Partnerships and Integration

Auction Management Solutions adds Rea family to client roster


It’s turned into a month of celebrating Auction Management Solutions (AMS). First, the firm’s one-year anniversary and now confirmation that earlier this month AMS has partnered with Rea Brothers’ Mid-South Auction (RBMSA) for business development consulting.

AMS recapped that the Rea family has been in the auction business in Mississippi since 1972. In 2010, the Rea Brothers auction was purchased by the American Auto Auction Group, later becoming part of the XLerate Group in 2014.  

Last year, the Rea family decided to once again become participants in the wholesale independent auction industry and repurchased the auction, making it a family business. AMS insisted the dealers of Jackson, Miss., and the surrounding area are obviously thrilled to have Jimmy Rea and the family back home on their 48-acre, state-of-the-art facility located in Pearl, Miss. 

RBMSA is a full-service auction featuring full reconditioning, light mechanical services and in-house transportation.

“We are excited to be back home, doing what we love, and now being a part of the AMS auction group is going to help us accelerate the process of providing the services that our regional automotive community needs. We are confident that our new working relationship with AMS is going to provide real dividends for our auction,” Rea Brothers’ Mid-South Auction Managing Partner John Rea said. 

AMS was created with main focus of partnering with independent auctions to assist in growing their business, helping them to maximize their footprint in the market and to increase profitability. That goal is to provide strategic business development services, with an emphasis on business processes and profitability that aid in the growth and success of client/partner businesses.

AMS was started by industry veterans Tom Stewart and Richard Curtis, who along with Jamye Carpenter and Shelly Frank, provide consulting and recruiting services to the automotive industry that includes independent auto auctions, service providers and vendors.

AutoGravity lands investment from VW Credit

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Already having forged bonds with industry participants such as Black Book, First Investors Financial Services, Fletcher Jones Auto Group and Westlake Financial Services, AutoGravity announced a relationship with another significant industry player looking to leverage its advanced mobile technology to help vehicle shoppers secure financing.

VW Credit (VCI) on Thursday announced that it has committed to make an equity investment in AutoGravity, pending customary regulatory approvals. With this strategic investment, VCI is supporting its goal to create a digital experience that enhances the customer financing process. AutoGravity is a FinTech pioneer facilitating car shopping and financing with the power of the smartphone.

In addition to this investment, a news release indicated VW Credit has worked with AutoGravity to bring Volkswagen and Audi financing directly to car buyers across the United States. Through this project, VW Credit has launched the Volkswagen Credit smartphone app, powered by proprietary AutoGravity technology and available for iOS and Android.

Finance options from Volkswagen Credit are now available on the AutoGravity platform, extending the range of options available to more than 400,000 consumers who have downloaded AutoGravity. Volkswagen dealers now can benefit from a new source of potential car buyers.

“Customers are becoming more demanding of mobile technology and the world of auto financing is no exception,” said Horst Meima, president and chief executive officer at VW Credit. “We are ready to become a leader in shaping this part of the industry and believe that AutoGravity can help get us there.”

Thursday’s announcement involving VW Credit continues quite a journey for AutoGravity, whose dealer network passed 1,400 stores and users above 250,000 since launching just last year.

“Mobile technology is a game changer for consumers, dealers and lenders. We have pioneered a digital experience that saves time and improves satisfaction for all parties through a device we are intimately familiar with — the smartphone,” AutoGravity CEO Andy Hinrichs said.

“AutoGravity has experienced substantial growth since our first app hit the marketplace in the summer of 2016. This investment will help us accelerate in the face of rapidly growing consumer and industry demand,” continued Hinrichs, who added VW Credit has positioned itself to realize the full potential of AutoGravity technology through investment and partnership.

ProMax adds open recall monitoring tool


Dealer Marketing Services, the makers of ProMax Unlimited, recently released Recall Check, a new feature for the platform that tracks open recalls.

Recall Check was designed to monitor a dealer’s entire inventory for open recalls.

“Recall Check gives our dealer customers a foolproof way to track all pertinent recall information and use it to generate service business and protect their dealership from liability,” ProMax chief executive officer John Palmer said in a news release.

Recall Check is powered by the provider of automotive recall news and data Recall Masters, which draws on a comprehensive OEM database.

“As the automotive market evolves, Recall Masters is continually evolving our systems and database to provide the most valuable information possible to promote sound dealership business initiatives and consumer safety,” Recall Masters chief executive officer Christopher Miller said.

“The integration with ProMax’s Recall Check feature allows their customers to easily access unique recall data and information through the existing ProMax workflow. ProMax dealers can focus on efficiently managing recalls and attending to the needs of consumers through a familiar, proven platform. The partnership with ProMax is one more step in the right direction to ensure consumer safety and to mitigate the risk of automotive-related injuries.”

The new solution uses an automatic nightly process and checks for recalls anytime a trade is booked in or a vehicle is delivered.

“Recall Check is a tool that can be leveraged in a number of ways,” added ProMax chief operations officer Shane Born. “The automatic monitoring ensures that all recall information is available; dealers can craft different strategies based on their local laws and individual prerogatives. Savvy dealers can use Recall Check to better evaluate trades, book in inventory, or funnel customers to their service lane in some instances. There are also options to print recall disclosure forms on sold vehicles. It has everything a dealer needs. There are a lot of possibilities.”

Additionally, all recall information obtained by Recall Check is tracked across several reports dealerships can access at their leisure.

PSA Benelux & CDK Global sign new DMS agreement

HUNGERFORD, England - 

CDK Global and PSA Benelux recently signed a new partnership agreement that offers the region’s Peugeot and Citroën dealers access to CDK Global’s new integrated dealer management system — Autoline Drive.

Officials explained the move by PSA to enhance DMS provision across its network is part of the “ic@n framework” — PSA’s streamlining of its dealer management systems — to deliver greater efficiency and consistency across its retail network. Peugeot and Citroën dealers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg will be the first outside France that can opt for the new system.

Dieter Bodvin, general manager of CDK Global Benelux, said: “We are proud to begin an exciting new chapter that builds on our long-standing relationship with PSA Benelux. Peugeot and Citroën retailers moving to our new Autoline Drive DMS will benefit from a sophisticated, simple and user-friendly system that will improve productivity and the visibility of operations throughout each business.”

The new system is licensed to retailers via a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This feature can enable retailers to manage costs effectively, while ensuring the DMS system is always fully up-to-date.

By being hosted centrally, retailers can benefit from regular updates to the product to ensure it keeps up with changing trends and can offer new functionality as the market develops.

Officials also mentioned the PSA network in Benelux will also be at the forefront of technological developments as Autoline Drive is designed to work across desktop and mobile devices. Autoline Drive is a powerful management tool built around a new accounting and financial suite that is totally integrated and offers the dealers a 360-degree view of their businesses in real time.

PSA selected CDK Global’s system as one of the three choices for dealers, following the streamlining of software providers to enhance usability and simplify operations for its retailer network. The first dealers in Benelux will begin piloting the new Autoline Drive systems this year.

CDK Global Benelux has worked with PSA in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg for more than 25 years. The introduction of Autoline Drive for PSA has no impact on the support of the current dealer management systems (EVA or Autoline).

Avis Budget Group to service Waymo’s self-driving fleet


Perhaps one day, self-driving vehicles will be coming down the off-rental lanes at the auctions you most frequent.

On Monday, Avis Budget Group announced that it has signed an agreement with Waymo to offer fleet support and maintenance services for Waymo's self-driving car program at Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental locations.

Under the multi-year agreement, Avis Budget Group will enhance selected rental facilities to offer automotive services and secure parking for Waymo’s fleet. The services offered by Avis Budget Group include interior and exterior cleaning, oil changes, tire rotations, and the checking, ordering and installation of automotive parts, as well as other necessary fleet support and maintenance.

Auto Remarketing reached out to Avis Budget Group to inquire whether one day remarketing services might be added to the list, but the message has not yet been returned.

The collaboration is designed to support Waymo's growing autonomous vehicle (AV) fleet and Waymo's early rider program, a public trial of its self-driving cars in Phoenix.

Waymo recently announced that it is adding hundreds of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to build a 600-vehicle fleet.

Officials highlighted this partnership will allow Avis Budget Group to service Waymo's growing number of cars on the road, ensuring Waymo's self-driving vehicles are ready for riders around the clock.

“We are excited to partner with Waymo, the self-driving technology leader that is changing the mobility landscape in a profoundly transformative and beneficial manner," said Larry De Shon, president and chief executive officer of Avis Budget Group.

“Not only does this partnership enable us to leverage our current capabilities and assets, but it also allows us to accelerate our knowledge and hands-on experience in an emerging area as Waymo-enabled self-driving cars become available in the marketplace,” De Shon continued in a news release.

Waymo chief executive officer John Krafcik, whose career includes time as Hyundai Motor America president and chief executive officer as well as the president of TrueCar, elaborated about the new relationship with Avis Budget Group.

“With members of the public using our growing fleet of self-driving cars, our vehicles need standard maintenance and cleaning so they're ready for our riders at any time of the day or night,” Krafcik said.

“Avis Budget Group is an ideal partner to provide fleet support and maintenance. With thousands of locations around the world, Avis Budget Group can help us bring our technology to more people, in more places,” he went on to say.

NIADA honors NC dealership for community service


Along with announcing its college scholarship winners, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association named Matthews Motors as the recipient of the 2017 NIADA and Cox Automotive Community Service Award in recognition of charitable efforts which have made a notable impact in Clayton, N.C.

The award honors independent dealerships for outstanding contributions to its community and the innovative ways it helps community partners fulfill their missions

During the National Leadership Awards Banquet at the 71st annual NIADA Convention and Expo this week, the family-owned and operated dealership’s owners Steve and Dale Matthews accepted their award from Cox Automotive president of inventory solutions Janet Barnard.

"Helping shape a better world through responsible company and individual actions has long been a part of the Cox culture," Barnard said in a news release. "We commend Steve and the Matthews Motors team for embodying those principles and demonstrating how every person, every organization, every day can make a difference when it comes to serving your community."

"We're honored to receive this award and be recognized by NIADA and Cox Automotive for creating positive change in our community," Steve Matthews said. "The real reward, however, comes from the impact we've made serving the Clayton area all these years."

In addition to the award, Cox Automotive also made a $10,000 donation to Clayton Area Ministries, the dealership's charity of choice. The organization provides food, medicine and utility bill assistance with to area residents.

Matthews Motors has supported more than 15 local charities and youth programs in the past year, according to NIADA.

The North Carolina dealership has raised more than $70,000 for Clayton Area Ministries and partnered with other local businesses to raise more than $10,000 for the Southeastern Medical Oncology Center's free mammogram screenings program.

NIADA scholarship winners

Also during this week's festivities, NIADA revealed the five recipients of its 2017 Scholarship Awards during the 71st Annual NIADA Convention and Expo at The Mirage in Las Vegas this week.

Each year, the NIADA Foundation partners with Manheim to sponsor a student from each of the association's four regions who has displayed exemplary abilities in education with a $3,500 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and a $10,000 national scholarship for a student to attend Northwood University in an automotive-related field.

Recipient of the NIADA Foundation/Manheim Scholarship to Northwood University is Ali Nasrallah, a sophomore from Midland, Mich.

He has served as Northwood's student government vice president, vice president of the investments and personal finance club and vice chairman of the university's student-run International Auto Show.

Nasrallah is a dual major in automotive marketing and management and finance, and a minor in accounting.

This year’s regional scholarship winners include Logan Brinks of Marne, Mich. from Region I, Braden Martin of Nashville, Tenn. from Region II, Riley Raynor of Enid, Okla. from Region III and Juan Carrillo of Oxnard, Calif. from Region IV.

Brinks was elected class president at Coopersville High School where he played on the football team and became a National Honor Society member.

NIADA said Brinks is considering attending the University of Michigan, where has wanted to pursue a career in the auto industry.

Raynor, valedictorian of her graduating class at Chisolm High School is interested in attending Central Oklahoma University or the University of Alabama to study pre-law, psychology and philosophy. Her list of academic honors includes the Superintendent's Honor Roll, the National Honor Society, and Oklahoma Girls State.

Carillo, who also earned valedictorian honors, participated in football, baseball and taekwondo at Channel Islands High School in Oxnard, Calif. He has served as vice president of Future Leaders of America and mentors elementary school students.

NIADA said Carillo plans to major in mechanical engineering and pursue a master’s degree in automotive technology.



Shift’s free BMW contest open for entries


Online used-car marketplace Shift has announced that next month, the company is set to gift one California resident any BMW listed on (provided the vehicle is priced at $20,000 or less) as part of its current California BMW Giveaway contest.

Californians interested in entering the contest can visit the Shift Facebook page, where on July 10 the grand prize winner will be announced as well.

Contestants must be over the age of 18 to win and entries will be accepted until July 9, according to Shift.

In addition to the grand prize, Shift has collaborated with Navdy, Turo and YourMechanic to give dozens of participants partner prizes on June 26.

“We are excited to announce our BMW car giveaway,” Shift chief executive officer George Arison said in a news release. “In just two years, Shift has become the No. 1 seller of used cars in the Bay Area and BMW has consistently been our number one selling car. This contest is our way of saying thank you to our loyal customers.”

Additionally, the contest's grand prize winner can also opt to apply $20,000 towards the purchase price of any BMW they choose.

ELEAD1ONE, lane management app integration offers recall info


ELEAD1ONE recently announced a partnership with automotive recall news and data provider Recall Masters to integrate real-time vehicle recall lookup data into the company’s lane management application Service1One.

Getting recall status information via the app during the mobile check-in process not only saves time during the initial inspection stage but prevents potential upsets between dealers and their customers, according to ELEAD1ONE.

“Trust can be a hard thing to establish with service customers. To discover that their vehicle needs to stay in longer for a recall repair – or even worse – that they have a recall which the dealership failed to repair, is not exactly great for customer relations,” Recall Masters president Chris Miller said in a news release.

“Our integration with ELEAD1ONE’s Lane Management Application enables the dealership to inform customers about any open recall in real-time while the initial check-in and inspection are done. This then helps build trusting relationships between automotive dealers and their customers.”

The Service1One lane app provides advisors with customer service tools designed to streamline the lane process.

On the app, advisors can quickly access customer appointment information, service history, pricing menus, inspections and real-time recall information.

Additionally, the line items on the RO Summary Estimate can be easily added or removed so that customers always get an accurate quote.

“We all know that service lanes can get hectic. Our aim is to provide dealers with the tools to increase service efficiency and give customers the ultimate service experience,” said ELEAD1ONE partner Bill Wittenmyer. “With the huge level of vehicle recalls, informing customers of any that affect their vehicle can be a major pain point for most auto dealers. Service departments will greatly benefit from real-time recall status information integrated with our Service1One Lane Management App.”

For more information about ELEAD1ONE’s or the Service1One app, visit

Dominion integrates CRM with GM data


Dominion Dealer Solutions’ CRM and lead management systems, Autobase and Web ControlTM, are now both premium CRM products for General Motors.

As part of GM’s Dealer Technology Assistance Program (DTAP), Dominion has agreed to complete integration to all available GM DTAP Data service integrations by the end of Q4. 

Through DTAP, GM makes its data available in their dealers’ own CRM systems to improve sales, customer experience and customer satisfaction.

"General Motors bestows a Premium product designation on select CRM solutions that provide deep database integrations so dealers can do business as efficiently as possible all in one place," Dominion director of OEM partnerships Ryan Kelly said in a news release. "Dominion is proud that both Web Control and Autobase are recognized as Premium CRM products and have been approved for the iMR Turnkey Vendor Program."

GM dealers who utilize either Dominion Autobase or Web Control can now access GM tools from the client record. Previously, the tools were only accessible from various GM websites and other GM internal systems.

Key integration points that have been enhanced include DCDE Customer Search, VPS – Incentives Offer Management and VPS – GM Credit Card.

The integrations are now available to both Dominion Autobase and Web Control customers at no additional charge.

Additionally, Dominion said over the next several months it will also be adding both its Vehicle Locate Service (VLS) and Vehicle Invoice Service (VIS) for the GM dealers.

Auto/Mate integrates DMS with DealerMine's 360-degree CRM solution


Auto/Mate Dealership Systems's DMS is now fully integrated with automotive CRM and BDC solutions provider DealerMine.

DealerMine is a 360-degree automotive CRM solution designed to advance revenue in both the sales and service departments.

The solution’s CRM can handle prospecting, lead management, desking and campaigns for sales departments and help drive traffic and maximize dealer’s shop capacity through service scheduling, online scheduling and telephony solutions, according to Auto/Mate.

"We welcome DealerMine as an Open/Mate partner," Auto/Mate president and chief executive officer Mike Esposito said in a news release. "DealerMine's CRM solution provides way more than just contact management; it provides dealers with the actionable data they need to increase their competitiveness at every stage of the sales and service cycle."

Additionally, Auto/Mate said it currently offers seamless integration for third-party vendors with its Open/Mate program.

"Auto/Mate is an advocate of open standards integration as a way to increase competition, lower prices and improve the quality of products offered by all vendors," the dealership DMS software provider said.