NADA Day 1: The Birth Of Cox Automotive And Its Promise To Dealers
It’s been a busy first day here at NADA in San Francisco. I’ve spent much of my day huddled in meetings with the various teams that make up Cox Automotive.
The focal point of the meetings has been to make sure everyone—from AutoTrader.com, Haystak, Homenet, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, vAuto, VinSolutions and Xtime—is ready to share the Cox Automotive story with dealers when the NADA exhibit hall opens tomorrow.
This story is pretty special. It’s about our collective opportunity at Cox Automotive to serve dealers better, and to do so in more integrated, seamless ways that no other company in automotive retail can offer.
At a very high level, the story is about a strategy to offer “separate and connected” solutions to dealers that help them become more efficient, effective and profitable as retailers.
The show floor tomorrow will offer dealers the first opportunity to see what this “separate and connected” story means on practical level. Here are just some examples:
vAuto/VinSolutions integration: We’ve connected our Provision system to VinSolutions’ VinConnect CRM. The reason: Dealers need instant access to current customer insights from the CRM as they look for inventory, and price the used vehicles they already own. For example, it’d be good for a dealer to know, before a price change, if the vehicle’s been test-driven in the past few days.
vAuto/Kelley Blue Book®: Tomorrow marks the official introduction of the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor Report for new vehicles. This tool gives you the opportunity validate your asking prices on every new vehicle listing—a first step to building confidence and trust with today’s price-smart buyers.
MakeMyDeal: It’s unusual for a big company like AutoTrader.com to incubate a brand new business, but that’s the backdrop for MakeMyDeal. This innovative and unique solution gives dealers a way to “work deals, not leads” online, right from a VDP, on AutoTrader.com and dealer websites from VinSolutions, as well as a host of other providers.
Manheim/Homenet: This alliance gives dealers the opportunity to list a used vehicle online—with photos and descriptions—within minutes of its purchase at an auction. It’s too early to say how this benefit might reduce a dealer’s days in inventory metric, but there’s no doubt it’ll help used vehicle managers put pressure on service departments that aren’t moving fast enough to recondition cars.
I’m excited to see the curtain rise on exhibit hall floor tomorrow. It’ll mark the official public debut of the Cox Automotive story, and I think dealers will be encouraged to see what a collection of best-in-class solutions can do to help our industry.
I’ll be spending a lot of time at the vAuto booth (#1718S). I look forward to seeing you there.