Sitting around the dinner table and wondering out loud when your new Chrysler family car, say, your 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, is going to be in just got a lot easier with the self-service vehicle tracking system Chrysler Group rolled out today.
Of course, it’s not the same thing as being able to go to the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky to watch your new car being built or paying extra to build up your Z06 or ZR1 engine, as MotorAuthority points out. Nor is it the same as watching footage of your BMW X3 as it rolls down the assembly line.
Think of the new eight-step Chrysler Vehicle Order Tracking System (VOTS, for short) along the lines of tracking books, computers, and pizzas or, for that matter, pretty much anything you can buy these days. Chrysler says it’s their first “consumer-focused, self-service system” and it allows buyers to track the production of their new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram vehicle.
How VOTS works
When you order your vehicle at the dealer, just provide your email address to the salesperson, along with your name and other required information, of course. This allows you to receive an email with the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your new vehicle once it’s assigned.
If you’ve just ordered your new vehicle and didn’t give an email address, contact the salesperson and ask that it be added to the vehicle order. Chrysler will send three emails regarding the new vehicle: one an order confirmation, one notifying the customer that production is scheduled, and including a link to the VOTS site (for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram) and the VIN, and one with a confirmation the vehicle has been shipped.
Don’t like the idea of the dealer having your email address, either because you're concerned about your privacy or don’t want to be deluged with dealer communications? You can opt out of future dealer emails after you receive your new vehicle order confirmation and corresponding VIN. Another workable solution we see is to create an email address strictly for these types of purchases.
Once you have your VIN, log into the appropriate VOTS site, enter your first and last names and the last eight digits of your VIN and you’re on your way to tracking the status of your new vehicle.
There are eight basic stages of the VOTS, although the first two are order confirmation and notice production has been scheduled. From then, customers can track their new vehicle through Frame, Paint, Trim, Final Inspection, Shipment and Delivery.
Future updates planned
As with any new rollout, expect changes along the way or, as they say in the auto industry, improvements. While the current system doesn’t provide photos of the new vehicle being built, maybe that’s a possibility sometime in the future.
For now, Chrysler says it will regularly update the site and already has plans to add pop-up messages for vehicle-specific information, including production delays or other changes, as well as new information.
By the way, the VOTS site-specific URLs are simply a matter of adding “vots” to the brand URL. In the case of tracking your 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, you’d go to www.chrysler.com/vots.