Two Texas Chevrolet dealer-ships are among the first businesses on the web to utilize video e-mail technology, according to Peter Martin Jr., founder and president of ExpandMail.com.

Friendly Chevrolet, in Dallas, and Graff Chevrolet, in Grand Prairie, are using it to distribute customized vehicle information and personal messages to online car shoppers.

When consumers contact Graff Chevrolet's web site they can automatically receive a video e-mail reply with specific vehicle information and a video commercial (www.graffchevrolet.com/new_vehicles.htm).

"If someone wants to learn about a Chevy Blazer, they can click on the Blazer video brochure for immediate information," explains owner Stan Graff.

The personal communication opportunities of that technology grabbed the attention of Mark Eddins, president of Friendly Chevrolet.

"The Internet can be impersonal and cold. Video e-mail lets me offer a one-to-one `welcome' or `thank you' message to customers," he says.

Consumers receive video e-mail inside their e-mail inbox just as they would a regular text-based message. The customer will then select his or her Internet connection speed, which will open a video e-mail version built specifically for 56K, DLS/Cable, or a downloadable version for 28.8K and slower connections. The streaming on-camera personal message or sales presentation will then play back automatically, and can be watched over and over.