CarLabs.ai, headquartered in Calabasas, has expanded its artificial intelligence-powered conversation system to serve auto dealers as well as manufacturers with its new Dealer Direct platform.

The AI-powered platform can engage with customers via live online chat on a manufacturer’s or dealer’s website — as well as text, email, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger — and answer questions about inventory, car features and finance options. When used on a website, customers know they’re speaking with AI software, but used through other channels, customers believe they are chatting with a human representative. 

“There are two reasons people invest in our product. One is to be able to engage more customers and sell more products — and we see pretty good increases there. The other is a human capital savings, where one AI assistant can do the work of 10 people,” said John Ruble, chief revenue officer at CarLabs. “And it’s more efficient because (the AI) does a better job. So it’s really two parts. It’s increasing sales and customer retention, but also doing it without having to add additional employees.”

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