October 14, 2013
Need to Know

dunne_tim22 Global Automotive Challenges are Addressed

Tim Dunne, direc­tor of Global Auto Indus­try analy­sis at J.D. Power, dis­cusses some of the changes in pow­er­trains and archi­tec­ture needed to meet future chal­lenges in the lat­est white paper.

Learn more about the chang­ing land­scape of the indus­try and future vehi­cles. [More]

J.D. Power blog
toyota_hydrogen_fuel_car22 Toyota Puts Faith in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Toy­ota Motor Corp., which has long held out hydro­gen as the ulti­mate alter­na­tive to gaso­line for pow­er­ing autos, gives test dri­ves of its new hydro­gen prototype.

Find out more about the lat­est in fuel cell-powered cars. [More]

Detroit News
chevrolet_malibu_2014_lead_acid_battery22 2014 Malibu Challenges High Tech vs High Cost

Gen­eral Motors Co. is drop­ping a lithium-ion bat­tery from its pop­u­lar mid­size sedan in favor of a less-costly lead-acid bat­tery, aimed at sav­ing cost.

Find out more about what will fuel the upcom­ing Chevro­let Mal­ibu. [More]

Wall Street Journal
VIDEO: Smart Content for Smart Phones 
Video news that moves people and ideas

Delivering Meaningful Content

The rapidly grow­ing use of mobil­ity is caus­ing con­sumers to replace the tra­di­tional PC plat­form with their smart phones. The chal­lenge for the dealer then becomes how to deliver con­tent in mean­ing­ful way to pro­duce a new car buy­ing experience.

rowe-jared Delivering Meaningful Content
JARED ROWE President, Kelley Blue Book
pechstein-scott-aug2013 Millennials’ Buying Habits Shaped by Today’s Events
SCOTT PECHSTEIN VP of Sales, Autobytel
filan-kevin Keeping Up with Online Training
KEVIN FILAN VP of Customer Marketing & Industry Relations, AutoTrader Group
VIDEO: Squeezing Out Some Profit
  Margin Compression: The Walls Are Closing In

Mar­gin com­pres­sion has become a chal­lenge for deal­ers. As the whole­sale and retail walls close in on them, they need to fig­ure out how they can push back.

Click here to watch video
BLOG: Automotive Digestibles
  Dealer Web Video Ads Soon To Be Automated by Programmatic Buying Process

Sit­u­a­tion:  AOL is the cheer­leader for the online video indus­try and auto­mo­tive mar­keters and deal­ers are about to fol­low.  First-ever pro­grammed ad buy­ing has been set up with sev­eral largest ad agencies.

What This Means for Deal­ers: Within a year, your site may well be loaded with video con­tent, ads, and info­graph­ics from every­where.  Your ads will be placed by RTB [Real Time Bid­ding] based on the what the site vistor’s pro­file reveals about what him or her is look­ing for in new or used vehicles.

Click here to read more

Dealer Pain Points

tires Pumping Up Service Profitability

Are your ser­vice advi­sors on the look­out for wear and tear on the vehi­cles pulling into the ser­vice drive? All it takes is a few sec­onds to check the tread and add a line to the repair order.

Improv­ing the customer’s grip on the road also pro­pels prof­itabil­ity into the fast lane for both your ser­vice and parts departments.

Click here to learn more.

cashflow_1_10_2010-9_59_am.jpg Cash Flow Giving You a Sinking Feeling?

You’re mak­ing sales and show­ing a profit but the bank bal­ance is close to zero or worse! If you’re in choppy finan­cial waters, then some­where in the store there’s a Bermuda tri­an­gle swal­low­ing up cash and threat­en­ing to sink the dealership.

As cap­tains of the ship, deal­ers must locate the prob­lem and chart a course to calmer waters.

Click here to learn more.

Website Hits and Misses Website Hits and Misses

In base­ball, a bat­ter can’t just have a good-looking swing. He’s actu­ally got to hit the ball. It’s the same with websites.

Is your site even get­ting to first base with poten­tial cus­tomers? Is it strik­ing out too much? And just as in base­ball if a bat­ter is not per­form­ing well, the man­ager makes adjust­ments. You’re the man­ager of your Inter­net team.

Click here to learn more.

Doing It Right  

Xtime’s new Menu 7 dis­plays VIN-specific fac­tory and dealer ser­vice rec­om­men­da­tions, a per­son­al­ized ser­vice time­line, pric­ing for both fac­tory and dealer rec­om­men­da­tions, the abil­ity to book the ser­vices selected (with the Xtime sched­ul­ing sys­tem), and is cus­tomiz­able to work within both man­u­fac­turer and dealer websites.

“Every aspect of the Xtime con­sumer expe­ri­ence is now state-of-the-art, which enables our deal­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers to meet the expec­ta­tions of their increas­ingly demand­ing cus­tomer base,” said Neal East, CEO of Xtime.

“By giv­ing their ser­vice cus­tomers a visu­ally appeal­ing, trans­par­ent and con­ve­nient path to buy­ing ser­vice, our deal­ers max­i­mize the chance of retain­ing them. It’s inno­va­tions like these that give Xtime deal­ers an aver­age 5% boost in ser­vice retention.”

Learn how ALL deal­er­ship per­son­nel and con­sumers benefit.

Behind the Numbers  

As deal­ers see growth in used vehi­cle sales vol­ume, find­ing the best strat­egy for lead gen­er­a­tion is crit­i­cal for retain­ing tal­ented employ­ees and increas­ing rev­enue and profits.

A few years ago, a deal­er­ship might have had one used car man­ager han­dling most of the sales trans­ac­tions; lately that’s evolved into a team that includes inter­net sales and needs more resources and sup­port. They might be expected to call a long list of leads, which can wear thin later in the day.

“They’re gen­er­at­ing more leads with less value,” said Michael Richards, Pres­i­dent of Tril­ogy Automotive.

Tril­ogy talked to Used Car Mar­ket Reports about what it takes reach car shop­pers with gen­uine pur­chase intent ver­sus what Trilogy’s Michael Richards calls, “arti­fi­cially man­u­fac­tured leads.” And how new car deal­ers asked Tril­ogy for guid­ance on used car lead gen­er­a­tion. Read on for more……

Build a Better Dealership

big-dataThree Big Data Trends Dealers Should Know About

It’s been a sweet year for new and pre-owned vehi­cle sales, loans and leases, sched­uled main­te­nance, and after­mar­ket. Big Data is becom­ing some­thing like the blood­stream for all of it.

It’s built into third-party dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing part­ners, upstream remar­ket­ing chan­nels, and dealer man­age­ment sys­tems.

The trick is bal­anc­ing some­where between “no duh” for tech­nol­ogy processes that are built into every­thing we do today and a “Rubik’s Cube” for man­agers over­whelmed with data sources and fig­ur­ing out what to do with them. Stay­ing cur­rent on the issues is a good way to do it.

Jon LeSage, edi­tor of Used Car Mar­ket Reports, looks at three devel­op­ments that deal­ers should know about Big Data and what ana­lysts are say­ing about it.

galbraith_dennis22Auto Dealers Need Renewed 20-Year Business Plan

At Issue:

It is impor­tant to exam­ine what the auto­mo­tive mar­ket will look like in the future in order to plan for the future in an ever-changing technologically-evolving environment.

Start­ing with the things that will stay the same and then focus­ing on what might change, Gal­braith sug­gests that 5, 10, and 20 year plans make the most sense for auto retailers.

Den­nis Gal­braith, head of research intel­li­gence and busi­ness for deal­ers at Dri­vingSales, takes a look at the items deal­ers need to focus on in order to pre­pare for the auto­mo­tive retail busi­ness they will face a few years out and beyond. [Read more]

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

The Sit­u­a­tion:

Leas­ing is not just back; it has climbed to new heights in the U.S. car busi­ness. The Fed’s bond-buying pro­gram, which has sup­pressed inter­est rates, cou­pled with the higher qual­ity and resid­u­als of new vehi­cles, has helped to make leas­ing more attrac­tive to the con­sumer. Deal­ers must take advan­tage of the renewed inter­est and put auto leas­ing back on the front burner at the dealership.

Now is a good time to mar­ket the ben­e­fits of leas­ing at your dealership!

Tom Libby, Senior Fore­cast­ing Ana­lyst at R.L. Polk, points out that auto leas­ing is becom­ing more attrac­tive to con­sumers at all ends of the finan­cial scale. Drill down fur­ther to find out why your deal­er­ship should be invest­ing more in the leas­ing end of the busi­ness today.

Digital Marketing, Media and Commerce  

The Sit­u­a­tion:

U.S. retail mcom­merce sales growth has been dra­matic over the past few years. As a result, eMar­keter has curated a roundup of key trends, sta­tis­tics and infor­ma­tion rel­e­vant to retail­ers who can no longer ignore the mobile lives of dig­i­tal shop­pers – and that includes auto­mo­tive deal­er­ships, par­tic­u­larly as it relates to the Ser­vice Depart­ment and after­mar­ket products.

How Will This Infor­ma­tion Affect Your Dealership?

Deal­ers, your Ser­vice Depart­ment, your after­mar­ket prod­uct pro­mo­tions and even your car sales are affected more and more by shop­pers using mCom­merce to research and buy while on the move daily. Drill down fur­ther to get the lat­est sta­tis­tics in a grow­ing trend that affects auto­mo­tive deal­er­ships more and more.

Dealer Resources 
Looking for the Best Leads in the business?
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Find out what Thrifty Car Sales Franchise Opportunities can do for you.
AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions brings the best-in-class tools to increase Internet sales and lower costs for automotive dealerships.
IMN is the digital marketing company that delivers branded newsletters and content for more than 3,000 organizations worldwide, combining custom, vertically-oriented content with advanced publishing technology and services.
vAuto's Provision™ suite of inventory management tools is the auto industry's leading solution to help dealers increase used vehicle sales, profitability and return on investment.
Turn-key automotive Internet marketing on one platform.
NADA University
One Source, Endless Possibilities, 24/7.

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