iHeartMedia announces partnership to provide market-specific sales insights tool for dealers


Dealership sales and marketing strategies can now benefit from a new solution that delivers sales insights and market share data.

A new tool that offers real-time analytics and insights is now available exclusively through iHeartMedia, which claims to have over 131 million social followers and reach roughly a quarter of a billion broadcast listeners each month.

iHeartMedia has partnered with internet marketing service provider AUTOFLYTE to create AUTOFLYTE EDGE, which provides dealers with daily sales and market share data from their local area, the companies announced in a news release Tuesday.

“We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio,” iHeartMedia executive vice president of automotive business development and partnerships John Karpinski said in a news release. “AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available, and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market.

“With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers,” said Karpinski.

Furthermore, AUTOFLYTE EDGE is designed to optimize auto dealers' advertising campaigns to help dealerships market both smarter and speedier. Using the new solution's daily sales insights, such as the most recent market dynamics and trends, dealers can easily customize and update their sales and marketing strategies, according to iHeartMedia.

“With iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE’s exclusive real-time insights and data, this new tool is nothing short of a game changer for how we do business at our dealership,” said Steve Hurley, owner of Stingray Chevrolet of Plant City, Fla. “For the first time, we are able to specifically tailor our marketing plans based on what our customers want today versus months ago. We’ve been waiting for something like this and are already seeing success.”

iHeartMedia’s move to exclusively provide AUTOFLYTE EDGE and other services stems from iHeartMedia’s ongoing focus to provide brands and marketers solutions for reaching consumers across its roughly quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners, the news release said.

In addition to iHeartMedia Analytics, which the company launched in May, other marketing optimization tools iHeartMedia provides include SoundPoint, a programmatic real-time radio ad buying platform and SmartAudio.

Autotrader launches dog search site with in support of National Dog Day


In an effort to help drive the adoption of homeless dogs into loving homes on National Dog Day, Autotrader has introduced a special-edition website for a limited time in partnership with called

The new site marks the brand’s fifth consecutive year of celebrating National Dog Day, coming up this Sunday. 

In addition to being able to search for nearby dogs who are up for adoption in their area, visitors can also find information about vehicle accessories for dogs, pet safety tips and a list of top 10 “Great Cars for Dog Lovers,” Autotrader announced Tuesday.

“We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 vehicles that are the perfect match for dog owners everywhere,” Autotrader executive editor at Brian Moody said in a news release.

“From vehicles with large rear doors and an open cargo floor to second-row fold down seats, each car on our list was selected based on features that are important when drivers are traveling with their four-legged friends.”

Autotrader’s list of top 10 “Great Cars for Dog Lovers includes the:

  1. 2018 Buick Encore
  2. CPO Chevrolet Equinox
  3. 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
  4. Certified Pre-Owned Ford Escape
  5. CPO Honda Fit
  6. 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
  7. 2018 Nissan Kicks
  8. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  9. 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
  10. 2018 Volvo V90

On top of the 10 vehicles Autotrader named, the new provides dog owners with information about extra car accessories for dogs' safety and comfort such as car kennels, rear seat pet hammocks, spill-proof water bowls and pet ramps.

New platform combines J.D. Power, Nielsen insights to help marketers attract 'high-value audiences'


To provide automotive marketers a boost in advertising effectiveness and measurement, a new marketing and measurement platform now blends the capabilities of Nielsen Marketing Cloud’s technology with J.D. Power’s car-buyer intelligence and insights.

The companies announced the launch of the new Nielsen Auto Cloud marketing and measurement platform powered by J.D. Power on Monday.

Via the new cloud technology solution, in addition to omnichannel advertising and campaign measurement features, automotive advertisers can directly access audience data from Nielsen with buyer insights from J.D. Power, the company said.

“We are thrilled to launch this game-changing automotive solution with J.D. Power,” Nielsen executive vice president Damian Garbaccio said in a news release. “The Nielsen Auto Cloud’s combination of data, technology and measurement capabilities is unique to the auto advertising world.

“Auto marketers can now be more responsive to changes in buying behavior, more personalized with their advertising and content, better at measuring outcomes, and—ultimately—more efficient with their media investments,” Garbaccio said.

 Marketers can target audiences and personalize advertising messages using detailed insights from Nielsen and J.D. Power that's related to vehicle features, buying stage, brand affinities, media engagement, geo-location and device type, according to J.D. Power.

“Nielsen and J.D. Power are ushering in a new era for the auto industry,” said Bernardo Rodriguez, J.D. Power’s chief digital officer. “We’re empowering auto marketers with immediately actionable intelligence ... whether for consumer insights, cross-media planning and targeting, or campaign measurement.”

Meanwhile, in addition to having the ability to plan and activate car-buyer audiences across TV and digital, both Nielsen Auto Cloud’s always-on frequency management and in-flight analytics capabilities allow users to measure and control what types of ads people see throughout each ad campaigns’ run.

Furthermore, J.D. Power said that the new platform is also fitted with campaign measurement and optimization capabilities that can help clients react to buying behavior changes instantly.

“The Nielsen Auto Cloud gives us incredible access to granular data from Nielsen complemented by insights from J.D. Power, allowing us to create high-value audiences for our clients,” said The Interpublic Group of Companies global chief data and marketing technology officer Arun Kumar. “With this, we will strengthen our audience measurement platform, improving our ability to target car-buyers based on a variety of criteria including their preferred brands, car models, styles and features. That means better performing media investments for our auto clients, more innovative marketing solutions, and ultimately, better consumer experiences.”

Dominion enhances CRM with added business, AI insights to help dealers access high-quality leads


Dealers who are interested in achieving higher-quality conversations with qualified buyers can now access more business and artificial intelligence from Dominion Dealer Solutions CRM with the help of newly integrated customer intelligence software from its DealActivator solution.

Dominion announced Monday that it has built its DealActivator technology into the Dominion Vision CRM to provide dealers new streams of highly-qualified customers to turn more aged inventory, acquire in-demand vehicles and develop long-standing customer relationships.

“This marriage between the two best technologies in the industry will increase dealer's efficiency and visibility to their most valuable customers,” DealActivator founder Alan Andreu said in a news release “These factors will increase the usage of both tools while driving higher results.”

According to Dominion, the decision to enhance its CRM is a move in response to popular dealer demand for access to DealActivator technology that is designed to pair customers with on-the-lot vehicles in a ‘3T format’ — tier-to-tier, term-to-term, and trim-to-trim.

“The strength of DealActivator's real-time ‘3T logic’ matching partnered with the intuitive knowledge of Vision CRM is unlike any other CRM system. Vision combines the largest, most important areas of DealActivator,” the company said.

Along with the ability to increase sales by connecting dealers to user-specific customers who are in a positive equity position, dealers can now more easily get an understanding of what vehicle best meets each individual customer's needs and take advantage of a new DealActivator priority page that has been built into the Vision CRM. The page is designed to help sales reps and other users conveniently identify quality leads who are in a positive equity position, according to Dominion.

Additionally, Dominion’s DealActivator was the 2018 Dealers’ Choice Awards gold winner for equity mining and 2018 Automotive Website Award Sales Process winner, according to the company.

Early figures show HyreCar’s Q2 revenue spikes 233%


On Tuesday, HyreCar reported preliminary financial results for the second quarter, and the carsharing start-up appears to be on quite a trajectory.

After recently rolling out a successful initial public offering, HyreCar shared that its estimated revenues for the quarterly period that ended June 30 are expected to be approximately $2.1 million, an increase of 233 percent when compared to revenues of $0.6 million in the year-ago period.

HyreCar explained this increase was primarily attributed to customer retention rate, expansion, and new unique users on the company’s site.

Officials also shared that estimated Q2 gross profit margin is expected to be approximately 40 percent, an increase when compared to a gross profit margin of 11.4 percent generated a year earlier.

The company noted that the margin expansion primarily stemmed from the renewal of the company’s insurance contract with AIG, which decreased insurance expenses in the second quarter.

In Q2, HyreCar had 90,559 rental days on its proprietary platform, an increase of 155 percent when compared to 35,473 daily active rentals in the second quarter of 2017.

HyreCar emphasized that its 2018 second quarter anticipated financial results are preliminary and based on the most current information available and are subject to the completion of the financial statements.

For the full year, HyreCar is anticipating revenues of at least $10 million, an increase of at least 213 percent when compared to revenue of $3.2 million for all of last year.

“Our record preliminary revenues of approximately $2.1 million in the second quarter of 2018 was a direct result of an increased demand for carsharing services. As we reach critical mass, we are also starting to see some operating leverage in the business, as evidenced by our gross profit margin of 40% in the second quarter of 2018,” said Joe Furnari, chief executive officer of HyreCar.

“On the heels of our IPO in June — which provided us with gross proceeds of $12.6 million — we believe we now have the growth capital to aggressively invest in our platform and scale our business meaningfully to capture the market opportunity,” Furnari went on to say.

New board member

In other company news, HyreCar recently announced that Brooke Skinner Ricketts has joined its board of directors; a move that was effective July 23.

Skinner Ricketts brings nearly two decades of relevant marketing and automotive industry expertise to HyreCar, and currently serves as chief marketing officer for

Prior to, Skinner Ricketts served as vice president of brand and design Avant, an online fintech platform that provides credit alternatives consumers. Previously, Skinner Ricketts was head of brand strategy at Twitter, responsible for revenue-driving creative ideas for Fortune 200 clients.

“Brooke brings a wealth of invaluable experience and strategy to our board of directors,” Furnari said. “Her tenure at industry leading technology companies, such as, has been focused on ensuring that their digital marketplaces are well trusted by both consumers and partners, while enhancing the overall brand and image.

“We are eager to leverage her experience as we gain critical mass and grow our peer-to-peer ridesharing platform,” Furnari continued.

Skinner Ricketts added, “I’m excited to join HyreCar’s team as a director. I look forward to contributing to HyreCar’s growth and success. The automotive industry is evolving rapidly and HyreCar is at the forefront transforming the industry with an incredibly relevant solution.”

RedCap partners with Lyft, catering to service-drive customers

WESTLAKE, Texas - 

Now dealerships can help their customers get a “lift” from Lyft when they’re catering to their needs within the service drive.

RedCap Technologies, a Solera Holdings company and innovators of frictionless customer experiences that can enable OEMs and dealers to provide simple, easy and convenient means for consumers to service their vehicle, has partnered with Lyft to expand its dealership-wide mobility platform.

The new offering leverages RedCap's existing mobility platform and taps into Lyft's Concierge API platform in an effort to deliver a smooth and convenient experience for both dealers and customers.

Through this partnership, dealers can request Lyft rides for customers who are not able to get a loaner vehicle while their vehicle is being serviced, meaning customers no longer have to sit in a waiting room or wait for a shuttle van to return to their home or office.

Participating customers do not pay for the ride and do not need the Lyft app to get a ride from the dealership, according to a news release distributed this week.

The companies highlighted this integration continues the reinvention of customer experience and enables a seamless future for customers interacting with traditional automotive dealerships.

While convenience remains a top priority for customers in the automotive space, dealers are looking to retain a greater percentage of repair business by proactively offering services, like picking up and delivering vehicles for service, to effectively repair vehicles without customers having to ever leave their home or office.

For customers who prefer to visit their dealership for repair, the Lyft integration allows them to minimize the amount of time spent waiting if repairs take longer than estimated, which they often do.

Additionally, the experience is white labeled for the dealer, allowing their brand to align with a quick and positive customer experience.

“Time is a person’s most valuable commodity, keeping this in mind, we’ve got to deliver solutions that keep convenience as the top priority,” said David Zwick, managing director of RedCap.

“Creating a seamless experience is a major focus for OEMs and dealers. If we don’t develop these types of convenient solutions, customers will vote with their wallet and take their business elsewhere,” Zwick continued.

Offering this type of ideal repair experience can help dealers cater to the immediate delivery and customer service expectations of today.

“Technology has changed expectations, so we’ve changed our approach to meet and hopefully exceed those expectations,” Zwick said.

Ben Sternsmith, area vice president of Lyft Business, added, “We’re excited to partner with RedCap to expand alternative transportation options for dealerships and improve the user experience.

“By leveraging the platform, dealerships are able to minimize wait times and friction for customers, while simultaneously improving efficiencies for their business,” Sternsmith went on to say.

How independent dealer no longer loses track of cars


Camacho Auto Sales, an independent auto dealership with three used car operations serving the Palmdale and Lancaster, Calif., markets outside Los Angeles, reconditions 220 vehicles a month to keep its lots filled with fresh inventory that sells faster.

Camacho’s used car superstore at the Palmdale Auto Mall does reconditioning for the operation.

Vehicles sent out to sublets for some phases of that work often were forgotten or otherwise delayed. That lost time cost Camacho Auto Sales considerable financial loss.

Second-generation operator Gus Camacho says he’s now solved that problem — one that troubles many independent auto dealers, losing control and track of used-car inventory.

“Things were a mess,” says Camacho, who also owns the nearby Camacho Mitsubishi.

“We are talking here about thousands and thousands of dollars,” adds Camacho, who stepped into his father’s footsteps when the elder Camacho retired in 1996.

Anything that delays cars’ speed from acquisition to their sale erodes vehicle sales margin. Dealers have the most control over this time to line (T2L) during vehicle reconditioning. “Delay getting cars ready to be sold increases floorplan expense, ties up money in products not available for sale, and contributes to vehicle depreciation,” Camacho notes.

The core of this problem is lack of visibility. Without T2L recon workflow software to provide real-time insight into recon flow and sublet movements, inventory problems aren’t noticed until month-end inventory. Camacho says he rarely knew how long cars were at sublets or otherwise delayed unless he checked when repair orders on those vehicles were opened, too late to address the real problem.

Spot-on vehicle tracking

Rapid Recon’s step-tracking, accountability, and location tools keep cars moving through reconditioning.

“With Rapid Recon, we know exactly where our cars are — and how long a sublet is taking to get them back to us. If that time is unacceptable, we now have the data to discuss that problem with the sublet in objective ways,” Camacho notes.

Rapid Recon software automatically organizes the many steps, tasks, and people to recondition used cars quickly so dealers can generate more profit from them.  T2L automatic vehicle tracking and accountability provide real-time inventory location via QR Code and mobile tools.

The Camacho team routinely checks this software as an app on their mobile device. Notes appended to vehicle status also inform about where the vehicle is to go next in the recon process, who is responsible for those next steps, and time when vehicle will be sale-ready.

Dealers using Rapid Recon streamline recon processes, eliminate duplicate or otherwise wasteful steps and procedures, and typically reduce T2L from as much as two weeks to five to seven days or fewer. Every 2.5 days eliminated from T2L translates into one additional inventory turn, which means more used-car profit.

AAA research reinforces value of Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto


New research from AAA could make the late-model vehicles in your inventory equipped with Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto even more appealing to your dealership’s potential buyers, especially the purchasers who rate safety as one of the main criteria during the shopping process.

According to a research project orchestrated by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are less distracting to drivers when compared to built-in vehicle infotainment systems designed by automakers.

While AAA acknowledged many of today’s infotainment systems create potentially unsafe levels of distraction by allowing drivers to perform complex tasks like programming navigation or sending a text, researchers discovered CarPlay and Android Auto were 24 percent (5 seconds) faster on average than the vehicle’s native system when making a call and 31 percent (15 seconds) faster when programming navigation.

Experts said this difference is critical, as drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of a crash. AAA is encouraged by these findings as the organization said they indicate that popular infotainment systems can be designed in a way that is less distracting.

Distracted driving is responsible for more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths every year, according to AAA

“Google and Apple are proving that it is possible to reduce the level of demand in-vehicle infotainment technology places on drivers,” said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“While improvements are necessary before any of the systems can be considered safe to use while driving, this research shows that smartphone-based software has the potential to offer a simpler, more familiar design that is less confusing to drivers, and therefore less demanding,” Yang continued.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety teamed with researchers from the University of Utah to evaluate five vehicles to determine the amount of visual and mental demand placed on drivers by CarPlay, Android Auto and each vehicle’s native infotainment system. The specific units involved in the study included”

• 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E (HondaLink)
• 2017 Ford Mustang GT (SYNC 3)
• 2018 Chevrolet Silverado LT (MyLink)
• 2018 Kia Optima (UVO)
• 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie (Uconnect)

While CarPlay and Android Auto can still create potentially unsafe levels of distraction and should not be used to perform complex tasks when behind the wheel, researchers determined they decrease the demand placed on drivers compared to similar technologies offered by automakers.

Researchers also found that CarPlay and Android Auto did not differ significantly from one another in the level of overall demand. A rating scale was used to measure the visual (eyes-off-road) demand, cognitive (mental) demand, and the time it took drivers to complete a task using the systems. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand.

 A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand equates to an industry standard that produces demand similar to balancing a checkbook while driving.

Both CarPlay and Android Auto generated an overall moderate level of demand while the native vehicle systems created very high levels of demand for drivers. AAA recommends that industry strive to design in-vehicle technology systems that do not exceed a low level of demand.

“Automakers are experts at building safer cars, but Google and Apple are more skilled at building safer vehicle infotainment technology,” AAA president and chief executive officer Marshall Doney said. “By leveraging their strengths, the two industries must work together to significantly improve the design, functionality and safety of these technologies.”

AAA cautions that not all vehicles are created equal when examining the overall performance of CarPlay and Android Auto.

Researchers noticed the interface design of some vehicles’ native systems resulted in additional menus and text on vehicle touchscreen displays, which increases the overall workload on drivers. Each vehicle’s system also influenced what features were locked out while the vehicle was in motion when using Android Auto and CarPlay.

For example, AAA found that some vehicles allowed drivers to access their entire list when calling or texting, while others limited the number of s shown or completely blocked access — resulting in the smartphone-based systems performing differently across various vehicle models.

AAA urged drivers not to use in-vehicle infotainment technology to perform non-driving related tasks when behind the wheel to avoid driving while distracted. Even with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto requiring less overall demand and time to complete a task, drivers still took up to 33 seconds to complete a navigation task compared to 48 seconds for native systems.

At 25 mph, researchers calculated that drivers can travel the length of three football fields during this time.

“Drivers must use common sense when it comes to technology inside the vehicle. Just because it is available, doesn’t make it safe to use,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety and advocacy.

“Smartphone companies and automakers must collaborate to reduce the potential for distraction that technology places on drivers. The airline industry doesn’t compete on safety, and neither should automakers. Motorists deserve better,” Nelson went on to say.

Nelson added that locking out high-demand functions such as programming navigation and text messaging can significantly reduce the level of demand created by in-vehicle infotainment technology; a step recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Since the vehicle’s software influences which features are locked out, AAA emphasized that it is important that automakers and software designers work together to improve the safety of in-vehicle infotainment technology. 

“AAA is sharing this new research with automakers and system designers to help advance the dialogue about ways to improve the functionality and design of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers,” Doney said.

“By working together to leverage the design benefits of CarPlay and Android Auto and addressing the issues that prevent the software from effectively interacting with a vehicle’s system, automakers and smartphone companies can improve the driving experience and limit distraction on the road,” Doney went on to say.

Expanding on research released in October 2017, AAA also evaluated distraction levels caused by built-in (native) infotainment systems in 10 other 2017 and 2018 model-year vehicles. A total of 76 drivers ages 21 to 35 participated in the study of these additional vehicles.

Research found that none of the 10 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while six systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers.


New app claims to wipe personal info left in infotainment system


Now there is a way auctions, dealers and fleet managers can have detail-level cleaning of a vehicle’s technology system just like the floor mats and upholstery.

Privacy4Cars, a mobile process designed to help erase personally identifiable information (PII) from modern vehicles, recently announced that its namesake app, Privacy4Cars, is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices.

The Privacy4Cars app can enable consumers and businesses to delete personal data retained by modern vehicle infotainment systems quickly and efficiently.

The app was developed by Andrea Amico, an expert in vehicle privacy and cybersecurity. Amico founded Privacy4Cars amidst growing industry frustration over how modern vehicles retain PII, and the complexity required to remove all information properly.

Amico’s goal with Privacy4Cars is to offer the same simplified vehicle security and privacy compliance solution to consumers, dealers and fleets.

“To date, there has not been an adequate effort to educate vehicle users on the dangers of leaving their Personally Identifiable Information in vehicles they no longer use,” Amico said.

“People would not want to hand their phones and all their data to strangers — yet they often fail to realize that this is what they do every time they sell a vehicle, return a rental car, or participate in a car sharing or subscription program,” he continued.

Through his work in the industry, Amico has found that even when people make an effort to delete personal information from vehicle infotainment systems, they are often forced to use outdated manuals or pay outside service providers and dealers.

“In the wake of General Data Protection Regulation, consumers around the world are demanding to know where their personal information is being stored, and to use their right to be forgotten,” Amico said.

“A simple way that vehicle owners and operators can protect their privacy is to be mindful of the data stored in vehicle infotainment systems and properly erase the information — especially if a car is sold, leased, rented or shared,” he continued.

Privacy4Cars’ patent-pending process provides customized, visual step-by-step tutorials to help users quickly erase personal information such as phone numbers, call logs, location history and garage door codes from vehicle infotainment systems.

App users are able to select from hundreds of vehicle makes, models and years, and additional vehicle makes and models are added weekly.

During its promotional launch period, the Privacy4Cars app will offer 10 free vehicle data wipe tutorials upon download. Additional wipe tutorial packages start at $1.99.

While Privacy4Cars is available to consumers and businesses with a small fleet as a stand-alone app, it is also available to manufacturers, auto auctions, fleet management companies, car rental or car sharing operators, vehicle subscription services, large private and government fleets, auto finance companies, auto insurance and dealer groups as an software development kit (SDK) that can be embedded into existing apps.

Car-sharing start-up beats IPO expectations by more than $2M


Car-sharing start-up HyreCar sought to generate $10.5 million via an initial public offering deployed in early June.

The company surpassed that goal by more than $2 million

On Friday, the company announced the closing of its IPO of 2,520,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $5 per share. HyreCar has received total gross proceeds of $12.6 million before deducting underwriting fees and estimated offering expenses.

HyreCar also granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase an additional 378,000 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, which if exercised, would generate another $1.89 million of gross proceeds before underwriting discounts and commissions.

According to a company news release, the underwriters have not yet exercised such option.

The shares began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "HYRE" on Wednesday.

Network 1 Financial Securities acted as the managing underwriter for the offering.

The offering was made only by means of a prospectus.

Exceeding its objective could help HyreCar the way the company anticipated.

According to its official filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, HyreCar closed 2017 by generating revenues of $3,223,874 but incurring a net loss of $4,271,732. A year earlier, the company earned revenues of $515,437 and incurred a net loss of $866,676.

The company acknowledged those financial challenges are making the funds generated through the IPO so crucial as AuSM previously reported here.

“We intend to rely on debt and equity financing for working capital until positive cash flows from operations can be achieved, which may never occur,” HyreCar said in its SEC paperwork. “We have incurred operating losses since inception. These matters raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”