In what the company claims is the largest Web transaction ever recorded, aircraft manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (NYSE: GAC) has sold a jet to a Yahoo! executive for $40 million.
Gulfstream spokesman Keith Mordoff told the E-Commerce Times that the company conducted extensive research before concluding that the sale of the Gulfstream V jet to Mark Cuban, a Yahoo! Vice President and the co-founder of Broadcast.com, was indeed the largest Internet transaction ever.
The jet is the second sold by Gulfstream almost entirely over the Internet since it launched its site in June. The Savannah, Georgia-based company sold a pre-owned jet for $23 million in October. Cuban viewed and corresponded about the aircraft entirely over the Internet, seeing it for the first time during a test flight.
“It’s difficult to quantify just how many jets we’ve sold using the Internet, because our salesmen are using the site as a sales tool,” Mordoff said. “There have been a host of sales it has helped generate. We also use the site to provide information for existing jet owners and other information about the company. It has been an extremely valuable resource.”
A Virtual Tour
Internet imaging company IPIX (Nasdaq: IPIX) issued a press release today, saying that the sale was generated by the use of its 360 degree imaging photography. Mordoff said that Gulfstream generally uses the IPIX tool in the sale of pre-owned jets rather than new ones, but a Gulfstream Vice President of Marketing said that the IPIX technology allowed Cuban to tour the aircraft over the Internet.
IPIX’s technology allows Internet viewers to experience a virtual tour of a site and its product offerings using a fisheye lens. The Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based company announced in October its intention to merge with Internet imaging company Bamboo.com (Nasdaq: BAMB) in a deal valued at $850 million.
Bamboo works primarily with the real estate and travel industry in offering virtual tours, while IPIX’s clients include Microsoft, Disney, Toyota, Hilton Hotels, the New York Times and many more.
Gulfstream was acquired by shipbuilder and defense contractor General Dynamics last July for $4.8 billion. The company, which has been making business jet aircraft since 1958, booked second quarter sales of $707 million. Gulfstream has produced over 1,000 aircraft since it was founded.