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Mazda Launches Chat Feature

July 10, 2007

Mazda Motor Corp.'s U.S. sales arm recently launched a chat feature on its Website to help people configure a vehicle, search dealership inventories, get a dealer quote and gather information about financing, reported the Detroit Free Press.

The chat with Mazda's Shopping Assistant works just like popular online chats on AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger.

Mazda says its program is the first in the industry to provide potential buyers with an actual quote — from the customer's choice of dealer — for the vehicle they've chosen, as opposed to other manufacturers' programs that offer only the suggested retail price.

And once the customer and the dealer agree on a price, the Mazda online assistant arranges an appointment at the dealership so paperwork can be signed and the vehicle can be delivered.

More than 1.5 million unique visitors log onto MazdaUSA.com each month, according to the company, and Mazda believes the Shopping Assistant program will be a huge hit among its youthful demographic, the second youngest in the industry.

The Mazda Shopping Assistant can be found on the site by clicking shopping tools. The link is on the left side of the page (www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayPage.action?pageParameter=introductionBuild).

"We want to make the vehicle purchase process as easy and comfortable as possible for our customers," Mike Ray, Mazda's director of customer satisfaction and loyalty, said in a news release. "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."

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