The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 January 2005

Access to Zoom Zoom

Mazda North American Operations and software developer Nanonation have been rolling out something called the Retail Revolution Showroom, which adds a whole lot of computer stuff to a dealership. Most of it is the expected juggle-the-options screen, but there's an actual test-drive simulator that enables potential buyers to get the feel of Mazda vehicles, or so they say, without leaving the grounds.

I'm not so sure about that — you can't really learn a car's basic qualities (or quirks) in the couple of miles you get to drive it for real, let alone a few minutes working a simulator — but it is something different, and Mazda, which is on the comeback trail these days, needs to continue to present itself as a more interesting alternative to the usual brands.

Mazda sold 263,882 vehicles last year in the States, up slightly from the year before, which is a decent figure but a mere drop in the overall American automotive bucket; as a fan of the marque — my last two cars have been Mazdas — I'm keen to see them pick up some extra sales. And some of those sales might actually be in Oklahoma: at least, Nelson Mazda in Tulsa, which has the new showroom apparatus, certainly hopes so.

Posted at 2:51 AM to Driver's Seat