Inventory Management

Study: 18% of car shoppers ‘more inclined’ to visit dealership on Black Friday

CHICAGO - outlined for consumers some of the top car deals they can expect to find at their local dealerships. But it would also be prudent for dealers to take note of what specific vehicles shoppers have their eyes on this year as arguably one of the busiest holidays of the year for most dealerships approaches. pointed out that with “a trifecta” of year-end, month-end and Black Friday, manufacturers are stepping up incentives for this upcoming holiday weekend. 

After a sluggish October for new-car sales, OEMs are using the holiday as an “additional way to entice shoppers,” pointed out.

On top of the incentive of what are expected to be record auto sales deals, dealers should expect a hefty increase in traffic, as well, if a recent study is any indicator.

According to the study, 18 percent of car shoppers said they’re more inclined to visit a dealership on Black Friday. And seventy-four percent of those shoppers said they’re more inclined to visit a dealership on the holiday specifically as a result of special deals and promotions.

Jennifer Newman,’s editor-in-chief, had this to say for potential vehicle shoppers, “We’re seeing solid incentives from a number of different manufacturers. If you are already in the market for a new car, you might want to consider hitting your local dealership lots this Black Friday instead of waiting in long lines at your nearest big-box store. From the data we’ve seen, the reward is there for certain vehicles,” she continued.

Here are a few of the most noteworthy incentives manufacturers are doling out for Black Friday, according to These manufacturers are also offering further deals if customers finance through their respective captives.

  • Ford Fusion: savings of between $2,150 and $5,000 on certain 2017 trims
  • Hyundai Elantra: a discount of $3,000 on 2018 Elantra sedans and $1,000 off on the hatchback model, the Elantra GT
  • Kia Optima: Savings of $1,500 off the 2018 Optima and $3,000 off the 2017 model. 
  • Kia Sorento: 2017 Sorento models can be purchased with a $3,000 to $4,000 discount, and 2018 models are being offered with a $1,500 to $2,000 discount.

“With deals aplenty, shoppers have good reason to go car shopping,” Newman said. “However, our research indicated that regardless of deals and incentives, 16 percent of shoppers are more inclined to visit a dealership this Black Friday because they have more available free time, and 8 percent said they’d shop over Black Friday simply because ‘it’s fun’.”

IAS picks Columbus Fair AA to pilot latest management tech


Integrated Auction Solutions announced Tuesday that Columbus Fair Auto Auction (CFAA) will be the first to experience the latest version of its AuctionMaster auction management system.

AuctionMaster Version 3 (V3-AMS) replaces CFAA’s AS400 green screen management system, which the auction has used for 25 years, according to IAS.

Following proof of viability at CFAA, IAS said the new system will be made available to other auctions after September.

“Providing the most state of the art AMS is finally here. We are strategically launching at CFAA, an auction with great size, with many third party integrations, manufacture modules, and reconditioning facilities, to just start the list,” IAS vice president of sales and business development Peter Levy said in a news release.

“We are dedicated to give the auction community options and will integrate with anyone that our auction partners desire,” he continued.

The V3-AMS system has full functionality from anywhere, allowing dealers to easily manage inventory, dealers and accounts.

It features a fully integrated block with AWG simulcast, along with a both a web-based option and tradition local server option, according to IAS.

“Our corporate mission has long been to protect the interests of independent auction owners”, added Alexis Jacobs, chief executive officer of IAS. “This technology provides our community the tools it needs to maintain sustainable, scalable, stable, industry-standard services our customers expect.”


Element unveils new insight service that integrates OnStar data


Element Fleet Management recently introduced Connected Data, a new service for fleet performance insights that streams vehicle data from both OnStar and other connected car systems in non-GM vehicles.

Connected Data gives fleet managers the ability to tailor analytics to meet common reporting and regulatory needs, according to Element.

The new service offers dealers a selection of different data s they can use to optimize their fleets. Users can explore odometer reporting, vehicle diagnostics and driver behavior data. 

Access to data s is available via Xcelerate, customized reports and Element strategic fleet consultants.

“Today’s fleets are in a unique position to harness the power of connected vehicles across an increasingly connected digital fleet workflow, one that integrates data from drivers, suppliers and the vehicle itself,” Element Fleet Management North America products and services senior vice president Michele Cunningham said. “Connected Data delivers just the subset of vehicle and driver data that customers need, making it easier to gain insights and take action in areas like optimal replacement, preventive maintenance, and assessing and mitigating driver risk and more.”

Connected Data is currently available in three packages: Odometer, Fleet and Safety.

The Odometer package provides mileage reporting compliance data and vehicle utilization insight. Fleet includes the offerings of the Odometer package, along with integrated location and diagnostics data.

The Safety packed is fitted with Fleet package data, in addition to driving pattern information used to identify high-risk drivers, help improve safety and reduce accident expense. The data covers hard braking, fast acceleration and speeding.

For additional information about Connected Data's offerings, visit .

Dominion joins GM’s new dealer inventory management program


Dominion Dealer Solutions’ inventory management and lot services division, Dealer Specialties, has recently been certified in General Motors’ new Dealer Vehicle Inventory Management program (DVIM) and is now eligible for iMR Turnkey reimbursement.

The GM DVIM program offers GM dealers both enhanced vehicle merchandising, improved sales leads and eliminates the need to acquire GM inventory data separately, according to Dominion Dealer.

“The GM DVIM program takes advantage of direct integration with Dealer Specialties to eliminate traditional DMS polling, enable inventory image enhancement and improve marketing content,” Dominion Dealer Solutions OEM partnerships director Ryan Kelly explained in a news release.

Dominion Dealer Specialties joins other vehicle inventory management providers eligible for iMR reimbursement under the GM DVIM program.

“This makes GM dealers more competitive and improves the consumer experience at GM shopping sites like Shop Click Drive, Certified Pre-owned and brand sites,” Kelly added.

Currently, Dominion's inventory management and lot services division also has an extensive syndication network on third-party online portals available to GM dealers via the DVIM program.

Dealers can select from the Dealer Specialties suite of three inventory management and merchandising solutions.

Solutions include the Inventory Management Solution, Lot Services (Photography) and Lot Services (Video).

The Inventory Management Solution features both automatic syndication and data collection. And the Lot Services solutions offer high-resolution photography for new and used vehicles, customized window labels and graphics, inventory videos for web or landing pages and in-depth video reporting.

For more information about Dominion's Dealer Specialties inventory management offerings, visit .

IAA introduces inventory management solution for salvage buyers and sellers


Insurance Auto Auctions recently launched Active Inventory Management, the company’s latest innovation designed to help buyers and sellers outsource their salvage inventory management process to IAA.

“IAA developed the Active Inventory Management solution to help our insurance customers streamline their salvage management process and generate better economic returns,” IAA chief executive officer and president John Kett said. “IAA is committed to providing the tools, resources and technology needed to deliver an unmatched customer experience. Active Inventory Management is the latest enhancement in this effort, and early adopters have already seen improved results in returns, cycle time and internal expense.”

Using IAA's CSAToday platform, the new solution can regularly monitor vehicles, identify issues and coordinate any resolutions through its dedicated customer service team.

CSAToday is the salvage industry's first mobile vehicle inventory management tool, boasts the company.  

Additionally, Active Inventory Management currently offers a turnkey alternative that can boost APD process efficiency, according to IAA.

“As an industry leader in technology and innovation, IAA continues to develop new capabilities like Active Inventory Management that address and anticipate the needs of salvage buyers and sellers,” the company added.

RMS integrates Stockwave tool to accelerate wholesale deals


RMS Automotive recently announced that it has partnered with vAuto to make the evaluation and acquisition of manufacturers’ premium off-lease and off-program vehicles a speedier process for dealers.

Open sale inventory listed on manufacturers’ digital sales platforms powered by RMS Automotive is now integrated into vAuto’s Stockwave tool.

The integration can save dealers time sourcing high-quality used vehicles and allows manufacturers to increase exposure of their inventory via Stockwave’s buyer base, according to RMS.

“Our partnership with vAuto is another example of how RMS Automotive leverages its connectivity to other Cox Automotive brands to drive more informed decision-making for our clients,” RMS president Nick Peluso said in a news release. “This initiative provides dealers unequalled access to pre-auction inventory and helps manufacturers accelerate transactions by channeling the right vehicles to the right dealers at the right time.” 

BMW Financial Services is one of the first commercial consignors to incorporate their wholesale inventory into Stockwave.

Using customized search streams on, dealers can view pre-auction inventory in addition to rank vehicle types by cost, availability and other factors.

“The collaboration with RMS Automotive is part of the Stockwave promise – that we make the task of acquiring wholesale inventory more efficient and profitable for dealers,” Randy Kobat, who is senior vice president of Inventory Software Solutions for Cox Automotive’s Retail Solutions Group, said in the release. “The first step, of course, is having all wholesale inventory in one place. Our partnership with RMS Automotive brings us another step closer to this important goal.”

Stockwave’s inventory stream totals nearly 300,000 auction vehicles. Additionally, the company said its team is currently working to integrate wholesale inventory from other OEM-related sources.

ProMax adds open recall monitoring tool


Dealer Marketing Services, the makers of ProMax Unlimited, recently released Recall Check, a new feature for the platform that tracks open recalls.

Recall Check was designed to monitor a dealer’s entire inventory for open recalls.

“Recall Check gives our dealer customers a foolproof way to track all pertinent recall information and use it to generate service business and protect their dealership from liability,” ProMax chief executive officer John Palmer said in a news release.

Recall Check is powered by the provider of automotive recall news and data Recall Masters, which draws on a comprehensive OEM database.

“As the automotive market evolves, Recall Masters is continually evolving our systems and database to provide the most valuable information possible to promote sound dealership business initiatives and consumer safety,” Recall Masters chief executive officer Christopher Miller said.

“The integration with ProMax’s Recall Check feature allows their customers to easily access unique recall data and information through the existing ProMax workflow. ProMax dealers can focus on efficiently managing recalls and attending to the needs of consumers through a familiar, proven platform. The partnership with ProMax is one more step in the right direction to ensure consumer safety and to mitigate the risk of automotive-related injuries.”

The new solution uses an automatic nightly process and checks for recalls anytime a trade is booked in or a vehicle is delivered.

“Recall Check is a tool that can be leveraged in a number of ways,” added ProMax chief operations officer Shane Born. “The automatic monitoring ensures that all recall information is available; dealers can craft different strategies based on their local laws and individual prerogatives. Savvy dealers can use Recall Check to better evaluate trades, book in inventory, or funnel customers to their service lane in some instances. There are also options to print recall disclosure forms on sold vehicles. It has everything a dealer needs. There are a lot of possibilities.”

Additionally, all recall information obtained by Recall Check is tracked across several reports dealerships can access at their leisure.

Element appoints team members to key leadership roles

SPARKS, Md. - 

On Monday, Element Fleet Management Corp. announced several recent changes to its North American senior leadership team.

They include the retirement of Tom Keilty, who served the company for over 20 years, along with new and expanded leadership roles in operations, fleet partnership solutions and strategic consulting.

“These are skilled leaders who are focused on our customers and advancing the customer experience. This is an important time in Element’s journey and I am extremely pleased with each of these appointments,” Element North America president and chief executive officer Kristi Webb said in a news release.

“First, I want to thank Tom Keilty for his many contributions to our business. Tom has played an invaluable role in bringing together our operations teams, and providing his expertise, guidance and customer focus to the Element leadership team.”

Filling Keilty’s former senior vice president of operations role is Ken Johnson, who most recently led Element’s fleet partnership solution.

Johnson brings in-depth knowledge and understanding in the areas of Six Sigma, sales and the customer experience to the operations team, according to Element.

Chosen to take on Johnson’s former role as leader of fleet partnership solutions is Joe Cuccia.

Element said Cuccia has been vital to its operations and will bring his extensive operations knowledge and finance background to the company’s fleet management team.

Meanwhile, the fleet-management company named Mary Sticha senior vice president of operational excellence. She most recently served as senior vice president of integration.

As the company shifts from integration to innovation, Element said in her new role; Sticha will continue to assist customers and the company’s team by sharing her comprehensive understanding of fleet management.

Additionally, Tom Peterson, managing director of the Midwest region, will now lead Element’s strategic consulting team in conjunction with the responsibilities of his current role.

Element said Peterson’s sales and account leadership will strengthen the company's strategic consulting team.

Autonet Mobile updates connected car technology a year after launch


In-car Internet service provider Autonet Mobile recently improved the inventory monitoring capabilities of Dealer Connect, its year-old connected car technology platform built to support fleet and dealership operations, the company announced on Monday.

Dealer Connect’s new updates allow dealership and fleet management to now view all of their connected vehicles on a single map, track mileage in real-time and see driver behaviors, which include acceleration and braking habits.

“One of the many facets that dealers and consumers love about Dealer Connect is vehicle monitoring,” Autonet Mobile chief executive officer Greg O’Neill said. “In addition to service and sales opportunities for dealers, car owners who subscribe to Autonet Mobile will find it much easier to keep their cars in good running condition and track how their vehicles are driven.”

A total of three new Autonet Mobile Lot Tracker reports containing current inventory information is now available. Additionally, “consumers who choose to subscribe to Autonet Mobile in the F&I booth can immediately benefit from enhanced monitoring of their connected vehicles,” the company said.

The connected car technology can deliver the current location, vehicle speeds and driver habits of all of their connected cars. For example, it can alert parents if any of their vehicles cross any preset geozones and curfews that can be set by owners.

Autonet Mobile collects data via an easy-to-install OBD-II device that uses a companion app available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“It offers a simple interface to learn about vehicle issues and schedule service at participating dealerships,” the company said. “[An] automated service appointment feature also offers the potential for increased service retention by allowing dealers to send notifications for deals, service reminders and recalls.”

Autonet Mobile launched the Dealer Connect platform in April last year.


Spireon's Kahu tech aims to increase service retention

CARY, N.C. - 

At the NADA Convention & Expo, Spireon introduced its latest connected car solution — Kahu — the first connected car solution specifically designed for dealerships, according to the California company.

Kahu is a smart add-on designed to provide dealers streamlined inventory and lot management that also offers car buyers location tracking and stolen vehicle recovery service.

Spireon has already piloted Kahu with about 20 different dealers.

The whole connected car experience is still fragmented, and dealers have often been left out of the equation says Jason Penkethman, Spireon’s chief product officer.

According to Penkethman, with more data information, dealers can provide a much better experience for consumers.

“When we think about the connected vehicle technology and the evolution I think the dealers have been cut out of that, to some degree," Penkethman said.

“The OEMs they all have their strategy and have come up with different products and services around connected car for consumers. And then there’s some consumer apps out there that can provide different levels of visibility into vehicles, but it’s sort of patchy in what it can do between different makes and models,” he said.

Once Kahu’s hardware is installed into a vehicle, dealers can go to the app on a mobile device flip through their list of vehicles, tap on it and know exactly where it is on the lot.

Kahu users can also create geo-fences around specific lots and know which lot a vehicle is on and when it has been moved.

The mobile app not only can it find a vehicle but it also can provide a vehicle’s battery life.

“I spoke to a dealer (in February), and he told me that if put somebody in a vehicle with a dead battery, it’s like suicide because they will never buy that vehicle — and not only that, but they look at that dealership as if they’ve got a problem; that they can’t manage their inventory. So it's a huge issue for them,” Penkethman said.

“It’s a big incentive just for the lot management.”

On average Kahu finds stolen vehicles within 26 minutes and, according to Penkethman, Spireon helps recover about three vehicles a day.

“The dealer has an opportunity to make a little bit of money on the sale through to the consumer and is able to articulate really well the value because they’ve been using this technology themselves,” said Penkethman.

“Having another product to be able to sell that adds value to the customer is really important.”

Customers can use Kahu to track the vehicle they purchase and also take advantage of Send proactive alerts such as an oil change or speeding notification.

Kahu has had selling rate at about 30 percent at dealerships piloting the app, according to to Spireon. It will generally be available in the second quarter of this year.

“It’s really about providing data back to the dealership on their vehicles for lot management and providing value to the consumer when they buy the vehicle and creating that link back to the dealership for loyalty and service management,” said Penkethman

Currently, the company has about 3.75 million devices out in the market that it's tracking for various fleets and consumers and dealers.

Spireon utilizes an extensive cloud infrastructure to be able to carry all that data.

“We have a very large dealer network, we are focused on dealerships and we have connections to about 14,000 dealers,” said Penkethman


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