Dealerships

AutoNation’s net income rises, aided by sales of off-lease vehicles

DETROIT  - 

AutoNation’s net income from continuing operations rose 11 percent to $97.4 million in its second quarter, aided by its used-vehicle operations, the company reported.

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson credited the record number of “nearly new” off-lease vehicles returning to the market with underpinning used-vehicle sales at AutoNation and other dealership groups.

 “You have 4 million nearly new vehicles coming off lease, a big percentage of which are eligible for extended warranties from the manufacturers through a certified pre-owned program,” Jackson said during AutoNation’s Aug. 1 earnings call with analysts.

“The consumer is coming in, and they have brand new to choose from, nearly new to choose from and pre-owned. This nearly new category is dominated by the franchise dealers. Therefore, we get the first look at this opportunity, and we’re ready for it and have seized it as forecasted several years ago.”

AutoNation USA, the company’s standalone used-vehicle store business, is performing “as expected,” and its “trendline toward profitability is positive,” but the company will wait another quarter before giving a detailed update about its performance, Jackson said.

No additional USA stores this year

“We do not expect to break ground on any additional USA stores this year,” he added.

In the quarter that ended June 30, there were two AutoNation USA stores in the Houston market, one in the Corpus Christi, Texas market and one each in the Phoenix and Las Vegas markets.

For the quarter, AutoNation generated revenue of $5.4 billion, a 2-percent increase over the same period last year.

In the same period, AutoNation’s used unit retail sales increased 3.1 percent to 60,081, and its retail gross profit per used vehicle retailed was up 14.0 percent to $1,448.

Assisted by AutoNation’s one-price strategy and on a same-store basis, used-vehicle gross profit was $87.5 million, up 21.9 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. In the same period, the company’s peers’ same-store average used-vehicle gross profit was up 5 percent, according to AutoNation executive vice president for sales and COO, Lance Iserman, who was also on the call.

AutoNation improved its same-store used unit retail sales by 4.7 percent to 58,542 and generated a gross profit per used vehicle retailed of $1,455.  That is “an increase of $180 or 14 percent, while our peers’ average was down 2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017,” Iserman said.

‘Significant margin pressure’

As reported by other publicly held dealership groups, AutoNation had “significant margin pressure” on its new-car sales, resulting from “disruptive marketing and sales incentives,” Iserman said.

New vehicles sold at AutoNation’s BMW, Honda and Nissan dealerships accounted for “probably 70 percent” of the margin erosion experienced by the group, and “we expect to see continued pressure for the balance of the year,” Iserman said.

Gross margins on new vehicles sold at AutoNation’s domestic brand dealerships are “basically flat for us, slightly up,” he added.

Jackson said BMW has a “product cycle issue”, and AutoNation should be in a better position when new BMW products are launched next year.

AutoNation’s new unit retail sales on a non-same store basis, decreased 1 percent to 79,054, and its new-vehicle gross profit per vehicle retailed dropped 8.7 percent to $1,579.

Finance and insurance gross profit per vehicle retailed rose 7.5 percent to $1,781.

Growing consumer acceptance of AutoNation’s branded F&I products is helping bolster the company’s F&I gross profits, Jackson said.

“The improvement is primarily driven by more customers choosing to get a product from us rather than us getting more from each customer we already have,” he said.

More with Waymo

During the call, Jackson said AutoNation expanded its relationship with Waymo, a self-driving vehicle technology company. The deal now allows AutoNation customers to get around in Waymo vehicles while their personal vehicles are being serviced at AutoNation dealerships in Phoenix.

Last November, AutoNation announced that it would provide mechanical and cosmetic repairs to maintain Waymo’s self-driving fleet. Waymo is a subsidiary of Alphabet which also owns Google.

Waymo and AutoNation have a “strategic relationship” and AutoNation wants to grow with Waymo wherever it makes sense, Jackson said. But he also cautioned that “as far as profits, well, that’s something down the road.”

“This is at the beginning of a journey, and it’s important for learning and to partner and to go from there. But with the most recent announcement, it says the relationship is working; it’s working well, and I expect it to continue to grow.”

Acquisitions

AutoNation also announced that it:

* Acquired Shelley BMW in Southern California, which is expected to generate approximately $140 million in annual revenue and retail approximately 2,600 new and used vehicles. It is the company’s seventh BMW store in California and its 17th BMW store nationally.

* Signed an agreement to acquire a collision center located in its Dallas market. It is the company’s 81st collision center nationally.

* Is on pace to earn approximately $100 million of incremental gross profit from its branded parts initiative in 2018.



How dealers are handling wholesale prices on continued climb

CARY, N.C. - 

A pair of monthly wholesale market trackers showed price increases in July, propelled in part by what trucks and utilities are fetching in the lanes nowadays.

How are dealers reacting?

Well, one weekly sale observer described the scene as “many buyers were left shaking their heads.”

So let’s get into the numbers of what’s leaving dealers with visible signs of frustration.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used-vehicle prices by vehicle model class, KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos reported that wholesale used vehicle prices in July averaged $10,902 — up 0.1 percent compared to June and up 0.1 percent relative to July of last year.

Meanwhile over at RVI Group, the firm’s Used Vehicle Price Index (UVPI) for the United States came in at 1.057 in July compared to 1.034 in June and 1.014 last July. RVI calculated that readings represented an increase of 2.2 percent month-over-month and 4.2 percent year-over-year.

In his monthly Kontos Kommentary, the KAR expert explained that actually more car and truck segments showed month-over-month declines than gains with a slight uptick in the mix of trucks accounting for the small overall average gain. Kontos pointed out that truck model classes now make up 53 percent of the total units sold at auction with the 50 percent threshold having been reached about a year ago. 

“After four months of year-over-year declines, average wholesale used vehicle prices registered a slight increase in July,” said Kontos, who is among the collection of experts coming to , which begins on Nov. 12.

“However, this was primarily due, once again, to a shift in sales mix towards the truck model classes and the continued influx of younger off-lease vehicles, both of which have been tending to drive up average prices.  Still, the summer market for used vehicles appears to be solid, both at the wholesale and retail levels,” Kontos continued.

The editors at Black Book are responsible for watching wholesale prices as well as collecting anecdotes from the lanes. According to the latest Market Insights report, Black Book determined small pickups and full-size cars both showed gains this past week, even though we’re getting deep into summer.

“Subcompact cars have started to show some weakness after a strong retention trend earlier this year. On the other hand, sub-compact crossovers are continuing to do relatively well,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book executive vice president of operations, who also will be on hand for , which is being orchestrated at the Westin Keirland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Volume-weighted, Black Book reported that overall car segment values decreased by just 0.20 percent last week. In comparison, editors mentioned values had decreased at a rate of 0.22 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Among car segments, sub-compact car values decreased the most last week, softening by 0.56 percent or $34.

Again volume-weighted, Black Book noticed that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs, and vans) dipped by 0.15 percent last week. Editors noted that values had decreased at a rate of 0.24 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within truck segments, full-size van values decreased the most last week, dropping by 0.50 percent or $74.

In light of all of those data points, Black Book’s lane observers stationed at sales nationwide shared some pretty vivid dealer responses to how managers are juggling their inventory needs against their floor-plan availability.

— From Michigan: “The retail market remains somewhat sluggish in contrast to what happened at the wholesale auction this week. Many buyers were left shaking their heads at the inflated prices on the block.”

— From Massachusetts: “Trucks still rule, and the money was strong except for the poorer quality vehicles.”

— From Georgia: “The sale started off with a lot of activity and very few no-sales. The conversion percentages soon dropped as the floors seemed to be too ambitious.”

— From California: “Strong bidding in person and online, resulting in a really good August sale.”

Whether the sale originated in the Golden State or elsewhere nationwide, if the event included fleet and off-lease units that were 3 years old and less than 45,000 miles on the odometer, Kontos shared how buyers needed to come up with more cash to make the hammer drop in their favor for those vehicles.

Kontos indicated that when holding constant for sale type, model year age, mileage and model class segment, prices for midsize cars in that late-model category rose 5.9 percent or $676 year-over-year in July to $12,169. Prices for midsize SUV in this wholesale space increased 2.2 percent or $435 year-over-year to $20,541.

“Once again, midsize car prices outperformed prices for midsize SUVs and crossovers, as the incoming supply of trucks continues to outpace that of cars,” Kontos said.

“The strength of prices for both groups in this analysis indicates that upstream sales are preventing an oversupply of off-lease units from reaching physical auction lots,” continued Kontos, who elaborated about the wholesale market in a video available here as well as at the top of the page.

Kontos went on to mention more data from KAR Auction Services — — that indicated average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers in July rose 3.3 percent month-over-month and 3.4 percent year-over-year.

Kontos also noted that prices for fleet/lease consignors ticked up 0.4 percent sequentially and 8.1 percent annually in July.

Furthermore, Kontos mentioned that average prices for dealer consignors moved 2.0 percent higher versus June but slid 2.3 percent relative to July of last year.

The KAR chief economist closed his latest Kontos Kommentary by sharing information from Autodata that indicated July certified pre-owned sales softened 7.5 percent from the prior month and 1.9 percent year-over-year based on fewer selling days. On a year-to-date basis, Kontos added that Autodata has CPO sales up 2.8 percent versus last year.

ADESA Wholesale Used-Vehicle Price Trends

   Average  Price  ($/Unit)  Latest  Month Versus
   July 2018  June 2018  July 2017  Prior Month  Prior Year
           
 Total All Vehicles  $10,902  $10,895  $10,887  0.1%  0.1%
           
 Total Cars  $8,519  $8,548  $8,613  -0.3%  -1.1%
 Compact Car  $6,434  $6,441  $6,582  -0.1%  -2.3%
 Midsize Car  $7,457  $7,533  $7,633  -1.0%  -2.3%
 Full-size Car  $7,275  $7,495  $7,018  -2.9%  3.7%
 Luxury Car  $13,294  $13,172  $13,582  0.9%  -2.1%
 Sporty Car  $14,225  $14,515  $14,164  -2.0%  0.4%
           
 Total Trucks  $12,922  $12,901  $13,058  0.2%  -1.0%
 Minivan  $7,937  $8,652  $8,604  -8.3%  -7.7%
 Full-size Van  $13,306  $13,202  $11,875  0.8%  12.1%
 Compact SUV/CUV  $10,805  $10,829  $10,467  -0.2%  3.2%
 Midsize SUV/CUV  $10,992  $11,135  $11,402  -1.3%  -3.6%
 Full-size SUV/CUV  $13,198  $13,499  $13,353  -2.2%  -1.2%
 Luxury SUV/CUV  $18,495  $18,331  $19,099  0.9%  -3.2%
 Compact Pickup  $9,796  $9,471  $9,615  3.4%  1.9%
 Full-size Pickup  $16,583  $16,386  $17,061  1.2%  -2.8%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services.

       

6 dealerships join HyreCar’s ‘Path to Ownership’ program

LOS ANGELES - 

Following up from arranging a strategic partnership with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, HyreCar — the carsharing marketplace for ridesharing — announced on Tuesday that it is expanding its unique dealer focused “path to ownership” program with stores in six different cities throughout the United States.

The development potentially adds more than 500 vehicles to the platform. Rideshare drivers are now able to rent and drive-to-own vehicles that are listed on the HyreCar platform by participating dealers, which now include:

— Burlington Auto Group, based in Philadelphia

— Sims Mitsubishi in Cleveland

— 1st Place Auto Stores in Dallas

—Don’s Auto Group, based in New Orleans market

—M & S Auto Sales in Atlanta

—Benchmark Auto Sales in Asheville, N.C.

Each dealer location will have a customized driver sign-up kiosk in their showroom to actively promote the HyreCar program.

HyreCar’s aim is to meet an overwhelming dealer demand to enter the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) industry throughout the U.S. The HyreCar-DriveItAway alliance is now executing a unique dealer program that can give participating dealers the opportunity to offer vehicles to new ridesharing drivers for temporary use, as a means to generate funds towards a down payment for vehicle ownership.

In cooperation with a national ridesharing company, HyreCar’s partner DriveItAway is installing customized sign-up kiosks inside participating dealerships, where potential rideshare drivers can apply to drive. Once approved, drivers can participate in the “Drive for your Down Payment” program.

With this program, new driver candidates are provided a temporary vehicle by the dealership, through the HyreCar dealership platform, to raise money through rideshare driving, for a down payment to buy the vehicle of their choice, regardless of past credit history.

“We see this program as a win for everyone,” said Wayne Hileman, owner of Burlington Auto Group, one of the pilot dealers to launch this program. “We make money supplying temporary vehicles, and in the process, nurture a new customer to buy a vehicle.

“We are delighted to empower new rideshare drivers to purchase a vehicle through the ‘on-demand’ employment opportunity provided by the ridesharing company,” Hileman continued. “Additionally, the rideshare company gets a new, loyal driver, dedicated to building his or her own driving business.”

The combination of these six stores joining up with NIADA members, HyreCar chief executive officer Joe Furnari is upbeat on the company's future, which also has executed a successful initial public offering.

“The reception to our dealer enabling program has been overwhelming,” Furnari said. “As a result, we are mobilizing very quickly to meet dealer demand all over the United States. These dealer additions will help us meet the increasing demand for ridesharing-approved vehicles, while also adding additional vehicles to our growing platform.”

HyreCar forms strategic partnership with NIADA

LOS ANGELES - 

HyreCar continues to make inroads into established segments of the automotive industry.

The start-up designed to create a carsharing marketplace for ridesharing and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) have entered into a strategic partnership, through its alliance with DriveItAway, a current NIADA National Member Benefits partner.

HyreCar’s aim is to meet what it calls an “overwhelming” dealer demand to enter the mobility as a service (MaaS) industry throughout the U.S. by serving the NIADA’s 17,000 dealership members. Association leadership said this partnership expansion continues NIADA’s commitment to helping member auto dealers better understand, and provide critical resources to implement a successful MaaS business.

“For the past six months, we’ve been speaking at trade events such as the NIADA Convention about the opportunities dealers have to profitably expand into new areas of shared mobility, particularly in providing temporary used vehicles to new Lyft drivers as a path to ownership,” DriveItAway founder and chief executive officer John Possumato said. “We were overwhelmed by the number of dealers who wanted in, to start up with us right away.

“Our new integration with HyreCar allows us immediate access to an experienced, dedicated team to scale our program right away, so we can now turn those dealers on to new profit opportunities without any delay in building out infrastructure,” Possumato continued.

 DriveItAway can provide NIADA members with the tools to offer a subscription model car sharing platform. The partnership with HyreCar adds seamless turnkey self-service software, all insurance coverages and training to allow dealers to quickly and profitably add a cents-per-mile model to the traditional one car sale/one profit scenario.

 NIADA members using DriveItAway's turnkey program can also offer the Lyft Your Down Payment program, which provides new Lyft drivers with immediate temporary vehicles to drive at a daily or weekly rate as a path to ownership, allowing them to raise money for a down payment to buy the vehicle of their choice — offered by the participating dealership.

“We are continuing to build partnerships with automotive industry leaders to drive our mission of building roads to financial freedom,” HyreCar CEO Joe Furnari said. “We are excited to become the mobility solution for independent dealers who want to tap into the growing car sharing industry through the DriveItAway NIADA National Member Benefit program.”

NIADA senior vice president of member services Scott Lilja said working with DriveItAway's dealer program, now greatly expanded through its relationship with HyreCar, gives NIADA members the opportunity to create an immediate new profit center, expand their portfolio of qualified buyers and sell more vehicles.

“This partnership expansion continues our commitment to helping our member auto dealers better understand, and to provide critical resources to implement, a successful mobility as a service business,” he said. “DriveItAway and HyreCar tools and resources provide our members with an invaluable and profitable experience in this expanding business sector, all within their current dealership infrastructure and without having to make substantial investments.”

For interested dealers, NIADA will be hosting an educational webinar on Thursday beginning at noon ET. To register, go to .

Nearly 50 dealers now associated with tech start-up Joydrive

DALLAS - 

In less than seven months, tech start-up Joydrive is well on its way toward its growth objectives for helping dealerships connect with vehicle buyers who want to complete delivery at home.

According to a recent news release, Joydrive has expanded from one store and 500 used vehicles available for an online transaction to approximately 50 dealerships and 12,000 new and used vehicles that can be obtained through the site.

Furthermore, Joydrive insisted that it is showing no signs of slowing down and is forecasting to be the largest network of connected dealerships in the country by the end of the year.

“We’ve built a marketplace that accomplishes two goals. One, we have brought dealerships into the 21st century by offering them an easy-to-implement e-commerce solution. And two, we offer consumers exactly what they want: the opportunity to buy a new or used car without ever stepping into a dealership,”, Joydrive chief executive officer Hunter Gorham said.

“The result is a national marketplace where customers are offered competitive and haggle-free prices, nearly every brand with one consistent buying experience, fast home delivery, a 5-day return period and follow-on service accessible after the purchase,” Gorham continued.

Joydrive is built on a proprietary tech platform honed through Gorham’s experience as a 14-year auto finance industry veteran at Ally Financial. The result is an end-to-end solution that can allow vehicle buyers to price new and used cars from a variety of dealerships and purchase within Joydrive without ever visiting a dealership.

“The data shows 99 percent of buyers want to buy both new and used cars online, on their time,” Gorham said. “The smartest and most farsighted dealers are joining us to give consumers what they want — a buying experience on par with every other purchase of their modern life. No pushy salesmen or ‘checking with my manager.’

“Joydrive offers car buying transparency and ease from the comfort of home,” he added.

When the start-up first rolled out its platform at the beginning of the year, Gorham explained that Joydrive works in three steps:

1. Buy online: The entire process can be completed online, from vehicle selection to delivery. After securing a vehicle with a $500 fully refundable deposit, a user-friendly dashboard shows all details of the transaction including trade-in, vehicle service contracts, financing options and delivery scheduling.

Of Joydrive’s first 250 transactions in beta mode, 40 percent included a trade-in, and 60 percent included financing.

2. Home delivery: Communicating through the dashboard, customers coordinate the vehicle delivery date and time with their licensed dealer representatives. Joydrive first delivered vehicles from California to Montana with an average distance of 135 miles.

Because vehicles are located on dealer lots, delivery can occur as fast as one day.

3. Five-day return period: Buying a vehicle can be the largest transaction customers make, so Joydrive and their dealer members offer a five-day return period or up to 250 miles to ensure customers love their purchase. Customers can drive the car how they will actually use it.

Joydrive has since incorporated plenty of dealer input into its operation. Back in June, Classic Chevrolet dealer principal and Texas Automobile Dealers Association chairman Tom Durant joined Don Fleming of independent dealership Northwest Motorsport as an adviser for Joydrive.

“We are selling cars today the same way we sold them 40 years ago, even though many consumers clearly want an alternative,” Durant said in this previous report from AuSM. “I don’t want to be the group that’s left behind, and this is an important step toward embracing a different future.”

NADA highlights 5 keynote speakers for next convention

TYSONS, Va. - 

The National Automobile Dealers Association highlighted that the keynote speaker sessions are among the numerous attractions of NADA Show 2019, which returns to the newly renovated Moscone Center in San Francisco from Jan. 24-27.

The 2019 speaker lineup includes:

• Jan. 25: Wes Lutz, 2018 NADA chairman, and Kat Cole, FOCUS Brands’ chief operating officer and president for North America

• Jan. 26: Charlie Gilchrist, 2018 NADA vice chairman, and Dana Carvey, Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian

• Jan. 27: Inspirational speaker Major Dan Rooney, a decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, professional golfer and philanthropist

In addition to the keynote speakers, NADA pointed out that what it classifies as the four-day “Automotive Industry Event of the Year” includes educational workshop sessions, dealer franchise meetings, an expo with more than 500 top-industry exhibitors and many networking events.

Attendee registration and hotel selection open on Monday. For more details, visit .

Dealers continue to face wholesale challenge of finding clean, affordable units

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

Perhaps not as difficult as finding that needle in the proverbial haystack, Black Book’s latest anecdotes from the lanes again described how dealers are having difficulties finding clean vehicles at the auction without completely depleting their floorplan funds.

Before getting into bidding activities, this week’s edition of Black Book Market Insights showed how prices aren’t softening like how dealers typically experience during the summer.

“The used-car market stays strong with mainstream car brand values depreciating at a low rate for this time of the year,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, Black Book reported that overall car segment values decreased by 0.27 percent last week. In comparison, the values had decreased at a higher rate of 0.34 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Among car segments, editors noticed sporty cars showed a seasonal lift in values last week, rising 0.24 percent or $37.

Again volume-weighted, Black Book determined overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — softened by 0.34 percent last week. In comparison, the values had declined at a lower rate of 0.26 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within truck segments, editors found that full-size vans and full-size luxury crossover/SUVs decreased the most last week, dipping by 0.66 or $101 and 0.62 percent or $204, respectively.

Be it a car or a truck, dealers are having trouble finding units that do not need a significant amount of reconditioning at a price that fits their particular store retail model. Here’s a sampling of what Black Book noticed at nearly 60 sales nationwide:

— From Indiana: “Business is good and dealers are holding onto their trade-ins. Nicer vehicles are scarce as are trucks.”

— From Wisconsin: “Active bidding and selling in most lanes even as dealers complain about high prices.”

— From Florida: “The older cars continue to struggle, but buyers are paying premium prices for cleaner and newer vehicles.”

— From Texas: “Our consignment has been low which has kept the values up. Bidding is quite good on most vehicles.”

— From Michigan: “Some trucks have seen a price rise during the last couple of weeks, which is unusual for our market in July.”

HyreCar and DriveItAway partner to present dealers with mobility as a service option

LOS ANGELES - 

Dealers now have another option to put their inventory to work more than just having those vehicles sit idly on the blacktop.

On Tuesday, HyreCar and DriveItAway announced a strategic partnership, allowing automotive retailers across the United States to access a collaborative turnkey solution to generate additional revenue through mobility as a service and shared mobility/subscriptions.

The companies say the mobility as a service market is expected to grow in the U.S. to a $358.35 billion market by 2025, from $38.6 billion in 2017. The HyreCar-DriveItAway partnership allows DriveItAway affiliated franchised and independent dealers to immediately list their vehicles on the HyreCar platform, extending a new opportunity to dealers in 34 states Washington, D.C.

“Our program offers the best of everything, today, for a car dealer,” DriveItAway chief executive officer John Possumato said. “By providing a new, easily managed shared mobility department, our dealers are preparing for the ‘mobility as a service’ future which will allow a quick and efficient way to create new scalable revenue streams.

“Most importantly, we are also introducing a new customer base for the store for vehicles sales and fixed operations,” Possumato continued. As a ‘path to ownership’ to our driver customers, we are enabling new buyers to the store, not ‘poaching’ current prospects in the market.”

DriveItAway has positioned itself as a provider in dealership-focused shared mobility solutions. Possumato, through DriveItAway conceived and created the “Lyft Your Down Payment” program and the “Drive For Your Down Payment” program, where dealers can implement a rental program for ridesharing drivers who want to raise money to buy a vehicle.

These programs can create a “path to ownership” which, in turn, can lead to more vehicle sales and more fixed operations revenue for the store. Possumato discussed the program during an episode of the AuSM Podcast available at the bottom of this page.

“This partnership underscores our mission to building roads to financial freedom,” said Joe Furnari, chief executive officer of HyreCar. “We are focused on creating strategic alliances that expand our supply of vehicles, which will provide us with the infrastructure to scale.

“We are excited to become the franchise solution for vehicle suppliers who want to tap into the growing mobility industry,” Furnari added.

Automotive retailers and remarketers interested in shared mobility services can learn more at www.hyrecar.com/driveitaway.

Possumato went on to say, “HyreCar recognized the vital demand for carsharing for ridesharing, and DriveItAway was the first company to recognize that automotive retailers, and the facilities and skills they have in place, are a critical part of shared mobility of the future.

“Over the last few months, we have been overwhelmed with dealer interest in our program all over the U.S. This partnership is a natural fit to enable all dealers throughout the nation to quickly onboard with a seamless turnkey solution,” he said.

DealerStrip offers listing site catering to dealers and consumers

WILMINGTON, Del. - 

Now consumers and dealerships can shop for vehicles on the same website that claims to already have more than 4 million vehicles in its pipeline.

Along with offering a virtual-reality experience for consumers, DealerStrip.com said it also can provide wholesale offers to dealers to facilitate trade among stores and unload old inventory.

Site officials also highlighted that dealers can post want ads for particular vehicles they need for inventory. DealerStrip added there is no cost per lead or increasing monthly rates when a dealer’s closing ratio rises.

The platform includes a sales and marketing suite that can nurture and convert prospects through direct messaging, email marketing, and analytics.

Dealers do not need to upload their inventories. Instead, DealerStrip said it syncs with their websites.

“This saves an immense amount of time, allowing dealers to focus on more important things,” the site said.

And DealerStrip thinks this part might be best. Dealers can list an unlimited number of vehicles for retail sale for $350 a month.

“DealerStrip’s built-in sales and marketing suite ensure that dealers will be equipped with all of the necessary sales tools to efficiently close more deals as a result of one-click email marketing and analytics that show deficiencies in their sales process,” the site said.

“The intuitive interface streamlines the buying and selling processes while giving the knowledge, experience and technology to dealers whom otherwise are not provided with the sales and marketing tools or know-how to efficiently compete in their market using technology that minimizes human labor but maximizes their pipeline,” DealerStrip went on to say.

For more details, go to or watch the video or at the top of this page.

GM approves more ad packages from Naked Lime Marketing

KETTERING, Ohio - 

Franchised dealerships that include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac in their portfolio now have an enhanced advertising option.

Naked Lime Marketing (NLM) recently announced that both its email and direct mail targeted marketing services are now approved for the General Motors (GM) iMR program, an expansion of the digital marketing company’s previous participation in the program.

The iMR program provides matching co-op funds that dealerships can utilize for marketing and advertising.

NLM’s targeted sales and service emails can provide dealers with branded communications that can be delivered effectively to any consumer device.

For direct mail campaigns, NLM’s database can reduce invalid or duplicate addresses to maximize efficiency and return on investment (ROI) for dealers.

“All of us at Naked Lime take it as a point of pride to be included in the GM iMR program,” said Chris Walsh, vice president and general manager of Naked Lime Marketing.

“While we already offer multiple iMR-eligible products and services, we’re especially excited about the opportunity targeted marketing provides dealers in delivering improved results,” Walsh continued,

“As a preferred turnkey provider for GM iMR match funds, Naked Lime’s targeted marketing services are now more accessible to dealers looking to present their customers with relevant, timely messages that encourage action,” Walsh added.

The inclusion of targeted marketing email and direct mail in the iMR program rounds out a full suite of marketing and advertising services available to dealers. NLM stressed the addition can enable cohesive and consistent messaging as well as robust first-party data to use for targeting.

NLM services that have previously been approved for participation in the GM iMR program include:

— Social media marketing
— Search engine optimization (SEO)
— Digital advertising
— Dealer-branded e-newsletters
— XtreamService

For more information about NLM’s GM iMR offerings, .

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