New Jersey Ford dealer Rich Savino plans to get rid of all 20 personal computers on his sales consultants' desks by Oct. 1.
To replace them, Savino has ordered an Apple iPad for each manager and sales consultant at All American Ford of Old Bridge, N.J., about 40 miles southwest of New York City.
"I see no benefit to the PC versus the iPad. The PC is over," Savino says. "It's just not relationship friendly. It's a wall sitting between you and the customer."
All American Ford was one of 14 dealerships participating in a six-month Ford Motor Co. pilot program to test an iPad application called the Showcase App in dealership sales departments. The store's 20 sales consultants shared six iPads during the pilot, which made a believer of Savino -- and Ford.
Ford launched a nationwide iPad program on Aug. 1. About 140 of the automaker's roughly 3,300 dealerships have signed up so far, says Michelle Moody, Ford technology communications manager. Ford says the optional application is linked to Ford's ordering and sales reporting systems.