Car Dealers Scramble to Close "Knowledge Gap" With Customers
New England car dealer Herb Chambers has had Web sites for his dealerships since 1994. "We had no choice," he says. `"Like it or not, the Internet is a fact of life in business today." And like other dealership owners, Mr. Chambers has invested in the latest Internet technology and training for his staff. The National Automobile Dealers Association says 70 to 80 percent of its members now have a Web presence and anecdotal evidence suggests that number is even higher. Despite the investment of time and money, however, the dealers are faced with a problem - their customers have gotten up to speed and even surpassed dealership sales consultants in their ability to use the Internet as a research and negotiating tool when the time comes to buy a new car.
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