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LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. — Included in a series of product enhancements and integrations, DealerTrack highlighted a new function for its DealerTrack AAX inventory management solution.

This new solution process called MarketDriver can provide dealers with what company executives described as an "unprecedented range" of regional market information. They stressed that MarketDriver can help dealers identify and acquire vehicles that perform well in their markets — empowering smart, low-risk inventory decisions that maximize profits.

Officials contend that no other technology provider offers dealers with the chance to see top-performing vehicles in their local market. They explained that DealerTrack AAX with MarketDriver can be accessed by each individual dealership to search customized information based on defined geographical market and other preferences.

"With this new integration, dealers also get the tracking capability to more effectively manage the performance of vehicles they are adding to their inventory mix," DealerTrack executives pointed out.

"Not only can dealers see top market performers, they can track whether those picks are top performers for them," they continued.

"Taken together, the data provides a complete picture of how a vehicle has performed historically, both for the dealer and in its regional market, while also mitigating risk and providing insight into its potential future performance," they added.

The company also detailed how MarketDriver is intended to operate. From a single screen, DealerTrack said that MarketDriver can allow dealers to search for a used vehicle by checking their own database of sales and service customers as well as prospects and missed appraisals. They can scour inventory at any affiliated stores and current auction listings, both physical and online.

MarketDriver has been rolled out automatically for all DealerTrack AAX customers at no additional cost.

"In today's market environment, it is increasingly difficult to source quality used vehicles, and many dealers may be forced to stock ‘non-core' vehicles that they have not previously sold — or sold successfully," noted Raj Sundaram, senior vice president of solutions and services group at DealerTrack.

"Our new MarketDriver functionality enables dealers to access a wide array of regional market information about a particular vehicle, and to identify the best way to acquire it, so they can confidently make more aggressive inventory decisions that enhance their profits while minimizing the risks," Sundaram emphasized.

"We are passionate about providing our dealers with the best tools in the marketplace to make the right decisions about what vehicles to stock," he went on to mention.

"We know that when dealers stock the right vehicles and price them right they can achieve faster turns and improved profitability. In order to give our customers that edge, we have included MarketDriver as part of our core package," Sundaram added.

Mobile Function for DealerTrack AAX

Along with MarketDriver, the company also rolled out an enhancement that brings the capability of DealerTrack AAX to mobile devices.

Company executives said the DealerTrack Mobile AAX solution is powered by Laser Appraiser, a wireless automotive valuation system that currently serves more than 1,000 dealers. They pointed out that this system is accessible using a dedicated handheld device or iPhone.

To support this functionality, DealerTrack has signed an exclusive reseller agreement with Laser Appraiser. Officials went on to rattle off several benefits of this special deal.

The first example they shared put used-vehicle managers in the auction lane evaluating units. With DealerTrack Mobile AAX, executives said an information search can begin simply by scanning the VIN barcode with no need to refer to printed guidebooks or other sources.

Dealer subscribers then have access to data from Manheim Market Report, Black Book, Galves, Kelley Blue Book, NADA or AutoTrader. Furthermore, DealerTrack noted the solution can gather vehicle history reports from sources such as Carfax.

DealerTrack also explained how this new mobile solution can help dealers when working with a customer on the lot. Instead of needing to return to a desk terminal, officials stress that managers can stay out with a potential trade-in and retrieve information.

"The dramatic reduction in time and errors helps drive down costs and expedite deals, enabling dealers to realize higher levels of customer satisfaction and profitability," DealerTrack accentuated

Bridget Townsend, general manager of DealerTrack AAX, reinforced the capability of this new mobile platform.

"Our new mobile functionality will add significant flexibility and streamline the appraisal process for DealerTrack AAX customers, enhancing their productivity and efficiency," Townsend pointed out.

"At a time when used-car inventories are low nationwide, this powerful technology can help dealers make faster and smarter inventory decisions," she continued.

Jeff Boone, president of Laser Appraiser, also articulated why his company entered into an agreement with DealerTrack for this solution.

"We are very pleased to enter into this exclusive reseller agreement with DealerTrack," Boone stated.

"We selected DealerTrack because many of our customers use DealerTrack AAX, which is clearly the leading inventory management solution in the marketplace today," he added.

DealerTrack DMS Completes Pilot Test with Toyota

In yet more company news, DealerTrack also revealed it recently finished the initial phase of a test pilot to expand the current integration with Toyota Motor Sales. The company said it had successfully integrated TMS' Dealer Daily communication system and third-party DMS providers, including DealerTrack.

According to executives, the initial pilot program delved into several business elements, including F&I information, vehicle inventory data, parts orders and returns, repair orders and warranty payments. DealerTrack explained that it intends to continue to work with Toyota in a second phase of the project, which is supposed to deliver integration for an additional set of interfaces.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Toyota more closely, and even more pleased that our customers may soon enjoy the time-saving benefits of integration between the DealerTrack DMS and Toyota Dealer Daily," stressed Rich Holland, vice president and general manager for DealerTrack DMS.

Mark Miller, owner of Mark Miller dealerships in Utah, expects the project to aid the operation of his stores.

"The integration between the DealerTrack DMS and Toyota will save our dealership time and money in many areas of our operations," Miller pointed out.

"We are excited to be able to pilot this new integration with Toyota and feel it has already started to streamline our business," he added.

Update on OpenTrack Program

DealerTrack also shared a recent update on its OpenTrack program, which can give dealerships and participating third-party solution providers real-time and bi-directional access to data within the DealerTrack DMS.

Since its launch last year, DealerTrack revealed that more than 130 vendors have expressed interest in participating in the OpenTrack initiative. Company officials shared some of the agreements that have been reached because they said the solution offers seamless and secure integration across many segments of dealership operations.

— CRM: DealerSocket, VinSolutions, eLEAD, iMagiclab, The Higher Gear Group

— Desking: Advent Resources, ProMax.

— Menu: MenuVantage, Ristken Software, MaximTra.

— Multi-channel marketing: DME, AutoRevenue, DealerMine, Intelligent Automotive Advertising.

— Service appointments: Xtime, AutoEforms, TimeHighway.

Company executives reiterated that the DealerTrack AAX inventory management platform and other DealerTrack solutions are also integrated into OpenTrack.

"We are very excited about the momentum of our OpenTrack program," explained Sundaram. "Our dealers have expressed great support of our OpenTrack strategy and we are working as fast as possible to get all partners connected.

"The partners share and support our commitment to creating an effective, easy and affordable integration platform for our mutual dealer customers," he continued. "OpenTrack clearly substantiates our vision of an open platform approach designed to give dealers the maximum flexibility to use the solutions that best meet their needs."

A top executive from a company that reached an agreement with DealerTrack expressed his satisfaction. Doug Kinney is chief executive officer of VinSolutions.

"The OpenTrack program has enabled us to take our enhanced CRM functionality to a whole new level," Kinney noted.

"Our customers with the DealerTrack DMS can now take advantage of real-time, bi-directional integration made possible by OpenTrack, allowing them to make critical decisions based on the most timely and accurate information available," he went on to state.

"In addition, the OpenTrack platform has been very easy to work with, and completely reliable from a systems standpoint," Kinney noted.

Besides solution providers, DealerTrack also found that dealer groups are migrating toward its OpenTrack program. Executives shared one example — the Rydell Group, which operates 64 dealerships. They emphasized that Rydell has increased their efficiency and profitability.