Why don’t car manufacturers use videogame-like technology to show off cars on their websites?

Why don’t car manufacturers use videogame-like technology to show off cars on their websites?


Porsche used to use Unity3D for the visualizer in 3D mode in their configurator. I think they have done away with it though. It's not like they have a problem selling their cars lately.


Really sad, though. I remember playing with the Shockwave version as a kid when the 997s first came out. It was so cool.


Oh man i remember the GM site and playing with the lights and horn on the ALL NEW GMC CANYON™️ good times


I wonder if it's because their 3d models kept showing up all over the place.


They definitely still do this for some lines. If you go to the Taycan page, they have the 360 experience. They also have AR for the 3D models. If you go to the data section on mobile and have a compatible device, you can click on “Experience in AR”. https://www.porsche.com/usa/models/taycan/taycan-models/taycan-turbo/


NfS Porsche was a very well made playable ad, though.


Best move the brand ever did IMO. It's that game that made me fall in love with the brand and its history. I have spent countless hours cruising along the mediterrean coast in a convertible 911, reaching top speed in the tunnel of the Monte Carlo tracks in the 911 GT1 or racing 944 turbos through the twisty turns of the Black Forest. God I wish there was a 2021 HD remaster of that game right now.


For a while you could still get it to work in Internet Explorer after other browsers had dropped support for Unity Web Player, but it's totally gone now. It's a shame, was by far my favorite car configurator. I loved how you could see the impact of every little price-ballooning leather wrapping package.


It was so amazing!!


IIRC Porsche once used a program called Ventuz to fantastic effect. Sadly, have never since seen a it get used.


They still have an app version of it: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/porsche-ar-visualizer/id1520387033


Wow never been to genesis’s website but damn that’s amazing. Even on a smartphone that shit is butter smooth


yeah for real he said video game tech but i didn’t expect *that*


DUUUUUDE. That feels so much smoother than most games on iOS app store.


well let’s be honest i get half of those are shitty pay to win, in app purchase, micro transaction schemes


>That feels so much smoother than most games on iOS app store. First of all, sorry, I couldn't contain myself to not reply to this, whether you know it or not. Secondly; it really depends on the software optimisation and hardware you're running it on. If you look carefully; you can see environment around the car is nothing more than a 360° photo and everything in configurator is stationary. That means there's nothing much to process; resulting in butter smooth experience. If you look **too closely** you can see the car model is not **that much** detailed, at least not as much as an a 3d mobile racing game. Also phones are not as powerful as a PCs or modern consoles, and generally appeals to the generic public; meaning less heat while gaming is more important than your FPS. Most of the games are locked to 30 or 24 FPS in order to keep the device cool while gaming, although they can push more but they will generate significanty more heat if games are not limited. Some games lets you change graphics anf FPS settings, crank everything to max and see how much heat it generates.


>everything in configurator is stationary You can open the glove box, and open the windows from the interior view


All that needs to be said is that its still so much fucking better than any trash ass American car companies website that hasn’t changed since the dawn of HTML. Fuckin dorks constantly would rather chop down what little bits they can rather than simply applaud someone else for their innovation.


I meant shading and other effects, not animations. Those animations don't cost much, especially when the interior is rendered seperately from the outside model.


That just makes everyone else’s reason for not having an experience like that even less valid.


Dude, you get me wrong. It's a great thing to have 3D exploration stuff for the car you're looking for. I'm just a tech savvy guy who couldn't resist to explain why it runs smoother than a videogame.


Oh no homie, I get you. I just saw that as the proper place to illustrate my point. Domestic manufacturers reasons for not doing small QoL improvements is just ridiculous.


Shut up nerd




Actually, keep going


Most of the 2 core laptop CPUs are much faster than an average 8 core phone CPU. But mobile chip technology is improving fast nowadays (not as much as 2000s GPUs technology fast tho), and some of the current mobile chips are almost as fast as an PlayStation3. Also since they're using ARM architecture, they're much more efficient/generate a lot less heat than x64 and x86 processors. Your average phone doesn't have any cooling system in it, but a laptop or desktop CPU will need a heatsink or a fan of some sorts to transfer generated heat out of the chip. Since phone CPU's have more restrictions than an average PC CPU, they kinda help in the development of the PC components too. Upcoming PC processors will have big and small cores (small is for power efficiency and big is for **MO POWA**) which aims to improve efficiency of the cpus while keeping the processing power. Are you there yet, or should I go on?


Keep going, nerd.


The good ending


Well acktually


>If you look carefully; you can see environment around the car is nothing more than a 360° photo I don't think that's true, look at the garage door and other details on the building as you pan around the camera


Yeah that is really cool.


I like that the car is staged [in front of the Four Seasons in Seattle](https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6077258,-122.3394207,3a,75y,189.09h,81.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYn5p3FrH5Y9_G2elAGdrtw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en&authuser=0), but they changed the view of the water from Elliot Bay to what looks like Venice.


That was very confusing because I was 99% sure I knew where that was until I looked out over the water


Rolling the windows down is so pointless and stupid and I love it.


For some reason I was expecting a literal video game, I started mashing my arrow keys to see if I could drive around.


We both know that you would be disappointed when the crash simulation was turned off...


Just export the 3d model into BeamNG.Drive and give a dude a few hundred dollars to make it crash-able. ez.


For a good physics model a few hundred is a tad low ;) But the reason why you can't drive them is because the experience IRL is different than in-game of course


Thats why he said to use the BeamNG physics engine.


The KIA ev6 you can. ​ https://worldwide.kia.com/eu/VR-driving-center/index.html#/welcome


You don't lie, I'm blown away.


We're all getting Genesis ads for the next 8 months... Still worth it


I'm blown away


smoother than their infotainment /s


Legit the first time I've heard a complaint about the Hyundai/Genesis infotainment system. I think it is amazing personally.


People have had complaints about the controller spin wheel for the infotainment (vs a large knob like what's going into the GV70) and some fewer complain about the menu structure and diving deep to get to things (though that seems to be the case for all brands' modern systems). But nothing about the responsiveness being slow.


I have a ‘21 G80 and I like the response of the infotainment. I like quite a lot about it. The only thing I’m on the fence about is the roller style volume wheel.


You weren't kidding, that has to be the best car configurator out there. Every car brand should have one like that. Whatever money it costs is probably peanuts compared to what could make you back.


I think it’s smooth only on a smartphone, on my computer it’s slow as hell lmao


Probably a hardware acceleration setting or something. Buttery smooth on my PC.


Yeah, for some reason it runs like crap for me, maybe about 5 FPS at most, and I am trying to use it with a computer running an 8-core Ryzen CPU and an RTX 3080. I thought it was because I had a game running in the background but even after closing the game it still doesn't run very well. Then I tried it on my smartphone from 2017 (Nokia 8 with SD835) and it runs really nicely. Both my PC and the phone have a 1440p screen as well.


Try a different browser


Huh, seems to work nicely on Firefox and Edge, but on Chrome and Chromium it doesn't work for me. Strange considering the current version of Edge is based on Chrome/Chromium.


Might be a hardware acceleration setting in your chrome or an addon that's messing with something if I were to guess haha


It's not a chrome issue. It's running easily over 100fps on my PC on an r9 3900x and GTX 1080 in Chrome


You may have hardware acceleration disabled.


No, I do have it enabled on Chrome (Use hardware acceleration when available-option is selected in the advanced settings). For some reason it isn't working on Chrome, but works on other browsers.


Worked fine for me on chrome so its gotta be something on your end.


For shits and giggles, try incognito mode.


I had to turn on hardware acceleration then close and reopen the browser for it to kick in.


Thanks, that one actually worked! I disabled hardware acceleration, relaunched and enabled it again with another relaunch, now it works just as well as Firefox did without having to figure out what is wrong with it. I had acceleration turned on but for some reason it didn't work with this site. Still, it is a very nice site and it is clearly not the fault of the developers that my system didn't work with it. I really should move to Firefox, this is not the first time I've had a problem with Chrome where the simplest workaround is to just use Firefox.


Perfectly smooth on my 8 year old macbook


It's all fun & games until an image asset doesn't load: https://i.imgur.com/oJ70gbu.jpg Or maybe it's the Joker headliner option?


I'm going to guess that this is using ThreeJS, a JavaScript 3D rendering library that I've been learning. The reason it renders so smooth is because there is a lot of optimisation going on, done by someone who is very good at their job. Nothing is being rendered dynamically. All the reflections are baked in. When you look at the car top down and see the reflected buildings. What you're actually seeing is an image of the buildings pre-rendered, applied to the geometry and then moving with the camera. It's the difference between the GPU doing a bunch of calculations to figure exactly what would be reflected off of the surface and rendering a .png file. You may turn the camera to look at the light sources and think that the road bricks are reflecting light individually but no, it's just a very artistic and well considered colour scheme. The reason you don't see all this more often is because it requires a team of well paid, highly skilled developers and artists to achieve. It's not just a case of exporting a model from Unity.


For real. My first thought was "holy shit, this is better developed than most mobile games"


They're starting too. Unity is pushing this hard. BMW had a commercial with a unity rendered car that you can't discern. Unreal 5 is impressive too, this will start to become the norm.


Yep. In the age of digital marketing with zero real products on screen, test drives will never have been more important.


> zero real products on screen I wonder how many consumers are aware of this For the products sold in my business, none of them are real photos. They're all 3D renders. That goes for 99% of the products you look at from big brands. Product photography is on its way out because 3D renders are a better option in just about every way (aside from industries where its regulated, like food) For an example, go to the ikea website. You might not believe it based on how good they are, but every product photo on there, including the ones of full rooms, theyre all 3D renders. The only exceptions are the ones with people in them.


Even food in ads, which while not necessarily CGI, is very much not real in other ways. You know that delicious-looking shot of syrup being poured on pancakes that every place that serves breakfast uses? The "syrup" is motor oil.


I have no idea who the heck would buy a car based entirely on commercials and marketing materials even before it was possible to render a photorealistic copy 🤷‍♂️


My sister bought a Toyota Corolla without ever seeing it in person, much less driving one. She literally woke up, decided she wanted to upgrade her car, did the math on what she could afford, and called our brother who is a car salesman. Bought it that afternoon


Mind you, a Toyota corolla is a pretty smart buy


It is, but I can't stand driving my girlfriend's. It's...fine. But the transmission sucks and it feels underpowered. Yes I am aware the people who buy Corollas just want a reliable appliance.


The fact that it's *new* probably represents a huge upgrade in most consumers minds. I had a cousin that, against my protests, traded in a paid-off 2004 corolla with like 50k miles against a lease on a Jeep compass. She wanted a backup camera, carplay, better sound all in an "SUV". I told her she could accomplish the first 3 for like... $300 and an afternoon parked in my driveway - but no.


New IS generally positive. You can change the head unit in your 04 Corolla but it’s still going to feel shittier than a ‘21


You say that, but this is a budget FCA product we're talking about.


I cant believe people do that. Buy a car without test driving is well not smart. This is how I get people in service complaining about oh this car has less power/noiser/shifts different than my old car. You would know the difference if you had actually test driven the car!


If your brother is a car salesman you probably just buy what he tells you to buy, unless your brother is a piece of shit in which case you wouldn't have called him in the first place.


Lol. I went from a Subaru WRX to a Honda Fit. My father-in-laws Dodge Caravan is now faster than me off the line 😂 I knew what I was getting myself into. I imagine people who buy old luxury cars in their youth, who end up wanting to buy a NEW car the first time are the most likely to complain about how much slower their new car is without realising why.


That's completely insane to me, hahaha. I thought I loved the Subaru Crosstrek on paper but ended up with a Mazda 3 as a second car, 99% because the Crosstrek's seats were horribly uncomfortable in all the trim levels.


That’s similar to how I felt when buying a car. The Toyota 86 looked good to me but then after driving it I didn’t like some small nuances about it, plus I realized how small the trunk actually was. The size of the trunk actually pushed me in a whole different direction looking for something with more space in it. Online it looked good though because I didn’t see the actual dimensions


It's wild how much worse the Crosstrek feels than a Forester or an Outback. I just drove all three this weekend, and the Crosstrek felt like a ten year old throwaway economy car while the Forester and Outback both felt like they were good modem vehicles for the money.


10$ on amazon fixed that for me, but if you realized before buying I get it


The crazy thing about that to me is not the buying a car without seeing it or test driving it. I can kind of understand that if you're a simpleton, and I understand that simpletons exist. What I can't understand is deciding you want a nicer car, but also deciding not to put literally any effort into choosing it.


*The dudes who pre-ordered the Tesla Roadster nervously sweating*




It doesn’t even exist yet. At least not in the production-ready form.


Announcer: *It could not do what they claimed, but the people who bought it don't know the difference.*


It DOES do under 2 seconds 0-60... on prepped surface from the rollout, on nitto tires which it doesn’t come stock with.


Tbf that's probably the case for most 2 second 0-60 cars. Although tires maybe not


Not the rollout part. Every car’s time, except the P100D Ludicrous+ and Demon, was reported from a standstill by the marketing department.


Or the cybertruck, really


Every new model supercar gets purchased without test drives...


I remember hearing years ago that the people who actually pay attention to car ads are people who already own that car. We all want assurance that the Ford or Dodge or Honda or BMW we bought is as awesome as we hope it is.


There are entire businesses built around online sale and home delivery of used vehicles. Nuts.


*Carvana has entered the chat.*


I still can’t comprehend that some people view a car as just another appliance. Like, they treat it like buying a new toaster. Compare price, MPG, maybe pick a color they like, and that’s practically all the research they do.


Not everyone is an enthusiast about them. My wife simply said when we got our V60 that she wanted a car that got good gas mileage and was safe. I geek out over my 2 cars, she just doesn’t get it and that’s okay by me


Not op but The reason I don’t understand it is because it’s usually the second biggest purchase people make besides their homes, so you’d think they’d do more research into it.


Debt is just a made up number for too many people. They just care about a monthly expense.


This applies to cars and homes alike in this current market. What's an extra 15k over the highest bid when it's only a hundred bucks or so more on the mortgage?


I thought I wanted a van and was looking at all the different options and I wanted something loaded and on paper in pictures a Kia Sedona sxl is a fully loaded van with every available option and was significantly cheaper than an odyssey touring elite and it doesn't look too bad. In person I hated everything about it and not only that I instantly realized I absolutely did not want a van to begin with. I had been researching this shit for like two weeks online and it took five minutes in person to see it was all wrong for me. On a whim I test drove an xc90 t6 momentum and my wife and I fell in love with it instantly. It was only a little more expensive than the fully loaded odyssey and has all the same options and it *feels* like luxury and safety. I always thought they were gorgeous cars but until I drove it I had no idea I wanted one. I will never spend that much time trying to shop for a car online again, just drive them until you find the right one.


There may be a moral/legal grey area where they aren't allowed to advertise a product that isn't actually the car itself.




From what I've heard, full CG cars are very rare for commercials. It's almost always easier and cheaper to just use pre-production models.




Yeah need for speed most wanted (2005) probably gave them more sales for that m3 than they thought possible


> Unreal 5 is impressive too Does it come with a shock rifle, a goo gun, and a razor gun?


No, only the Instagib Rifle.


https://youtu.be/OnBC5bwV5y0 Don’t expect most car commercials to actually have the car


And, with the rise of Ray Tracing, you can make some stunning renders of cars, that look almost indistinguishable from the real thing.


Ray tracing has been used in renders for a very long time, it's real time ray tracing that is on the rise with new hardware acceleration.


That's what I meant. I remember seeing the glass orb renders and such ages ago. I meant, imagine designing your car and seeing the changes in realtime in the preview model, yet still looking photo realistic.You could see EXACTLY what your car will look like, down to the last lug nut.


That would be really nice, I could see that in the future but right now there is just not enough people with the high end modern hardware to make that practical. Still, I would love to see that happen since they can program exactly how the paint will shine and everything.


The website would probably have to stream it to a device, as opposed to a local render.


Consumer processing power is not where the bottleneck lies with this.


Unless they can render the pollen from the tree out front they'll never be able to show me exactly what my car will look like.


That's not exactly new tech, ray tracing in CGI for stuff like commercials has been around longer than the PC itself, HDRI has been available for something like 20 years, and global illumination has been practical for nearly a decade. What we're seeing now is graphics cards that can do it in real time, but that's not exactly important if you're creating a commercial, a bunch of images for a web site, or even baking lighting and reflection maps for a real time 3d tool that runs in the browser.


I can speak for this a bit. This software is made by a third party company. I doubt almost any manufacturer uses in house devs for this purpose. There is a very real chance that Hyundai has exclusive rights to it. Edit: https://www.prweb.com/releases/innocean_worldwide_americas_launches_two_first_to_market_luxury_car_shopping_experiences_for_genesis_motor_america/prweb16001975.htm


BMWs configurator was developed "in-house" with contractors/integrators. They offer a lot of views and 360° views, though not live 3D as the "steps" and angles are fixed. Was ahead of all the others as far as I know at the time. Nowadays compared to Genesis it seems dated and cluttered of course.


GM builds an in-house product using unreal. They have configurators for corvette Escalade and lyriq. I don’t think OP has done as much research as they think.


I worked for one of the 3rd parties for a while! Glad to hear some brands do it in house.


It's probably as simple as this: **it's expensive**. Especially when car manufacturers are likely going to have to contract this work out and refresh it at least once a year. Budget for this sort of thing comes down to incremental sales. If the configurator is going to cost a few million to develop - how many additional vehicles or higher spec vehicles would need to be sold in order to recoup the cost? It's a bit different with prestige brands, where there is value in generating buzz from people that may never actualy buy one of their vehicles. If we're talking about, say, a Honda Civic - it's doubtful the perceived potential for incremental sales would outweigh the investment cost. Even if the benefit is there - "old guard" leadership teams in these companies probably put more stock in the benefits of above the line advertising. I don't work in the automotive industry, but my industry has similar issues, so it's an *educated guess*.


This is exactly it. The team managing the website very much care that it works properly and is constantly trying to improve things. You need serious budget to do what Genesis does. Genesis is really trying to amp up their brand so stuff like this is a good way to do it.


Genesis does what Nintendon't


It also probably has zero effect on sales. That and car companies are not nearly as profitable as the average person thinks.


This. Car companies will spend on advertising--just look at the number of commercials, targetted browser ads, billboards, etc. But by the time you'd see something like a 3d model configurator, you've already gone to their website and are deep in the advertising funnel, if not already cross-shopping models. At that point they need to be focused on what's going to make the sale. What's going to move you more, a 3D model, or boring old banner ad saying there's a national promotion for $1000 off the car. I bet the latter.


Pretty spot on. I’m in tech in the ad industry and we’ve seen “small” projects that use cool tech like this all over the place for big name clients either for campaigns or viral marketing purposes, but a lot of them just die out due to the expense of maintaining them. Agencies aren’t cheap either, so the moment a new CMO comes in, it’s almost guaranteed that the projects get scrapped in favor for either a new direction or because it’s a PITA transferring ownership of assets over to a new agency.


I think it's mostly the old guard hanging onto tradition. I'm a casual gamer who messes with 3D rendering and physics engines as a hobby. I can tell you that it won't be nearly as expensive to make this as you're envisioning it. Games from 2003 had these features and recent versions of open source software make it quite feasible to develop games akin to 2010 AAA titles on mid-high end consumer PCs of today. Another way to look at it could be old guys resisting change that would reduce the control of senior executives over the advertising and sales structure as well as the possible laying off of people who will be made redundant if this setup takes off. Considering that many institutions in my country still resist online communication out of those exact fears, I'd say that's part of the reason for this not being adopted.


It's a bit of both I'm sure; effort and cost are not the same thing. If you have to contract this out - it will be a small fortune. A relatively "simple" website can cost £50,000 by a contract development firm, for example.


For a smallish averagely skilled team in say... Michigan, let’s do 6 devs, a PM, a designer, an artist, a product owner and a manager you’re probably In the $800/hr if you hire them internally. Contracting out everything but the PO and manager your looking at $2600-2800/hr. At this rate, the internal team is $800,000 every six months and the contract team is burning 2.5-3 million dollars every six months. Realistically it will be a mix of contract hires and internal hires. What I learned from a company sample size of one is 3 teams at around 6 devs + supporting people to do the long term maintenance of their current automobile customization platform and it took about a year to build through the initial platform (with larger dev teams).


When I worked in commercials a 30 second full cg ad was in the range of $2-3 million quite often. Spread out between either 5-6 or 25 people, still ends up costing about the same but the development time was longer or shorter. Now I do the kind of visualization OP is talking about for an engineering company and they try to cheap out on the budget, but everything goes terribly and ends up taking significantly longer and being far lower quality.


Will configurator really cost that much? Somebody has to design it before they produce it so they already have tons of 3d models of the things in their cars. I'm not an expert on these things but I did some basic coding and 3d modelling and I'm not really convinced basically a car dress up game would cost millions.


The same people doing CAD drawings are not the same people polishing up a configurator in unreal. Yes, it would be that much.


There have been talks about different companies starting to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine for that, I forget which companies are going to use it but it seems like genesis is the first one. On another note, Mack Trucks uses a similar system on their website, but there's isn't as feature rich.


In 2004 or 2005 jeep had an awesome video game like animator for their cars. You could build and spec out what ever model you wanted and select different types of terrain and obstacles and it would demonstrate the cars ability going over them. I love auto build and price websites but most of them are very boring and straight forward. It always reminds me of the jeep website all those damn years ago and how fantastic it was and why auto makers don't have something similar now


Lucid does it as well: https://www.lucidmotors.com/air/configure


It lags vs the op post


Also, despite being remotely rendered the image still arguably looks worse than the genesis example. It's eerily similar to the Pagani configurator but not quite the same. http://virtualexp.pagani.com/


On the BMW page, when designing your own, it shows in real time how it will look, and you can rotate it etc.....all options you pick are shown.


iirc Porsche does that as well. Always fun to double the price of a Cayman with some options!


That's the trick with Porsche, once you configure the base model how you want, you realize it's better to just buy a higher trim level with less options.


Been awhile since i visited the page, but Audi did too




The generation buying most of the new cars couldn't use it. It will be adopted in the future as my generation takes over. I can even see car companies adding their own models into a game if you buy their car.


I would go farther and say most don’t even use the website at all. What they have on the lot is what they choose from.


This. It’s why buying cars in America is such a pain in the ass . Millions of car buyers just go to a dealer and buy what’s on the lot.


Because its easier to negotiate a deal when the dealer has an incentive to move a car already in inventory out. If you custom order a car they have less incentive to lower the price.


>If you custom order a car they have less incentive to lower the price. The flipside being you get exactly what you want, and you pay for that. I've had more than one conversation with friends who were looking to unload their car after 2 years of ownership (or leasing) because they hate the color, or it's not fast enough, or doesn't have x feature they wanted. These aren't like the entertainment or the seats, where it can take time to know you do or don't like it... these are things you knew getting into the car and you compromised on for the sake of saving a buck. Just buy the car you want and enjoy it for longer, it'll be much cheaper in the long run.


US dealers have (pre-covid at least) huge inventories though. If you don't find the one you want in lot A, you'll find one at lot B across town, so unless you're really looking for a weird combo, or limited edition release. The biggest thing I see when I've helped people shop is not expanding your search area, but people seem super hesitant to do so, even though they're dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a product. When I bought my most recent car, I had a 500 mile search radius because I'm not spending a dime unless it's exactly what I want. I was negotiating with a dealer 250 miles away and was working out final travel details to go get it, when by pure luck the same vehicle/trim showed up at a lot about a 40 min drive from me.




I'm not sure that's true. I remember when the s197 mustang came out, ford released an app where you could make a build and "compete" against other people's build, just based on aesthetics. I was younger during that time, and to this day I have a thing for mustangs that in part comes from that app. I don't think direct sales is the right way to think of it, it's brand image. I will likely get a new mustang eventually, especially if the current rumors about them being all electric soonish are true, as I'd want to get one of the stickshift V8 cars before they do away.


Holy shit that app was awesome. My dad and had so much fun comparing builds.


Sure grandma may have a smartphone but can she do anything else outside of the phone and messaging apps?


so everyone over the age of, what, 25, is just hopelessly technology illiterate?


Over 40 yeah, a sizable portion is man. Smartphones are portals to cat memes and basic texting functions.


That'd actually be super cool; when you buy your car, a car specced identical to yours is added to your garage in, say, Forza. But you can only access that color/that trim/those options if it's your car IRL.


The original Forza had a 2004 Toyota Solara, a car I used to own the same gen of. It was probably the worst car in the game, but I still loved throwing it around the track as if it were mine. It also immediately put me off modifying it at 17 years old, so thank you so much for that Forza.


I have a corvette in forza damn near identical to mine, wheels, color, and power output.


I've seen some 360 degree views for about a decade now but I think in general they want you in the dealership. They really aren't making the sale from their website (dealers at least) so come in and they can try to close you.


The big car makers just don't *get* interfaces - witness crappy touchscreen interfaces and crappy websites - and with the urge to drive the consumer to a dealer that you point to, they generally make unusable web sites.


Lets talk about car dealers websites. Its like 1998 on most of them


"Hi, I'm Elizabeth. Interested in learning more about buying this 2017 HYUNDAI ELANTRA LIMITED 2.0?"


Developer here who has made realtime 3D web based car showcases before. **Shit's hard.** Which means it's expensive to make.


They want you to go to the dealership. Hyundai knows their dealership experience is atrocious, so they're willing to undercut them, but a company like Lexus is moreso looking to plant positive seeds that entice people to go to the dealership, where they can trust that customers will be treated competently.


Bingo. Why is no one else getting this? There is a reason why there are only a handful of pictures on their websites when they could have put thousands up.


You're over estimating the skill set of the people managing these websites


Seriously, 99% of them are slow as fuck and just suck ass in general. If they would even try to make something modern it would take 6 years to load and crash 4 times before getting there.


the problem with configurators is that even if you go through the trouble of outfitting your ride with just the right color & options, it may not exist anywhere in existing inventory at any dealer lot in the US. This is especially true with Porsche & BMW with a multitude of stand-alone options. Most dealers just order cars with clusters of options based on price. So a higher trim model with real leather seats means you have to get the Cold Weather package (even if you live in Florida!). And depending on the production cycle, you as a buyer may not even be able to special order one until the next model year!


Yep. One of the annoyances selling new cars is that the manufacturer I work for allows customers to build and design cars online, complete with MSRP at the end, that they will not allow us to build or order and reality. Always fun telling a person they can't get two of their "must have" features together, or that the Jeep they built that they can just barely afford will actually be $3-4000 more because of some BS package we're required to add in order to get it built.


Ford used to do this on CD ROM... https://youtu.be/kbHX2ZsZl7w Credit to LGR. :)


Smart post, Genesis marketing team!


Probably because for mass market carmakers, it’s academic. Unless the dealers are on board with honoring customer web orders , the online configurator is basically useless. Where I live the local Ford/Chevy/Dodge dealers are run by crooks stuck in 1979. Bring your printout of the car , and basically they’ll tell you to buy what’s on the lot or piss off.


hm at my mercedes dealership, they were glad to put every detail from the configurator into their ordering system. i guess you get what you pay for


**$$$** I think Mercedes and a couple others had a cool YouTube feature where you could set it to VR and "look around" the car and sit in on a test ride... That should absolutely be a minimum, it's not even difficult or expensive to do tbh.


People saying car companies don't understand technology don't understand car companies. Car companies do one thing better than anyone else -- they sell cars. The people who buy NEW cars (ie, the only people car companies care about) aren't making decisions based on the quality of the virtual experience. If these customers were, car companies would invest. Car companies are some of the best product marketers on earth. The cost to build and constantly upgrade a virtual tour is probably not justified by the predicted impact on sales.


Ford had something like that in the 90s


Why? This is why. document.write('