Car dealers have begun turning to mobile applications as an adjunct to their marketing campaigns, but so far, the apps represent an inexpensive incremental element to advertising efforts rather than a major customer draw. One app-building service, MobileAppLoader, costs dealerships $13 a month, plus a $150 setup fee. "What it's been good for is a convenient way for customers to schedule service, and for all of our salespeople to have our inventory in their pocket," said Tim Glockner, who owns several Ohio dealerships.

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