Partnerships and Integration

Flick Fusion Releases Automated Video Production Service

URBANDALE, Iowa - 

Video marketing provider Flick Fusion has announced the release of InstaVid, an automated video-production service.  For dealers with video-producing needs, InstaVid is designed to instantly create and distribute video of dealer inventory.

Brian Cox, the president and chief executive officer of Flick Fusion, commented on the swift nature of the tool.

“InstaVid helps dealers move metal faster,” Cox said. “Within hours of a vehicle arriving on a lot, dealers can have videos of that vehicle all over the Internet, generating immediate video SEO. Why wait days to market your inventory when you can begin to attract video views and website visitors instantly?”

The program automatically generates a stock-photo video when a VIN is entered into a dealer’s DMS, featuring a professional voice-over and dealership-specific advertising specials via banners. Each video is VIN-specific, and keywords are added prior to being uploaded to YouTube and other third-party inventory listings.

Dealer photos and videos, once uploaded into inventory feeds, will automatically be update to the videos by InstaVid and replace stock photos. If a dealer decides not to update the photos, the stock photos will remain with the video as long as the vehicle is on the lot.

DRN SmartRecovery Subscriptions Now Available Directly Through RDN

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA subsidiary Recovery Database Network (RDN) formed a new partnership on Tuesday with Digital Recognition Network (DRN), one of the presenting sponsors of the Re3 Conference at Used Car Week.

The companies highlighted the collaboration allows RDN finance company clients to access DRN’s SmartRecovery data from within the RDN system — all of which is aimed at simplifying the vehicle-recovery process.

DRN recapped that SmartRecovery is a subscription service that can provide vehicle-specific location information to finance companies. This information, including 12 months of historical license plate recognition hits, map view, addresses and live vehicle sightings for six months, can now be uploaded seamlessly into RDN case assignments and then shared with recovery companies and agents.

Both companies see this arrangement as having substantial benefits for clients, which includes improved recovery results and increased efficiency with repossessions.

“This partnership enables us to offer our lenders a simple, one-stop solution,” RDN president Zach Hallowell said. “Our clients can purchase SmartRecovery from within the RDN interface they’re already using.”

Hallowell added that direct access for existing RDN accounts means seamless connection to SmartRecovery intelligence with no need for multiple logins or different applications and no third-party billing.

“Making SmartRecovery available via RDN is part of our roadmap for helping lenders and repossession professionals optimize their results,” DRN chief executive officer Chris Metaxas said. “We’re excited about this opportunity to collaborate with RDN and share these advantages with their clients.”

Both Hallowell and Metaxas each will be making appearances at the Re3 Conference, the Used Car Week event that focuses on repossessions, recoveries and remarketing.

Hallowell will be joined by three other industry leaders for a panel session titled, “2015: The Virtual World of Repossession.” Hallowell along with Michael Eusebio of DigitalDog Auto Recovery, John Lewis of Intellaegis and Tony Parra of Bank of America will discuss the evolving trends impacting the repossession industry.

The session will include a fast-paced discussion that demonstrates how the intersection of bleeding edge technology, big data analytics, workflow automation and regulatory oversight are interacting in a virtual manner that’s beginning to shape the dynamics of one of the most challenging industries in the financial services space.

Also during the Re3 Conference, Metaxas will highlight what he believes are other “Re’s” that finance companies shouldn’t neglect. In fact, some executives might go so far as to say they should shift focus to the new Re3 to build and grow business successfully.

Metaxas will explain how — for some — focusing efforts on the “old” Re3: recovery, repossession and remarketing, is like driving on empty. Metaxas will teach audiences about the “new” Re3: revenue, risk reduction and returns, and will help fill executives’ tanks with the insights and solutions that put the focus on what finance companies really want.

Those sessions and more will take place on Nov. 12 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. Registrations are still being taken for the Re3 Conference — presented by Digital Recognition Network and Primeritus Financial Services — by going to the conference website.

2 Moves to Benefit NIADA Dealers

ARLINGTON, Texas - 

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association announced this week that it now approves 700Credit as a NIADA National Benefit Partner and credit data provider to its dealers.

“We couldn’t be more proud to be selected by NIADA as a National Member Benefit partner,” Kenneth Hill, the managing director at 700Credit, said. “NIADA is leading its independent dealer members on the necessity for education and full compliance with federal regulations regarding consumer credit and the consumer. NIADA member dealers will benefit greatly from this leadership.”

Scott Lilja, NIADA’s senior vice president of member services, looks forward to the services that 700Credit can provide for his association’s members.

“700Credit provides our member dealers with a simple, efficient and effective means for ensuring compliance with federal and state laws regarding consumer credit data,” Lilja said, “and we fervently support our member dealers’ compliance and transparency.”

In other NIADA news, CARCO announced this week that its newest version of CheckThatVIN, a motor vehicle title history report, can now be accessed by NIADA members. The reports from CheckThatVIN offer the standard year, make and model information as well as full-vehicle descriptions, when available, based on the VIN.

“Adding the additional VIN decoding to our standard offering provides additional value to our CheckThatVIN product,” Rob Winthrop, CARCO’s product manager, said. “NIADA members can now see additional vehicle details along with the VIN title history information, which will better enable them to present the features of the vehicle and close the sale.”

Lilja gave a glowing endorsement for the creators of CheckThatVIN and highlighted the report’s potential importance to the association’s members.

"NIADA's longtime member benefit partner CARCO Group continues to invest in very innovative, high-value solutions for our member auto dealers," Lilja said. "This latest update to the CheckThatVin vehicle history risk mitigation tool is another example of that commitment. We highly encourage our member dealers to embrace this invaluable vehicle history reporting tool, which eliminates their exposure to vehicles with major condition issues at an extremely affordable investment."

CARS & van Wagenen Financial Services Create Strategic Partnership

RALEIGH, N.C., and MINNEAPOLIS - 

Two of the companies participating at this year’s Re3 Conference — Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems and van Wagenen Financial Services — announced a strategic marketing agreement to create a one-stop solution for reducing risk and charge-offs on auto loan and lease portfolios. 

Under the partner agreement, the companies explained they will cross-sell each other’s products, enabling clients to source both offerings from a single supplier. They indicated this process will streamline procurement and ongoing program management for lenders and dealers, substantially simplifying vendor management.

“Both companies exist to help lenders reduce losses on non-performing assets and reduce administrative burden, so the combined offering just makes sense,” said Terry Groves, co-founder and senior vice president of Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems.

The offering combines Van Wagenen’s warranty and damage claim processing with insurance tracking and the convenience of industry leading recovery and remarketing services.  This powerful combination is now accessible within Consolidated Asset Recovery System’s IBEAM portal.

“Bringing these together in a streamlined offering means auto loan and lease portfolio risk can easily be managed from cradle to grave from a single source,” said Jeff Anderson, vice president of business development, van Wagenen Financial Services.

Anderson will be joined by four other industry experts for one of the many panel discussions at the Re3 Conference, the Used Car Week event that focuses on repossessions, recoveries and remarketing. The session is titled, “The Re3 Report: The State of the Auto Finance Industry.”

For several quarters, delinquency and repossession rates dropped to record-low levels. But Equifax, Experian and TransUnion all have noticed these metrics are starting to move on an upward trend again. Should the industry be alarmed? This panel of experts will dissect the movements and shed light on how executives should prepare for what might happen next.

Joining Anderson will be:

— Brent Huisman, vice president of asset remarketing, Santander Consumer USA

— Chuck Blommaert, senior vice president of operations, LCS Financial Services

— Bob Earle, vice president of risk, NextGear Capital

— Art Sookazian, vice president of special services, Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

Meanwhile, Steve Norwood, the co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems, will be presenting the winner of this year’s Re3 Executive of the Year in a conference segment that comes immediately prior to session featuring Anderson, Huisman, Blommaert, Earle and Sookazian.

The Re3 Conference presented by Digital Recognition Network and Primeritus Financial Services is set for Nov. 12, halfway through Used Car Week, which also includes the CPO Forum, the SubPrime Forum and the National Remarketing Conference. All of the events will be held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

And it’s not too late to register. More details can be found at re3.autoremarketing.com.

ROA, WALZ Form Compliance Alliance

PASADENA, Calif. - 

Remarketing of America announced this week its new partnership with WALZ. The communications compliance services offered by WALZ will help ROA provide compliant, critical default notices to its clients during the early- to late-state collections process to help comply with the various complex regulatory conditions throughout the United States.

Emory White, the president and chief executive officer of ROA, commented on the increasingly tumultuous waters that compliance professionals navigate in the finance industry.

“Trying to maintain default notifications of borrowers in this complicated environment is challenging at best,” White said. “ROA’s launch of AutoNotice, powered by WALZ, was created to provide our clients with a quality notifications solution.”

In return for its compliance services, ROA will now serve as the provider of WALZ services to a broader market, further helping ROA’s clients to protect their portfolios from risk and loss.

Cox Automotive Invests in AutoMD.com

CARSON, Calif. - 

In an effort to aid dealers’ service departments, Cox Automotive — the parent of Manheim, AutoTrader.com, vAuto and Kelley Blue Book, among others — recently joined other companies in purchasing a minority stake in AutoMD.com, previously a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Auto Parts Network.

Joining Cox Automotive in this development were Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., as well as existing U.S. Auto Parts investors.

AutoMD.com is a free online automotive repair resource designed to empower vehicle owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. AutoMD.com is designed to help to drive growth at participating repair shops by allowing owners to get instant comparative quotes and information on repair jobs from local repair shops through AutoMD Insta-Quotes.

Dale Pollak, founder of vAuto and executive vice president of Cox Automotive, explained why the company made this decision.

"Cox Automotive's investment in AutoMD recognizes the importance of healthy and profitable service operations to the retail automotive community,” Pollak said.

“This is another step toward helping dealers succeed in every area of their businesses,” he continued. “We’re very impressed with the commitment and leadership of AutoMD.”

In addition to AutoMD.com allowing owners to get instant comparative quotes on repair jobs from local repair shops through AutoMD Insta-Quotes, the site also is geared help both owners and do-it-yourselfers with several other inquiries such as:

1. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue.

2. Know how much auto repairs should cost.

3. Troubleshoot vehicle problems.

4. Have auto repair questions answered by the AutoMD.com community.

5. Understand the steps needed and the time required for repairs through how-to Auto Repair guides.

AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the eighth annual American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie Awards.

“AutoMD.com provides transparency for consumers in need of vehicle repair and visibility to the over 1,000 and growing participating repair providers," said Shane Evangelist, chief executive officer of AutoMD majority owner U.S. Auto Parts.

“This investment and the significant industry expertise of Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Cox Automotive will help further establish AutoMD as the preferred source of vehicle repair information for millions of consumers,” Evangelist went on to say.

Equifax Clients Now Can Access Black Book Data

ATLANTA - 

Amid certified pre-owned vehicle sales that are humming at a record pace, vendors that support the sector in various ways are coming together and could keep momentum going.

In what may help the segment — since most CPO sales require financing — Equifax and Black Book are joining forces to aid what happens in the F&I office, the finance company’s origination department and beyond.

On Tuesday, Equifax announced that its auto lending customers will now have the added benefit of direct access to Black Book vehicle value data and loan-to-value (LTV) model data.

By incorporating Black Book data with differentiated Equifax data, finance companies can better evaluate LTVs at origination, migration of LTVs, collateral risk and layered risk.

And if the Great Recession taught the industry anything, one of the most important lessons might have been to mitigate risk and find ways to run a leaner, more efficient operation.

“It’s all a reflection of the auto finance industry all coming together. Even though a lot of times we’re in competition with each other, we can also be partners with each other,” Equifax auto finance leader Lou Loquasto told Auto Remarketing.

“Going through what this industry went through has pulled us all together a little bit and makes us work closer together,” continued Loquasto, who is part of the large contingent of industry experts scheduled to be on hand for next month’s leading industry event — Used Car Week.

This relationship between Equifax and Black Book first germinated when the credit agency responded to client requests.

One finance company wanted to enhance its underwriting scorecard by embedding Black Book data in it. Another Equifax customer asked how Black Book’s LTV data could be incorporated into the credit agency’s lost-sales analysis tool.

“It started off as just a one-off customization on behalf of a couple of clients. We got together with the executive team at Black Book and said, 'Why don’t we institutionalize this process and make it more broadly available to all of the lenders?',” Loquasto said.

Now finance companies who might be adding CPO contracts into their portfolios can use Equifax and Black Book data to monitor evolving LTV ratios over time and better identify which vehicles present the most risk and growth potential. Both service providers believe this capability can enable finance companies to more effectively forecast where losses may be more likely to occur and adjust lending strategies as a proactive countermeasure.

Beyond gains in portfolio management, the solution also can enable finance companies to better manage their:

• Ongoing account management strategy (by more accurately targeting who to call, when to call and how often)

• Remarketing and recovery (determination of auto value to justify repossession)

• Pricing strategy (to determine which rate/term/LTVs are most appropriate for individual customer/collateral combinations)

• Competitiveness (by knowing what the competition is buying and by what credit segment)

“Through our relationship with Equifax, we are aligning two of the most trusted sources of data in the industry to provide essential insights for succeeding in today’s market," said Jared Kalfus, Black Book’s vice president of data licensing.

“Our solution streamlines pivotal analytic processes, allowing customers to work more efficiently and effectively,” added Kalfus, who also will be making multiple presentations during Used Car Week, which has a quickly approaching deadline for a $200 registration discount. That availability goes away on Friday for the series of industry leading conference that run from Nov. 10 through 14 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

Loquasto emphasized that the data generated by both Equifax and Black Book blends together nicely to give finance companies a better view of what he noted as two of the important parts of lending — credit and collateral.

“One of the reasons why we specifically sought out this relationship with Black Book is losses are very low right now. But there is an idea of this whole loss severity and what is the used-car market going to look like in two years or three years and when do losses start to increase. Are we going to be getting less for our repos? Lenders are concerned about that,” Loquasto said.

“While it’s not an immediate, ‘I’m scared now that the market is going to fall apart,’ I think lenders are thinking a couple of years out and trying to prepare now by looking at different combined solutions with credit and collateral,” he continued.

And beyond looking at the long-term ramifications, Loquasto also pointed out the integration of Equifax and Black Book data also can explain to finance company managers why that CPO vehicle installment contract might have gone to another institution.

“We’re looking further down the funnel and looking at things like business intelligence tools. If you didn’t get that deal, it’s nice to know what lender got it and some of the characteristics of the loan, the rate and payment. Equifax certainly helps with that. Then you’re also going to want to know things like loan-to-value,” Loquasto said.

“Equifax might tell you that your competitor booked that deal at a higher rate than you were offering. But if you don’t bring in that collateral piece, you don’t realize that maybe you didn’t lose that deal because of rate or term. Maybe you lost that deal because of loan-to-value. That’s where bringing the two companies together gives you a full picture,” he went on to say.

And finance companies now can get that clarity — whether a contract is connected a CPO unit or a subprime borrower — because of what Equifax and Black Book are bring to the table.

“It’s all about aiding in the efficiencies and being responsive to the customer faster,” said Gary Hughes, general manager of automotive services for Equifax. “By partnering and coming together where normally we would be adversaries, we’re finding common ground that we can support our customers and ultimately consumers better and faster than if we try to build this out alone. I think it’s a trend that’s going to accelerate.

“Black Book is an excellent partner and we’re excited about this,” Hughes added.

TrueCar & US News Renew Car-Buying Partnership

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - 

After TrueCar announced it has grown its dealer council earlier this week,  the company and U.S. News & World Report revealed today that they have extended their U.S. News car buying program another two years.

The program, which has been powered by TrueCar since 2011, offers a negotiation-free car buying and selling platform and is available via the U.S. News Best Cars website.

So far, over 40,000 vehicles have been sold through the program. And in perhaps some good news for the company’s dealer network, as part of the renewal agreement, shoppers will also have access to TrueCar’s inventory of more than 400,000 used vehicles from its network of TrueCar Certified Dealers.

Each vehicle will be clearly identified with a "TrueCar Certified Dealer" badge.

"TrueCar and U.S. News are at the forefront of the new auto retail landscape in which consumers expect upfront pricing information," said Jim Nguyen, TrueCar executive vice president, OEM and partner development.  "It's an ideal relationship  — U.S. News has well-informed car shoppers, and TrueCar offers them data about what others in their community paid for a similar vehicle.  Furthermore, TrueCar's Certified Dealers are able to engage with knowledgeable, 'ready-to-buy' customers."

Bageshri Ghate, VP and general manager of U.S. News Best Cars, said, "With our used-car rankings and reviews, we help consumers choose the best vehicles for their needs. By adding that inventory, we can also provide them with price confidence and the expectation of a hassle-free experience."

 

RISC & CorpMatch Parter to Bring Repo Agents Discounts

OCALA, Fla. - 

Recovery Industry Services Co. recently looked to increase the value of a RISC Compliant Agent Network (CAN) membership by implementing a discount purchasing program through a partnership with CorpMatch.

RISC explained how it works, starting by stating that CorpMatch partners with companies like RISC to form a large buying group.  Then CorpMatch can negotiate with companies in order to bring its 3,500 members the goods and services required to operate their businesses with savings of anywhere from 5 percent to 80 percent off on many products and services you probably already use – AutoZone, Michelin Tires, Brenntag DEF, Interstate Batteries, Staples and more.

As a program provider with more than 900,000 trucks already on the road, CorpMatch is able to provide incredible pricing from all these vendors and many more. CorpMatch is constantly pursuing new partnerships in order to fill requests from its members, bringing them the goods and services they need most at a discounted price.

“At RISC, we strive to make certain our members receive the very best value and service for their annual fee,” officials said. “As part of your value we have been working closely with CorpMatch in order to bring you this program free of charge.”

As a RISC CAN member, repo agencies have already been registered with CorpMatch. The company said all managers have to do now is log on using the user name and password RISC sent.  

If agents have any further questions, they can contact CorpMatch directly, either by phone at (818) 798-1460 or by email at customerservice@corpmatch.com.

Haystak & vAuto Partner for Search Marketing

FORT MYERS, Fla. - 

Haystak Digital Marketing announced this week its partnership with vAuto to integrate their search marketing campaigns for shared users.

The combination of vAuto’s pricing data along with Haystak’s inventory tool links pay-per-click ads to the attributes and retailing objectives for specific used vehicles.

Duncan Scarry, the founder of Haystak, commented on the integration of the two Cox Automotive companies’ products.

“In our earlier studies, we’ve seen a telling, across-the-board lift for vAuto dealers who use our now-integrated Dynamic Inventory Tools to drive search marketing campaigns that are automatically tailored for specific vehicles,” Scarry said. “The performance of their search advertising outpaced other dealers by substantial margins in our year-over-year comparisons, affirming our belief that consumers respond to pay-per-click ads that are highly relevant to their used vehicle buying preferences.”

During its studies, Haystak found that vehicle-specific search advertising performed better than less-specific search advertising.

“With vAuto data, we know if a vehicle is priced above or below the market and whether its mileage is lower than competing units,” Scarry said. “By bringing this data into our tool, we can generate pay-per-click ads that emphasize a car’s specific strengths.

Likewise, we can tailor our bidding strategy to match the car — if it’s a lower-price car, our tool can either maximize or minimize exposure, based on a dealer’s preferences.”

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