Mazda Introduces the Mazda Shopping Assistant

By: Jason Moore

Ah, the internet - it's probably one of the best inventions of this century. It has revolutionized the way people communicate; get information, do business as well as entertainment, and yes, shopping too. And this of course, has not escaped our automakers.

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has come up with something new for the Internet-savvy car buyer: The Mazda Shopping Assistant. This newest program from Mazda will take you a step closer to sliding into the driver's seat of a new Mazda vehicle -- without ever leaving your home or office.

The Mazda Shopping Assistant program is an industry first, providing potential buyers with an actual quote -- from the customer's choice of dealer -- of the vehicle they've chosen, as opposed to other manufacturers' programs that simply offer the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).

With the use of links on the Web site, the new Mazda Shopping Assistant (MSA) program connects consumers with Mazda Personal Shoppers who can answer specific product questions and provide personalized shopping experiences through live Web-chat sessions. With the help of these in-house Mazda employees, buyers can configure a vehicle, check out a Mazda vehicle's features including auto parts like , select a dealership, search vehicle inventory, acquire an actual dealer quote, schedule a sales appointment and get information about financing for the Mazda vehicle of their dreams. Once the customer and the dealer agrees o
N a price, the Personal Shopper arranges an appointment time at the dealership for final paperwork to be signed and the vehicle to be delivered.

"We want to make the vehicle purchase process as easy and comfortable as possible for our customers," says Mike Ray, director, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, MNAO. "On average, a typical car buyer spends four hours at most dealerships buying a new car. In a day and age when every hour counts in our busy schedules, we believe the new MSA program is the perfect tool to help Mazda customers spend less time shopping and more time driving."

The MSA program is designed to help customers and dealers connect more quickly, accelerating the purchase process by streamlining three of the steps involved when buying a vehicle -- model selection, price and financing.

Each month, more than 1.5 million unique visitors log onto MazdaUSA.com to collect product information, build vehicles or locate dealerships. With this as proof that Mazda buyers increasingly turn to the Internet as a valuable resource, the company believes the MSA program will be a huge hit among its youthful demographic, the second-youngest in the industry.

About Mazda
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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