An Apology, An Insight And A Touch of Humor

March 22, 2014

My phone started ringing around 8 a.m. CST this morning. A technical bug caused an extremely rare outage of vAuto’s system.

Our vAuto team scrambled, getting people out of bed and off the golf course to make the necessary fixes. We had the system largely restored in about two hours.

Of course, as temporary as it was, the outage caused inconvenience for vAuto dealers. I’d like to apologize on behalf of everyone at vAuto for the short-term system glitch. I’d also like to extend a heart-felt thank you to vAuto dealers for their patience and understanding as we restored the system.

The dealers who called me exhibited the utmost calm, class and dignity as I explained the situation.

In one of those conversations, a used vehicle director at a large dealer group relayed how he/his team were preparing for Saturday’s customers and considering the prospect of going about their work without the vAuto system.

The dealer’s son, who’s coming up in the business, asked, “How are we going to appraise a car without vAuto?”

The question got me thinking: We’re at a point in our business where the next generation of dealers is developing its “paint” proficiency by looking past the physical car itself. They’re using technology and tools like vAuto to balance the vehicle’s emotional appeal with its real-world retail prospects in a competitive market. I couldn’t help but think how rare this market-focused mindset used to be just a few short years ago.

Another conversation reminded me that humor always makes a tough situation a little better. A New York dealer shared that his appraisers, like the dealer’s son, were questioning the best way to determine the actual cash value (ACV) for customer trades without vAuto. “I just told them to use the loan pay-off amount as the ACV,” the dealer said, as we both shared a good laugh.

As I’m writing, the vAuto system is back at full strength. Thank you again to all our dealer customers, and here’s hoping you have a profitable and productive weekend.