Because use of tablet computers is widespread, Petrillo said, customers trust what it tells them. The tablet "validates all of the accuracy of the information."
"When it comes through the iPad, it validates that everything we communicate is accurate and truthful," Petrillo said.
Said Larguier: "I don't think that what we're doing at this stage is fundamentally changing the way people are buying an automobile as much as we are involving them in the process.
"Customers are very knowledgeable now when they walk into your showroom, but the industry has always tried to hang onto that information."
Larguier said Audi Wesley Chapel's sales process is akin to judo, whereas a traditional dealership's is more like karate.
Audi Wesley Chapel, he says, uses the customer's own momentum to help close a sale instead of fighting each step of the process by having a salesperson running off to a sales manager for approvals or hiding behind a computer screen and keeping information private.
"It's really just involving the guest more with what you're both trying to get accomplished," he said.
The results, though early, are promising enough that Larguier says Dimmitt will adopt the sales process when it adds a Jaguar-Land Rover store.
Audi is pleased enough that it will encourage another dealership group to use the sales process at an open point in Jacksonville, Fla., that will get a store this year.
Kirk Preiser, area director for Audi of America's Gulf Coast region, said the new store is doing two to three times the new and used sales that the factory expected from its first store in the Wesley Chapel market. In July, Larguier says, the store expects to sell about 55 new Audis and another 40 used vehicles.
Preiser, who lives only a couple of miles from the new store, said Audi "had been looking for dealers to pilot these new technologies," and the new store in Wesley Chapel was an opportunity to test some things in the field.
"Anytime you're a pioneer in something, there's really no paved road for you," Preiser said. He said the atmosphere inside the dealership is noticeably different. It's quieter, for example, and not nearly as confrontational as more traditional dealerships. And he said the customer satisfaction feedback "has been fantastic."