Magazine article Information Today

New Car Showroom Selects Right(?) Car

Magazine article Information Today

New Car Showroom Selects Right(?) Car

Article excerpt

New Car Showroom Selects Right(?) Car

You hear a lot about how online databases can be useful, practical tools, but I'm not entirely convinced. Take buying things for example. A lot of databases are hyped for their value in merger & acquisition analysis, but I haven't bought any companies lately. I've never bought a company . . . . I've never known anyone who has ever bought a company . . . . When was the last time YOU bought a company?? What we need are more databases that will help with things that most people really do buy, like cars. In other words, more databases like the New Car Showroom.

New Car Showroom is a database of new consumer vehicle specs. It is produced by Access Dynamics, Inc., and is a subset of that company's AUTONET/ AUTOBASE databases. AUTONET/ AUTOBASE is intended for the automotive industry and is available in print and diskette. New Car Showroom is a consumer market version of the main file and is available online on CompuServe.

New Car Showroom (NCS) includes every car, van, light truck, and multipurpose vehicle that is widely sold in the United States. It covers over 1,000 models from three dozen domestic and foreign manufacturers. The principal section of NCS contains detailed specs in 85 categories for each model. (See sample record.) The basic specs cover engine, powertrain, interior/exterior size, fuel economy, finishes, and warranties. Each record also has a list of all standard features, options, and options packages for each vehicle. Base vehicle price, destination charges, and costs for nonstandard options are included. There is even a price calculator; you select the options you want and NCS will give you the total cost.

Porsche Dreams

I had occasion to use NCS recently for some vehicle shopping of my own. With my car well up into the six figures in mileage and facing several hundred dollars of repairs, it was time to shop. As I browsed through the specs a few Porsche models caught my eye. I priced out some options on the 944 - nothing fancy, mind you, maybe a sport suspension upgrade ($415), a CD player ($1,358), and leather seats ($2,256.) The price was more than I paid for my house, but everything's high these days.

My wife came by and glanced over my shoulder at the price total. "Dream on," she said. "You're in the information business, remember."

"Maybe if I dropped the leather seats," I replied, "it would bring it closer to our price range."

She bent over, gave me a peck on the cheek, and said sweetly, "To get it in our price range, dear, you'd have to drop the car and just buy the leather seats. …

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