A Jackson, MI dealer, Wes Lutz, is the the chairman of the 2018 National Automobile Dealers Assn.
GAC Backs Chinese SUVs
Chinese motor company GAC made exhibited at the event, showing the GS8 SUV 7-seat SUV, GM8 minivan and their best-selling SUV the GS4. By participating in NADA the company hopes to speed up the building of its global dealership network.
Salzman Named TIME Dealer of the Year
Jack Salzman, owner of Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Cornelius, N.C., was named the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year Friday during the 101st annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show 2018 in Las Vegas. Salzman was selected for the prestigious award from a field of 47 dealer nominees from across the country in recognition of his many business accomplishments and community contributions, which focus on helping women, children and animals.
The other regional finalists for this year’s award were: Brent Brown, president of Brent Brown Toyota in Orem, Utah; William Fenton, president of Toyota of Keene in East Swanzey, N.H.; and Wally Sommer, president of Sommer’s Subaru in Mequon, Wis.//
The Reynolds and Reynolds Company and Hendrick Automotive Group today announced that the Reynolds docuPAD® system will be installed in all dealership F&I departments throughout the company by mid-July.
Installing the docuPAD system also enables Hendrick Automotive Group stores to adopt Reynolds eWorkflow, an end-to-end digital solution for creating and processing a deal and securing funding using eContracting. Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships are already using electronic deal jackets and eliminating the stacks of paper that go to the accounting office, the lender, and the consumer.
Dealer Teamwork Teams with AutoAlert
Dealer Teamwork continues a fantastic run of growth in 2018 with another exciting partnership in the automotive industry. AutoAlert, the industry’s leading data and predictive-analytics platform, offers clients open API integration. Customers of Dealer Teamwork will reap huge benefits from this partnership.
Combining AutoAlert’s proprietary big data intelligence with Dealer Teamwork’s patented MPOP™ creates a full-service digital marketing solution. This pushes the right message to the right customer at the right time, and also directs the customer to a landing page with dynamically created content. This ensures a seamless experience.
This partnership unites two industry veterans, Sean Stapleton, Dealer Teamwork’s CEO and Co-Founder, and Mike Dullea, AutoAlert’s CEO. The two were, respectively, the CEO and CSO of VinSolutions. Though the two companies are different, their missions are the same — a Best-In-Class automotive consumer experience.
Report Finds Strong Market with Slight Downtick, Higher Prices & Record Sales
Used cars should experience strong demand and growth in sales across the U.S. in 2018, as the economy continues its strong performance, while new cars may see a slight downtick as industry headwinds become more pronounced.
Economic conditions improved throughout 2017, helping support 39.3 million used-car sales, up 1.8 percent from 2016. New-car sales, conversely, reached 17.1 million, down 2 percent. The economy is expected to accelerate further in 2018, supporting higher used-car sales of 39.5 million. New-vehicle sales in 2018 are expected to decline to 16.7 million, however.
These forecasts and the trends behind them are explored in the Cox Automotive 2018 Used Car Market Report & Outlook, released Friday at the annual National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas. Previously known as the Manheim Used Car Market Report, the book has been reinvented for its 23rd edition. The Used Car Market Report & Outlook has been expanded to include perspectives from across Cox Automotive’s family of brands, while still maintaining the long tradition of packing its pages with salient data, smart insights and keen industry observations.
In addition to forecasts and trends, the 2018 report focuses on the technologies and services that are rapidly transforming the automotive marketplace.
- National Auto Auction Association (NAAA)-member sales approached 10 million in 2017; the same level is expected in 2018.
- Wholesale prices rose 6 percent in 2017, according to the Manheim Index. At the extremes, wholesale pickup truck prices rose 9.8 percent and compact car prices declined 3 percent.
- The Manheim Index is expected to rise 3 percent for 2018.
- U.S. new-vehicle sales in 2017 came in at 17.1 million units, the fourth-best year in history. With a forecast of 16.7 million, 2018 would be the 10th best in history.
- Franchised dealers set another new record of certified pre-owned sales at 2.644 million, the seventh consecutive increase with 2018 promising to be the eighth.
- Total rental car industry revenue reached a record $28.63 billion.
- The number of vehicles purchased by rental companies declined 12 percent to 1.59 million in 2017.
- New retail consumer lease originations fell 3 percent in 2017; 28.7 percent of new vehicles were leased.
- Leases are expected to account for approximately 25 percent of 2018 new-vehicle sales.
- The average lease payment is approaching $500 month, up from $400 in 2014.
- 3.6 million off-lease vehicles returned to market in 2017; 3.9 million are expected to come back in 2018.
- The dollar amount of auto loans outstanding stands at a record $1.22 trillion.
- Auto loan originations set a record of $569 billion in 2017.
- New vehicle purchases by commercial and government fleets dipped 9.9 percent, ending a seven-year growth streak.
- Commercial fleet sales rose 1.4 percent; government purchases dropped 6.4 percent.
Download a copy of the 2018 Used Car Market Report & Outlook at:
Free ReCall Reports
Automakers announced the launch of a new tool aimed at increasing consumer participation in auto recalls by allowing approved commercial and governmental entities, including state departments of motor vehicles, state vehicle registrars, state vehicle inspection programs, motor vehicle insurers, auto finance companies, motor vehicle dealers, vehicle fleet managers, automotive parts recyclers and vehicle auction companies, to search for open recalls for thousands of autos at once, free of charge.
This search tool, available at www.freeautorecallsearch.org, is a result of a partnership among the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers – which together represent 99 percent of automakers in the United States – and Carfax, provider of vehicle history-based products trusted by buyers, sellers and owners of used cars.
The search portal will allow authorized users to search for open recalls for up to 10,000 vehicles at once and get results usually within a matter of seconds. This capability is an important tool in collective, continuing efforts to increase recall participation rates. According to current Carfax research, more than 57 million vehicles on U.S. roads have unfixed recalls, despite the fact that voluntary recall remedies are completed free of charge to the consumer.
The Vehicle Recall Search Service will serve commercial and governmental entities, complementing resources already available to dealers, insurers and individual car owners. Authorized, registered users can access open recall information through the new search portal free of charge.
Establishing a service to perform large batch searches will help commercial and governmental entities that routinely deal with the public to remind drivers of open recalls. For example, insurance companies could include open recall reminders with their policy mailings and state licensing offices could include open recall reminders in renewal notices.
This additional VIN search tool will supplement the extensive efforts by individual automakers and the industry to help inform the public about getting vehicle recalls remedied.
Equifax APIs for Fortellis
Equifax Inc. a global information solutions company, announced that it is among the first developers to contribute application programming interfaces (APIs) to the new Fortellis Automotive Commerce Exchange™ platform. Fortellis enables developers, OEMs and dealers to leverage, build, innovate, and securely integrate solutions and workflows to transform business. The platform was recently brought to the industry by CDK Global (Nasdaq: CDK), a leading enabler of end-to-end automotive commerce.
Equifax successfully published two unique APIs in fewer than five business days in advance of the launch of this game-changing technology platform. Fortellis, a technology “engine” with universal connections and protocols, enables a true exchange of information and data in an open, secure and accessible global network. Equifax will publish additional APIs to help empower end-to-end automotive commerce.
Fortellis helps to enable connections and build communities within the automotive ecosystem. The Fortellis platform offers a universal way to connect multiple technology solutions and innovations more seamlessly into dealer workflows in a collaborative community to work better, faster and smarter — all for an improved customer experience.
Contacts with LotLix
Contact At Once!, a LivePerson compan( and LotLinx, the industry’s #1 Automotive /AI/™, announced their certified partnership to integrate CAO! chat and text on dealership websites and in advertising listings on 48 automotive shopping sites, with more to come.
Dealers use advertising campaigns powered by LotLinx VIN-Specific™ /AI/ to deliver in-market vehicle shoppers directly to mobile-optimized landing pages (LotLinx CX-AMP) that create up to 5x more VDP (Vehicle Description Pages) conversions. Because LotLinx /AI/ customizes campaigns to move specific inventory, vehicle turn rate increases by 78% on average for their customers.
Contact At Once! allows consumers to chat or text from VDPs on desktop or mobile, whether originating on the dealership website, or through advertising sites. It is the only messaging platform that can be integrated directly into advertising listings, enabling connections between shoppers and dealers from a variety of offsite media, including online advertising marketplaces. Adding chat and text messaging to online advertising has been proven to increase sales engagements by 20% or more.
Immediacy is crucial in a mobile-centric shopping landscape where consumers want information flow to be fast and seamless. “Reducing the time it takes to connect with mobile shoppers should be a top priority of every dealers’ digital marketing strategy,” says Keith Schuyler, LotLinx Vice President of Client Services. “One of the most effective ways of doing that is offering consumers the ability to chat or text from VDP pages where we know LotLinx /AI/-identified buyers are searching.”
Chudy points out that dealers can go one step further and integrate CAO! messaging with digital retailing apps so that low-funnel shoppers can even start some of the buying process online.
Dealer Marketing Services & Equifax
To empower online auto shoppers with access to their credit scores earlier in the loan process and make their time in the F&I office more efficient and productive, Dealer Marketing Services, Inc., the makers of ProMax, are using several auto products and solutions powered by Equifax (NYSE: EFX), the global information solutions company. Since 2016, ProMax has used the Equifax suite of auto products to generate high quality leads, target the right in-market shoppers, convert website visitors and service customers into buyers, verify employment and income and speed up the overall sales process. Last year, the union with Equifax enabled ProMax’s dealers to convert more than 180,000 online visitors into high-quality leads.
Additionally, ProMax uses The Work Number® from Equifax Workforce Solutions to improve the consumer experience by verifying borrower employment and income in real time to eliminate the need for borrowers to present physical paystubs and W2s. The Work Number database contains employer-provided payroll records, including more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies plus a majority of federal government civilian employers. Results from the database can also help instantly clear some bank stipulations, leading to quicker funding of contracts. To date in 2018, ProMax has used The Work Number to verify income and employment for more than 25 percent of over 40,000 deals.
ProMax offers a full front end software suite to automotive dealers and a strong track record of innovative and award-winning credit solutions. With Equifax, ProMax is able to centralize requests for credit reports, scores, employment and income verifications and more with one partner.
Car Gurus Launches SEM Plus
CarGurus , a leading online automotive marketplace, announced the launch of CarGurus’ SEM Plus, the newest addition to the company’s dealer product suite. Powered by CarGurus’ proprietary technology and extensive search engine marketing (SEM) data set, SEM Plus will help dealerships more efficiently and effectively run their online marketing programs.
Dealerships using CarGurus’ SEM Plus will benefit from the following:
Inventory-based dynamic ads that update in real time
Algorithmic bidding strategies and real-time optimizations that save time and money
Advantage of scale with an average of 1 million keywords per account
Dedicated account management by CarGurus’ Google Certified Digital Consultants
Audience retargeting through Google and Facebook to reengage prospects
More than 10 years of rigorous testing and development has gone into CarGurus’ proprietary customer acquisition algorithm and it is an integral component of the company’s successful, technology-first approach. Today, CarGurus is the most visited online automotive marketplace in the U.S.* helping more than 25,000 subscribing dealers connect with ready-to-buy shoppers on its mobile and desktop platforms. Now, that same CarGurus technology will power SEM Plus, so that dealerships can optimize their own digital marketing programs to directly reach high and low funnel buyers alike. SEM Plus will help drive consumer traffic directly to dealerships’ online and physical sites. In addition, dealerships will be able to leverage CarGurus’ expertise in strengthening and improving SEM campaigns, including analyzing campaign performance and updating advertisements, all while harnessing big data with the scale of an average of 1 million keywords.
CarGurus’ SEM Plus will also give dealers the flexibility to adapt to inventory changes such as price adjustments or a sold unit. Additionally, dealers will have control over the budget and target location of their ads and can leverage CarGurus’ advanced technology with customized bidding strategies to optimize their spend based on a wide range of factors such as vehicle price, time on lot, make/model, and other competitive market dynamics.
DealerFocus Showcased BDC Call Center
DealerFocus showcased its BDC Call Center solutions and software in the FCA US exhibitN, at the 2018 National Automobile Dealer Association Show.
“Out of all the nation’s outsourced automotive call centers, FCA selected DealerFocus as a NADA 2018 Featured Innovative Vendor and invited our company to exhibit with FCA,” said Richie Grosskruez, partner and co-founder of DealerFocus. “When attendees see our customizable, yet economical, BDC offerings, they will quickly understand why FCA calls our company innovative.”
DealerFocus offers inbound/outbound call center services and products that include a call management and recording system with integrated call rating services, a web-based prospect data capture system, a voice-to-text note system integrated with dealership CRM technology and a detailed call tracking system.
DealerFocus’ cloud-based software routes incoming sales and/or service calls from a dealership automatically to the DealerFocus platform. Once transferred, either the dealership’s in-house representatives or DealerFocus professionals answer the calls. DealerFocus also handles outbound calls, voice mail, email and SMS campaigns.
DealerFocus’ solutions are customizable, with the DealerFocus catering its call center programs to meet the dealership’s specific needs. “Our experienced support team works with dealerships to understand their support goals and service needs, and then delivers several options to them,” said DealerFocus Partner and Co-Founder Jamie Rellis.
The people behind DealerFocus have been active in the automotive business for decades as veteran automobile dealers and major automotive technology company executives. Based on this experience, the company is committed to strengthening dealerships relationships with customers and in providing customer-oriented, dealer-focused products. A privately-held company, DealerFocus is in North Andover, MA
autmotiveMastermind Luanches conquestMastermind
– automotiveMastermind (Mastermind), the leading predictive analytics and marketing automation solutions for dealerships and manufacturers, announced the launch of its conquestMastermind marketing solution t at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show.
automotiveMastermind is a business unit of global business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO). This is the first conquest-oriented solution based on the integration of Polk Predictive Audiences from IHS Markit, derived from the automotive industry’s most comprehensive, accurate, and timely sources of market, vehicle, and transaction data. conquestMastermind enables dealers to target, engage and win conquest customers like never before.
With an integrated suite of software and services, including Mastermind’s award-winning behavior prediction technology and personalized one-on-one marketing campaigns, as well as comprehensive reporting and analytics, conquestMastermind gives dealers access to one of the most highly-targeted conquest solutions in the industry today, one that will give dealers a distinct advantage over local competitors.
conquestMastermind provides an end-to-end personalized sales and marketing solution with monthly touchpoints that follow the customer along their purchase journey.