AIADA adds Google as newest affinity partner


Now members of the American International Automobile Dealers Association say they’re going to “Google” something, it could have a vastly different meaning.

On Wednesday, AIADA announced a new affinity partnership with Google.

The association highlighted that Google’s automotive team supports manufacturers and dealers by enabling them to reach the right audience with the right message in the right moments.

The team is responsible for bringing the best of Google’s consumer insights, both national and regional, to their clients to empower them to make more informed marketing and business decisions.

Google is the only company endorsed by AIADA in this unique online space.

“Today’s announcement marks the addition of Google’s innovations in web search and advertising that have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world,” AIADA president Cody Lusk said.

“As our members move their marketing dollars from more traditional advertising venues to online, it is increasingly important that we have partnerships to help them navigate this crucial transition to the web,” Lusk continued.

Meanwhile, AIADA and Google are collaborating on a free webinar to help managers and their store teams in a session titled, “Modern Search for Automotive Dealerships.”

The free webinar will be presented by Kelly McNearney, senior automotive strategist at Google and Peter Leto, head of industry automotive retail sales at Google. McNearney and Leto plan to discuss:

1. The latest data on automotive shoppers

2. How to identify and communicate with customers in your market

There are two opportunities to watch the webinar on June 19 with a session set for 10 a.m. ET and another session scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Store personnel can register .

AIADA emphasized that it researches hundreds of companies serving the automobile industry and selects only those firms that provide the highest value and quality products, sales, and services to participate in the member benefits program as an affinity partner.

For more information, visit .

Talking gas prices going into Memorial Day sales drives

CARY, N.C. - 

Perhaps dealership managers won’t have to send lot porters to move those fuel-sippers to the front line for those Memorial Day weekend sales festivities just yet.

It’s true potential buyers likely will be paying a little more for fuel just to get to your dealership.

AAA reported this week that gas prices jumped 12 cents during the past 14 days and 6 cents since last Monday. AAA also indicated the movement pushed the national average to $2.93 — the highest price point going into the Memorial Day weekend since 2014.

But quick online poll orchestrated by Kelley Blue Book gave some indication that those additional costs might not overly influence buyers who could be buying as dealerships ramp up sales campaigns this Memorial Day weekend.

A majority of new-vehicle buyers — 60 percent to be exact — report that recent spikes in gas prices have not played a role in the new vehicle they are considering, according to the poll.

As expected, Kelley Blue Book pointed out that survey participants who indicated higher prices have impacted the type of vehicle they are considering are now likely looking at smaller, less expensive, more efficient transportation.

While KBB didn’t have specifics about where survey participants resided, AAA did have concrete location information about where costs at the pump are increasing the fastest.

AAA reported that 14 states tout an average price at the pump of $3 or more. Outside of the typical West Coast states that often pay most for fuel, along with Idaho and Utah, AAA noted this count includes six Northeast and Midwest states, including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., Illinois and Michigan.

In addition, AAA pointed out that Arizona, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are all within 4 cents of hitting the $3 mark.

“Compared to an average of the last three Memorial Day weekends, pump prices are nearly 50 cents more expensive and climbing,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a news release. “Trends are indicating that this summer is likely to bring the national average to at least $3 per gallon.”

The survey found that the “reasonable” price for a gallon of gas is $2.50, according to respondents.

Kelley Blue Book added that respondents indicated $4 per gallon is the tipping point, where fuel costs would greatly affect the type of vehicle a person will purchase.

Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs offered additional perspective to AuSM on Wednesday afternoon, reflecting back a decade ago when gas prices surged and large, not-so-efficient vehicles became as appealing as the stale pastry inadvertently left behind after the last dealership sales meeting.

“As our survey showed, consumer fears about gas prices are not effecting consumer decisions yet,” Krebs said. “I think that could change if prices continue to go higher and for a sustained period of time.

“Dealerships now have a full range of vehicles,” she continued. “There are certainly small and midsized cars out there that get great fuel economy. But you’re not seeing consumers move away from sport utility vehicles. They really like them for the practicality and versatility. There isn’t the fuel-economy penalty that there used to be say 10 years ago when we had a gas-price spike. … The fleet 10 years ago was vastly different.”

Connecticut Subaru store continues to support camp for children with cancer

BRANFORD, Conn. - 

A Connecticut Subaru dealership continued to enhance a charitable program orchestrated by the OEM, resulting in a donation of more than $50,000 to an organization near the store.

Premier Subaru has built off of the automaker’s Share the Love event, and this week the dealership presented a check for $53,552 to Camp Rising Sun. Having raised funds for the organization for four years in a row, total contributions from Premier Subaru to Camp Rising Sun now have exceeded $200,000.

Camp Rising Sun was designed to provide a safe nurturing environment to children ages 5 through 17 who have been diagnosed with cancer. Camp week takes place at Camp Jewell YMCA in Colebrook, Conn. A number of “Senior Campers” have become “Leaders in Training” to help with the younger campers and plan activities.

Camp Rising Sun has been around since 1983 and has grown to more than 100 campers. The funds provided by Premier Subaru, during the most recent Share the Love program, will support more than 40 campers this year.

“Thanks to Bob Alvine and the entire Premier Subaru Team, we will be able to provide an awesome summer camp experience to even more kids with cancer,” Camp Rising Sun director Shaun Heffernan said.

“Being a small volunteer organization without a national sponsor, fundraising is always a challenge. Bob and his team’s hard work will help put smiles on the faces of our campers this summer,” Heffernan continued.

In 2013, Subaru of America gave dealerships the option to add a local charity, and Premier Subaru took the opportunity to align with Camp Rising Sun.

“I am honored to participate with such an organization. An organization that brings smiles to brave children and their families,” Premier Subaru president Bob Alvine said. “We are duly proud to have raised this money and deeply thank our customers and employees.”

Along with Camp Rising Sun, Premier Subaru has also been involved in a number of other philanthropic endeavors, including The Branford Jazz on the Green series, Toys for Tots, Jane Doe No More, and the American Cancer Society.

New app could save dealers trips to tower when haggling


Dealerships know how the haggling process often unfolds; one that sometimes irks potential buyers who are sitting at the desk while the salesperson scurries to the GM tower and back.

Well, a car buying and negotiation platform is turning to mobile technology that's trying to smooth the process; perhaps saving some literal steps for store personnel.

On Wednesday, CarBlip announced the launch of its mobile app in the Southern California market. The app is a direct-to-dealer, communication-based platform that can integrate live inventory and a Swipe to Submit feature, allowing users to shop and negotiate the price of a new vehicle directly from their mobile device before visiting a physical dealership.

CarBlip, who has been backed by Science Inc., the Santa Monica, Calif.-based incubator and investment firm, was founded by a multi-generational team of industry veterans and digital natives alongside a network of strategic alliance partners.

Through proprietary technology, CarBlip is dedicated to reinventing the purchase process with a seamless and expedited vehicle buying experience. By starting the negotiation process online, CarBlip thinks consumers will be able to significantly cut their overall time at the dealership.

“There is an evolution happening within the automotive industry's digital retail space. Consumers demand more control of the car buying process and CarBlip is providing this service by allowing consumers to start the negotiation process anywhere, anytime,” said Brian Johnson, CarBlip’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

“CarBlip is focused on bringing a better car buying experience to consumers and increased sales to dealers. Our dealer partners gain additional access to car buyers, especially the digitally-focused millennials,” Johnson continued.

Currently available for iOS only, the CarBlip app is available for download nationwide and exclusive to Southern California car buyers with plans underway to quickly expand nationwide.

“Today, the car buying experience involves a time-consuming negotiation process that’s exhausting for both the buyer and the seller," said Mike Jones, co-founder and CEO of Science Inc. “CarBlip’s new platform transforms that experience so that it's easy for buyers to shop, decide, and drive off in their new car, which gives dealers more time to see more buyers.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with the team and are eager to see how they change the automotive landscape,” Jones went on to say.

Interested dealers can find more information about CarBlip by visiting . And the app .

Regulatory compliance should top every dealer’s mind, to-do list


Regulatory compliance is every dealer’s business.

That means issues such as advertising compliance, data and cybersecurity and making sure consumers know or can find out when the vehicle they purchase has an open recall, should be near the top of every dealers’ to-do list, according to dealer trade groups, attorneys, and others that represent dealer interests.

And if you think changes at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau will give dealers a little breathing room, take a deep breath.

Then consider this:

States are stepping-up their scrutiny of financial services companies and dealers, and if the CFPB finds a violation of law make no mistake about it, the agency will do its job, said Shaun Petersen, senior vice president, legislative and government affairs at the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

 “The acting director (Mick Mulvaney, who is also director of the Office of Management and Budget) has said, we’re not going to push the envelope, not going to overstep boundaries or limits, creating things that aren’t there, but if there are things that need to be addressed, we are going to address them,” Petersen said.

“One other thing we’ve seen with the CFPB and the acting director is that he has come out and said ‘state attorneys general, you need to take a bigger role, a lot of this you should be doing.’  It’s not just specific to dealers.”

Patty Covington, a partner at Hudson Cook, agrees that state attorneys general have stepped-up their scrutiny of financial services which includes dealers and “in New York and New Jersey, I’ve seen several enforcement actions against dealers.” More actions against dealers

The New Jersey attorney general brought actions against dealers amid allegations that some vehicles’ advertised prices were different from their actual prices. The actions and allegations involved vehicles that had add-on products installed on them, she said.

Brad Miller, director of legal and regulatory affairs at the National Automobile Dealers Association, agrees that dealers should take advertising compliance very seriously as does the Federal Trade Commission. He too, has seen “literally dozens” of advertising enforcements brought by the FTC and other regulators.

NADA recently issued an advertising compliance guide that highlights things that raises red flags with the FTC, Miller said.

“Finance or lease advertisements that contain certain trigger terms such as monthly payment and APR must also include certain other additional disclosures required under federal rules,” Miller said.

Also helpful to dealers is NADA’s Regulatory Maze, its annual updated list of major federal regulations, Miller said.

Released in March 2018, the 12-page document contains brief descriptions and guidelines of dozens of federal laws such as IRS treatment of demonstration vehicles, employee drug testing and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

It also addresses hot button topics such as protecting consumers’ personal information and recalls.

For a copy of NADA’s Regulatory Maze, visit .

Click Advocacy / Regulatory Affairs / Regulatory Reference Materials.

(A log-in email address and password are required to download the full document.)

Regarding recalls

Regulatory Maze, under the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recall regulation heading, notes that “new vehicles and parts held in inventory that are subject to safety recalls must be brought into compliance before delivery.”

When it comes to used vehicles, some dealer representatives suggest that dealerships disclose recall information to their customers and consider including links in their used-vehicle advertising to, a website that allows anyone to search for open recalls.

Helpful to dealers is a new tool that allows them to search for open recalls on up to 10,000 vehicles at one time, at no charge. Available at , the tool was created in partnership with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers and Carfax.

To protect consumers’ data, the FTC Safeguards Rule states that “dealers must develop, implement and maintain — and regularly audit — a written security program to protect customers’ information and must ensure that their service providers provide similar safeguards.”

Eric Chase, a dealer attorney with Bressler, Amery & Ross, in Florham Park, N.J., said dealers need to have one or more cyber experts on hand who know how to protect personal information — such as bank account information and social security numbers collected from customers and employees — from cyber crooks and high-tech hackers.

He said cyber issues are always “hot topics” at the National Association of Dealer Counsel conferences, with which he is involved and is composed mostly of attorneys that represent dealers.

“This is a top issue for dealers, and they’d better be watching out for all the problems that can happen, because if they don’t, it’s at their peril,” said Chase.

“We’ve seen instances where people go online and purchase cars, and they’re all phony.”

Taking a low-tech approach

Keeping consumers’ personal information safe is a major compliance headache for dealers, but strong cybersecurity measures are only half the solution.

A low-tech, common sense approach can help, experts agree.

Sometimes it’s as simple as closing or locking a door or vetting third-party companies that have access to your property or data, said Max Zanan, president of Total Dealer Compliance, which is a company that provides in-store and online compliance audits for dealerships.

“I’ve seen F&I offices that don’t have doors; I’ve seen F&I offices that have doors but not locks and keys,” Zanan said.

“Let’s put credit applications and driver’s licenses into the (computer) system and limit access. If there is a company that comes in clean, there’s no paper in the F&I office for them to see,” he said.

“If a dealer uses a marketing company that have access to their customer data base, they should have safeguards in place.”

Florida Congresswoman to appear at NIADA Convention and Expo


A trailblazing federal lawmaker who took a stand against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to address the independent dealership community.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) will be the featured speaker for the Welcome Luncheon at the 2018 National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo, coming up June 18-21 in Orlando, Fla.

Murphy, who in 2016 became the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress, represents Florida’s seventh district, which includes downtown Orlando.

In only her first term, NIADA highlighted she has already built a strong record of supporting small business.

The former businesswoman serves on the House Small Business Committee — she is the ranking Democrat of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce — and has been the lead Democratic co-sponsor on several bipartisan bills aimed at promoting the interests of small businesses.

Murphy was one of 11 Democrats who in May voted in favor of repealing the CFPB’s controversial 2013 indirect auto lending guidance.

She is also a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House Democrats who according to their mission statement are “dedicated to pursuing fiscally responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people.” She is co-chair of that caucus’ Fiscal Responsibility Task Force.

Murphy says she is “working to reduce the regulatory burdens on small businesses, increase their access to capital and help strengthen our region’s economy by creating more well-paying jobs.”

The 72nd annual NIADA Convention and Expo is expected to be the largest event in the used car industry thanks to NIADA’s recent acquisition of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers.

The combined NIADA/NABD Mega-Conference will include a record 60 education sessions in five educational tracks — retail, BHPH, legal and regulatory, certified pre-owned and digital marketing — and the largest Expo Hall in the event’s history with more than 210 exhibitors offering the latest state-of-the-art products and services designed to help dealers compete and succeed in today's ultra-competitive used vehicle market.

More details .

Cox Automotive sees April used sales soften as wholesale prices tick higher


Along with pinpointing what the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index did in April, Cox Automotive experts also projected how much and why used-vehicle sales softened a bit last month.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, used-vehicle sales decreased by 2 percent year-over-year in April versus the same month last year. Analysts said the dip primarily stemmed as a result of having two fewer selling days.

Cox Automotive highlighted the annualized pace of used vehicle sales is up 1 percent over last year.

“We estimate the April used SAAR to be 39.7 million, the highest level in four months,” analysts said.

Cox Automotive mentioned April new-vehicle sales decreased, sliding by 5 percent year-over-year with two fewer selling days compared to April 2017. The April SAAR came in at 17.1 million, up from last year’s 17.0 million; it is the eighth straight month of more than 17 million SAAR and the fifth-best April SAAR on record.

Analysts added that cars continue to see sharp declines as sales in April fell 21 percent compared to last year, with major car segments’ having sales declines. They pointed out light trucks outperformed cars in April and were up 5 percent year-over-year.

Cox Automotive went on to note that the combined rental, commercial and government purchases of new vehicles climbed 7 percent year-over-year in April, led by increases in commercial (up 9 percent) and rental (up 7 percent) channels.

Analysts closed the discussion by saying new-vehicle inventories came in higher than 4 million units for the second straight month, and inventories are at their highest levels since June of last year.

Wholesale-price movements

Looking now at the wholesale space, Cox Automotive found that used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.33 percent month-over-month in April. This movement brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 132.5, which was a 6.3 percent increase from a year ago and the highest level since last November.

“Looking at trends in weekly Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices, the traditional spring bounce this year started three weeks later than it did in 2016 and earlier years and peaked in April in week 15,” analysts said.

“Used-vehicle prices are now moving down but remain higher now compared to where they were at the beginning of the year than any of the last three years,” they continued.

On a year-over-year basis, Cox Automotive noticed all major market segments saw price gains in April. Compact cars and vans outperformed the overall market, climbing by 6.6 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, the latest index update showed SUV/CUVs and pickups underperformed the overall market, rising by 5.8 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

“Collectively, nonluxury vehicles outperformed the market, while luxury vehicles underperformed,” analysts said. “This is not unusual for the spring, as the observed bounce occurs only in nonluxury vehicles.

Also in the wholesale space, Cox Automotive determined that rental risk pricing strengthened.

Analysts found that the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in April jumped 9 percent year-over-year. Rental risk prices moved 2 percent higher compared to March.

The report mentioned average mileage for rental risk units in April (at 43,500 miles) came in 10 percent above a year ago but 3 percent lower month-over-month. 

General economic update

Cox Automotive closed its latest analysis by highlighting the continued strong economic momentum on display in the U.S.

Analysts recapped that the economy grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter, a decline from last year’s overall growth of 2.5 percent, but much better than the first quarter of last year’s “lackluster” 1.2-percent growth.

Cox Automotive said the second quarter should see growth rebound in keeping with the expected 2.8 percent to 3.0 percent likely GDP growth for 2018.

Analysts added that consumer confidence rebounded in April after declining in March. The April index level was the second-best level going back to November 2000.

Used-car stores give Penske Automotive 'momentum'


Roger Penske was answering a question specific to the retailer’s operations in the U.K., but the sentiment, perhaps, is universal when it comes to the standalone used-car stores at Penske Automotive Group.

Responding to that inquiry during the Q&A portion of the company’s quarterly conference call, Penske said that used-car standalone stores “really give us some real momentum as we go through the balance of the year, not only from a unit perspective but a profitability and margin (perspective).”

Counting the stores that came into the fold after its January acquisition of The Car People in the U.K., Penske Automotive currently has 14 used-car stores throughout the U.S. and U.K.

Penske, the group’s chairman, said he believes these stores can sell more than 65,000 units annually and pull in $1 billion in revenue.  

“When you look at the first quarter, this business generated a 4-percent return on sale and a pre-tax return on invested capital averaging over 15 percent,” Penske said during opening remarks on last week’s call. “We believe these used-vehicle supercenters further diversify PAG’s business and provide an opportunity to capitalize on the highly fragmented used-vehicle marketplace.”

During the first quarter, Penske’s used-car stores moved 18,673 used vehicles, according to a presentation accompanying quarterly results. They generated $331.1 million in revenue.  

The average transaction price on these cars is a shade under $15,000, with a total variable gross profit $2,233 per unit and a margin of 15 percent, Penske said.

The revenue mix for these stores is 84 percent used vehicles, 9 percent wholesale, 6 percent F&I and 1 percent service and parts. Gross profit contribution is 43 percent used, 4 percent wholesale, 41 percent F&I and 12 percent service and parts.

Penske said he would like to further drive the parts and service business within its U.K. standalone stores, much like it has in the U.S.  

6 new stores to open by 2020

In early January, the retailer closed its purchase of U.K.-based used-car retailer The Car People, an acquisition first announced on Dec. 12.

This followed a similar move Penske made in January 2017, when it announced an agreement to buy CarShop, a U.K. chain of five standalone used-car retail stores. That acquisition was completed in February 2017

Stateside, Penske announced a deal in December 2016 to buy U.S.-based used-car retailer CarSense, closing that acquisition in January 2017.

And now the retailer has its sights on six new greenfield locations that it plans to have open by 2020. In the U.K., Penske has a commitment on a property that is close to ready, with the company aiming to have that converted in 2020.

In the U.S., Penske does have a potential spot in Phoenix along with eyeing the Mid-Atlantic. But they’re not just trying to dot the map with start-from-scratch facilities.

“What we’re trying to do is not just go all over the country for white spots,” Penske said. “We’re trying to grow where we have the impact of our digital and also our advertising, so we get that coverage.”

A $2-3 billion business?

Speaking of growth, Penske was asked during the Q&A if it would be reasonable to believe the standalone could grow to $2 billion to $3 billion per year.

“Well, I would say that there’s no reason we can’t double it, maybe not by 2020,” he said. “But I didn’t realize we’d make these acquisitions as fast as we did, and we’re going to continue to look and see what’s out there. But this is a very good business and I’d have to take my hat off to CarMax.”

The business CarMax has built leans on “a single brand, large stores, good discipline,” Penske said. “I think that’s the same formula that we’re trying to adopt ourselves.

“And we have some great people. When you think about the team at CarSense here in the U.S., they’ve been together for a long time; they’re all still running the business. We’re learning from them every day,” he said, echoing a similar sentiment about the folks in the U.K.


Asbury to focus on what it can control, investing in web, mobile tech

DULUTH, Ga. - 

Asbury Automotive Group will spend the rest of the year focusing on parts of its business it can control and expects to invest in excess of $10 million on its omni-channel strategy, company executives said.

“Our plan for the remainder of 2018 is to focus on the aspects of the business that we can control, specifically, parts and service, used cars, (finance and insurance), and overall expense management, while continuing to intelligently deploy capital towards the highest return,” said Asbury Automotive chief executive David Hult, during the company’s quarterly conference call last week.

“Be that strategic investments in our existing business, notably our omni-channel capabilities, acquisitions or returning capital to shareholders.”

Though it has been widely predicted that new-vehicle sales will flatten in 2018 Hult “doesn’t see a significant downturn coming” but expects the seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate to be “choppy or bumpy” throughout the year.

He also noted that the company’s average gross profit per import new unit was negatively impacted by declines in sales at its Nissan dealerships resulting in lower incentive money. The Nissan brand started 2018 “with a lot of ’17 product on the ground,” he added.

Same-store average gross profit per new vehicle for Asbury’s import brands plunged 24 percent to $799. The average gross profit per new unit for its luxury brands rose 5 percent to $3,713; its domestic brands were up 5 percent to $1,801.

Nissan represents 11 percent of the dealership group’s brand mix, according to documents released in conjunction with the conference call.

Omni-channel strategy

Asbury is using its omni-channel strategy to position itself for the future by investing in its web and mobile technology and assembling a special team to manage all digital traffic, said John Hartman, the company’s senior vice president, operations, who was also on the call.

The team supports 25 percent of the group’s stores and is expected to support the entire company within 18 months, Hartman said.

“Stores participating in the program are experiencing a 20 percent increase in conversion rates coupled with enhanced sales efficiency,” he added.

Asbury is also applying its omni-channel capabilities to other aspects of its business.

For example, up to 7 percent of its vehicles sales starts through PUSHSTART, it’s online sales tool that enables customers to purchase vehicles online, get financing approvals and have their vehicle delivered to their driveway.

“We are extremely excited about these initiatives and proud that we’ve been able to maintain our industry-leading SG&A management while investing in the future,” Hartman said.

New accounting standard

On Jan. 1, Asbury adopted a new revenue recognition accounting standard which reduced its net income by $900,000  and earnings per share by 4 cents the company said in an April 24 document detailing the company’s first quarter earnings.

The company’s net income in the quarter increased 18 percent to $40.1 million on revenue that rose 4 percent to $1.61 billion. Net income in the first quarter of 2017 was adjusted for a $900,000 pre-tax gain on legal settlements.

Asbury’s overall sales of new cars and trucks in the quarter were up 1 percent to 23,659 units and overall used-unit sales increased 3 percent to 20,570.

Same-store sales of new vehicles slid 2 percent to 22,965; same-store used-unit sales were up 1 percent to 20,000 units.

Hartman said used-vehicle enterprise software the company implemented in all dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017 was bearing fruit: the first quarter of 2018 marked the first time the company experienced an uptick in used-unit sales since the second quarter of 2017.

Same-store parts & service

On a same-store basis, warranty work in parts and service declined 8 percent but the company’s parts and service revenue and its gross profit each grew 3 percent.

That’s thanks to a 5-percent increase in customer pay work and improved used-vehicle sales helped Asbury increase its reconditioning segment within parts and service by 4 percent.

To accommodate that uptick in customer pay work, the dealership group is trying to increase its technician head count, which is not easy, Hult said. He said the company has had empty service bays at its dealerships for “years.”

“If we filled every bay we had and didn’t invest $1 in brick and mortar, (service and parts business) would be up in excess of 30 percent,” he added.

Asbury acquired a Honda store in Indiana in the quarter and will close on the acquisition Chevrolet and Toyota stores the Atlanta market in the second quarter, Hult said.

The Indiana store is Asbury’s second dealership in that market and is expected to generate $120 million in annual revenue, Hult said. He called Indiana an “attractive market opportunity.”

Conversely, he described the stores in Atlanta as “under-performing,” but notes they have potential and are predicted to generate a combined $120 million in annual revenue.

Selly integrates VINFactor pricing tool to help dealers make better inventory decisions


Dealers who employ the Selly Automotive CRM can now make critical inventory decisions with the help of a newly added market intelligence tool for inventory and pricing.

The company announced Friday that it has partnered with VINFactor to make its market intelligence tool available to dealers via the Selly Automotive CRM.

“We have been working hard with VINFactor in Q1 2018 to develop and integrate their market data tool into Selly,” Selly Automotive chief executive officer Zach Klempf explained in a news release. “Steve and his team have put together a wonderful product offering that complements our CRM platform for auto dealerships.

“We strive to provide Selly dealers with the latest and greatest technology to help drive sales and conversion.,” Klempf continued.

Dealers can find market intelligence data from VINFactor embedded into Selly’s inventory module, according to the company.

The real-time pricing and inventory recommendations provided by VINFactor has made the Selly Automotive CRM more relevant and actionable.

Real-time pricing and inventory recommendations from VINFactor, make the product much more relevant and actionable, according to VINFactor CEO and founder Steve Greenfield.

“Providing Selly Automotive customers with real-time pricing and inventory recommendations from VINFactor makes the product much more relevant and actionable,” Greenfield said. “We’ve known Zach and the Selly team for years, and appreciate the partnership with their dealers.”