Tag Archive | "Online F&I"

Pearl Technology Integrates Experian Propensity Scoring Platform


DALLAS — Pearl Technology Holdings LLC today announced it has expanded its relationship with Experian to include information on consumer vehicle buying habits. The enhancement allows dealers to precisely target consumers that have the highest propensity to purchase or lease a vehicle within a specified timeframe.

As part of the agreement, Pearl is now able to evaluate more than 1,000 elements when scoring a consumer’s propensity to buy or lease, as well as open new opportunities to its auto dealer clients for pre-owned and CPO units. Pearl now knows which consumers are new or pre-owned buyers, and can target by propensity, APR, payment amount, payments made or remaining, term and credit score, and more.

“We are simply thrilled to expand our relationship with Experian. We contemplated building our own scoring methodology but, ultimately, there is no better data or analytic interpreter than Experian,” said Pearl founder and CEO Bruce Thompson. “Understanding what consumers are likely to purchase or lease, as well as when, is what it’s all about. Overlaying our existing technology on top of 240 million pre-screened records allows our clients to win big with much less investment.”

Today, Pearl’s VehicleXchange incentive-based marketing platform processes nearly 50,000 Experian consumer pre-screens per day for both dealer and OEM clients. By leveraging the new data from Experian, Pearl’s clients will now have the capability to conquest market share for any type of transaction by almost any criteria.

“We’re excited to continue our work with the Pearl team,” said John Gray, president of Experian Automotive. “Understanding the current market landscape and when a consumer is in the market to buy is critical for automotive dealers and OEMs alike. With these insights available, dealers will be able to unlock the potential of the data and to uncover new pockets of opportunity, increase profitability and improve the overall consumer experience.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Roadster Adds Southern California’s Longo Toyota


SAN FRANCISCO — Roadster is on the move. The startup has secured additional funding and added the largest Toyota dealership in the world to its digital retailing platform.

The ecommerce solution provider today announced that Penske Motor Group’s flagship dealership, Longo Toyota, is now plugged into its Express Storefront ecommerce platform. The El Monte, Calif-based dealership this year celebrated its 50th consecutive year as the No. 1 Toyota dealership in the world.

“While buying a car is much more complicated than buying a toaster online, shoppers increasingly want a similar experience,” said Brendan Harrington, president of Longo Toyota, which averages 30,000 unit sales annually between its Toyota and Lexus stores. “With the help of Roadster’s technology, our sales team can help our guests configure their purchase either online or in-store, and have the vehicle washed and ready in less than two hours.”

First adopted by San Rafael, Calif.-based Toyota Marin in July 2016, Roadster is now being used by 85 dealerships in 21 states and across 22 brands. One of the company’s most recent additions was Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Queens, N.Y., which added Express Storefront earlier this month.

Roadster officials also revealed this week that the startup raised $7.25 million in additional funding from Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures. The new funding round will be directed toward building more field teams, dealer support teams, and dealer success managers.

Through the Roadster Express Storefront, dealerships can offer their entire inventory of vehicles to consumers online. Consumers can design their deal anyway they want, whether it’s a cash, finance or lease purchase. They also have the option to select the finance source and finance incentive that fits their budget. Buyers can also take advantage of Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer if they have a trade-in and also purchase F&I products straight from the dealership’s website.

The platform is also designed to work as an in-store mobile app that allows tablet-equipped salespeople to guide customers through the Express Storefront buying process.

“Instead of being six to eight hours to buy a car, we’re taking three to six hours out of that process,” said Roadster CEO Any Moss. “The consumers in some ways are less fatigued by the time they get to the F&I office, and all those things kind of contribute to maintaining or even increasing the sort of the back-end growth that you can expect on these kinds of transactions.”

Longo’s Harrington added: “As the largest volume automobile dealership in the world, guest experience and high efficiency are extremely important to us. We believe [Roadster] is the most modern and comprehensive solution on the market.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on Roadster Adds Southern California’s Longo Toyota

Fastlane Launches Online Car-Buying Platform


DALLAS — Startup Fastlane this week launched a new ecommerce platform for automotive dealerships. It offers dealers the ability to customize and brand their online car-buying experience, while providing customers with a start-to-finish purchasing process.

Dealers use Fastlane to showcase their inventory, help their customers pick out the car they want, and choose other purchase components such as financing, service contracts and insurance, officials said.

“Fastlane has taken online car-buying to the next level by letting dealers customize their online check-out flow,” said David Luce, Fastlane’s vice president of sales. “Other car-buying platforms have a cookie cutter check-out flow that cannot be changed. Fastlane recognizes that dealers in one market, such as New York, may sell cars differently from dealers in other markets, such as Georgia or California. Fastlane offers dealers a way to personalize the online car-buying experience to meet their customers’ needs, while adding value to the overall purchase experience.”

Brandon Hall, Fastlane’s CEO, added: “Fastlane is much more than a lead-generating tool for dealers. It is a complete car-buying system, with advanced features and customizability. The platform seamlessly walks customers through the many aspects of the buying process.”

Online shoppers who land on a dealer’s website equipped with Fastlane’s platform can pick out their vehicle, get a value for their trade-in vehicle, get pre-approved for financing and even educate themselves on F&I products and vehicle insurance.

“Online car-buying certainly has its benefits, but that doesn’t eliminate the need for car owners to have a good relationship with a dealer. Our goal is to supplement current dealer operations by adding a unique customer experience through our online checkout,” Hall said. “We are here to make online car buying advantageous for car dealers and customers alike by fostering new ways of engagement and creating a dynamic shopping experience for all parties. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on Fastlane Launches Online Car-Buying Platform

New Report Reveals ‘Apparent Consumer Appetite’ for Chatbots


BOCA RATON, Fla. — A new study reveals an apparent appetite among consumers for chatbots, but it concluded that these digital boxes that allow customers to converse with a human or AI-enabled bot still have ways to go before impacting business.

Released today by mobile marketing firm 3Cinteractive Corp. (3C), the Chatbot Consumer Report provides an in-depth look at how consumers interact with chatbots and their preferences on using the technology when communicating with brands. Its findings are based on an online poll of 500 U.S. households.

According to results, a quarter of the consumers surveyed said they use chatbots on a daily basis (40% alone for Millennials).When consumers were asked why they thought chatbots were not valuable, 71% said the chatbot could not answer their question or help them. That means businesses will need to expand the capabilities of their chatbots as the technology advances to keep up with growing consumer expectation, 3C officials said.

When asked which tasks they’d prefer a chatbot to handle for a brand vs. a human, checking order status (46%) and product research (42%) rose to the top of the list. But for other tasks, consumers polled still preferred humans over chatbots — 50% for customer service inquiries, and 44% for making an appointment or reservation.

This data is critical for brands since 83% of respondents said they would be more loyal to a brand for offering a chatbot that enables these tasks. Additionally, Business Insider reported earlier this year that 80% of business plan to have chatbots by 2020.

“Choosing the right chatbot strategy for your brand is critical, it’s not one size fits all,” said Margie Kupfer, vice president of marketing at 3C. “Understand your customer preferences and build your chatbot strategy around a specific function that benefits the customer. Starting small and executing your chatbot successfully ensures a positive brand experience and allows you to learn more about your customer in order to scale your chatbot into other business functions.”

Click here to download the complete report.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on New Report Reveals ‘Apparent Consumer Appetite’ for Chatbots

VW Credit Invests in AutoGravity


HERNDON, Va. — VW Credit Inc. (VCI) today announced it is making an equity investment in automotive fintech firm AutoGravity, pending customary regulatory approvals. According to company officials, the strategic investment supports the captive’s goal to digitize the customer financing process.

The announcement means finance options from Volkswagen Credit are now available to the more than 400,000 consumers who have downloaded the AutoGravity car-shopping and financing mobile app. Additionally, the captive has launched the Volkswagen Credit smartphone app, powered by proprietary AutoGravity technology and available for iOS and Android.

“Customers are becoming more demanding of mobile technology and the world of auto financing is no exception,” said VW Credit President and CEO Horst Meima. “We are ready to become a leader in shaping this part of the industry and believe that AutoGravity can help get us there.”

Through investment and partnership, according to officials, VW Credit has positioned itself to realize the full potential of AutoGravity’s technology. Volkswagen dealers benefit from a new source of potential car buyers.

Based in Irvine, Calif., AutoGravity, which appeared on the cover of F&I and Showroom’s January 2017 issue, offers car buyers across the U.S. the ability to obtain up to four personalized financing offers on the vehicle of their choice. Designed with state-of-the-art security, AutoGravity protects consumers’ information with advanced bank-level encryption and proprietary data security technologies, ensuring sensitive information is processed securely.

“Mobile technology is a game changer for consumers, dealers and lenders. We have pioneered a digital experience that saves time and improves satisfaction for all parties through a device we are intimately familiar with — the smartphone.” said Andy Hinrichs, CEO at AutoGravity. “AutoGravity has experienced substantial growth since our first app hit the marketplace in the summer of 2016. This investment will help us accelerate in the face of rapidly growing consumer and industry demand.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on VW Credit Invests in AutoGravity

F&I Digital Media Awards Now Accepting Entries


TORRANCE, Calif. — Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 F&I Digital Media Awards, organizers announced Friday. The submission deadline is Friday, March 31, 2017.

The program, which was designed to honor companies and individuals who are driving innovation in the digital F&I space, is presented by F&I and Showroom and sponsored by F&I Express. It is comprised of five categories:

  • Best Product-Specific Digital Media
  • Best General Education Digital Media
  • Most Unique and Artistic Content
  • Best Website Feature
  • Best Mobile App

Entries for all five categories must be consumer-facing with an emphasis on education and transparency. Any member of the industry, including dealers, agents, product providers, marketers and OEMs, is welcome to enter. Category winners will be announced in April and honored in a special awards presentation at Industry Summit, where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.

For more details, including submissions criteria, is available at the contest’s website.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on F&I Digital Media Awards Now Accepting Entries

Page 1 of 212