A 2018 independent vAuto research study found that dealers make 22 trades per month on average. But 17.7 percent of those trades are a loss, according to dealer self-reported data.
vAuto, which is part of Cox Automotive, said that new functionality from its Conquest platform helps dealers make informed decisions on every inbound trade.
New vehicle trading is an important part of the business, Cox Automotive senior vice president of inventory software solutions Randy Kobat said in a news release. Ordering restrictions mean getting the exact inventory needed for a market can be challenging, he said.
“And that’s what Conquest helps solve … enabling dealers to make trading decisions on insights, not gut, to reduce losses and improve their inventory,” Kobat said about the new vehicle inventory management and pricing system.
Using third-party data, Conquest’s new Dealer Trade tool from vAuto creates a trade process that identifies which competitors’ vehicles would perform best in their markets.
The company says that process results in faster-turning inventory.
In announcing what it describes as an “insights-driven” upgrade to dealer trading in the Conquest platform, vAuto said that it is building on the legacy of metrics that it has developed for inventory management.
The company adds that the enhanced dealer trade functionality integrates, at no additional cost, into Conquest.
vAuto said in a news release that in today’s “margin-compressed environment,” each piece of inventory should receive an evaluation based on its potential marketability and profitability.
“Obtaining a clear, objective assessment on inbound trades was difficult and time-consuming until now,” the company said in the release.
“We know new car managers today have a lot on their plates,” vAuto’s senior director of Conquest Brian Finkelmeyer said. “So, when a dealer receives an inbound request for a trade, they need to be sure they’re getting the right car back, and quickly. Conquest’s Dealer Trade gives our clients new solutions to be more competitive and efficient — whether they’re trading or proactively playing offense to improve their inventory.”
Conquest employs an algorithm comprised of proprietary data from vAuto to help dealers solve the loss issue. It also helps by using additional data from Cox Automotive, while also receiving support from vAuto’s performance management team. vAuto says that Conquest’s trading tool saves dealers from having to search through websites and OEM platforms. It even helps if the dealer making the request is not a Conquest user.
“The new Dealer Trade tool in Conquest takes the hassle out of trades by having all of the information and relevant inventory available without having to manage the back and forth often associated with manufacturer-provided OEM tools,” said Turner Silk, Glenn Ford Lincoln/Glenn's Freedom CDJ inventory manager. “Having the necessary information readily available prevents us from taking the wrong vehicle back in exchange and keeps our inventory flowing smoothly, not to mention the overall time it saves with the transaction.”
Additional enhancements for Conquest are in the works, according to vAuto. Those include improved marketing integrations and new metrics that the company expects to launch this year.