January 8, 2014
Quick Reads: Six in 60

marchionne-sergio 1. Chrysler-Fiat Merger Means Combo Must Sell Both Brands Globally

  • Mar­chionne has to prove that two weak brands can make strong global company
  • With $4.85 B to get UAW out of the way—now mul­ti­year plan goes into effect
  • Com­pe­ti­tion in next 5 years from com­pa­nies like VW will make it tough


Wall Street Journal
facial-recognition 2. Facial Analysis Will Tell You if Your Prospects Actually Like You — or Your Car

  • Facial analy­sis enabling com­pa­nies to deter­mine people’s emotions
  • Mys­tery of the human face & facial expres­sions going away
  • Facial mon­i­tor­ing can deter­mine consumer’s reac­tion to advertising


Financial Times
autotrader 3. Cox Buy-Back of AutoTrader Stake Creates Whopping $7B Value

  • Bought back 25% stake from Hedge fund Prov­i­dence for $1.8 B
  • Prov­i­dence made 3x times return on their investment
  • Web-based com­pa­nies like Auto­Trader now flush with cash


Wall Street Journal

VIDEO: Work Your Customer's Equity

New ana­lyt­ics and sys­tems on a mobile phone are giv­ing dealer used car teams the ana­lyt­ics, process, and equity tools that will enable your deal­er­ship to cor­rectly price selected used car inven­tory and take the result to the bot­tom line.

VIDEO: Where the Economy is Headed in 2014
  What to Expect to Get from Your Money in 2014

The unem­ploy­ment rate should drop below 7% and mort­gage rates will remain below aver­age in the com­ing year. From CNN-Money.

VIDEO: The EcoCAR2 Competition
  Training Tomorrow’s Automotive Engineers

Col­lege stu­dents are gain­ing great expe­ri­ence — and a few job offers — from par­tic­i­pat­ing in GM and EPA’s EcoCAR2 competition.

More Six in 60

red 4. 2013 Auto Sales Solidify Role in U.S. Economic Recovery

  • Strong auto sales affirm role in the present eco­nomic recovery
  • 15.6 pro­jected auto sales in 2013
  • Auto sales one of the bright­est fac­tors, lead­ing edge of over­all recovery


chart-up 5. December Car Sales Data Shows Slowing Market Growth

  • Biggest car mak­ers saw some slow­ing of sales in December
  • GM Sales down 6%; Toy­ota dropped 1.7%; Ford up 10.8% for 2013
  • Year-end sales may be down due to weather & Christ­mas shopping


vendors 6. Digital Vendors Bolster Online Sales with Investments, Buys & IPO Thoughts

  • Com­pa­nies got fresh cash infu­sions or were acquired in 2013
  • True­Car got $30M from Paul Allen & got OK to oper­ate in all states
  • Con­tact at Once bought Out­sell, a direct chat company


Doing It Right  

No More Man­u­ally Man­ag­ing Your New & Used Car Inven­tory: I’m proud to write that new car inven­tory man­age­ment tools and ana­lyt­ics will be arriv­ing and intro­duced at this year’s NADA Con­ven­tion in New Orleans. There is sim­ply no rea­son for this vital com­po­nent of a dealer’s oper­a­tions to be ignored for inno­va­tion for this long. We’ve had used car inven­tory man­age­ment sys­tems in our indus­try since 2001.  A dozen years have passed and still deal­ers are forced to man­u­ally man­age new car inven­tory operations.

What is needed to bring an inno­v­a­tive new car inven­tory man­age­ment into your deal­er­ship? We need tools that help iden­tify which vehi­cle pack­ages and col­ors per­form the best. We need stock­ing tools to man­age order­ing and allo­ca­tions; and we need tools that pro­vide lever­age in push­ing back and nego­ti­at­ing with the OEMs.  We need to under­stand days sup­ply in our mar­kets and how our com­peti­tors are pric­ing their new inventory.

Now time for New Car Inven­tory Man­age­ment: Used car oper­a­tions have been totally trans­formed since 2001.  Now is the time for inno­va­tion in the new car space.  The mar­ket is for the tak­ing for the com­pany that is the first to mar­ket with a com­pre­hen­sive tool.

READ MORE to find out how your deal­er­ship can gain a fan­tas­tic new and used car inven­tory man­age­ment system.



Automotive Digestibles

2014What’s Going to Be Bothering, Bugging and Bewildering You in 2014?

Ten Devel­op­ments that are likely to impact what hap­pens to the Auto­mo­tive Chan­nel & to your deal­er­ship in 2014:

  1. Bit­coin: Some­time in 2014, your deal­er­ship — or one across town — will get paid for a new car by a con­sumer (or a com­pany ) using this new currency.
  2. Not Try­ing Hard Enough: Look for peo­ple like bil­lion­aire Peter Thiel (Face­book) telling us that we can fix all prob­lems if we try hard enough – that what­ever con­fronts us is “emi­nently curable.”
  3. Data Bro­kers: Look for exten­sive action by Con­gress, The Feds, and Data com­pa­nies to become embroiled in a debate and sub­se­quent leg­is­la­tion about pro­tect­ing con­sumer privacy.

READ MORE to see Devel­op­ments 4–10 that are likely to affect you as 2014 unfolds.

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

Here is a Suc­cess Story of how an inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy com­pany solved a dealer’s used car inven­tory man­age­ment prob­lem and got rid of source of frus­tra­tion and inefficiency.

The Deal­er­ship:  Lynn Smith Chevrolet

The Prob­lem:  There was no uni­fied or sys­tem­ized process for apprais­ing, track­ing, or man­ag­ing the used vehi­cle inven­tory of the deal­er­ship. Time, sales and prof­its were being lost and the per­for­mance of the store was neg­a­tively impacted.

The Solu­tion: The intro­duc­tion and imple­men­ta­tion of a used vehi­cle inven­tory man­age­ment sys­tem from Red Bumper. By bring­ing a sys­tem and process using a mobile phone plat­form tech­nol­ogy,  the deal­er­ship sales and ser­vice depart­ments were able to know the “where, what, and when” of which vehi­cles and cus­tomers were on the front lot or in the ser­vice department.

What Hap­pened?  The Ser­vice depart­ment was turned into a “gold mine,” used car sales increased, and prof­its improved almost immediately.

READ MORE to Get the whole impact of this extra­or­di­nary case study.

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