Tag Archive | "AUL Corp."

ADT Names 2016 Dealers’ Choice Award Winners


TORRANCE, Calif. — The publishers of Auto Dealer Today announced the winners of the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on a comprehensive survey that allowed dealers and dealership personnel to recognize their favorite vendors, suppliers and finance companies in 34 categories.

Voters must write in the name of each provider and score them in a number of areas related to performance, customer service, and the likelihood the voter would recommend each company to another dealer.

“This year’s winners include Dealers’ Choice Awards regulars as well as a number of new companies that have emerged as major players in a variety of categories,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom magazines. “But they all have one thing in common: They have earned the loyalty and praise of dealers, and they deserve our congratulations.”

The 2016 Dealer’s Choice Awards winners are:

New-Vehicle Lead

Used-Vehicle Lead

  • Diamond: Autotrader
  • Platinum: Cars.com
  • Gold: CarsDirect

Special Finance Lead

  • Diamond: CarsDirect
  • Platinum: DealerLink
  • Gold: Auto Credit Express

Digital Marketing

  • Diamond: Digital Air Strike
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: eBizAutos

Website Provider

  • Diamond: eBizAutos
  • Platinum: VinSolutions
  • Gold: Dealer.com

Chat Provider

  • Diamond: ActivEngage
  • Platinum: Client~ConneXion
  • Gold: Contact At Once!

Mobile Media

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Dealer Synergy

Social Media Management

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Naked Lime
  • Gold: DealerClickz

Reputation Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold (tie): DealerRefresh
  • Gold (tie): DMEautomotive

Direct Mail

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Action Integrated
  • Gold: Strategic Marketing

Virtual BDC

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: DealerStrong

Online Inventory Listing Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Auction123

Inventory Management

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: vAuto
  • Gold: FirstLook Systems

Hiring and Recruitment

  • Diamond: GSFSGroup
  • Platinum: Hireology

Sales Training

  • Diamond: Ziegler SuperSystems
  • Platinum: Ally
  • Gold: Joe Verde Group

Internet Training

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: Dealer Synergy
  • Gold: Ally

Compliance Training

  • Diamond: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Platinum: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Gold: Mosaic Compliance Services

F&I Training

  • Diamond: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Platinum: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Gold: Reahard & Associates

Special Finance Training

  • Diamond: DealerStrong
  • Platinum: NCM Associates
  • Gold: Ally

Fixed Ops Training

  • Diamond: DealerPro Service Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold: The Cardone Group

F&I Products

  • Diamond: IAS
  • Platinum: RoadVantage
  • Gold: National Auto Care

Service Contract

  • Diamond: CNA National
  • Platinum: Protective Asset Protection
  • Gold: AUL Corp.

Service Contract Reinsurance

  • Diamond: Portfolio
  • Platinum: GSFSGroup
  • Gold: CNA National

F&I Desking Software

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Dealertrack

F&I Technology

  • Diamond: F&I Express
  • Platinum: MaximTrak
  • Gold: StoneEagle

CRM 

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: Reynolds and Reynolds

DMS 

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Auto/Mate

Data Mining

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Gold: AutoAlert

Online Auction for Purchasing Inventory

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: SmartAuction
  • Gold: ADESA

Traditional Auction

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: ADESA

Prime Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: GM Financial
  • Platinum: Honda Financial Services
  • Gold: Toyota Financial Services

Prime Non-Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Chase
  • Gold: Wells Fargo

Subprime Finance Company

  • Diamond: Wells Fargo
  • Platinum: Regional Acceptance
  • Gold: Capital One

Biweekly Payments

  • Diamond: U.S. Equity Advantage
  • Platinum: SMART Payment Plan
  • Gold: Economic Advantages Corp. (EAC)

More detail about this year’s awards will appear in a Special Awards Section in the July issue of Auto Dealer Today. The winners will be honored in a special ceremony in August at Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at (727) 947-4027.

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Tom O’Neil to Lead Coaching & Development Panel at Agent Summit


LAS VEGAS — Agency principal Tom O’Neil will serve as moderator for a panel devoted to coaching and F&I development at Agent Summit, organizers announced. The event will be held May 9–11, 2016, at the Venetian Palazzo Las Vegas.

The panel, “Building a Team Theme for Prosperity,” will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10. O’Neil and his team will discuss how the installation of a new agency, F&I process and product suite can be derailed by a loss of focus and loyalty to former providers at the dealership level.

“How does an agent earn absolute, unconditional buy-in from a new client?” asked David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom. “It’s an important topic and one that I applaud Tom and his panel for tackling head-on.”

O’Neil is the founder and executive manager of O’Neil Financial Services Agency in Westerville, Ohio. He will be joined by panelists Jimmy Atkinson of AUL Corp., John Kane of Empire Dealer Services, Arkansas F&I’s Lewis Matthews Jr. and John Vecchioni of United Car Care Inc. (UCC).

“Getting the dealer to sign up is only the first step in a long-term F&I relationship. The real work is the ongoing coaching and development of each player, manager and the owner of each dealership,” O’Neil said. “If you cannot coach and develop every member of the team to buy in and execute your plan, the F&I numbers will not be there and you will not be there!”

Registration for Agent Summit is now open at the event’s website as well as by phone, fax and email. Attendees who register by April 4 will enjoy a $100 discount.

To inquire about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact Eric Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 727-612-8826.

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AUL Corp Named One of the Best Places to Work In the North Bay For the Second Year In A Row


NAPA, Calif. – The North Bay Business Journal recently announced the winners of the Best Places to Work in the North Bay. AUL Corp has been awarded the second year in a row. AUL Corp is a Vehicle Service Contract company founded in Napa, California, in 1990 by Luis Nieves, president and CEO. AUL has 117 employees in its downtown Napa offices and hundreds of agents across the country selling its products.

“This is truly an honor. This award recognizes the people of AUL who work so hard on behalf of our agents, dealers, and contract holders,” said Mr. Nieves, who also noted, “the passion of the team is evident each day, and our visitors always comment on how open and inviting the atmosphere is.”

One area that AUL has focused on in the last few years is giving back to the community. A charitable committee designed and run by the employees reviews causes and charities brought to it from within AUL and makes the decisions. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, Hands Across the Valley, and NAPA C.A.S.A. are a few examples of the organizations the committee supports.

“A few years ago we made the commitment to our charitable committee and placed no restraints on them except for them to use their good judgment,” said Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Atkinson. “They have been great stewards of our resources along with making a difference in our community. We believe that is an extension of our commitment to our AUL team.”

Employees are encouraged to find ways to demonstrate “The AUL Way” as a set of core values developed by the team. “While some are expected, like Honest, Committed, and Transparent, others allow our unique culture to shine, like Fun, Different and Creative,” said Nieves. Another core value is Appreciative, which truly sums up Mr. Nieves’ approach to business and life. “Anyone who meets Luis knows that they have encountered a special person,” said Atkinson. “His dedication to others and true pleasure in seeing people succeed is one of the key ingredients to our success in business and with our employees’ dedication to our company.”

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Agent Summit V Wrap Up


To all who attended – thank you for making Agent Summit V the best yet. Since its inception, the number of attendees has increased with each passing year – and with close to 900 attendees, this year was no exception. Agent Summit was launched in 2010 and was designed to provide Independent Agents, who serve as an extension of F&I product providers, with a forum to come together to network, share and learn. Today, many now regard Agent Summit as the one must-attend industry event of the year. This year’s show highlighted the latest training techniques and addressed the newest trends and most pressing challenges that Agents face as they serve their dealer clients.

Attendees were welcomed to the show’s upscale new location at the Venetian Palazzo. Complete with cobblestone streets, footbridges over canals, blue skies, and gondolas, attendees couldn’t help but feel as if they had just stepped off the plane in Venice, Italy. Jaws dropped as Agents who had taken advantage of the Agent Summit room block entered their stunning suites. Words like “lavish” and “spectacular” were heard describing the Palazzo as Agents arriving on Sunday evening gathered for welcoming cocktails.

Much like the Palazzo’s five star reputation, show sessions featured “five star” industry experts with every detail of the show sessions ultimately spelling “Profit!”

The third annual Reinsurance Symposium once again preceded Agent Summit; this year featuring two expert speakers. Greg Petrowski, senior vice president, GPW and Associates Inc., and a veteran speaker at Agent Summit, returned to the stage, and was followed by Brian Feldman, executive vice president, Spencer Re – a seasoned executive who has been a part of just about every facet of the reinsurance space.

With more than 20 years of industry experience each, Petrowski and Feldman shed light on the often confusing benefits of controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and non-controlled foreign corporations (NCFCs).

At the conclusion of the half-day Reinsurance Symposium, Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems Inc. (UDS), and returning advisory board chair, got the show underway with the official opening address.

This year’s show focused on four major areas, 1) Selling to dealers; 2) Training; 3) Coaching and development; and 4) Technology. Each topic was explored first in an individual feature presentation, and was then followed by a panel session.

Morning presentations featured strategies for closing more business and practical steps for getting in front of dealers. Jimmy Atkinson, COO, AUL Corp, stated, “You have to look at a dealer’s DNA – ‘Dealership Needs Analysis’ so you can provide them with products and solutions to meet those needs. This requires pre-call planning and a targeted presentation.” His mantra for agents was “Be prepared. Be flexible. Be confident.” AE readers can look forward to Atkinson’s further expansion of this topic in an upcoming issue.

Days one and two closed with a cocktail reception in the Expo Hall. Throughout the show, crowds filled the expansive Expo area as agents took advantage of the buffet of networking opportunities. With more than 75 tabletop exhibitors and just shy of a hundred sponsors, the exhibit hall was full to overflowing. Exquisite breakfasts and lunch were served alongside the Expo Hall, thanks to show sponsors.

Known as the “World Greatest Closer,” keynote George Dans jump-started day two out with a bang. Dans was a whirlwind of energy, as he crossed the stage, leaving a flurry of excitement and emotion in his wake. He shared personal stories of both success and failure. In his fast paced, energetic address, Dans got the audience pumped up with a revitalized enthusiasm for closing every single deal. He encouraged attendees to be at the top of their game, “We become what we think about all day. You need to say to yourself, ‘I’m good. I’m gifted. I’m talented. Fear, doubt and worry are behind me.’” Dans urged attendees to step out of their comfort zone and to change their way of thinking so they could come out not just ahead, but at the front of the pack. After his presentation, Dans signed hundreds of copies of his book, Just Close It… Ask and You Shall Receive, which were available to all attendees.

Day two also featured two sessions on training, which emphasized the foundational importance of establishing good relationships in order to get buy in from all parties. The sessions covered themes, frequency, and the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I management.

“As an agency,” stated Ron Reahard, president, Reahard & Associates Inc., “you have to help your F&I managers address the challenges they face on a daily basis, and give them the skills, the knowledge, and the confidence to be successful… Performance doesn’t improve because you or a dealer demands it, it gets better because you put a plan in place to ensure it happens.”

A panelist urged, “Make sure the dealer and GM see you as a partner, and know that you are there to make them better.”

Joe St. John, director of training, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), and seasoned academic, delivered the feature presentation on coaching and development titled, “Xs and Os – Brain Science for Better Coaching.” This dynamic presentation was definitely an audience favorite. St. John’s unconventional yet proven approach focused on the “why” that drives a customer’s decision to make a purchase. He used a lively combination of humor, experience, and science to demonstrate how to reframe common scenarios for success and forge a unique roadmap for the road to the sale.

The coaching and development panel session explored topics ranging from dealing with underperforming veteran F&I managers, strategies for facilitating collaboration between the sales department and F&I, and how agents can ensure their efforts are recognized by dealers. ”Communication,” urged panelists, “is key.”

After a lunch that rivaled any Vegas hot spot, names were drawn for two $500 gift cards, courtesy of Old Republic Insured Automotive Services, and two weeklong deep-sea fishing trips, thanks to Performance Automotive Management. The lucky recipients of the gift cards were Glen Tuscan, president, Dealer Commitment Services, and Greg Liverett, vice president of marketing, SGI Services. William Kelly, partner, Automotive Development Group, and Anna McMillan, president, The Milby Group, were thrilled to win the fishing trip prizes.

Jim Maxim Jr., president, MaximTrak, showed agents how to use cutting edge technology to set themselves apart from the competition, increase profits and operate more easily and efficiently. In addition to examining today’s technology landscape in industries across the board, he presented innovative technology solutions for agents and explained how they could be integrated into everyday business.

The technology panel session dissected topics ranging from the impact of compliance on menu usage, to data analytics, and the increasingly popular move towards customer driven presentations in F&I. Panel members were in agreement that in any type of business, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

The day concluded with a drawing for a Surface Pro 3 sponsored by Endurance Dealer Services. Tom Clark, the owner of Prosperity Dealer Services, was named the prizewinner.

Day three of Agent Summit ushered in the second annual agent principal only session, featuring round table discussions during a sponsored breakfast. The new format was informative and engaging with top agents brainstorming solutions for common issues agents face in their day-to-day business operation. Agents entered the room on high alert as they scanned topics by table to decide which one was most relevant to them. After thoughtful collaboration, each table captain shared their group’s recommendations for making the most of the given challenges. Discussion topics included selling in the service drive, provider relations, dealer expectations, effectively managing a remote sales force, staffing, competition and more. As one table captain took the podium, he pointed out the vast amount of wisdom and experience in the room, stating that his table alone represented more than 81 years of collective industry experience.

Show sponsor, ECP, ended the third day by sending several attendees home with new timepieces. Tension filled the room when names were drawn for the recipients of a Tissot Sailing Touch watch, a Luminox Deep Dive watch, and a Rolex Explorer II. Derek Doberstein, account executive, Back End Builders, took home the Tissot; Brian LoBaugh, partner, Auto Group Services pocketed the Luminox; and Mark Swannie, president, Karbiz took home the grand prize Rolex.

At the end of the show, Crisorio shared his thoughts on Agent Summit V with AE, “The feedback I’ve received is scary. We’ve set the bar so high that future Summit planning will be challenging. Nonetheless, I was told over and over again that Agent Summit V was the best industry event EVER! That says it all and is a credit to the industry professionals that left their knowledge and talent on stage.”

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AUL Corp Introduces New Suite of Products for Franchise Dealers


NAPA, Calif. – AUL Corp, the Napa, CA based vehicle service contract administrator unveiled their new Absolute suite of products for automobile franchise dealers at their recent Annual Agency Meeting. The all-new Absolute program was developed in conjunction with AUL’s leading agents from the ground up to meet the changing demands in the marketplace.

“We spent a lot of time in the development of this product with our agents to ensure we were highly responsive to the dealer’s needs,” said Jason Garner, General Sales Manager. “Our creative approach extended to not only Reserve Care Plus, our exclusionary new vehicle offering featuring versatile Hybrid and Electric Vehicle coverage. We further developed Reserve Care Lease, Certified Warranty and Wrap as well as Lifetime Warranty and Wrap so the dealer has a complete marketing strategy to not only increase F&I income but also sell more new and used vehicles.”

The Absolute suite of products also features Absolute Profits offering multiple avenues for dealer participation based on their individual needs. Reinsurance as well as underwriting participation programs combined with volume incentives allowing a dealer to maximize ROI for their vehicle service contact program.

Luis Nieves, founder and CEO said: “It was important that this new suite of products be as innovative and revolutionary as our Any Year, Any Mileage concept was in 1990.” He went on to add: “AUL became the leading used vehicle service contract provider with our personalized approach and appreciation for our dealers, we bring that same enthusiasm and dedication to this new offering.”

Internally, AUL has invested heavily in infrastructure for compliance, product development and risk management to support new programs like Absolute. Matt Russell, AUL Risk Manager said “Bringing to life the product that Jason, our GSM, and agents imagined was truly exciting. We used a granular approach with multiple layers and variables so that each make and model was uniquely priced. In the end, we developed over 9,000 prices across 6 different products. We’re confident this will be a great product for our agents, dealers, and contract holders.”

The Absolute suite of products has been met with unbridled enthusiasm from AUL agents. The multi-tiered approach ties in beautifully with AUL’s core used vehicle programs and provides agents with a program that will be essential to an agency’s offerings. All programs are fully electronic and supported through the company’s website. AUL is integrated with most menu and DMS systems allowing a seamless connection for the dealer to quote, sell and fulfill through their dealership platform.

“This is an exciting time in the automobile business,” added Garner. “This next-generation suite of products truly delivers a breakthrough opportunity for our agents and dealers and delivers on the promise of AUL to be the industry best at customer service and support.”

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Pelican Auto Finance Partners with AUL Corp.


NAPA, Calif. – Pelican Auto Finance, LLC (Pelican), a leader in deep sub-prime auto financing, has selected AUL a Napa, CA based company to be their national vehicle service contract provider. AUL an industry leader in the vehicle service contract business, has a strong national network of agents and dealers. The combined strength of the field representation and dealer base of the two companies creates a best-in-class solution for dealers in this market.

“Pelican is growing and making an impact nationwide, and AUL is a natural complement to our offering that we feel that customers and dealers will see as a value-add and just another reason to choose us,” said Troy Cavallaro, CEO of Pelican Auto Finance.

Currently in the national roll-out phase, both AUL and Pelican believe that the vehicle service contract offering they developed together will add business to the portfolios of both companies. To date, dealer response has been strong with an unprecedented number of dealers signing up to take advantage of the service contract program.

“The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” says Pelican Chief Operating Officer & Chief Compliance Officer Joel Kennedy. “We at Pelican are constantly looking for ways to improve our customer experience, and an AUL service contract is a great offering that we firmly believe will have meaningful impact.”

As the two companies worked together in development of the program, the common value of customer service was driving the program development. Additionally, integration of the technology used by both companies is a key advantage to providing a seamless launch to all Pelican Auto Finance dealers.

“We at AUL believe that there is a terrific alignment between our companies,” said Jimmy Atkinson, Chief Operating Officer at AUL. “Pelican has a terrific platform and our focus on the claims experience complements their value added approach to the dealer lending space.”

“AUL has demonstrated real competency in the areas of customer service and operational excellence and they have a solid team of professionals with years of experience in vehicle service contracts,” said Troy Cavallaro. “By partnering with AUL, Pelican now offers our dealers an even more comprehensive solution to provide their customers with protection that complements the Pelican loan.”

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