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LINE Automotive goes to the Geneva Motor Show

This post was written by Sean Nugent and first appeared on the LINE blog on March 28th 2013.

We’ve been very busy at LINE Automotive over the last year developing digital content for new vehicle launches, so the press day at the recent Geneva Motor Show seemed like a good opportunity to see the vehicles for real. It was also a great chance to look at how the automotive industry is using digital content at a public launch event.

OK I admit, I did get a bit distracted by the amazing models, and of course sneaked a look at the new Lamborghinis, Mazeratis, Ferraris and Aston Martins. The rest of the exhibitors really have to work hard to compete for attention with so much glitz and glamour around; for many stands this involved digital technology. More than half the exhibitors used some sort of ‘silent salesman,’ either an iPad or Android device mounted on a stand to present the features of the vehicle to potential customers. By and large they worked pretty effectively – it’s a great way to present the information. It’s interesting that there seems to be more crossover between training and marketing content than ever before as complex vehicles require customers to be trained as much as sales staff do and there is no doubt that in future much of this will be delivered via mobile channels.

There were also a few good examples of large touch screen technology, as seen on the Hyundai and Toyota stands. Infinity also had a really good interactive display, very high quality – although in some ways it was too good as I think people were afraid to cover it in fingerprints! There were a few promising examples of augmented reality using iPads on the Ford stand – it was a great concept but didn’t quite live up to the promise. I think we’ll definitely see more in the way of large screen digital technology being used to present vehicles to customers – The Jaguar Land Rover Virtual Experience and Audi City being two good examples.

It was great to see some of the new vehicles that we’ve been involved with at Volvo and JLR. We’ve been developing mobile apps for JLR to support the Evoque and the all new Range Rover. We also recently rolled out the first batch of training for the renewed Volvo 2013 range; the Volvo stand was a lovely peaceful area in the middle of all the noise, and fitted perfectly with their ‘Designed Around You’ philosophy. The jewel in the crown was a lovely looking pearl white XC60. Volvo is also leading the way with connectivity and of course the world’s first plug-in diesel hybrid.

Almost all manufacturers now offer some type of hybrid, although the fully electric market perhaps hasn’t grown quite as fast as some people had predicted. We’ll definitely see a growth in extended range vehicles over the next few years. I was also excited to see the first example of a vehicle with wireless charging. The new models from Tesla definitely take electric vehicles to a new level – if that’s the future then it’s looking very good indeed.

This new technology certainly presents some interesting challenges for training; the complex technology demands different selling skills and different skills in after-sales and service. Learning will need to be facilitated in a much more agile and innovative way as the pace of change increases – face-to-face training simply won’t be able to keep up. So, plenty to think about and as you can tell I didn’t get too distracted by the models and the supercars, well – aside from the Pininfarina designed Ferrari…

For a good summary of the event see Car News Weekly’s Geneva Motor Show Special.

Keep watching this space for more news about our innovative approaches to automotive training or contact the automotive team to discuss your requirements.