January 6, 2014
Six in Sixty Seconds

auto-dealership Today’s News in Context — Monday, January 6

Deal­er­ship Employ­ees Win & Lose with Afford­able Care Act

  • Health insur­ance plans for auto deal­er­ships have been canceled
  • Mostly because they don’t com­ply with the Afford­able Care Act
  • Many deal­er­ships to pro­vide annual allowance to pay cost

Get­ting on GM-Approved Rep­u­ta­tion Man­age­ment List is Lucrative

  • GM set a man­date for 4,300 deal­ers to choose approved Rep­u­ta­tion Man­age­ment Vendor
  • Domin­ion and Reputation.com join Cobalt, Dig­i­tal Air Strike & Naked Lime on list

Google, Apple Com­pete for In-Car Dig­i­tal Supremacy

  • Two com­pa­nies seek­ing to take over the Inter­net & sys­tems inside the car
  • Seek to develop an in-car enter­tain­ment & infor­ma­tion sys­tems in the cockpit

Feds Go After Ally to Pay $80M for Dealer Loan Reserve Programs

  • Auto lenders being forced to change the way dealer reserves are set
  • Feds fine Ally $98 M to resolve claims of high inter­est rates to minor­ity buyers

Corn-Based Ethanol Price Sup­port to be Tanked by Congress

  • Con­gress is threat­en­ing to reduce Con­tro­ver­sial Ethanol Sub­sidy Program
  • Most renew­able fuel is ethanol based

Crash­less Com­puter to Turn Deal­ers’ Dig­i­tal Sys­tems Upside Down

  • Com­put­ers now able to learn from their own mis­takes & those who code
  • New com­puter chip can side­step or tol­er­ate errors in a pro­gram not crash
  • Means a new gen­er­a­tion of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence systems

Be the Smartest Per­son in the Room: get more in-depth (but still fast) run­down of the above-mentioned sto­ries RIGHT HERE.


VIDEO: The New Emerging Consumer

It is time to build a rela­tion­ship of trust between deal­ers and con­sumers. Lacey Plache, Chief Econ­o­mist at Edmunds.com, explains what that means with today’s new emerg­ing consumer.

VIDEO: A Smart Dealer Chat Solution
  Contact at Once: How It Works

Shop­pers now spend hours research­ing future pur­chases on mer­chant web­sites, social media, review sites, online clas­si­fieds — and the list goes on. Con­tact At Once! helps busi­nesses har­ness that net­work so they can go almost every­where their shop­pers go. And they’re ready to engage at a moment’s notice. Watch the video to learn more.

BLOG: Automotive Digestibles
  What’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.

Dealer Pain Points

Imacon Color Scanner Online Gossip About Your Store Getting Ugly?

What’s the old say­ing about pub­lic­ity? Even bad pub­lic­ity is good, as long as you spell my name right.That may be true for Hol­ly­wood fame and mis­for­tune but that’s not the kind of rep­u­ta­tion that bodes well for long-term suc­cess in the car business.

Click here to learn to defend your online reputation.

measuring right metric for success Are You Measuring the Right Metric for Success?

Every­one wants to grow their busi­ness and increase prof­itabil­ity. But are you man­ag­ing the right met­rics to achieve success?

You may need to re-think your finan­cial tar­gets in a way that revs up your bot­tom line.

Click here to learn more.

mechanic Boosting Service Profitability

You ser­vice the vehi­cles you sell. Every­body gets that. But you have the best trained ser­vice tech­ni­cians in town. They can fix any­thing. Why not let them?

Click here to see a video that show­cases a deal­er­ship that uti­lizes its ser­vice techs tal­ent to the max.

Doing It Right  

Con­tact At Once! has pur­chased Outsell’s Direct  Chat busi­ness and the com­pa­nies have entered into a strate­gic agree­ment to inte­grate Con­tact At Once! live chat soft­ware with Outsell’s Dig­i­tal Engage­ment Plat­form for mutual customers.

Out­sell CEO Mike Wething­ton said that the com­pany decided to spin off its Direct Chat busi­ness so that it could focus on the devel­op­ment of the next gen­er­a­tion of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Dig­i­tal Engage­ment Plat­form, which allows auto­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers, agen­cies, mar­ket­ing asso­ci­a­tions and indi­vid­ual deal­ers to share in the devel­op­ment of brand-consistent, analytics-driven, cross-channel mar­ket­ing programs.

“We feel strongly that chat is an essen­tial part of an auto­mo­tive dealer’s cross-channel arse­nal, and came to the con­clu­sion that we could best serve our clients’ needs by part­ner­ing with the com­pany who is the mar­ket leader,” says Wething­ton.  “Con­tact At Once!‘s strong track record in the indus­try, glow­ing dealer rec­om­men­da­tions and inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts made them the hands-down choice.”



Build a Better Dealership

Toyota leasingWhat Could Off-Leasing Boom Mean in 2014?

Leas­ing turned things around for vehi­cle sales three years ago – fueled by low inter­est rates, ris­ing resid­ual val­ues, and sweet deals from automak­ers with lower monthly payments.

Now, more off-lease cus­tomers are start­ing to return to the mar­ket. Automak­ers, deal­ers, and lenders are start­ing to pon­der a few questions.

What does it mean for brand loy­alty and cus­tomer reten­tion? Off-lease cus­tomers tend to be good for reten­tion, but the com­pet­i­tive land­scape is get­ting intense with incen­tives and low-priced monthly pay­ments being promoted.

Gen­eral Motors entered the leas­ing race last month after being away for a long time.

Auto lenders have been soft­en­ing their under­writ­ing stan­dards this year. Leas­ing has been grow­ing in this envi­ron­ment. What if lenders have gone too far?

Click here to read about other issues being con­sid­ered includ­ing early buy­outs and the resid­ual value environment…….

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

What does run­ning a restau­rant have to do with run­ning a dealership?

Here’s some advice from Wolf­gang Puck him­self — specif­i­cally, Three Actions that have con­tributed to the suc­cess of the Puck Restaurants:

  1. Talk to Your Cus­tomers – When cus­tomers come to your deal­er­ship, they are com­ing to your “house.” They ulti­mately are going to pay you for a car or ser­vice so reach out for them, and talk and listen.
  2. Stick to What You Know Best — In a deal­er­ship oper­a­tion, your team has to do it all — but  your cus­tomers will tell you if your team does sales or ser­vice or cus­tomer rela­tions well. Mar­ket and sup­port this “specialty.”
  3. Hire Young Peo­ple: Get new ideas and pay atten­tion to what the young peo­ple in your deal­er­ship are telling you. They will tell you what is hap­pen­ing and what you should be doing to gain new cus­tomers – and how to take care of your exist­ing ones.


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