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.”

CarSoup adds attribution tech to help dealers credit marketing sources

COLUMBUS, Ohio - has integrated fresh multi-touch attribution technology in an effort to help dealers verify which particular marketing sources are helping them move metal on the site.

The company announced Monday that dealers can get an increased holistic view of how their vehicles sell on the site via Clarivoy’s Attribution API software.

CarSoup is a national marketplace  to  buy, research and sell inventory, and has about 6 million new- and used-vehicle listings combined. 

The site is populated by 20,0000- dealers and thousands of private sellers who post cars for sale on the site. 

In addition to data on vendor website traffic, attribution technology from Clarivoy can provide dealers with insight on how each vendor and marketing source has performed each month.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Clarivoy. With Clarivoy’s new Attribution API, we can finally show performance according to the amount of sold vehicles that have in the buyer’s purchase journey.” CarSoup president Brian Bowman said in a news release. “Dealers will no longer be reliant on salespeople to properly source where a buyer came from. This enables us to consult with our dealers and provide data they can trust. As a result, our dealers know they are spending their marketing budget in the right place; thus, we can truly prove our value.”

Furthermore, CarSoup suggested that the latest attribution technology from the Clarivoy goes a step further than last-click attribution models to ensure that proper credit is awarded to the specific marketing sources that are responsible for swaying a customer’s vehicle purchase.

Clarivoy’s API software uses proprietary technology to match a person to multiple devices across multiple channels.

“Our Attribution API software provides dealers with monthly visibility into the total number of vehicles sales that our Attribution API partners influenced each month. This will allow, armed with more data, to consult with their dealers to improve their results,” Steve White, chief executive officer at Clarivoy, said in the news release. 

Vin-UP Offer Tickets now include KBB trade values


Service valets and advisers who are equipped with Vin-UP portable scanners and printers now have the option to give vehicle owners in the service drive more robust information that could eventually help enhance the dealership’s used-vehicle inventory.

A Vin-UP Offer Ticket now displays the latest Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Value of that vehicle. Vin-UP Distributor Mobility Sales Solutions highlighted that dealers also have the option of offering incentives to that customer and discuss the sale of their vehicle, potentially helping stores to substantially increase their stock of quality pre-owned inventory.

“Your strongest ‘leads’ drive in and out of the service lane every day, and the Vin-UP program gives the service customer an excellent starting point to consider selling their vehicle,” said Bruno Lucarelli, president of U.S. Vin-UP Distributor Mobility Sales Solutions.

“Other service lane equity programs ‘lead with the sale,’ which we now know is confirming a customer’s worst fears about entering a dealership,” Lucarelli continued. “The Vin-UP approach ‘leads with the offer,’ a business model more indicative of the ‘Amazon experience’ providing valuable information upfront to customers that creates a more informed and customer-centric decision. Vin-UP starts the ‘sales conversation’ better than any other program available, and offering trusted Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Values adds to the customer’s comfort level.”

Vin-UP can allow dealers to target vehicles up to 20 years old for instant purchase. Vin-UP is available as a monthly web-based portal subscription that includes all hardware.

And now Kelley Blue Book is part of the solution.

“With up-to-date and data-driven trade-in value information readily available, buyers and sellers can make a more confident decision about a vehicle,” said Damon Bennett, senior director of syndication for Kelley Blue Book.

“Both parties also come to the table with the same information, helping facilitate the negotiation with ease, using valuations backed by more than 90 years of experience,” Bennett added.

More details about Mobility Sales Solutions can be found at ​​.

DriveItNow integrates 'shop-by-payment tool' with DealerPeak's cloud-based solution for dealers

ORLANDO, Fla. - 

Automotive digital marketing and retailing technology provider DriveItNow’s patent-pending Shop-by-Payment digital marketing tool has been integrated into DealerPeak’s recently launched CarDog Solutions websites for independent dealers.

From DealerPeak’s unified Web-based platform, online visitors can access DriveItNow's Shop-by-Payment tool to determine what combination of vehicles and finance programs they qualify for in real-time, the company announced Tuesday.

“DealerPeak recently launched CarDog Solutions, a cloud-based mobile-first technology solution,” DealerPeak's chief product officer Rick McLey explained in a news release.

“We’re including websites, SEO, inventory pricing, photo and description management, CRM, automated processes, notifications, desking, evaluations, SMS, Telephony, call recording and reporting, all in a single real-time management tool.”

Meanwhile, the Shop-by-Payment tool is designed to calculate factors including based on a customer's desired payment, personalized soft-pull credit bureau information, trade-in equity, bank finance programs and VIN-specific dealer inventory.

“DriveItNow's Shop-by-Payment solution drives sales to our dealership like no other marketing tool we use,” added NIADA member Scott Shook from Shook Automotive.

Additionally, this week, DealerPeak representatives will be at the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association convention in Orlando, Fla., for a live product demonstration at booth No.1111.

“Independent dealers are playing catch-up with regard to digital marketing and retailing,” DriveItNow president Tarry Shebesta said. “Franchise dealers have been using digital services like DriveItNow and DealerPeak with great success for many years.

“Now, through our partnership, DriveItNow and DealerPeak can offer Independents an affordable service tailor-made for them that helps them compete head-to-head in the online automotive marketplace.”

Credit union app store with solutions for 11 different provider functions


OnApproach wants another characteristic of credit unions to be as synonymous to those financing providers as their reputation and servicing to members: collaborative analytics.

And to help credit unions leverage the possibility of collaborate analytics, OnApproach recently established a pathway for institutions to access new tools that’s familiar to anyone with a smartphone: an app store.

OnApproach, which says it’s the credit union servicing organization (CUSO ) dedicated to credit union success through a collaborative analytics ecosystem, launched the Credit Union App Store (CU App Store). The CU App Store is the online marketplace for credit unions to discover and immediately access applications designed to solve a variety of business problems and improve data and analytical capabilities for all credit unions.

OnApproach explained the CU App Store was developed because it is too often that credit unions must “re-invent the wheel” by building reports and dashboards that are similar across their peer groups. OnApproach insisted this process creates incredible inefficiencies throughout the industry.

As a CUSO, OnApproach wants to help transform the industry and ensure a healthy future for all credit unions.

For managers and other executives still unsure about exactly what collaborative analytics, OnApproach explained the concept that’s also available at the top of this page.

The CU App Store brings together credit unions, CUSOs and industry vendors to share the time and resource burden required to execute high value reporting and analytics, regardless of technology or core. By utilizing the CU App Store, credit unions have the opportunity to shift their time from report creation to consumption and analysis of useful information.

“The launch of the CU App Store marks a major milestone in OnApproach’s vision for the credit union movement. Data analytics is imperative for the industry, but it has unfortunately proven to be a serious challenge for the majority of the credit unions to gain competency in even the first and most basic steps on the analytics journey,” OnApproach chief executive officer Paul Ablack said.

“The CU App Store finally makes it fast and easy for credit unions to search and find pre-built solutions for analytical needs,” Ablack continued. “The agnostic marketplace for sharing analytics applications is a big win for the industry, the individual credit unions and ultimately the communities they serve.”

Within the CU App Store, credit unions can access the site and shop for pre-built applications that refers to reports, dashboards or models that cover a range of credit union needs, including categories such as:

— Audit
— Channels
— Compliance
— Deposits
— Financials
— Investments
— Lending
— Management
— Marketing
— Memberships
— Payments

The applications currently available are free to credit unions and compatible with the OnApproach CU Analytics Ecosystem.

In addition, credit unions can share with or sell to their peers the applications they have built. The site also features applications developed by fintech companies and solutions providers.

To learn more, visit the CU App Store at .

DealersLink announces new website services aimed at boosting dealer leads, conversion rates


DealersLink is now offering website services to used-car dealerships interested in attractive simple, responsive websites that can generate more leads and convert more visitors.

DealersLink announced Tuesday that dealers can choose from new webpage templates designed to provide fast load times across both desktop and mobile devices.

Just earlier this year, DealersLink announced a new pricing tool that gives dealers an affordable way to monitor and manage new-car pricing at the 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas.

In addition to pictures and videos, dealership website templates from DealersLink are designed to provide users a simple and attractive experience that also features vehicle descriptions and lead forms, according to the company.

“When we rebuilt our platform from the ground up, we started with a mobile-first design of responsiveness because everyone knows most users are starting with smartphone searches first and then transitioning to the desktop when they are serious,” DealersLink chief executive officer Mike Goicoechea said in a news release. “We built the stack on a future-proof cloud model to ensure that performance and scalability are a top priority.”

DealersLink’s responsive website templates key features include:

  • Dealer branding
  • Responsive and fastest loading times for best user experience
  • Conversion-focused vehicle detail pages

Click for more information.