Elio Motors to Roll Out ‘E Plus,’ a Revolutionary Vehicle Option Program
But there’s more to the smart phone phenomenon than mere communications. There has been a radical shift in consumer expectations based on the ease with which new features can be added. When you leave the store with a new smart phone, it has a lot of terrific functionality. But its true beauty comes in the unending additions that can be made by visiting the app store.
Want a new game? You got it.
New service for picking a restaurant? You got it.
Need a ride. Anywhere? You got it.
As they say…”there’s an App for that!”
What if that same thought process was unleashed on the auto industry? You get a great base vehicle with all the content you really need. But, you can order the options you want to personalize the vehicle. And once you get it home, you can keep adding options as long as the manufacturers’ supplier companies (sort of like app developers) keep coming up with new things that customers want and need.
Far fetched? Hardly.
We call it E Plus: My Elio. My Way., a mass personalization concept that will give our customers what they want, when they want it.
“E Plus” will start online, where customers can review available options on an E Plus Customization site at eliomotors.com from the comfort of their own home. When they go to the Elio Motors Retail Center, they will use a computer or tablet to order these options on their vehicle.
The customer’s order will be sent to one of several customization studios that will be strategically located across the country. The options the customer ordered will be added and the vehicle will be shipped to the Retail Centers with a goal to be delivered within 24 hours.
In addition to benefitting Elio Motors customers, it will also provide an opportunity for Elio Motors’ suppliers to flex their entrepreneurial muscle by developing options that can be added to the vehicles post-production.
“Suppliers all over the globe have created really cool content for vehicles that never see the light of day because of an antiquated packaging system and we plan to change that” said Paul Elio. “Our E Plus system will allow customers to buy the options they want and need at the time of purchase, and then continually add content via myelio.me in the future or through participating retailers.”
Currently, vehicle manufacturers sell options in a limited number of packaged groupings, restricting consumer choice and driving-up vehicle costs, according to a recent J. D. Power and Associates study.
“The current system is broken at many levels,” Elio said. “Traditionally, if a customer wants one particular option, they have to accept three or four other options as part of the package and that seriously limits customer choice and drives up cost to the customer.
The idea for E Plus comes from Elio Motors’ philosophy to always do what’s best for its customers. The company will provide a well-equipped base model, but wants to make sure its customers only pay for options they truly want. It was inspired by Paul’s own experience when he had to accept a lighted vanity mirror on the sun visor as part of an option package if he wanted to purchase a vehicle with leather seats. Why? Because the lighted vanity mirror was part of the package the manufacturer forced on its customers. The package as a whole cost more than the leather seats would cost individually.
Through constant communication with its customer base, Elio Motors will be able to provide its supplier network with information about which options are most in demand. This will help suppliers with their inventory planning and product development by basing their decisions on real-world data.
“Our ‘E Plus’ system connects the entire supply chain to the end consumer, which is a tremendous value to our customers and our supplier partners,” Elio said. “It will allow our suppliers to continuously develop new options based on true customer demand. These options will be available to our customers, who can provide feedback to our suppliers before they roll out products to the rest of the industry.”
We’re sharing details with the automotive media tomorrow, Thursday, March 24, at the New York International Auto Show at 2:45 p.m. (EST). If you want to watch Paul’s news conference live, check Facebook or your Twitter a few minutes prior to the start time for a link to Paul’s latest Periscope broadcast.