Partnerships and Integration

CarMax invests $5 million in RepairPal


CarMax announced Tuesday it has expanded its commercial relationship with RepairPal and made a minority investment of $5 million as the lead in a new round of financing for the auto service and repair provider.

CarMax had already been partnering with RepairPal for several months, offering its Los Angeles customers increased repair service options, according to CarMax.

“CarMax led the way in providing trust and transparency in car buying, selling and ownership, and our relationship with RepairPal gives us the opportunity to further enhance the customer experience. CarMax president and chief executive officer Bill Nash said in a news release.

“The RepairPal Certified network, combined with CarMax’s own nationwide staff of highly qualified technicians, ensures that our customers have timely options for all their service and repair needs,” Nash continued.

In addition to the $5 million dollar investment, as part of its newly expanded partnership, CarMax said customers will have access to the RepairPal Certified shop network that is designed to provide drivers with quality and fair-priced service and repair locations.

RepairPal’s network of auto repair shops offer a minimum 12-month/12,000-mile warranty on repairs.

“CarMax’s commitment to creating a great customer experience makes them an ideal partner as we continue to build out our network of trustworthy mechanics who deliver fair pricing and service excellence,” added RepairPal chief executive officer Art Shaw.

Tennessee Automotive Association chooses AutoAp to help dealers comply with new state recall law


A dealer organization and a service provider are joining forces to comply with a new mandate coming in Tennessee involving vehicle recalls.

Looking for ways to help Tennessee dealer members better identify safety recalls and streamline new recall compliance efforts requiring recall disclosure to consumers prior to sale, the Tennessee Automotive Association has entered into a strategic alliance with recall management service provider AutoAp.

The move is an attempt to help dealers comply with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Law that goes into effect in January.

“During our efforts to secure the passage of the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Law, we became aware of the real-life difficulties dealers experience in seeking to identify recalls,” Tennessee Automotive Association president Bob Weaver said. “We set out in search of a strategic partner to help our members with an effective compliance solution, and AutoAp’s Dynamic Recall Management service does just that.

“Choosing AutoAp was the right thing to do,” Weaver continued.

AutoAp’s suite of safety recall management solutions can help dealers make informed decisions at vehicle acquisition, reduce recall liability and streamline recall compliance requirements for vehicles in inventory, and generate net-new service revenue from their sold customer vehicles.

“We are honored that the Tennessee Automotive Association has chosen AutoAp. With this strategic alliance, Tennessee motor vehicle dealers are assured of receiving the highest quality and comprehensive safety recall management solutions,” AutoAp chief executive officer Mark Paul said.

TFS partners with developer to create mobile rental solution for rideshare drivers

PLANO, Texas - 

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced Wednesday a partnership with Launch Mobility to develop a product designed to make previously leased vehicles available for short-term rentals to rideshare drivers.

The companies are currently working on a pilot they expect to introduce to select markets by the end of the calendar year, according to TFS.

“We are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of drivers who are interested in ridesharing but lack an appropriate vehicle,” TFS president and chief executive officer Mike Groff said in a news release.

“TFS has the off-lease vehicles, Launch Mobility has the technology, and Toyota dealers have the geographic presence and unparalleled vehicle servicing capabilities.”

In addition to input from Toyota's network of dealers, TFS said development of the new product will include the use of resources across the Toyota organization such as its global Mobility Services Platform developed and operated by Toyota Connected.

“With its commitment to innovation, Toyota Financial Services is a great partner for our robust and flexible solution that enables clients to quickly launch, experiment, and scale in the mobility services space,” added Paul Hirsch, chief executive officer of Launch Mobility.

Cox Automotive partners with cloud-based solutions provider to boost sales performance

SAN JOSE, Calif. - 

Cloud-based incentive solutions provider Xactly announced Tuesday that Cox Automotive has begun using its platform to view data more strategically and design plans aimed at facilitating better performance across their sales organization.

“People are our most valuable resource. We recognized that if we wanted to inspire our sales organization we had to first inspire the team that supports them – the compensation team,” Cox Automotive senior director of sales compensation Justin Richie said in a news release. “It’s more than calculating commissions…it’s inspiring a sales team to be the best they can be. We use Xactly to inspire this performance.”

With Xactly, Cox Automotive has automated its entire compensation process and is achieving 99 percent accuracy on more than 1 million transactions monthly, according to Xactly.

Additionally, via Xactly Analytics, the company can examine attainment, payout correlations, distribution curves and participation scatter charts.

“Xactly Connect has taken our multitude of source systems and pulled them all together – saving 172 hours per month. We have been able to repurpose all of that time adding more value to the business,” added Jessica Owen, director of sales incentive compensation at Cox Automotive.

Liquid Motors, WeGoLook partner to integrate on-demand condition reports & remarketing solutions


Liquid Motors has entered a new partnership that will combine its auto marketing and remarketing solutions with WeGoLook’s on-demand, in-person auto condition inspections and reports.

The companies are currently completing the final phases of integration and expect to launch their collaborative solution by the first quarter of next year, Liquid Motors said in a news release.

“This is a big win for remarketers and others in the automotive industry,” Liquid Motors chief executive officer Michael Daseke said in the news release. “Through Liquid Motors and WeGoLook, auto marketers and remarketers will have access to a complete suite of industry-leading tools that delivers value in speed, scalability, and cost.”

Through the new partnership, Liquid Motors customers will be able to order verified, third-party condition reports that can be completed onsite at any time and in any location across the country.

Data and images captured by WeGoLook will be instantly leveraged within Liquid Motors’ platform, allowing users to easily market or remarket vehicles through any of Liquid Motors’ connected sites.

The company said the new integration allows data and images to be automatically listed across any number of supported websites for auction or sale.

Additionally, customers will be able to connect a Liquid Motors account with an associated WeGoLook account to facilitate ordering and delivery of inspections and condition reports on vehicles.

When an order for a condition report is placed via Liquid Motors platform, WeGoLook will immediately call for one of the company’s over 30,000 independent contractors called “Lookers” to visit the vehicle onsite to get the needed images and information using the WeGoLook mobile app.

“We’re very excited to bring on-demand vehicle inspections to the Liquid Motors platform and to improve efficiencies for auto remarketers everywhere,” said Robin Smith, CEO of WeGoLook. “I know that customers are going to be thrilled not only by the quality and consistency of our vehicle inspections but also with the speed and scale at which we can deliver them.”

Xtime integrates Vantiv Payment to help dealers speed transactions online, in-store


Xtime announced Wednesday it has integrated its Xtime Engage product with Vantiv Integrated Paymen. This will provide dealerships with a payment process that allows customers to easily submit payments online or via tablets.

In addition to giving Xtime users access to menus, pricing and service history, dealers can now accept a wide range of payment types both in-store and online with the new integration.

“By meeting customers on their terms and valuing their time, dealers can instill satisfaction and loyalty and drive their revenue,” Xtime marketing and managed services division vice president Jim Roche said in a news release. “The checkout experience should leave a positive impression and not diminish, or ruin, an otherwise excellent service experience.”

Additionally, even Xtime software users who currently employ another company to process payments can access Vantiv’s integrated solution.

“We are very pleased to partner with Xtime to offer a flexible payment option that employs the highest standards in security and safety to the U.S. automotive industry,” added Matt Downs, head of channel and business development at Vantiv.

“This solution provides automotive dealerships with a new level of security by offering point-to-point encryption, as well as improving the consumer’s experience by offering a full suite of payment methods.”

The payment solution is PCI-compliant, when processing card transactions it utilizes encryption and tokenization to maintain the high-security standards, according to Xtime.

Roundup: Auction charity sale, expansion & more

CARY, N.C. - 

During the President’s Gala held during next week’s NAAA Annual Convention festivities in the second block of Used Car Week, there will be a new fundraiser (Chapter Charity Auction) to benefit five charities.

The Gala itself is on Nov. 16 from 7 p.m. (PT)  to 9 p.m.

In addition to identifying the four charities to support, each NAAA chapter selected four exclusive items to go on the block for the charity new sale.

The auction items include a two-day high performance driving course package, a men’s Rolex watch with a gold NAAA logo, a 2018 Masters Golf Tournament package, along with a his and her Rolex and Louis Vuitton package featuring a two watches paired with a wallet and mini purse.

Proceeds from the sale will go to House in the Woods, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lynnway Accident Fund, Victory Junction and the American Cancer Society.

Calif. auction gears up for new expansion

AVDA Auction recently announced plans to add a fourth lane to its newly expanded location in North Hollywood, Calif. in January.

The company said its upcoming expansion is in response to high weekly inventory at the auction.

The location runs approximately 900 cars weekly, with highline vehicles making up about 20 percent of the inventory, according to AVDA.

“AVDA Auction the simple choice in auto auctions and has become a must-attend auction for dealers who are looking to buy or sell highline units,” AVDA Auction vice president Justin Soghomonian said in a news release. 

KIA joins CFAA

On Oct. 25 Kia Motors America began selling its vehicles through Columbus Fair Auto Auction.

“We are pleased to welcome Kia Motors America to Columbus Fair Auto Auction,” CFAA chief executive officer Alexis Jacobs said in a news release.

“As we continue to differentiate ourselves in the auction community, Kia will be the beneficiary of our targeted marketing approach and our willingness to experiment with technology to nurture our buyer base.”

This sale, along with all sales at CFAA, can be accessed via simulcast and on IAS Marketplace and

“CFAA has a unique strategy that addresses the roles and responsibilities of each department as well as specific buyer needs through social media and client management,” added David Crockett of Kia Motors America. “CFAA’s approach to client engagement bodes well with Kia’s strategy to reach and assist Kia dealers.”

Details of 6-year journey to AutoNation-Waymo partnership


Much of AutoNation’s quarterly conference call included nearly every Wall Street observer who participated wanting more details about the dealer group’s partnership with self-driving technology company Waymo—part of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc.

To recap, AutoNation on Thursday announced a multi-year agreement to support Waymo’s autonomous vehicle program. AutoNation said it will offer strategic capabilities to maximize the life of Waymo's vehicles across the United States.

The company highlighted AutoNation franchised stores, AutoNation USA stores and other AutoNation locations, will provide long-term vehicle maintenance and repairs for Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicle fleet and will expand with Waymo as they add additional brands.

Having served more than 40 million customers and representing 33 brands, AutoNation believes it is uniquely positioned to work with Waymo as it expands its operations. AutoNation will offer complex mechanical and cosmetic repairs to maintain Waymo's self-driving fleet.

So how did the companies get to this point? That’s what AutoNation AutoNation chairman, chief executive officer and president Mike Jackson addressed first, sharing that he visited Waymo six years ago when it was GoogleX.

“I was probably one of the first industry people in the door, and had spent a day debating and discussing their approach to autonomous and had one of their earliest vehicles going down the 101,” Jackson said about his visit that included a journey along one of California’s famous highways.

From that point, Jackson said he interacted with Waymo at least once per year.

“I developed a deep admiration for the rigor and discipline of thought and principle,” Jackson said. “They had the whole approach to autonomy where you have to under-promise and over-deliver rather than over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to autonomy and safety.”

Then, Jackson encountered what he called “an epiphany” with regard to autonomous vehicles.

“I confirmed from my own experience and my understanding of customers that this idea that you can have an autonomous system that the driver has to supervise and be prepared to intervene at any moment doesn't really work,” Jackson recollected. “It’s almost against human nature that you have to pay strict attention and be prepared to intervene.

“So they said they don’t need 99.9 percent perfection, they need 100 percent perfection, which means you need redundancy, duplication and sophistication,” Jackson added.

Then entering the picture is Waymo chief executive officer John Krafcik, who already had a strong relationship with Jackson stemming from his days as one of top leaders for Hyundai.

“He and I had a running discussion that, obviously, these are some of the most sophisticated vehicles on the road and to realize the value of the investment in a vehicle, they need to perform at a high level for literally hundreds of thousands of miles,” Jackson said.

“And we both agreed that AutoNation was uniquely positioned to provide those capabilities, both with our scale and our expertise,” Jackson went on to say.

“So you put that together, you now have a strategic partnership to realize this vision of a shared vehicle that is operating autonomously, but at the highest levels of safety, and we think we have significant value,” Jackson added. “And I believe Waymo is the leader in this ambition to have a shared autonomous vehicle operate on a commercial basis with customers in the marketplace.”

In a news release announcing the partnership, Krafcik concurred with Jackson’s account of the relationship development.

“AutoNation has built a reputation for providing excellent service and maintenance that makes cars safer and more reliable,” Krafcik said. “Both companies have a shared vision of enhancing the in-car experience of our customers.

“With its compelling national footprint, modern facilities and trained technicians, AutoNation will help assure that Waymo vehicles are always in top condition as we bring fully self-driving cars to the public,” Krafcik continue.

And with Waymo’s self-driving hybrid vehicle fleet primarily made up of the Chrysler Pacifica at least for now, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne applauded Jackson for making this move.

“As a long standing partner in vehicle sales and service for our brands, FCA commends AutoNation for preparing their operations to support the maintenance and service of autonomous vehicles, including the Chrysler Pacifica Minivans produced and developed for self-driving in collaboration between FCA and Waymo,” Marchionne said.

Dominion, Dealer Simplified partner to offer auction solution


Dealer Simplified has partnered with Dominion Dealer Solutions to give dealers using any of Dominion's customer relationship management tools access to its automotive auction solution, Auction Simplified, and wholesale buyers network.

Via a mobile auction app and desktop solution, Auction Simplified facilitates real-time live bidding from franchise dealers to wholesale buyers.

The auction service offers dealers a streamlined process that can increase wholesale profitability, according to Dealer Simplified.

“The unique feature of Auction Simplified that usually comes as a surprise to dealers is that it's essentially free to the franchise dealer. Other than a small initial set up fee, there are no sellers fees or monthly fees for the franchise dealer, and the buyer's fee is 200 percent lower than industry average,” Dealer Simplified co-founder and chief operating officer Kevin Leigh said in a news release.

Dominion's group of CRM tools include DealActivator, Autobase and Web Control.

Podcast: John Possumato for Lyft

CARY, N.C. - 

Dealers sometimes see potential buyers who just don’t have quite enough cash for the down payment so the financing and vehicle delivery processes can be completed.

Now Lyft has established a dealer-relationship program that could solve the down-payment issue as well as bolster the number of drivers who work for the ride-sharing platform.

Veteran industry consultant John Possumato is working with Lyft and sat down with Nick during the recent Fall BHPH Conference hosted by the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers to discuss this program.

Check out the conversation below.

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