In what is believed to be the largeste-commerce transaction in history, digital imaging company Interactive Picture Corporation (Nasdaq: IPIX) and Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation announced today that they have sold the first corporate jet over the Internet.
The pre-owned Gulfstream IV aircraft was purchased for $22.9 million (US$) by Elite Aviation, a charter and aviation management company.
“Today’s transaction is more than just another sale — from a big picture e-commerce perspective, it validates that the Internet can be an effective tool in the sale of large, complex capital goods,” said Joe Walker, Gulfstream’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s technology that works.”
IPIX Offers Immersive Images
Interactive Pictures’ IPIX technology offers immersive images that allow potential customers to figuratively step inside the image and look in any direction from left to right and top to bottom, using a standard mouse for navigation and to pan and zoom. IPIX technology is being used by NASA and Kodak, sports leagues including the NFL and NBA, broadcast companies including ABC, ESPN, Fox and MTV and automobile manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Volvo.
In addition, the company’s clients include Microsoft, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, CNN Interactive, Columbia-TriStar, National Geographic, Coldwell Banker, Prudential and Hilton Hotels.
“Working with a leader like Gulfstream demonstrates the wide acceptance of IPIX for e-commerce applications across all categories including aircraft, automobiles, hotels, real estate, destinations, cities, resorts, stores, and product showcases,” said Jim Phillips, chairman and CEO of Interactive Pictures.
Gulfstream First To Offer Aircraft Online
Gulfstream launched Gulfstreampreowned.com, a Web site devoted to online, pre-owned sales in June, making it the first aircraft manufacturer to offer its planes online. Customers can receive technical specifications and visually inspect all aspects of an aircraft’s interior. A complete maintenance history of the aircraft is also available online.
“Previewing pre-owned aircraft is a time-consuming and expensive proposition,” said Richard Hodkinson, president of Elite Aviation. “Gulfstream’s Pre-Owned Web site greatly simplified the purchase process, saving us time, money and aggravation. We got virtually everything we needed from the Web, including the chance to kick the tires and tour the aircraft at our convenience.”
Hodkinson electronically signed a letter of intent to acquire the aircraft today. The letter was delivered online to Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, and the sale is expected to be finalized soon, the companies said.