Chrysler gets it.
Tomorrow they will introduce a suite of free apps for smartphones that cover everything from vehicle owner info to aftermarket-customization product catalogues from Mopar.
The apps have product-feature video demonstrations, connections with other owners, and access to customer care and 24-hour roadside assistance, as well as other functions.
The apps will launch in tandem with the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and will be available at the iStore on June 19 — first for iPhone and later for BlackBerry and Android on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. The automaker says the apps will be expanded to other Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles in the U.S. by the end of this year.
The apps are intended to complement physical user guides and DVDs that come with content one would expect from an owner’s manual, including maintenance schedules, service contract details, warning-light interpretation, warranty information and customer assistance.
The main screen of the app has 10 functional categories starting with “vehicle highlights” and ending with “customer assistance.” The app also has a section for — in the case of the app for Grand Cherokee — buying Jeep-branded accessories, apparel and gear, and a section that connects the user to Jeep communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Jeep’s blog.
This may not save the carmaker, but it’s certainly one of the brightest spots in industry innovation I’ve seen in quite a while.
So sayeth the StickMonkey.