Products/Software

Fastlane gears up to enter independent, used-car dealer market

DALLAS - 

Fastlane recently announced it will enter the independent and used-car dealer market in January.

An e-commerce platform that gives automotive dealerships the ability to customize their online check-out processes, Fastlane facilitates an online car buying process that both showcases dealers’ available inventory and allows customers to acquire financing, service contracts and insurance.

With an initial focus on franchised dealership groups since its launch earlier this year, the company said it will enter the independent and pre-owned car dealership segment aggressively next year.

“We get numerous inquiries from independent and used-car dealers online and at trade shows, and now we have a product tailored and reasonably priced for these types of dealerships,” Fastlane vice president of sales David Luce said in a news release.

“There are nearly 30,000 independent dealerships in the U.S. market, representing 35-40 percent of the vehicles sold online. With online sales now being a key dynamic in the auto market, we believe our platform is uniquely positioned to help independent and used-car dealers stay competitive,” Luce continued.

Additionally, key tasks associated with the car buying process that Fastlane takes care of include: year, make, model, specifications and price information on each vehicle; warranty and service contract options; aftermarket product options; trade-in evaluations and accurate retail and lease payment information.

“We built Fastlane knowing that the online car-buying process typically differs from dealer to dealer and from region to region,” Fastlane chief executive officer Brandon Hall said. 

“Our technical teams work closely with each dealer to determine how their online car buying experience should work. Then we configure it to their satisfaction. It’s a win-win that makes online purchasing easy for car dealers and their customers,” he said.

Darwin Automotive launches tool to make F&I available 24 hours a day

ISELIN, N.J. - 

Fast-food restaurants and gas stations often are open 24 hours a day. Darwin Automotive is aiming to provide a way that dealerships’ F&I offices can enjoy the same kind of availability.

F&I software provider Darwin Automotive recently released what the company dubbed Darwin Online, a patented digital retailing application that’s designed to enable dealerships worldwide to process online transactions with a fully functional F&I department that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Darwin Automotive chief executive officer Phillip Battista said this solution can deliver while protecting dealership profitability and providing accuracy and transparency to the online consumer.

“I am extremely excited about the release of Darwin Online. This is big news for the auto industry. Finance and insurance represents 30 to 40 percent of overall profitability and is critical to the lifeblood of the dealership. Now, dealers can sell it all 24/7 — service contracts, tire and wheel protection, paint protection —  you name it, just by adding a simple widget to any or all their websites,” Battista said in a news release.

“With Darwin Online, dealers can rest assured that their profitability is protected. It provides accurate, transparent information to the online consumer utilizing a nationwide database of incentives with both lease and retail rates. It also has its own proprietary 50 state tax databases. We provide the missing link that enables a full online vehicle sales transaction,” Battista added.

The company highlighted Darwin Online can interface with more than 142 different product providers and can allow dealerships to control their profitability and disclosure. It interacts with all dealership websites without any need for DMS integration. The platform can provide accurate payments that match the dealership’s DMS to the penny.

With Darwin, the needs of a consumer are paramount in determining which products and services can best fit those needs. And with Darwin Online, this “needs discovery” can happen before they step into the dealership — right from their mobile device, 24/7.

Darwin Online was created by a team of F&I software pioneers that brought one of the first electronic menus to market, MenuVantage, and was constructed to do than just automate the interview. It uses a combination of algorithms to analyze in real time the customer’s answers to a set of needs-discovery questions, deal information, previous ownership history and any other details stored in the dealership’s DMS.

Then, through predictive analytics, the tool can produce a driver’s needs analysis, which scores F&I products based on the buyer’s need and the likelihood the customer will purchase those protections.

The analytics also contain the customer’s prior ownership history, information on the vehicle’s warranty, and other deal factors. Darwin Automotive emphasized this information about why the customer will need the product is critical to the education of the online consumer.

“Over 2,000 auto dealers nationwide have boosted F&I profitability with Darwin. They, along with the entire automotive industry, will now also benefit from a seamless buying experience from customers on the web,” Battista said.

“Consumers have been waiting for a transparent, accurate buying experience, while dealerships longed to have software designed by car people that will protect their profitability. Darwin Online is the first system to accomplish both goals,” he went on to say.

For more information or to schedule a product demonstration call (732) 781-9010 or visit www.darwinautomotive.com.

CarMax invests $5 million in RepairPal

RICHMOND, Va. - 

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.

RumbleOn appoints new senior VP of dealer services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 

RumbleOn announced Monday that it has named Peter Levy its new senior vice president of dealer services to oversee the development of the company’s dealer network and the rollout of its dealer-to-dealer Internet marketplace.

Over 25 years, Levy has taken on leading roles in sales, marketing and consulting at several technology-driven businesses, which include startups that capitalized on technology to gain market share, according to RumbleOn.

“We are excited to have Peter join our expanding team,” RumbleOn founder and chief executive officer Marshall Chesrown said in a news release.

“Given his impressive industry background, including his work at Integrated Auction Solutions, we believe he will make a significant and immediate contribution in our effort to, as a Company, create the most trusted brand and efficient online marketplace and distribution system in the recreational vehicle market," he said. 

At Integrated Auction Solutions, an independent auto auction simulcast provider, Levy held a senior management position, according to RumbleOn.

“I am very excited to be a member of the RumbleOn management team in supporting the rapid expansion of the Company,” added Levy. “I have spent many years in the information services industry, and I view RumbleOn as an opportunity second to none.”

5 components of AiMCertify.com being piloted through KBB in 9 markets

LONG BEACH, Calif. - 

Alliance Inspection Management (AiM) recently launched AiMCertify.com for vehicle buyers and sellers.

AiMCertify.com offers tiered inspection solutions — starting as low as $129 — for used vehicle shoppers and sellers through four product offerings: AiM Preferred, AiM Plus, AiM Premier and AiM Commercial. Each package includes:

—A 150-point inspection
—Bumper-to-bumper interior and exterior evaluation
—A test drive by a professional inspector
—15 or more photos documenting condition
—Online reporting and much more

Vehicle history reports and fluid testing are included in several packages.

All inspection products include a condition report with an “A” to “F” letter grade so buyers can quickly make informed decisions and sellers can list their vehicles with confidence.

In light of recent weather catastrophes such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, now is the ample time for consumers be aware of a used car's condition before making a major purchase.

Additionally, Kelley Blue Book has begun a pilot program of AimCertify.com in markets across the U.S. including:

• Los Angeles
• Chicago
• Dallas
• San Francisco
• Boston
• Atlanta
• Tampa, Fla.
• Phoenix
• Seattle

“One of the biggest concerns when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle are underlying issues that might go unnoticed,” AiM senior vice president of sales and marketing Eric Widmer said. “Prospective vehicle buyers can use our services to ensure these items get identified before they pay for the car.

“It is also a good practice for people selling cars to be proactive and get a third-party inspection as this creates a trustworthy sales experience for both parties,” Widmer continued. “With used-car sales at an all-time high, we’ve launched AiMCertify.com to provide a solution for used car shoppers that want to have an independent verification of the condition of a car before making the purchase and sellers who want to address items before they list their vehicle for sale.”

AiMCertify.com inspections use the company’s proprietary software, hardware and training to ensure consistent high-quality and accurate condition reports. AiMCertify.com condition reports are designed to increase buyer confidence and reduce the time it takes to sell a vehicle. AiM’s more than 1,400 full-time vehicle inspectors operate throughout the U.S., enabling AiM to address the more than 10 million vehicles bought and sold in the peer-to-peer market.

For more information please visit AiMCertify.com.

Manheim to launch omni-channel experience via Marketplace

ATLANTA - 

Manheim announced Friday it will deliver an omni-channel experience through its new Marketplace that brings together all channels into one integrated destination for buyers and sellers.

The omni-channel experience will provide wholesale vehicle buyers and sellers increased opportunities to connect and transact business, according to Manheim.

“We’re well on our way to creating a first-of-its-kind, omni-channel experience that will offer many touchpoints and more effectively meet the needs and preferences of buyers and sellers,” Manheim Digital Marketplaces and RMS Automotive president Nick Peluso said in a news release.

“Next year, Manheim will do even more to bring integrated solutions and value-added experiences to Manheim’s audience of buyers and sellers – the largest in the industry.” 

The development of Manheim’s new Marketplace began in 2014 with the company’s $400 million multi-year initiative to transform its auction operations.

In addition to being able to easily add on services to increase velocity, according to Manheim several of its Marketplace solutions that have already been integrated have allowed dealers to search inventory across OVE, Manheim.com and OEM-specific marketplaces.

“Manheim’s vision is to transform our operations into a seamless, 24/7 marketplace that enables our clients to buy and sell vehicles and solutions effortlessly,” added Grace Huang, president of Manheim Inventory Solutions. “The strength of Manheim and its connection to other Cox Automotive brands offer the kind of value to dealers and commercial clients that no other company can match.”

The Manheim Marketplace currently supports 58 million unique visits and 10 million unique vehicle listings annually, according to Manheim.

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.

Auction Edge to roll out EDGE Pipeline, EDGE Lookout platform merge

SEATTLE - 

Auction Edge announced Tuesday it will merge its EDGE Pipeline product with EDGE Lookout to provide independent auctions with a seamless web platform in December.
The integration will include enhancements designed to bring less friction and more accessibility on all types of devices.

In addition to being responsive to any screen size, key updates to the national wholesale marketplace include a new interface design and an all-new search engine.

“This is not really an update as much as it is a complete migration to an all-new system. The new platform will merge with EDGE Lookout to bring users the best of both worlds,” Auction Edge announced in a news release.

With the Auction Edge’s newly single integrated system, auctions can market vehicles in-lane via both simulcast and buy-now/make-offer events.

“The single national marketplace for independent auctions is now poised for even more growth in 2018,” the company said. “This is the beginning of a new era for EDGE Pipeline and Auction Edge as a whole. Moving to this new platform gives Edge the ability to deliver new features and innovations at a much faster pace, and charts a roadmap for the future.”

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

DALLAS - 

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.”