declined to say how many vehicles would be part of the deal, but said the company would be building Mazda6s for the "next few months" in order to provide "ample coverage" for the Enterprise locations involved.
Enterprise wants other automakers to participate in the program, which the rental company calls OnRamp.