Market Scan co-founder and president Rusty West took some time to process the intense activity surrounding NADA Show 2019 this past January in San Francisco. Surrounding the annual event, the automotive financing and leasing software and data provider finalized a pair of partnerships, rolled out three new solutions and interacted with scores of current clients and new prospects.
West acknowledged, “We learn a lot every time we speak with Market Scan customers.” He shared a variety of observations with Auto Fin Journal.
“Our industry is growing at a very rapid pace, and many new automotive digital retailing companies are now discovering the complexities of providing consumers with penny-certain payment data,” West said. “This disconnect can cause friction between the consumer and the dealer because the payments quoted online doesn’t always match the payment terms the dealership can offer. This happens when third-party websites use a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to advertising car inventory and pricing.
“These sites often don’t consider the terms and conditions under which each dealer is able to transact, or the laws and regulations that apply to each dealer,” he continued.
“Another trend we’ve seen involves younger car shoppers, who shop for cars much differently than their parents,” West went on to say. “This is a growing segment that consists of millennials, Gen X and Gen Y consumers who shop based on budget instead of brand.”
“Many dealers have enjoyed the benefits of a booming economy but are bracing for a slow-down. As such, they’re working to conduct business in the most efficient manner possible and generate the maximum available profit from every deal,” West added.
In an effort to help dealerships, finance companies and other industry participants navigate those challenges, Market Scan put an array of strategies in motion.
3 new products
Market Scan introduced three new products during NADA Show 2019 — mProve Diagnostics, mDrive and mPortal.
“We launched Market Scan 30 years ago with the ambition to offer software programs and services that are based on the premise that there is only one scientifically-perfect solution for any conceivable automotive transaction, and any solution that is less than perfect is simply unacceptable. We have not wavered from that position,” West said.
“It is with this backdrop that we are excited to introduce new, game-changing products for the industry,” he continued. “These products complement our existing portfolio of products as well as provide new and very powerful tools for dealers to improve their profitability and give dealers the ability to offer customers an improved and consistent online and in-showroom shopping experience.”
Market Scan explained that dealers have often been unable to substantiate if their sales transactions maximized the store’s profit potential.
Statistically in most dealerships, Market Scan indicated 80 percent of all transactions are spot on with only marginal room for improvement. However, the company said 20 percent of the sales transactions are likely processed using the wrong finance company program, the wrong rebate stack, the wrong structure, or a combination of these. Within those 20 percent of transactions, Market Scan insisted the dealer may sustain tens of thousands of dollars of missed gross profit every month.
In a recent study performed by Market Scan, these losses, when spread across the entire dealership sales volume, amounted to more than $500 per vehicle retailed.
Market Scan highlighted mProve was developed in partnership with StoneEagle, the Richardson, Texas-based supplier of F&I technology for the retail automotive industry. The company explained mProve can perform a thorough review of every sales transaction, and the analysis will show exactly how each deal should have been constructed to improve the gross profit.
West pointed out that mProve is designed to maximize each sales transaction and potentially add hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit each year.
“StoneEagle is a leading supplier of F&I technology and automotive sales performance solutions. When you pair StoneEagle’s SEcureMetrics Advanced F&I Analytics with our database of lender programs and OEM incentives, the output is simply astonishing,” West said.
“mProve can help add hundreds of thousands of dollars to a dealer’s bottom line — without selling more cars. Plus, make the dealership more competitive,” he continued.
“The math is shocking. If a dealer sells 200 cars per month, he may be leaving $100,000 per month on the table — and more than $1 million annually,” West went on to say. “The power of mProve is nothing short of mind-blowing, and we know we have a hit on our hands.”
The company continued that mDrive can gives the customer the real and best choices when shopping for a new vehicle – meeting both the consumer's and the dealer’s terms.
Market Scan claimed mDrive is the only technology that takes everything into consideration to provide a consumer with a list of vehicles that meet his or her criteria and preferences, based upon consumer’s credit score, consumer’s budget, consumer’s driving habits, dealership’s terms and conditions for each scenario, dealership’s lender relationships and manufacturer’s rebates and incentives.
The company added mDrive can enables a dealer’s sales professionals to instantly create a list of all the dealer’s vehicles in inventory that meet those criteria, ranked by each vehicle’s payment value index (PVI or most bang for the buck).
West stressed that providing this information early in the sales process will save dealers and consumers valuable time, a big factor in improving the customer experience.
“mDrive accurately answers the consumer’s age-old question, ‘What can I drive?’ What sets mDrive apart from any other tool or method in the market is that mDrive instantly provides the consumer and the dealer’s sales team an exact list of the dealer’s qualifying inventory based on science,” West said.
“When a consumer’s credit score, budget, number of months and acceptable payment range are entered, mDrive will instantly show a list of every vehicle in the dealer’s inventory that fits the criteria,” he continued.
“Better yet, each of these vehicles meet all of the dealer’s lender published terms for approval — and all of the dealer’s terms and conditions for transacting,” West went on to say. “mDrive helps save a lot of time in identifying which is the best car for the customer.”
Furthermore, the company highlighted mPortal can presents exact payment quotes and ensures consistent pricing quotes across all customer touchpoints
Market Scan’s new mPortal can give dealers full control over all payment quotes provided to customers, eliminating the negative customer experience when online payment quotes are inaccurate or incomplete and not the same quotes they receive when they meet with a sales executive.
The company reiterated this problem exists because the online shopping sites that quote payments on the dealership’s behalf are not respecting the terms and conditions under which dealers are willing to do business.
With more and more consumer-facing companies coming online every month, Market Scan emphasized that it is critical that a dealer manages all outward payment quotes correctly to ensure consistency from platform to platform, as well as in the dealership.
Market Scan’s mPortal can fix this problem by providing the dealership with a single repository where all of the dealer’s selling rules can be housed and managed. The dealer’s list of finance companies, quoting rules, fees, rate mark-ups, bank fee mark-ups, internal packs and calculation settings all can reside in a single location. All the dealer has to do is insist that the dealership’s rules are honored for any payment quoted on any car in inventory.
“Every day we hear horror stories about consumers who are frustrated by their shopping experiences, both online and at the dealership,” West said. “What starts out as a very pleasant, low stress process rapidly turns adversarial when the payments offered on-line are not remotely similar to what the dealer presents the customer in the dealership.
“Every dealership has its unique inventory, lender affiliations and quoting rules — fees, mark-ups, packs, lot-age rules and, of course, profit margins,” he continued. “To calculate an accurate payment, all of these factors must be factored in correctly — in the dealership or via an online technology partner.
“mPortal is very powerful and gives the dealer the ability to take full control and give the customer a consistent buying experience,” West added.
2 industry partnerships
As mentioned in the previous product description, Market Scan and StoneEagle have a strategic partnership to develop tools to improve dealer profitability and competitiveness and drive best practice for their combined 10,000 dealership clients nationwide.
The first product conceived through the Market Scan-StoneEagle collaboration is mProve Diagnostics.
“Partnering with StoneEagle is a strategic business move for our two companies. The real beneficiaries, however, will be our clients who will be completely blown away by the magnitude of the profit opportunities available to them – without selling one additional car,” West said.
“When you pair StoneEagle’s SEcureMetrics Advanced F&I Analytics with our database of lender program and OEM incentives, the output is simply astonishing. We are very excited to be teaming-up with StoneEagle and can’t wait to show dealers what mProve can mean to their bottom line,” West continued.
StoneEagle chief executive officer Cindy Allen added, “When Rusty approached us about partnering with Market Scan, we quickly realized how our combined competencies could be beneficial for our dealers.
“Like Market Scan, StoneEagle has been an industry leader for 30 years. Over that period, Market Scan has provided industry-leading data and calculation solutions to dealers, while StoneEagle has been a leading supplier of F&I technology and sales performance solutions. What mProve offers dealers is truly a game-changer,” Allen went on to say.
mProve Diagnostics shows dealers where profit opportunities could’ve been maximized for each sales transaction – and exactly how each deal should have been constructed to improve the gross profit and competitiveness of the deal.
Meanwhile, Market Scan and Motoinsight also announced they are forming a strategic relationship to further expand their reach across the United States.
Motoinsight will gain access to Market Scan’s database and calculation engine which will include data and programs from banks, finance companies and OEMs. This information will include automotive financial offering, all rebates and incentives, and all taxation.
West insisted this relationship will put Motoinsight in a position to continue to provide its dealers throughout the U.S. with the most comprehensive and accurate data in the industry.
“Motoinsight is a tremendous addition to our list of dynamic technology customers, a fast-growing company that is changing the game for dealers in North America and beyond,” West said. “Motoinsight’s products are data-focused, and I’m proud to say Market Scan has the best, most comprehensive lender program and OEM incentive data in the industry.”
Motoinsight works with automakers and dealerships in the United States, Canada and Australia to redefine automotive retail. The company’s team of engineers, designers and product specialists develop data-powered end-to-end digital commerce solutions that are designed to streamline the vehicle-buying experience for everyone involved.
“The disruption that we have seen in many other retail sectors is now happening in the automotive world,” Motoinsight chief executive officer Andrew Tai said. “We’re proud to be at the forefront of innovation by enabling seamless online and in-store car buying experiences that delight customers.
“Our rapid growth reflects the trust that automakers and dealership groups have placed in our market-leading digital retailing solutions. Market Scan is known for their world-class data, and this partnership will enable us at Motoinsight to deliver the highest caliber of digital retailing technology to our customers,” Tai went on to say.