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Digital Thinking

German car manufacturers seem to be taking an especially 21st Century approach to marketing at the moment.

After a virtual car showroom in the Playstation Home 3D world, and an iPhone game to promote its A1 model, the latest digital thinking from Audi is a software-based customisation system for its A2.

Customers would buy a standard version of the Audi A2, then purchase software to activate add-on features, such as heated seats or customised navigation systems, already installed within the car.

Head of marketing and sales Peter Schwarzenbauer speculated to the Financial Times: “This could be a huge additional source of income for car manufacturers.”

The company may even allow customers to modify the design of the A2, he added. “You could adapt it exactly to your needs. Like you do in your home, you could create your own world in your car.”

Pie in the sky? Perhaps. Will it come to anything? Time will tell. But it could be argued that this does at least represent a genuine attempt to think outside the box when it comes to car design and customisation.

Last week, meanwhile, Volkswagen has become the first carmaker to venture into publishing for the popular Apple iPad tablet computer.

DAS (Digital Automotive Space) is a high definition digital magazine. It is due to be published four times a year in five languages and will be available through the various European App Stores.

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