That's the picture painted by Honda's new "C It Now" (CIN) technology, which allows car buyers to see and hear the car and the salesperson via the internet. A dedicated salesperson carries a camcorder and wears a headset to allow conversation and interaction with the car remotely.
The system is on trial at Honda's Holdcroft, UK dealership now. Honda's UK head of sales, Janice Kennedy, said of the system, "CIN allows people to shop for cars at their leisure, from the comfort of the home, which is a real bones for those who don't want to make the trip to a showroom or feel more relaxed and able to ask questions openly when they are not face to face with the salesperson."
There's no word yet on when or if Honda will roll the system out to other areas, but the whole point of it is to enable a wider geographical range of car buying, as well as the convenience of shopping from a central location.
Honda thinks it will be particularly useful for used car sales, since shoppers might have to venture farther afield to find the right vehicle. It could also bring buyers and vehicles together that might otherwise not have the opportunity.
A case study of a buyer in Middlesex reflects the benefits of the technology. "I purchased a Honda Civic just before Christmas. I found C It Now on the Holdcroft Honda website and suggested to my wife that we try it. I had no intention of ever travelling to Stoke to view the car, so the sale would not have happened without being able to view the car live over the internet," said 'Mr. Brooks'.
And yes, for those keeping score at home, that is racer and TV presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson's brother Charlie, himself a former BTCC racer, in the video below.