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"Sell Before You Buy"

Cars That Last Over 200k mi, CR’s Worst Cars of 2017, Older Used Cars Scarce, and a “Hot” Huracan Auction

Greetings, wheelers and dealers! March has come in like a lion and out like a lion, catching us off-guard with a number of serious storms and harrowing incidents like Atlanta’s I-85 collapse. We hope everyone is ok out there!

To lighten up the mood, we have some fun but informative looks at the best and worst used cars. In terms of “best,” a study reveals unkillable cars most likely to make it past 200,000 miles. Then, Consumer Reports dishes out serious shade with their list of the worst 2016 models.

Detroit News also has a sobering look at why affordable, older used car models are scarce. Hint: we had a recession. Finally, is this Lamborghini Huracan auction the ultimate fixer-upper?

 

SUVs Top List of Unkillable 200k Cars

We have all had those cars that clung to life well past what we thought was their expiration date. While most vehicles get traded in before too many zeroes rack up on the odometer, these cars keep on trucking until 200,000 miles and beyond.

“Trucking” is accurate, too, considering a study by iseecars revealed that big truck-based SUVs have the longest shelf life — er, road life. The Ford Expedition tops the list, followed by four GM vehicles and two Toyotas, in no particular order. Toyota also pops up as #8, with the Avalon being the sedan with the most tenacity.

You can read the full list to see the most persistent performers here: http://blog.iseecars.com/longest-lasting-cars-over-200000-miles/

 

Consumer Reports Takes the Worst 2017 Cars to Task

We can’t help but stare at train wrecks, and Consumer Reports just released a list of the most mangled ideas that made it off the car assembly line for the 2017 model year, seemingly for our voyeuristic pleasure.

Since we aren’t the mean type, we won’t be naming any names here, but all but one of these should come as no surprise. Read their full list, and their reasoning for why each car is terrible, here: http://www.consumerreports.org/new-cars/10-of-the-lowest-rated-cars-for-2017/

 

Detroit News: 2009-2010 Model Years a Rarer Find

Just in case you blacked out over the last decade or so, there was a pretty serious moment back in 2008 where we all thought that the U.S. economy was headed for a true meltdown. Luckily, we jerked the wheel just before driving off the cliff, but the effects of the financial crisis sent shockwaves throughout every American industry.

Unsurprisingly, not many people were buying new cars during this time. 2009-2010 model year sales were at astounding lows. This sales gap has now caught up with us as people go out hunting for affordable used cars in the <$10,000 range. In the meantime, recent-model off-lease and fleet vehicles have been hitting the wholesale market in record numbers, creating an unprecedented scene within the used car sales industry.

Learn more about this phenomenon and how it is affecting the industry in The Detroit News’ full story: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2017/03/23/used-cars-recession/99509120/

 

Is This “Gently Used” Lambo Huracan Listing a Hot Deal?

In what could be the best deal ever seen in an auction lot, this salvage title 2015 Lamborghini Huracan is likely to sell at just a fraction of its original actual cash value of $236,055. It needs a little bit of work, but the estimated repair cost is only $5, so that’s promising!

The mileage could be incredibly low, too, but we can’t seem to be able to find the odometer anywhere. But, hey! It’s got a tilt steering wheel! And a V10! The auction says the vehicle won’t start for some reason, but you do get the keys.

Don’t get burned by letting this perfect project car pass you by! View the listing here: https://www.iaai.com/Vehicle?itemID=22582391&RowNumber=1&loadRecent=True


So what would your maximum bid be for that red-hot Lambo? Have you noticed a lack of ‘09 and ‘10 models on your lot? Do you think you’ll knock down the trade-in values for vehicles dubbed the year’s worst? And, finally, what’s the highest mileage you’ve ever racked up on a car?

 

Recap you story and thoughts in the comments below!

Feb. Used Prices Hold, Mobile Auctions Grow, Declutter Your Dealer Site, and a Jeep-sicle

That chilly blast of weather that just hit the U.S. sets the tone for this week’s news roundup.

First, used car prices stay on ice for Feb. 2017, says Cox Automotive. Prices nudged down slightly from last month but up from last year, creating almost no net movement. Cox also says that wholesale auction lots are getting snowed under with inventory, causing them to look to simulcast mobile auctions that help move cars quicker.

Then, we have some advice for making your dealer site perform better: declutter. Just like shoveling the walk encourages foot traffic, clearing clutter brings more web traffic. Finally, a Jeep meets the fate of the Donner Party after getting buried in the Sierra Nevada.

 

February 2017 Wholesale Prices Stay Flat

This past February wasn’t good news, and it wasn’t bad news for use auto prices. It was no news.

Since January, average prices fell by 0.2%. But, considering Feb. 2016 was a bad month, prices ticked up 1.1% year-over-year, indicating a tepid if not cooling price forecast. Luxury cars and mid-sizers had the steepest losses, both just over 2%. Trucks, vans and SUVs actually had upticks of 6.5%, 4.9% and 2.0%, respectively, since Jan.

Get the full report here: http://www.autoremarketing.com/wholesale/february-wholesale-prices-remain-stable-path

 

Shrinking Lot Space Boosts Simulcast Auctions

With all the off-lease vehicles hitting the wholesale market these days, auction houses are running out of space. Companies like Cox Automotive’s Manheim have invested in asphalt just to keep up, but a decidedly more high-tech solution has been helping them out: mobile auctions.

Cox’s Tom Webb explains that “the pressure is on used-car auctions to keep moving vehicles quickly as more vehicles return to market. Otherwise, sellers run the risk of letting their vehicles depreciate[...].” This pressure encourages wholesalers to find efficiencies, such as bringing simulcast equipment to the backlot rather than transporting vehicles to the auction block.

You can learn how mobile auctions are transforming the industry and other trends here: http://www.autonews.com/article/20170227/RETAIL04/302279989/1132

 

Declutter Your Dealer Site to Boost Sale

Speaking of cluttered backlots, too many used auto dealers have clutter on their virtual lots. Research from conversion software company PERQ shows that cutting down on the visual noise and the amount of options a website visitor faces can improve CTR. Rather than having eight offers bombard visitors at once, messaging should be minimal, clear, targeted and at least somewhat personalized.

“Most dealership websites are jammed with a cacophony of offers, messages and static lead forms that, more often than not, lack relevance to the visitor,” says PERQ’s Russ Chandler. “It’s the equivalent of walking into a dealership and having multiple sales people yelling offers and information at you all at once without bothering to ask what your name is[...].”

You can see more information and advice on dealer site design here: http://www.autodealermonthly.com/news/story/2017/03/perq-decluttered-dealer-sites-perform-best.aspx

 

Jeep Remains Found Buried Under Snow in Donner Pass

171 years ago, members of the Donner Party engaged in what might be the most infamous potluck ever after getting blocked by snow in the Sierra Nevadas en route to California. Now, history somewhat repeats itself as a 4.0 Jeep was found buried under 20+ feet of snow in that same pass.

The Jeep was likely left on the shoulder after breaking down in the mountains. Snow plows buried it further until a snowblower cleared through the pass, chomping into the Jeep’s rear.

Hear some compelling fanfic about the Jeep’s journey here: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/this-jeep-cherokee-fell-victim-to-the-infamous-donner-p-1793166595



So, do you think that Jeep ate at least three others before it was uncovered? Have you seen dealer sites that are far too noisy? And what do you think of Cox’s take on both vehicle price trends and how auction lots are changing? Sound off your yodeling in the comments below!

Consignor Companies Strategize Huge Off-Lease Volumes, Unfixed Recalls a Growing Problem, Hyundai Genesis a Great Value, and Oscar-Worthy Cars

Coming off of an Oscar’s night filled with more glamour and confusion than a Karl Lagerfeld birthday party, we have some interesting stories to lead you into the month of March.

First off, we have some interesting strategies from cosigners on how to deal with the record-breaking off-lease volume coming down the pipes. Next, a word of warning to dealers doing trade-ins: check to see if recall problems were fixed first. A new report says a growing number aren’t, 34% more than last year.

After that, find out why those looking to tout luxury on their lot should send more praises to an unsung hero, the Hyundai Genesis. Finally, we have a red carpet look at some of the most fabulous stars of recent Oscar-winners: their amazing vintage cars.

So jump right in with us!

 

Consignors Prepared for Record Shattering Off-Lease Numbers

3.6 million units. That’s how many vehicles come off-lease this year, a new record high. The last record was set 15 years ago, when George W. Bush was barely past his first term. By 2020, 4.6 million off-lease vehicles will enter the market in a single year.

Despite the threat of a glut of inventory, consignors say they have learned enough lessons to handle it. Technology will also give them a leg up. Big data analytics let them get smart about how, when and where to remarket. Online auction systems like MyDealerOnline have also made getting vehicles into the right hands easier.

Learn more about how consignors are getting ready for the inventory flood here: http://www.autoremarketing.com/financial-services/consignors-take-savvier-approach-lease-volume

 

Beware Unfixed Recall Issues

34% more vehicles in 2017 have gone without fixing major recall issues than the year before, according to a new study. Carfax estimates that over 63 million vehicles are on the road with lingering recall issues under the hood. Texas cars are even worse: 1 in 3 could be compromised.

The most likely vehicles to be affected are SUVs and minivans, so take a look at the service records and ask questions before buying auction inventory or a trade-in.

Learn more about the recall study here: http://www.autoremarketing.com/trends/cars-unfixed-recalls-rise-34-over-past-year

 

Jalopnik: Hyundai Genesis an Insane Luxury Car Value

While many were initially confused about the idea of a Korean budget automaker vying against European luxury cars, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis eventually pulled it off. Yet, many of these models are going for bargain-basement prices, says Jalopnik. That’s why they consider it the best luxury car deal auto buyers can find right now.

See why Jalopnik is singing the Gensis’ praises here: http://jalopnik.com/the-hyundai-genesis-has-become-an-insanely-great-used-l-1792783355

 

Cars Are the Real Stars of “La La Land,” “Moonlight”

The first shot in the Best Picture Moonlight is a Nassau Blue ‘73 Chevy Impala Coupe. The camera lovingly rolls over its long doors as Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali steps out and squints into the sunlight. Best Director winner La La Land’s Ryan Gosling similarly has a love of classic cars as sprawling as the L.A. freeways it depicts.

Both vehicles chew up scenes and provide bright spots in the stunning cinematography of these memorable movies.

Find out more about why Automobile Magazine things both vehicles should have taken home an Oscar here: http://www.automobilemag.com/news/real-stars-moonlight-la-la-land/

 


So what are some of your favorite movie cars? Do you have a lot of interest in the Hyundai Genesis on your lot? Are you worried about unfixed recalls or the possible inventory overload looming in the future? Tell us your most honest opinions in the comments below!

Direct Online Auto Sales Grow, Subaru Best Cost-to-Own, Reducing Employee Turnover, and a V12 Maybach G-Wagen

This week’s roundup contains some great information for used car dealers and those in the auto remarketing industry. It also contains some pretty advantageous information if you are in the market for an SUV that costs as much as two houses.

First off, we have some great commentary from industry leaders in auto financing. Then, we have the results of KBB’s lowest Cost-to-Own awards, which handed accolades to Subaru and Acura. After that, some great advice on how to reduce employee turnover, one of the biggest performance saps in the used auto industry.

Finally, we have a Mercedes-Maybach in SUV form. The new MM G 650 Landaulet is bestowed with quilted leather lounge seats, a soft drop-top and even leather-wrapped fold-out trays. So start practicing telling your kids that their college fund “somehow went missing” as you dig into this week’s best stories.

 

Auto Finance Leaders Tout Growth of Direct Online Auto Sales

Speaking at the Vehicle Finance Conference a few weeks back, heads of Chase Bank, Ally Financial, Ford Motor Credit and other auto finance institutions had some interesting comments about the direction of the industry. They said that the enormous volume of upcoming off-lease units — some 3 million strong — will pose a welcome challenge to the industry.

In response, major cosigners and financiers are turning to direct online auto sales platforms. Hertz, for instance, will start using Shift’s online vehicle sales platform to offload its fleet, and Ally Financial will start using Carvana for similar purposes.

This high-growth industry will create a boon for companies like MyDealerOnline, which connect dealers and consumers directly to online auto remarketing sales channels.

Take a look at the executives’ comments here: http://www.autoremarketing.com/financial-services/what-consignors-value-most-when-remarketing-lease-units

 

KBB Says Subaru, Acura Best Brands for 5 Yr Cost-to-Own

The results of Kelley Blue Book’s Annual 5 Year Cost-to-Own Awards are out, and they name Subaru as the best brand for consumers’ bucks in terms of depreciation, fuel efficiency, insurance, and maintenance costs. Acura took second place.

Category winners included the Subaru Crosstrek as the best compact SUV, the Honda Accord as the best mid-sized sedan, and the Chevy Colorado Extended Cab as the best pickup.

Read the full results and all the other category winners here: https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/5-year-cost-to-own-awards/

 

Reduce Dealer Employee Turnover With More Work, Less Pay

Employee turnover is at 40 percent for the average dealership, causing major employment problems and resulting performance issues. Training new employees and cultivating a consistent sales process becomes quite difficult under these conditions.

To combat the problem, innovative dealer owners are turning to an unconventional strategy: give workers more responsibility and pay them less. More specifically, empower sales reps by letting them take on more autonomy during the sales process. This approach gives them control over their own results and helps them upskill. At the same time, reduce their reliance on commissions by offering a salary. Even if the salary is less than what they could be earning, the stability makes the position less risky for young professionals.

Learn more about how to keep employees happy here: http://www.autonews.com/article/20170213/RETAIL07/302139956/strategies-for-reducing-employee-turnover

 

Offroad in Insane Luxury With the Mercedes-Maybach G 650

Clearly built for diplomats — and those who want to terrify traffic with dictator-like levels of opulence — the newly announced Mercedes-Maybach G 350 Landaulet is a truly unique vehicle. A V12 AMG engine runs the 17.5 ft long MM, cranking out 630 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. That long length allows for two back seats that look like quilted leather-clad resort chairs. Only 99 models will be built.

The SUV is also definitely meant for people who want to be chauffeured; a privacy divider sits in front of two LCD entertainment screens, and the rear leather soft top electronically lowers for you to wave at your adoring populace. Armored security personnel optional.

Take a closer look here: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/the-mercedes-maybach-g-650-landaulet-is-the-height-of-v-1792297426

So are you going to eat ramen noodles for the next 10 years to save up for a G 650? Do you think you can convince employees to stick around by empowering them? Will the KBB study help you sell more Subarus? And are you excited about the growth of online auto sales platforms? Fill us in on your deepest, inner-most thoughts below!

NADA Expo Brings New Dealer Tech, Why Car Buyers Love Twitter, and Why You Should Worry Less About Cybersecurity

2017 has no doubt gotten off to a rocky start, and while the unpredictability will still continue, we at least have some new tech and ideas to look forward to revealed at the recent NADA Expo. Our first story looks at three of the most promising dealer technologies seen at the conference.

Our second story more generally covers the potential of how web marketing efforts can help dealers connect with consumers. According to recent research, over 40 percent of those who purchase vehicles or have them serviced at dealers follow dealerships on Twitter to get notified of offers and discounts.

Finally, we have some reassurance from a data and cybersecurity expert that should quell some of the more irrational fears plaguing us.

So let the learning begin!

 

The Best Dealer Tech at the 2017 NADA Expo

While hard-and-fast technologies like electric vehicle powertrains are constantly being refined, much of the disruption behind-the-scenes in the auto industry comes from improvements in cloud-based applications for dealerships. Some of the most innovative and useful of these nascent apps were recently on display at NADA Expo 2017.

GoMoto and the DriveItNow platform are two such companies pioneering the way consumers buy autos. DriveItNow enables shoppers to “search by payment” to see all of the models they can qualify for and that fit within their monthly budget. GoMoto is an ever-evolving, self-guided customer sales interface that allows people to guide part of their own sales experience online or at special kiosks found in dealer showrooms. Both platforms seamlessly integrate with one another.

MotorCloud.com, another promising tech product found at NADA, couples with DealersLink to provide classified auto ads that better-integrate with dealer’s CRM systems.

And, of course, MyDealerOnline sits atop these technologies, enabling dealers to list vehicles available wholesale in a branded environment.

 

Car Shoppers Follow Dealers on Twitter for Deals

In a recent study on social media car-buying trends, Digital Air Strike found that nearly half of all dealer customers follow dealerships on Twitter in order to see the latest promos, discounts and deals. 44 percent of all sales customers and 47 percent of all service customers surveyed used Twitter for this purpose.

This study indicates the need for dealers to have a Twitter presence in order to compete with others who may try to undercut them with online promotions. It also reveals yet another chapter in the long evolution of online lead generation tools.

 

Data Expert: Stop Biting Your Nails About Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a huge pressing issue in this modern age, but certain company representatives would have you believe that your servers are being raided every night, like an open cookie jar harangued by roaches every time the lights go out.

While it is true that you should have data security measures in place, many companies would rather misinform you and do little to enhance cybersecurity in favor of simply making you feel scared.

“It’s important to recognize when someone is playing on your fears in an effort to serve their own agenda,” observes auto data expert Steve Cottrell. He recommends that instead, you become more familiar with how your data is captured, how it is stored and how it flows between systems. This knowledge can help you put in place smart, calculated security solutions rather than a “kitchen sink” approach driven by paranoia.

Catch his full recommendation here: http://www.autodealermonthly.com/channel/dps-office/article/story/2017/01/set-your-cybersecurity-fears-aside.aspx


So is your dealership worried about “the cyber” these days? Are you excited about the new tech on display at NADA 2017? Are you concerned about your dealer’s Twitter presence in light of the recent study? Give us your two cents and more on our Facebook page!

Meet our Intern: Introducing Julian Aspite of Aspite Auto Auction

We'd like to introduce you to our newest MyDealerOnline team member, Julian Aspite. Julian is going to be a senior marketing major at West Virginia University and will be assisting the marketing and sales department for the duration of the summer. Certainly a well-rounded and knowledgeable addition to the team, Julian grew up right in the action of the auction at Aspite Auto Auction, currently owned and operated by his dad, Jerry Aspite Jr., and his uncle, Antonio Aspite. Here's more from Julian himself.   

Pictured Above: MDO team members, Alexander and Andrey, initiating Julian in summertime lunch break exercises

Growing up in the auto auction world was very exciting.  I would go to auctions on Saturdays to watch my Dad and Uncle auction off cars and loved to hear them do their “fast talking.”  Hearing them speak always made me laugh and smile.  Although the auctions were fun, they were also very intimidating.  There would be a lot of people hovering around the lot hollering when they did not get the car they wanted, but I was able to get used to this quickly.  After the auctions, my Dad and I would go back to the office so he could do paperwork.  After he was finished with his work, we would go into the yard and he would drive me around on the forklift, play with dogs, and look at all the cars. Everything was very fascinating to me.

 Pictured Right: Life in the yard at Aspite Auto Auction

Now that I am grown up and working with my Dad and Uncle, the auto auction world I grew up in is very different.  Aspite Auto Auction went from working in trailers on the side of State Road to an office in a building.  They started to get nicer cars in their auctions with clean titles and made a bigger name for themselves. Since I can still remember what the yard looked like and how they ran the auctions many years ago, I am able to fully appreciate the work that my family has put into this business and where they are now.  Each day I work with my family I learn more about the industry and see how they are evolving with the digital era.         

 

Over the past few years, I’ve been working for Aspite Auto Auction when I am home from school.  I saw the company switch from only live auctions to now having live and online auctions.  The way they run their live auctions is different from the way they ran them two years ago and it seems to be changing each month.  They are able to find more efficient ways to run the auctions which benefits everyone that works for Aspite. They now use an online auction platform with an easy to use mobile app, a technology upgrade that has changed business for the better.  We are able to put vehicles online much faster with the app and online auctions run very smoothly.  It has been a great help to the company and I am very excited to see where it takes us in the future. 

Pictured Above: Aspite Auto Auction celebrating their grand re-opening after over 50 years of business

Tricks of the Trade for Improving Inventory Acquisition from Auctions

Auto industry guru, Dale Pollack, recently wrote an article in AutoRemarketing on "four ways to turn auctions cars into advantage" at used-car dealerships. Pollack suggests the following recommendations for dealers to instrumentally source auction cars:

  1. Know exactly what to buy
  2. Know where to buy
  3. Buy at the right price
  4. Do it all faster

Any professional in the pre-owned industry knows that acquiring profitable, quickly-sold inventory requires a lot of skill and a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, predetermining the exact make, model, year, mileage, etc. of car that the next customer who walks onto your lot is going to want is not technically an equation that one can figure out easily beforehand. Honing down on particular skills and taking advantage of certain technologies that provide various inventory sourcing solutions will help dealers learn how to acquire top selling cars from auctions.  

The first strategic alteration to devising a profitable vehicle acquisition strategy is knowing exactly what to buy. Although some dealers may argue that part of the fun of auctions is relying on professional knowledge and taking a bit of a gamble to win a bidding war, why not combine those two thrills with a touch of car-specific precision? As technology continues to connect consumers to a greater selection of vehicles, dealers should also leverage their own technological resources to acquire a varied selection of vehicles to fill their lot.

In a congruent AutoRemarketing article, DealerSocket's, Michael Waterman, mentions that, “As the “traditional” customer continues to evolve and has significantly more choice, it’s critical that managers leverage a fully integrated inventory management platform to ensure that science, rather than anecdotes and gut feeling, is driving their vehicle-acquisition strategy.” There are a plethora of inventory management tools available for dealers, as well as unique inventory providers, such as MyDealerOnline. MyDealerOnline eliminates the guess work for dealers at auctions and allows them to bid on vehicles that customers already intend to buy. With the ability to display thousands of auction vehicles on a dealer's website using MyDealerOnline's platform, customers can actually request to order a car that is not even on the dealer's lot. With customers already requesting particular vehicles at auctions, it is simply the dealers job to go retrieve those vehicles. Dealers know exactly what to buy with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

Knowing where to buy is another key factor to sourcing inventory from auctions. As more and more competition enters the pre-owned sector, particularly with the influx of franchise dealers, independent dealers must acclimate by increasing their sources for inventory. "With increased competition to acquire auction cars, many dealers recognize they need to expand their sourcing efforts beyond the local auction," states Pollack.

Closed auctions make it increasingly difficult for independent dealers to compete with their franchised counterparts. A proactive alternative is resorting to online auctions, where independent
dealers can attend multiple auction lanes remotely. MyDealerOnline provides access to remote auctions straight from the dealer's website. Not only do dealers have access to thousands of offsite auction vehicles, but their customers can also choose from pre-owned vehicles at these remote auction locations.

Source: NIADA Independent Dealership Action Report Fall 2015

 

Another recommendation is using bidding precision and discipline in the lanes to ensure buying at the right price. Even the most competitive bidders need to stick to their maximum bid in order to guarantee a worthwhile profit. "Careful examination of a vehicle's daily profitability is a dealer's secret weapon," claims Waterman. Dealers now have access to tools that calculate each vehicle's profit potential before even making a bid. Imagine collecting a down payment on a vehicle and having a customer decide the maximum price they want you to bid on an auction vehicle?! Make that scenario a reality with MyDealerOnline, where dealers put the buying decision in the consumers' hands. Dealers are able to preset their profit margins and let the customer determine how much they are willing to pay before the vehicle is even purchased. 

The last key to profitable inventory acquisition is doing it all faster. The longer a car collects dust on a dealer's lot, the less potential for a profitable return that car provides. Rather than gathering aging inventory, have a customer lined up on the retail side straight from the wholesale line. MyDealerOnline serves to bridge the gap between wholesale and retail, connecting retail shoppers to wholesale vehicle suppliers. Shortened sale cycles allow more time for selling and less time bidding on the wrong cars. With a few strategy tweaks to inventory acquisition, along with the help of technologies like MyDealerOnline, independent dealers can maximize profits and improve inventory purchases for their dealership's advantage. 

To learn more, visit mydealeronline.com

 

MyDealerOnline Mentioned in TechCrunch as Quality Lead Generator for the Automotive Sector

In a recent TechCrunch article, "The Future of Lead Generation," MyDealerOnline is mentioned as a startup aimed at empowering both consumers and dealers during the car buying and selling process. With MyDealerOnline's technology, consumers are given access to automotive auction inventory, presenting car shoppers with a greater selection of vehicles at the best possible prices. Traditionally, quality auction vehicles are only obtained by licensed car dealers at dealer-only auctions. MyDealerOnline's technology connects consumers to auction inventory by allowing dealers to display thousands of auction vehicles on their websites, growing their online automotive listings and increasing their inventory selection for consumers. 

In an age where companies are paying monthly dues for qualified leads and social "likes" to grow their customer base, powerful lead generation tools are as valuable as they come. Any veteran professional in the automotive  industry knows that letting a lead slip through the cracks could mean missing the sale of a car that has been sitting on their lot far past it's expiration date. With MyDealerOnline's digital communication platform, dealers can interact with eager consumers across the web as they are shopping for their next car. Through MyDealerOnline's lead management system, consumers can request more information about a vehicle, send a message, request a phone and even ask the dealer to place a bid on a car located at an offsite auction. MyDealerOnline's real-time notification system alerts dealers when a consumer is interested in a car on their website, preventing dealers from ever missing a lead inquiry. 

The ability to turn potential customers into lifelong customers comes down to capturing leads when they are looking and where they are looking during their purchasing decision. As highlighted in a previous MyDealerOnline's blog post about the power of lead generation, MyDealerOnline provides an all encompassing solution for dealers to maintain leads and capture customers before the dealer down the street is ever given the opportunity. MyDealerOnline not only provides consumers access to thousands of auction vehicles that are otherwise unattainable to the public, but also provides dealers with a lead generation tool essential for sustainability and growth in today's lead-hungry economy. 

Original article published on LinkedIn by Carly Fitzpatrick 

Independent Dealers Have No Fear, Online Inventory is Here

As more and more franchise dealerships step into the used-car sector, independent used-car dealers are finding themselves with greater competition than ever before. Not only are they competing with the dozens of other independent dealerships within a five mile radius, but also the colossal franchise dealerships with a greater inventory selection and a seemingless endless stream of cash flow.  With 40 million used cars sold in 2015, both franchise and independent dealers are fighting for a piece of the pre-owned industry’s profit. By examining DealerSocket’s Independent Dealership Action Report, we can determine the greatest challenges independent, used-car dealers encountered last year and more importantly, how to solve those challenges.

When asked what was the most important problem plaguing their dealerships in the year 2015, independent dealers responded that their top two greatest challenges included:

1. Inventory Acquisition (31%)

2. Capital to Finance Inventory (21%)

 

Coincidentally, return on investment and revenue growth ranked as the number one goal of independent dealers polled in the report. With inventory and capital proving to be the biggest challenges along with ROI and revenue growth serving as the top priority, it is evident that, “There is a direct correlation between independent dealers’ top challenge — inventory acquisition — and their No. 1 initiative — ROI/revenue growth,” the report notes. “In a circular fashion, acquiring more inventory will increase revenue and cash capital to finance more cars.”

 

The DealerSocket report concludes with suggestions for increasing both inventory and capital as well as advice for growing dealership revenue. 

INCREASING INVENTORY & CAPITAL

  • Expanding inventory search online and attracting individual sellers
  • Understanding car buyers and purchasing inventory based on their needs
  • Utilizing tools like a lender portal to offer more financing options to your customers

GROWING DEALERSHIP REVENUE 

  • Leveraging technology, like CRM, that is cost-effective and yields high returns
  • Improving selling skills, like phone handling, to raise closing rates by source
  • Decreasing spend of traditional advertising 
  • Creating a digital shopping experience that drives consumer engagement 

Looking for a technological tool to reduce your dealership's pain points and increase your dealership's competitiveness? MyDealerOnline offers a unique solution for independent, used-car dealers. With our technology, you can place auction inventory on your website or create your own custom website pre-loaded with auction inventory. Better yet, our services come with a low monthly subscription so you do not even have to finance this inventory to display on your website. Add auction inventory to your online listings, increase your digital presence and provide a greater selection of vehicles with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

Three’s a Party: The Role of Third Party Sites in Automotive Retail

Traditional automotive retail consists of two main players; the dealer and the consumer. Modern automotive retail consists of the dealer, the consumer and every other factor that now influences consumers' car buying decisions. From consumer shopping guides, to dealership reviews, to social recommendations on Facebook, we are given countless resources as consumers to guide our purchasing decisions in today's digitally-connected, review-friendly society. When it comes to third party automotive sites, three’s a party as they offer benefits for both the dealer and the consumer. This blog post explores the impact of third party marketplaces in the automotive retail sector and introduces an innovative solution for remarketing vehicles. 

Trends show that consumer shopping behaviors favor third party sites, utilizing such marketplaces as trustworthy and objective informational resources throughout the decision-making process. In fact, 2 out of 3 new car buyers, and 4 out of 5 used car buyers rely on independent research sites and marketplaces as a key resource in their car buying process.1 "Consumers like to comparison shop, and they want unbiased information that third party sites provide," stated Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com, at the 2015 Automotive News Retail Forum.2 As fragmented as the auto retailing industry is today, independent dealers continue to rely on third party sites to market their inventory. Third party sites allow consumers to view an array of inventory, shop around and find a good deal. Convenience is key for today’s consumer and the convenience of third party sites is rooted in massive amounts of inventory, avenues for comparability and reliable consumer reviews all in one place. 

 

For dealers, third party sites offer marketing opportunities difficult for independent, franchise dealerships to initiate on their own. Third party sites are today’s classified newspapers ads with better results. "Few groups have the size and resources to strike out on their own and create websites sufficient to try to attract all the business they need internally," mentioned John Krafcik, President of TrueCar, Inc.3 Third party sites allow dealers to reach a wider audience, generate leads and advertise their dealership. According to Driving Sales News, 78% of consumers looking for used cars are using a third party site in their search. Out of this 78%, they also state that 60% of the time that consumers spend going through the buying process is spent on a third party site.4 With such a high percentage of lead and sale traffic coming from third-party sites, why wouldn’t every dealer's strategy focus on broadcasting their dealership on these types of marketplaces? 

 

Well for one, third party sites require a quality leads handling process and consistent communication to produce profitable ROI. Let’s face it, marketing inventory on these sites does come with a price and in order to reap the benefits in return, they require a significant amount of management and attention on the back-end. It is important for dealers to remember that many third party sites do not necessarily consider themselves lead providers but rather inventory marketing channels.5  Given the sheer volume of consumers visiting automotive marketplaces on a daily basis, third party sites offer viable avenues for dealers to market their inventory. However, third party sites do not necessarily serve as the lead-generating power tool designed to solve all dealer hardships in automotive retail. In the past few years, AutoNation has placed less emphasis on plugging money into third party site providers and turned its attention towards brand building. "I can pay them to build their brands, or I can build my own brand," referenced AutoNation's CEO, Mike Jackson, noting that the significant fees and subscription costs for online lead generation through third party sites simply wasn't worth the cost.6

 

Given the interesting twist of third party site advantages and disadvantages for dealers, what about a tool that offers consumers a massive selection of inventory AND provides dealers quality, manageable leads through their OWN website? MyDealerOnline's revolutionary software does just that. An auto remarketing tool designed for dealers to offer a greater inventory selection without increasing their upfront capital finance requirements, MyDealerOnline aggregates auto auction inventory and places it on subscribing dealers’ sites for consumer browsing. Car shopping consumers are able to browse this inventory tool and inquire about particular cars straight through MyDealerOnline’s interactive communication platform. Dealers get real-time lead alerts and consumers get fast responses to their inquiries. MyDealerOnline's solution bridges the gap between wholesale and retail, an opportunity not available through third party site providers. To learn more about this unique concept, visit mydealeronline.com for additional information.