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February 09, 2012
Want to Know
INDUSTRY NEWS IN THE LAST 24

Lincoln MKZ 2012 Lincoln Dealers Warm to Improvements with New Lincoln

A Lincoln brand revival is somehow encouraging Ford dealers to make facility improvements, just as the new Lincoln MKZ concept, first seen in Detroit, readies for the New York Auto Show in April. The idea, says Ford’s VP for global Marketing, Sales and Service, Jim Farley, is that discerning luxury buyers want to be treated as such, including the expectation of upscale dealerships.

Detroit Bureau – Feb 8, 2012
CNG Fuel Natural Gas Offers Revised Look at Vehicle Energy Sources

Consumers have been threatened with diminishing oil supplies for more than a decade now, but the discovery of new natural gas supplies could change the way we power our cars and the cost of doing so. Gas-fracking techniques could double the world's available supply of natural gas, says the IEA, and an "Evolutionary change in automotive technology is predicted to bring revolutionary changes in fuel demand."

Detroit News – Feb 8, 2012
DealerRater Dealer of the Year 2012 Dealer of the Year Awards Announced by DealerRater®

Many U.S. dealerships were among those awarded high honors by DealerRater® at the NADA-ATD Conference last weekend, awarded for outstanding customer satisfaction based on customer online reviews on the DealerRater website. According to recent studies, 84% of Americans say online evaluations have an influence on their decision to purchase a product and 73% of car shoppers now consult online dealership reviews.

DealerRater Press Release – Feb 5, 2012
VIDEO: Dealer Education
Video news that moves people and ideas
Kostkan_Bob_NADA_click
Kostkan_Bob_NADA_click Best Practices for Training and Education
BOB KOSTKAN Director of Business Development for Dealership Operations, NADA
Smith_Todd_click The Presence of QR Codes and the Future Now
TODD SMITH CEO, ActiveEngage
Chung_Sam_KBB awards_click An Integrated Approach
SAM CHUNG Senior Manager, Infiniti Model Line Marketing, Nissan North America
Best Practices for Training and Education

NADA University has a vast compendium of dealership training resources -- information that provides direct benefits to dealership employees, not to mention the bottom line.
VIDEO: Lindsay's Tips & Tricks
  Simple Ideas for Joining the Cause
 
February is National Heart Health Month, a great opportunity to raise awareness. One way is to build a team of employees and customers to join a heart health walk and build lasting and memorable customer relationships.

Click here to watch video
VIDEO: Video Advertising
Vijay Rao  

Online Video Advertising Still Growing Rapidly

There's been huge growth in video advertising over the past couple of years - but there's also still plenty of opportunity...

Click here to view...





Dealer Pain Points
BY NADA UNIVERSITY

The Dollars and Cents of Nuts and Bolts

Two signs of a successful service department are busy techs and a steady stream of vehicles into your service drive. But just as important as increasing service revenue is keeping a lid on expenses. 

Click to watch a video offering several ways to do just that.

E-Contracting How to Stop Chasing Cash Every Day

Some of today's dealerships opened their doors in a bygone era — selling horse-drawn carriages. Unfortunately, some dealers are collecting receivables at about the same pace as the horse and buggy era. Dealers need to collect at Internet speed. 

Click to see a video that points the way.

Internet SEO Is Your Website Lonely and Forgotten?

Your website looks great. And it should. You spent enough money on it. But is it as lonely as a pimply-faced teenager without a date on a Friday night? The fact is that lonely websites make for lonely showrooms. 

Click to watch a video on how to make your website more visible.


Doing it Right
HOW-TO'S BY INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Cloud Computing
Sounds Fancy, Works Simply

You've probably been hearing a lot about "Cloud Computing", so what it is? Fundamentally, its a smarter way to do business. No more worries about upgrading hardware in the dealership...all you need is an Internet browser to access all of the DMS features.

Cloud computing moves your mission critical processing from onsite single servers, that are susceptible to crashes and downtime, to hardened, secure data centers with totally redundant systems, servers and security.  This change not only enables DADS to guarantee system uptime of 99.5% but also a faster recovery time in the event of a disaster.  A recent study by the Aberdeen Group reported that the average length of downtime per disaster recovery event was 8 hours for non-cloud users, and 2.1 hours by cloud users (nearly four times faster).

Instead of logging in and out of eight different programs to access the information that you need to make a sale.  We bring the data to you in real-time, and turn the data into information so you can make solid business decisions.

Isn't that what you really need in a DMS?


The DADS Difference:
• no longer tethered to proprietary racks of servers at the dealership
• 99.5% uptime guarantee
• No nickel and dime charges
• Ready today, built for tomorrow - native support for wireless devices such as Tablet PC's and smart phones
• Disaster recovery built into the base product- backups taken every hour and replicated to independent data centers
• The real-time DMS - just say no to batch processes that create data reconciliation issues.

We're so confident that you'll love the "DADS Difference", that we've created a no-risk, test drive offer. 
We know your customerss want to testy drive a vehicle before they buy it, so we think you should be able to take our DMS for a tet drive too - we'll even load your dagta into the system so that you can get a feel for the ease of navigation, how it handles, and how quickly it responds before you buy.

And, since your data will already be in our system, gone are the worries you may have with a potential conversion.  We know we have to go the extra mile to earn your business, and we are prepared to do just that!

For more information, contact the experts at DADS. You can also call 317-660-8163.




Need to Know
SIGNIFICANT NEWS THIS WEEK

Halftime in America, Super Bowl adClint Eastwood Makes Chrysler’s Day

“It’s halftime in America,” said Clint Eastwood, and the Chrysler Super Bowl ad touting the auto industry comeback as a flag-bearer for the country could not have been more inspirational at a time when America needs spiritual lifting. Hats off to Chrysler, their Italian CEO, and their ad company – choosing to be more clever than comical – setting the tone for high expectation in economically challenging times.
Auto FinancingAuto Dealers Spend Billions to Upgrade but some Question if it will Boost Sales

The question of whether nicer showrooms will sell more cars became a question of serious debate at the annual NADA Convention last weekend as dealers take advantage of low interest rates and construction costs and spend billions of dollars collectively to improve their facilities – prompted by automaker demands that include very specific changes from top to bottom. Dealers aren’t sure it will sell more cars.
North American Truck of the YearMark Phelan: Truck of the Year Award's Eligibility is Expanded to Include Utility Vehicles

The jury that oversees the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards has changed the name of the truck award to Truck/Utility to reflect the wide variety of vehicles sold as trucks which include minivans, SUVs, crossovers, vans, etc., and reflects the changing ways in which truck-type vehicles are used – and raising the question of what exactly should be considered a “truck”.
Smart Thinking – Pass it On
AUTO DEALERS SALES & MARKETING
DADS Client Satisfaction Team


Dynamique Auto Dealer
Solutions
(DADS)



Helps You Every Step of the Way



Dynamique Auto Dealer Solutions
(DADS) is a software solutions provider for dealers in the automotive industry. DADS provides comprehensive back-office solutions that improve sales, increase efficiency, and reduce overall costs.

DADS believes the more you know your client, the better service you can provide.  That’s why when you dealership joins the DADS family, you will be assigned a dedicated Client Satisfaction Team member to work with you and your key personnel.

DADS team members are experts in the marketplace and will deliver the highest level of client support to your team.  Our cussess is directly credited to our "Raving Fans" concept — just one way we strive to make your experience the kind that will make you our client for many years to come!

This team member will be your guide throughout the implementation process and on a continuing basis.  This highly trained individual will be available to answer your questions when needed and provide the support required to keep your dealership running effectively and efficiently each day.  It’s like calling up an old friend and getting the advice you need! More Information on the Client Satisfaction Team!

Our clients access our innovative solutions for Client Relationship Management (CRM), Vehicle Inventory Management, Service, Parts Inventory, and Finance & Insurance on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. This allows them to reduce their in-house technical support requirements. In addition, DADS has established several industry-partner relationships and offers value-add integration, as needed.

Click the Request Info button or call 317.660.8163 or 877.823.3710 to receive information about our products and services.




Dealer Compliance Issues & Answers

Exclusivity, Minimum Stocking Suggestions, Imaging-Oh My!

Sometimes it's factory reps visiting the dealers, sometimes it's mail-outs, sometimes it's regional meetings that involve a lot of dealers.

Click here to learn about the array of pressures that we are currently seeing factories put on dealers.


Buy-Sell Compliance: What You Need to Know

The buy-sell process is a difficult and time-consuming event.

So where do you start?

Click here for a helpful checklist of items you'll need to consider when executing a sale - so you can make sure you don't miss anything important.


Class Action Lawsuit Traps
With class action lawsuits, a minor oversight repeated across multiple customers can easily grow into a big source of risk and cost.  Here are 8 areas with the most frequent and severe claims:

• Truth in Lending Act (TILA):  Effective July 21st, the dollar threshold for consumer credit and lease transactions exempt from TILA and the Consumer Leasing Act was doubled to $50,000, meaning a much larger set of transactions will be subject to those rules. Under TILA, dealerships need to pay particular attention to backdating and hiding negative equity.

• Payment packing:  Nearly every attorney general in the U.S. has deemed this to be unlawful and deceptive; even if there is not a specific statute in your state, you can still be sued for it.

• Overcharging of government fees:
  Don’t assume everything your DMS spits out is automatically correct or legal. Some systems are better than others. Even a $1.75 new tire fee can add up to huge liability when multiplied by thousands of customers over several years.

• Lumping of government fees:  While this problem is often associated with California, specific itemization requirements for various government fees apply in other states too. Even practices permitted under TILA may actually be unlawful in your particular state.

• Prior vehicle history:  Dealerships that rely on vehicle history reports can run into trouble when it turns out there are errors or omissions in some reports. Attaching a disclosure or disclaimer to these reports is a good idea.

• Single document rule:  Not every state has this rule requiring that all obligations of both parties to a transaction be contained in a single document, but it can be a devastating action for violators in affected jurisdictions.

• Employment:
Key problem are as include pay plans, overtime, technician pay, service advisor exemption, and meal and rest period policies. If you don’t have written pay plans in effect for all personnel, you are already at risk.

• Non-disclosure of accessories:  This includes items like alarms, service contracts, GAP insurance and window etching.

This is an excerpt from Compli’s “Class Action Lawsuits” Webinar with Rob Cohen, Esq. of AAS and Aaron Jacoby, Esq. of Arent Fox, LLP. 
Click here to watch for FREE.



Events & Webinars
Google
Webinar: Google Analytics 101 for Car Dealerships - Getting Started!

* Live February 9 *
Auto dealers and their Internet sales staffs are getting more sophisticated in being able to drive customers to their own Websites and through their own sales funnels. A key to sharpening this skill to the next level is an understanding of how to access and use Google Analytics. Glenn Pasch, COO at PCG Digital Marketing, tell you how to do it.
Webinar: Powerful Social Media Car Selling Tips with Jim Ziegler

* You can view this recorded webinar now. *
Jim Ziegler discusses “Selling Cars in a Social World,” a ResponseLogix webinar. Ziegler is a well known automotive consultant with more than 36 years of experience. He is frequently featured as an industry speaker and has appeared at most automotive conferences.
Intelligent Vehicle
DRIVING TECHNOLOGY IN AND AROUND THE VEHICLE
vw logo
Volkswagen’s Modular Infotainment System Part of Global Strategy

MIB is a platform for in-car electronics and will be based on common, hidden hardware


As part of Volkswagen’s global strategy to lead, the challenge is making cars with increasing economies of scale and wide appeal for marketing. The Modular Infotainment System (MIB) is a big part of that plan for the German automaker. With similar hardware found in all models, the individual unit cost will be relatively small -- this will in turn free up cash for more investments. Volkswagen’s MIB rollout starts with the seventh-generation Golf, which goes on sale in Europe this year.

MIB is a platform for in-car electronics, and it will be based on common, hidden hardware used across many vehicles. Even entry-level cars such as the Golf will have the option of an eight-inch touch screen, high-res 3D navigation maps, and free map updates. In Volkswagens, MIB will be based entirely around capacitive touch screens, which will allow VW to adopt Audi’s navigation input system, whereby you write letters with your finger.

VW’s version of the technology will use the capacitive screen rather than a touch pad, as currently found in the A8. Another feature will be a sensor that knows when a hand is near the touch screen. This allows applications like the navigation map to be completely free of options, such as zoom, orientation, and drop-down destination functions, most of the time, but when a driver wants to interact with the map, he needs only to reach for the screen and the functions will appear.



Hitting the Links
DAILY CLICKS TO INCREASE DEALER REVENUE & PROFITS

Dynamic Auto Dealer Solutions
DADS Inc. continues to back up thought leadership in the DMS sector with innovative software,” said Gary Gummig, President and Chief Brand Officer of DADS Inc. “With the Sales Edition software release, we have provided dealers with a strategic platform that embraces an open architecture, giving dealers the flexibility to integrate additional software products as they deem necessary.” Find out more!
Auto Trader new
AutoTrader.com is giving dealers another way to attract shoppers to their new car inventory with the new Price Markdown feature, which enables dealers to systematically subtract the amount of special offers from the price of their vehicles. With this tool, dealers are able to more easily highlight the affordability of their new cars and entice shoppers who may be undecided between a new and used vehicle.  Please visit autotrader.com to learn more!
eBay
New updates to the eBay Motors iPhone app are available for immediate download on iTunes, with features including taking a picture of a vehicle to instantly search for it on eBay, and streaming live, exclusive content. The eBay Motors iPhone app already enables auto lovers to shop for vehicles and the parts that go with them anytime, anywhere – the updates enable auto fans to further simplify their shopping experience, make sharing with their friends more seamless, and access entertaining and informative original content, right from their smartphones.  Visit mobile.eBay.com for more info.

 
In the Service Lane
BRINGING SALES INTO SERVICE AND SERVICE INTO SALES
Weld Bonding
Weld-bonding Sees
Rise in Popularity


For more than 25 years, the North American automotive collision repair market has used MIG welding (gas metal arc welding) as an accepted industry procedure. Compared to MIG welding, metal adhesives offer collision repair technicians a multitude of advantages such as corrosion protection, NVH reduction, elimination of welding damage, and moisture barrier and workshop efficiencies.

Weld-bonding gives technicians a way to return damaged vehicles to their pre-accident condition, which is something that cannot be done on many newer vehicles using traditional welding methods. Weld-bonding can improve strength and stiffness; provide additional fixturing capabilities; allow for fewer welds; improve fatigue and impact resistance as well as cycle time; and increase corrosion protection and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control properties.

The popularity of weld-bonding is rising in response to the increase in complexity of automotive metals. OEMs are progressively utilizing different materials in the construction of automobiles to promote safety, eliminate excessive vehicle weight and enable better styling.

While European countries have long utilized STRSW, it has not been widely accepted in the United States because of the high level of voltage required. In North America, a 200-volt/single phase service is typically available to the body shop. Necessity being the mother of invention, welder manufacturers have made tremendous progress by developing alternative equipment that works well within the North American electrical system. These systems are gradually becoming more popular with the automotive OEMs. READ MORE...
Getting on the Green
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE DEALERSHIPS AND OEMS
Green Cars Earn Money
The Latest Equation: Going 'Green' and Making 'Green'
Automakers Tout Green Efforts

It seems automakers are putting ever more emphasis on their environmental efforts, touting even the most subtle efforts to win over ever more Earth-conscious buyers.  That includes everything from adding new zero-emission products to their line-ups to the use of plant fibers to replace parts and components traditionally made from oil-based materials.  There is a reason for that: Manufacturers have come to realize that while it’s hard to get a premium for going green they can tarnish their image and lose sales if they don’t.

Chevrolet will make sure that consumers don’t miss its efforts, starting with the compact Sonic model.  It will next month introduce the maker’s EcoLogic label, designed to explain how the vehicle was made, how it can be recycled and how much fuel was saved using alternate materials.  General Motors’ largest division plans to roll the EcoLogic label out across its line-up in the coming year.

“Putting our EcoLogic label on each Chevrolet is just one more way for us to share our environmental progress,” said Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America. Price is proving a critical obstacle to the introduction of some of the most advanced new technologies.  The 2012 “Avoiders” survey, by J.D. Power and Associates, found that the $40,000 price tag – after a $7,500 federal tax credit – was the key turn-off for potential buyers of the Chevrolet Voit, for example.

Manufacturers are anxious to make sure that consumers know about the steps they are taking.  While fuel economy is currently the top factor in the typical motorist’s search for a new vehicle, according to researchers like J.D. Power and Associates, industry data indicate that buyers are paying more and more attention to broad environmental issues in forming their opinions about a brand. READ MORE...



Dealer Resources
ActivEngage
Imagine what would happen if your leads doubled in the next month.
Compli
The industry's leading HR & Compliance Management solutions provider.
NADA University
One Sources, Endless Possibilities, 24/7.
Ameritag
Providing license and title services for dealers.
DADS, Inc.
Driving your dealership to the next level.
OneCommand
Deliver customer solutions that are second to none.
Auction Genius
The ultimate heads-up display for online auto auctions. Provides a whole new level of confidence when buying cars online -- buy more of the right vehicles for your inventory.
DMEautomotive
Delivers science-based, results-driven marketing that generates LIFT through increased revenue and retention, and decreased marketing costs for the largest automotive organizations in the country.
PassTime
Payment Assurance & GPS Tracking technology designed to protect your assets.
Autobytel
Looking for the Best Leads in the business?
DealerRater.com
Helping dealers manage their reputation.
ResponseLogix
Rapid mutli-vehicle price quotes and on-going lead management solutions.
AutoRaptor.com
The solution to your CRM dilemma and building long lasting customers.
  Dealer.com
Turn-key automotive Internet marketing on one platform.
  ShipCarsNow
Your authority for Nationwide Auto Transport.
AutoTrader.com
Partnering with AutoTrader.com alone gives your inventory unparalleled online exposure. 
Dealers United
Dealers United is the first service to truly leverage the buying power of privately-owned dealerships and act as a conduit for smaller stores to compete with conglomerates. Become a member at no charge at www.dealersunited.com
SOCIALDEALER
SocialDealer is a social media management company that provides the industry's only complete solution to help you manage your social profiles, reputation, content, and engage with new and existing customers.
AutoUSA
AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions brings the best-in-class tools to increase Internet sales and lower costs for automotive dealerships.
Digital Air Strike
Digital Air Strike is the fastest growing automotive social media and reputation management company for a reason. Real people with real expertise deliver real results for top dealers nationwide. It's time we do the same for you.
Thrifty Car Sales
Find out what Thrifty Car Sales Franchise Opportunities can do for you.
Cars.com
Build on your success with Cars.com's DealerADvantage program.
Fiserv
Fiserv offerings address every step of the automotive lending process.
United Road
United Road is the premier auto transport company in North America - managing the transport of nearly 2 million cars every year.
Cobalt
Explore the automotive industry's most comprehensive suite of integrated solutions for digital advertising.
   






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