Florida Ford store involved with PERQ’s $25K promotion winner


PERQ — a service provider that says it has experts in online consumer engagement and behavior to help dealers — on Wednesday announced the winner of its annual $25,000 FATWIN Sweepstakes. The recipient was a customer who shopped online through a Florida Ford store’s website.

Jose M. Hervis Garcia from Plantation, Fla., was selected from more than 171,000 eligible FATWIN entries. Garcia, his wife and two sons plan to put the money toward a house.

“This is one of the best parts of my job — watching dealership customers deploy interactive website experiences that consumers are engaged in and get value from. We devised the $25K sweepstakes to incentivize the consistent provision of quality data by consumers – which translates into higher conversions for our dealership customers,” said Muhammad Yasin, director of marketing at PERQ.

“On behalf of the PERQ team, we’re pleased to congratulate the Garcia family and wish them well as they start a new adventure in a new home,” Yasin continued.

The company said the drawing illustrates the effectiveness of PERQ’s FATWIN Trade Appraisal Plus solution. Garcia, who had visited multiple dealership websites, landed on the Sawgrass Ford website and was able to quickly go through the interactive Trade Appraisal Plus experience, answer a few questions, and get an estimated trade value for his vehicle.

As part of the process, Garcia entered the sweepstakes — and the rest is history. Now Garcia and family are shopping for a new home, and the dealership has a very happy customer.

“You always see these types of sweepstakes, but you never expect it’s going to be you or your customer that is going to be the beneficiary,” said Rob Baker, Internet sales director at Sawgrass Ford. “It’s a delight that you can put that type of happiness into someone’s life.”

Baker said the entire team at the dealership presented the oversized $25,000 FATWIN check to Garcia and his 8-year-old son.

“The money helps a lot,” Garcia said. “The kids know that this money is going to improve their lives. We are all very happy. I want to thank PERQ and Sawgrass Ford for this opportunity to find a new home.”

KAR again hosting charity auction during NIADA Convention


Along with announcing the newest addition to its national member benefit program the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association highlighted that for the fifth consecutive year, ADESA, AFC and IAA — all part of KAR Auction Services — will auction off a premier vehicle during the NIADA Convention and Expo to benefit the NIADA Foundation.

This year's vehicle is a red 2016 Nissan Frontier SV crew cab pickup with a 4.0L V6 engine, 5-speed automatic, 26,167 miles on the odometer and gray cloth interior.

The truck will be on display in the Expo Hall during the Convention, which begins Monday at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The Expo opens the next evening.

The auction will be held at 1:30 p.m. next Thursday at the NIADA Dealer Lounge in the center of the Expo Hall.

ADESA will transport the vehicle for free for the winning bidder to any location in the continental U.S.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit the NIADA Foundation, which spearheads the association’s commitment to charitable giving as well as awarding scholarships to deserving college-bound students across the nation and providing training and educational opportunities to automobile dealers and the general public.

Past foundation activities include significant donations to charities such as the Heart of a Warrior Foundation, contributions for disaster relief efforts and endowments for university scholarships.

Over the past four years, the ADESA/AFC/IAA-sponsored auctions at the NIADA Convention have raised a total of $97,200 for the NIADA Foundation. During last year's event, a 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited sold for $27,500.

Net Driven partners with NIADA

In other news, Net Driven has joined NIADA’s national member benefit program to provide association members with a variety of digital marketing solutions, from custom websites and SEO to social media and online reputation management.

Net Driven provides digital marketing services exclusively to the auto industry, working with more than 3,000 automotive businesses across North America to deliver custom, mobile-first website design, Internet marketing and SEO, social media management, call tracking and recording, online review management and more.

Net Driven's digital marketing capabilities are coupled with a 97 percent retention rate and customer support.

“Partnering with NIADA creates an opportunity for us to help its members by providing a results-driven program to achieve online success,” Net Driven general manager Eric Wellner said. “The website is just the beginning. What we offer NIADA members is a true business partner that will invest in their online success and work with them every step of the way. We don’t succeed unless they succeed. It’s that simple.”

Association members can take advantage of an immediate cost savings of up to $1,500 and a monthly savings of $25 on Net Driven's services through NIADA’s BenefitHub or by calling Net Driven directly.

Net Driven will set up a free one-on-one demo for NIADA members and offers an evaluation of their unique business needs to develop a custom solution.

“Net Driven's three-part solution is focused on one thing: results,” NIADA senior vice president of member services Scott Lilja said. “One hundred percent of what they do is focused on our industry, so we know our members are in good hands.

“Having a successful online presence today is about much more than just a website. Net Driven can provide services to help our members be present and get found online, and develop a positive and trustworthy online reputation,” Lilja went on to say.

For more information or to request a free personal demo, call (877) 860-2005 or visit netdriven.lpages.co/niada.

NIADA CPO program gets boost from eBay Motors

Furthermore, NIADA said it has launched an enhancement to its Certified Pre-Owned program, powered by eBay Motors.

The improved NIADA CPO program can enable independent dealerships to effectively manage and merchandise inventory, which can help increase sales, profits and inventory turn.

 For eBay shoppers, the NIADA CPO program will continue to add quality inventory and instill purchasing confidence from reputable independent dealers.

“Through this improved NIADA CPO program, we're continuing to supply auto dealers with the tools and technology that support enhanced inventory management and lead generation," eBay Motors general manager of vehicles Tony Hoang said.

 “We constantly focus on offering buyers the best selection and a convenient, secure experience. Working with NIADA dealers provides buyers additional peace of mind and access to a large selection of certified pre-owned vehicles from trusted independent auto dealers,” Hoang continued.

This strengthened CPO program can give more power to dealers who manage listings on eBay Motors by providing tools that:

—Efficiently export CPO inventory to third-party digital marketing auto portals, including dealers' own websites.

—Process and print standardized buyers guides and window labels.

—Report inventory movement and pricing trends.

The NIADA CPO program’s new merchandising platform can offer value to dealerships and can help drive increased inventory turnover, online lead traffic, market intelligence and cost reductions and efficiencies.

“This new platform builds on the success of previous initiatives of the NIADA Certified program,” Lilja said. "Through this enhanced digital platform, NIADA member CPO program clients will gain increased insights to traffic and inventory leads, which we believe will lead to increased sales.”

For more information, call (877) 310-0288.

Online auction to host Mustangs vs. Camaros sale


Speed Digital announced it will partner with HemmingsPRO Auctions to host a battle more than 50 years in the making: Mustangs versus Camaros. 

On May 26, the new partners will bring collectors and enthusiasts a Mustangs versus Camaros sale, the first of a series of monthly themed, timed online auctions.

This event will help settle the long-standing rivalry between the two sporsts car brands and determine which American classic is truly most popular, Speed Digital said. 

"We look forward to bringing this unique auction format to millions of Mustang and Camaro fans," Speed Digital president Neil Pitt said in a news release. "It will be exciting to see which fan base has a stronger showing. Will a Mustang or Camaro bring in the highest winning bid? Will more Mustangs find new homes or will it be Camaros? Only time will tell, but it will be fun to watch it all unfold on May 26."  

Mustangs and Camaros from 1964 to 2017 will be included in the auction and all inventory will be provided by dealers within Speed Digital's Dealer Accelerate network.

Interested buyers can currently bid at hemmings.speeddigital.com. The timed online auction will close on the night of May 26.

During the live auction, a 2017 Petty's Garage King Premier Edition Mustang powered by a 5.0L V-8 engine producing 825 HP will be auctioned off at 7 p.m.

The customized car signed by Richard Petty himself comes in the Petty's Garage signature limited "ghost series" black and silver paint scheme. According to Speed Digital, the proceeds from the sale of the car will go to charity.

"The Petty's Garage Mustang won't be the only vehicle drawing interest during the Mustangs vs. Camaros online auction. You would be hard-pressed to find more premier Mustangs and Camaros in another auction," Speed Digital added. "Two of the most sought-after vehicles that will have bidders reaching for their wallets include a 1969 Ford Mustang estimated to go between $236,000 and $355,000 at the auction and a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO."

Other sought after cars include the 1968 Shelby GT500, the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which are estimated to go for $133,000 to $187,000, $99,000 to $134,000 and $90,000 to $122,000, respectively, according to Speed Digital.

For more information about the upcoming auction email Bentley@speeddigital.com or visit hemmings.speeddigital.com.

AutoNation celebrates 11 million vehicles sold with van donations


In celebration of reaching a record-breaking 11 million vehicles sold, AutoNation announced that it will donate four Chrysler ProMaster passenger vans to community partners who work to fight cancer.

“AutoNation is the first and only retailer in the history of the automotive industry to reach this milestone,” the retailer said.

On Friday, AutoNation announced it gave away its first van to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. The center is ranked No. 6 on U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals for Cancer list.

AutoNation said it will donate the other three vehicles to the Nevada Children's Cancer Fund in Las Vegas, Brent's Place in Denver and the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery of South Florida.

In 2013, after recognizing the impact that cancer has on its customers and associates, AutoNation directed all of its charitable efforts to support cancer-related organizations, according to the retailer.  

AutoNation said it has committed and raised nearly $11 million to fight cancer.

Additionally, the retailer announced that it will also be surprising one customer in 11 of its markets by releasing them from their contracts and handing them the keys to their vehicles, payment free.

"The extraordinary accomplishment of being the first automotive company to sell 11 million vehicles is an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who work hard every day in the fight against cancer and to our customers who have made this historic moment possible," AutoNation chairman and chief executive officer Mike Jackson said in a news release.

In recognition of both its commitment to community well-being and its fight against cancer, AutoNation was recently named one of the nation’s top 100 Corporate Citizens by Forbes Magazine and Just Capital, according to the retailer. 

Sheehy Auto kicks off fundraiser for American Heart Association


Sheehy Auto Stores has launched its 20th annual Sheehy 8000 sales event, a three-week community-wide effort to raise funds for the American Heart Association, the group announced on Friday.

Throughout the rest of the month, each of Sheehy Auto's dealerships throughout Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Baltimore will host a variety of initiatives in support of the fundraiser before it wraps up on July 5.

"This year is a milestone for us as we continue our mission to raise awareness and funds for a cause that is close to many of our hearts," Sheehy Auto president Vince Sheehy said in a news release.

"We are thankful for our customers, communities and team members who rally behind this effort, making each year's campaign more successful than the last."

Sheehy Auto said this year’s campaign includes healthy cooking demonstrations, blood pressure screenings and CPR training for employees and the community across all of its locations.

"The support of Sheehy Auto Stores has allowed us to make a considerable impact on the health of our communities in the region," American Heart Association vice president of marketing Michelle Nostheide said. "We appreciate the generosity of their team members, customers and vendors, and their efforts towards workplace wellness. Together, we can lessen the burden and loss heart disease and stroke cause for so many families." 

Last year's Sheehy 7000 campaign raised $225,000 for the American Heart Association, according to Sheehy.

Additionally, the dealer group said it has been a several year sponsor of the charity’s National Walking Day, which was held last month at Springfield Town Center in Virginia. Each of Sheehy's dealerships also hosted individual step challenges among employees on the day of the walk.

Sheehy Auto said it has raised a total of more than $40 million for community and non-profit organizations since it was founded in 1966.

Roundup: Auction golf tournament & anniversary sales events

CARY, N.C. - 

Last week, Southeastern Auto Auction of Savannah hosted its annual Masters Sale and golf tournament, which is named after The Masters golf tournament that is held in Augusta, Ga., just a few hours away from the auction. 

This year’s Masters Sale featured over 800 vehicles, and by the end of the sales event, the auction gave away over $2,500 in cash prizes, according to SAA.

To wrap up the sale, dealers were selected to putt on the auction’s putting green for a chance to win up to $1,000. 

The day following the sale, the auction’s golf tournament featured a record number of teams as well as a $25,000 hole-in-one challenge and longest drive contest.

Additionally, from hole sponsorship funds for the event, the auction raised a donation of $3,000 to present Shriners Hospital for Children following the tournament.

“It was a great week!  We sold a lot of cars, had beautiful weather for the sale and golf tournament, and raised money for Children in need,” SAA vice president Bill McCready said in a news release.

Carriage Trade AA turns 40

Carriage Trade Public Auto Auction will host its 40th-anniversary sale on May 22, which will feature an estimated 1,000 vehicles along with a number of prizes and giveaways, the auction recently announced.

“We’re excited about this milestone anniversary and are looking forward to celebrating with the people that have made it possible, our customers and our employees,” Carriage Trade general manager Brian McNally said in a news release. 

In May of 1977, Carriage Trade held its first sale with a total of just 35 vehicles, the auction said.

Currently, the auction sells on average about 500 cars each week, according to Carriage Trade.

For more details about the auction's sale, visit www.carriagetrade.com.

Fleet service CEO transitions to lead board & foundation

COMMERCE, Colo. - 

Hourglass Management Corporation (HMC) recently announced that its chief executive officer, Ron Shoemaker, will transition to board chairman.

His son, Chad Shoemaker, who joined the company in 2009 and has served as president since 2011, will assume the role of chief executive officer.

“It is a great pleasure that we announce the promotion of Chad to CEO of our companies. For the past 8 years Chad has embraced our business models and added tremendous value to our company’s visions. His attention to detail is second to none and we are all very excited to continue our journey with Chad as CEO,” Ron Shoemaker said in a news release.

As chairman, Shoemaker will still be active in all of the businesses. HMC said he will mostly be working on a new non-profit venture, the Hourglass Foundation, which he co-founded with his son.

According to HMC, the Hourglass Foundation aims to serve at the local and individual levels by working with grassroots organizations to help them reach their goals and fill immediate needs.

“The foundation supports those who have experienced life-altering or traumatic events in their lives,” Shoemaker said.

“Our passion is to mentor and strengthen individuals by providing opportunities and a support network for life advancement. To achieve our mission of ‘Lifting others, one person at a time,' we support nonprofit organizations that provide educational, financial and spiritual renewal to those in need at the individual level.”

The work the foundation has already done includes donating a Dodge mini-van to a center for at-risk middle school and high school girls in Pensacola, Fla.

HMC said “the van provides safe transportation to events for these young women and allows them to participate in activities that were not accessible previously.”

Funding for the foundation is in part supported by vehicle donations from companies and individuals.

Additionally, HMC announced that Janet Smail will serve as the foundation’s executive director.  She brings over 17 years of experience, having held a variety of management roles at Flexco.

“Janet is well-positioned to advance the Foundation’s agenda and professionally handle any of the challenges that lie ahead,” HMC added.

For more details about The Hourglass Foundation visit, thehourglassfoundation.org.

Jim Ellis group kicks off giving campaign for first responders


Jim Ellis Automotive Group announced recently that Jimmy Ellis, president of the family-owned and operated dealership network, has decided to launch a giving campaign that will benefit local first responders in Atlanta.

Each of the group's 14 locations will participate in the first responder campaign. A portion of the profit from every new or pre-owned vehicle purchase made throughout the month will be donated to first responders within its dealership areas, according to the group.

“Local first responders came to mind as a group that we would not only like to donate to during the month of May, but a group that we want to honor throughout the year with special incentives to say, ‘Thank you for all you do and the support you have given our business over the last 46 years,’” Ellis said in a news release.

“We are also so thankful for our customers that rally behind us in supporting each of these giving campaigns. Let’s see what we can do in May to give back to those who sacrifice daily for our safety and well-being!”

Along with the cash donations for local first responders, Jim Ellis Automotive said it will also extend special discounts to all eligible first responders throughout the rest of the year.

All qualifying first responders can take advantage of $500 off any vehicle purchase, in addition to a 15 percent discount off parts and service at any Jim Ellis dealership.

Additionally, the group said it will be working with first responders to set up additional “Thank You” events this year at both its dealerships and at local police precincts and fire stations.

Last year, the group had a similar campaign for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, which raised a $65,000 donation.

“After seeing the generosity of our dealerships and the support of our clients during the campaign with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, I wanted to identify another local group that could benefit from more of this generosity,” Ellis added.

Cancer & AIDS research foundation to honor Facebook auto director


The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research has announced that it will honor Facebook's U.S. Automotive director Stephanie Latham at the Women of Influence Awards and Luncheon next week.

Latham, a breast cancer survivor and passionate supporter of the cause, will join five other women in accepting their awards during the foundation's fifth annual event at the New York Plaza Hotel on  May 12 at 11:30 a.m.

“The awards celebration honors six outstanding women who have achieved tremendous goals in both in their business and personal life and will benefit ovarian and breast cancer research,” the foundation said in a news release. 

Latham joined Facebook in 2011 and in her current role as head of its U.S. Automotive team, she works alongside marketers and agencies to forge solutions across platforms that boost brand awareness in efforts to sell more vehicles.

She also held leadership positions on Facebook’s Retail, Financial Services and Restaurants teams before leading on the Automotive team.

Prior to joining Facebook, Latham served as the executive director of Account Service at the Barbarian Group, where she managed the GE, CNN and Google accounts.

Latham received her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter.

For more information about the 2017 Women of Influence Awards and Luncheon's other honorees and to obtain tickets for the event, visit tjmfwomenofinfluence.org.

Manheim sets 3 conservation goals for 2017


In celebration of Earth Month, Manheim announced the following three sustainability goals for the year: offsetting carbon emissions by 3,000 tons at its facilities, saving 2.5 million gallons of water and achieving zero waste to landfill at one site.

“Conservation is a big part of Manheim’s culture, fueled by the ongoing commitment to sustainability that runs throughout all divisions of its family-owned parent company, Cox Enterprises” Manheim said in a news release. 

This year’s efforts are a part of, Cox Conserves, the company-wide sustainability program, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

“Being sustainable is as good for the business as it is for the environment, and we are fortunate to have leaders who recognize and support these important efforts,” Manheim senior director of corporate responsibility Stephanie Valdez Streaty said. “Beyond identifying projects that will help us reduce our impact on the environment while saving costs, we are also focused on engaging our team members and supporting them in their own conservation efforts at home."

Manhiem said it is committed to sending zero waste to landfill by 2024 and becoming carbon- and water-neutral by 2044.

Last year, Manhiem implemented a rain harvesting system and adopted multiple high-efficiency aerator projects which have saved 4.2 million gallons of water, according to the company.

Manhiem said it also offset 1,855 tons of carbon through solar installation, LED lights and HVAC projects.

“Since the Cox Conserves program launched in 2007, projects at Manheim locations have offset 22,934 tons of carbon, diverted 23,579 tons of waste from the landfill and saved 57 million gallons of water,” Manheim added.

“With 127 traditional and mobile locations in North America, Manheim plays a significant role in helping the company achieve its sustainability goals.”

For more information on Cox Conserves and sustainable projects in progress, visit www.coxconserves.com