Chrysler has started offering vehicle apps in place of manuals for new car buyers. Although it’s not as nice as getting a brand new iPad with new car purchase, it is a step in the right direction for replacing the bulky books that accompany new cars. Yet another way to look at this technological advance is that it saves the manufacturer money, but costs the consumer in the long run.
To find the value of car manuals one needs to only look so far as the collector car market. Antique cars, old muscle cars, and any other collector car becomes more valuable if the original books and information are sold with the car. Even on their own, many manuals for antique cars go for a pretty penny on places like eBay, mainly purchased to ‘complete’ their restoration.
We all know the real reason Chrysler is including an app with each car purchase is because it saves them the money on printing all those books. It does however allow them to be more thorough, include finer details, and even examples in an electronic format that wouldn’t be possible with traditional print on paper.
The vehicle brands that will be affected first will be Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat, which already include a DVD at purchase time. Not only has Chrysler taken the big step going electronic with manuals, they are also pushing FloTV, the first mobile television subscription. Also, new Chrysler vehicles have the option of buying technology that turns their vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot. Going electronic with a vehicle manual app is the next logical step. But what will we be selling on eBay in the future when collectors start restoring that 2011 4-Door Jeep Wrangler?