Thursday, 31 December 2015

Carfax parent company buys CarProof

IHS, the parent company of Carfax, announced Monday morning it has purchased CarProof Corp. for $650 million CND, which translates to about $460 million USD. CarProof is a vehicle history report provider in Canada. IHS bought Carfax in July 2013.
Jerre Stead, chairman and chief executive officer of IHS, said: "Like Carfax, CarProof is a high-growth business and gives IHS the opportunity to expand our vehicle history report services into Canada.
"By combining the capabilities of CarProof and Carfax, we also will accelerate product development to better serve the needs of our customers. This acquisition will add a highly accretive revenue-growth and EBITDA-margin business for IHS, and provide significant room for further growth."

Carfax Parent Company Buys Carproof.........

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Ford in Talks with Google to Build Self Driving Cars

Google's new self-driving prototype car is presented during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. on May 13, 2015. California unveiled precedent-setting draft rules Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 that would slow the public's access to self-driving cars of the future until regulators are confident the technology is safe. (Tony Avelar/AP)

Google is said to be in talks with auto maker Ford Motor Co to help build the Internet search company's autonomous cars, Automotive News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the project.
The contract manufacturing deal, if finalised, is expected to come during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January, Automotive News said.
A Google spokesman told Automotive News that the company would not comment on speculation, although Google officials confirmed that the company is talking to auto makers.
Earlier this year, Google began discussions with most of the world's top auto makers and assembled a team of traditional and nontraditional suppliers to speed efforts to bring self-driving cars to the market by 2020.
In June, Google began testing tiny, bubble-shaped self-driving prototype vehicles of its own design on public roads around Mountain View. The company has also started testing self-driving prototypes in Austin.
Google is expected to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire, a stand-alone business under its parent company, Alphabet Inc, next year, Bloomberg reported earlier.
Ford, although lagging behind most competitors, ramped up its pace to develop self-driving cars earlier this year and said it would expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, enabling hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle.
This was to be included across its global lineup over the next five years.
Reuters could not independently reach Ford Motor and Google for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

By: Automotive News

Ford in Talks with Google to Build Self Driving Cars............

Friday, 18 December 2015

Traffic floods Bryan Honda’s Facebook sales beta test

When Bryan Honda of Fayetteville, N.C. decided to sell vehicles in real time directly within the Facebook platform, the dealership team wanted to see if the traffic would come - would people actually be interested?
And this Cyber Monday, when the social sales tool was beta tested, the dealership got its answer.
What Glover means by "broke" is the sales platform, run by, was so overloaded by users, it couldn't handle the traffic.
In the first hour, Glover said roughly 500 to 600 people tried to use the platform. But just because the system was overloaded didn't mean these leads went to waste.
"The good thing about it is, though, I'm a trained lead provider," said Glover. "So I have all of those contacts in my database. By the end of the day, I had over 1,000 interactions on the product. What that did is gave me proof of sale and interest, and a working model to actually launch the Facebook program in full."
And that might not be too hard, as software companies looking to partner with the dealership on further beta testing are now contacting the store directly in an effort to be involved.
As for those customers that tried to use the Facebook platform and were drawn to the dealership through social engagement on Cyber Monday? Many of those leads were converted, as well.
"Instead of going through the process completely online, we still connected with them and sent them information or brought them into the dealership," Glover said.
And this social surge of customers spelled a large increase in both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for the store.
Glover explained the dealership "went real hot and heavy" on social media for both the Black Friday holiday and Cyber Monday, using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to drive leads.
And the work paid off. This past Black Friday, the store did 29 sales, compared to 19 sales in 2014. And on Cyber Monday, the dealership sold 19 vehicles, compared to just seven during the 2014 holiday.
A 'social focus'
So, why the focus on social media?
Glover said when he was working in auto sales about seven or eight years ago, he noticed everything was trending toward online. Think Google and growing online sales platforms.
And then another shift occurred.
"Google got expensive. If you wanted to have paid advertising on Google, it got pricey. So, I started looking at the social side of things," Glover said.
He shared the words of one of his mentors that lead him to start doing more with social media and Facebook, in particular.
"One of my mentors said, 'Facebook is the most accurate and intelligent survey ever created in the history of the world. It allows you to get any message in front of any person at any time anywhere in the world.' And that has stuck with me ever since," Glover said.
And Facebook also gives dealerships a platform to "listen" to their customers, which is key to things that come down the road such as social selling, Glover said.
"Most dealerships try to use social media and they go straight to social selling, which is really the last level when you are trying to sell anything online," Glover said. "The first thing you have to do is listen. What Facebook does in the best way possible is they listen to what people are saying, and then you can actually target and tailor your product or service to users."
To Glover, it's a no-brainer decision to focus on Facebook.
"In front of you, you have a system that will tell you when someone is looking for a vehicle, when they have purchased a vehicle, when they might be looking to get another vehicle, and if you know how to do it correctly by listening, you'll sell more vehicles," he shared.
Glover credits Bryan Honda general manager Tim Roussel, who he called "a forward-thinking manager," with giving him the opportunity to really dig in on the social side of things.
And it's paying off.
"We were doing maybe 200 cars a month, and now we are in the 300-350 range some months," Glover said.
And with social comes a focus on the demographic who uses it the most: millennials.
"According to reports, Cyber Monday was the biggest online sales day on record with $3 billion in sales, and millennials are driving a lot of that," Glover said.
That was certainly true for Bryan Honda.
For the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online impressions for the store were dominated by the 25-35 age group, with the 35-44 age group in second place.
And as far as leads go, the No. 1 source for the holiday week was social engagement, from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
The dealership is making a concerted effort to reach these social shoppers and actually employs a social relationship management (SRM) team, whose members are taught how to talk directly to consumers through social, "because that's where they want to be met," says Glover.
Changing the game to serve millennials
Glover says it's important to realize that millennials aren't anti-social, growing up in the age of instant messaging and texts, "it's just the fact that they talk different."
For example, they might not want to walk through a meet and greet and 12-step sales process.
"They grew up in the Google age where they ask a question, and they want it answered first, and they want to know that you have listened to them before they go on to the sale," Glover said.
One way Bryan Honda does this is employing what Glover calls a "sales vortex" rather than a traditional "sales funnel."
To create this vortex, Bryan Honda pulls leads from all the social sites, as well as street teams, which Glover explained as a group of salespeople in Bryan Honda vehicles touting a logo that says, "Bryan Honda Street Team," that go out into the community and engage potential customers.
"What a funnel does is you take people or leads, and you push them down and gravity has to work to push them from the beginning out the bottom to make a sale. A vortex works in a completely different way," Glover said. "It works with a spinning motion and gravitates and pulls, and instead of gravity working, with the simple force of being able to relate and engage with these people, they will drop out on their own, and you will get so many more sales."


Traffic Floods Bryan Honda's Facebook Sales Beta Test..........................

Friday, 11 December 2015

VW Canada outlines ‘thank you’ package following apology ad

Volkswagen Canada kicked off December with a nationwide apology campaign, utilizing ads featured in over 100 newspapers across the country as well as a digital campaign to apologize to the Canada's Volkswagen owners for the company's damaged reputation following the diesel scandal uncovered earlier this year that is still not entirely fleshed out. Thomas Tetzlaff, VW Canada's manager of media relations, spoke with Auto Remarketing Canada to help clarify the situation, saying that the point of the message was not only to apologize to the Canadian VW ownership and fanbase, as well as VW dealers, but also to thank them.
"The campaign explains the impact of this situation on our proud legacy, values and trust in the Volkswagen brand," Tetzlaff said. "We take great pride in the base of support we have built in Canada and felt we owed it to our employees, dealers and customers to publicly acknowledge the damage done to Volkswagen's relationship with Canadians and to declare our full commitment to restoring faith in our brand. We hope that our customers will go to our microsite for additional information, and to register directly with us so as to facilitate further communication about this issue. By registering at the site, affected TDI owners will initiate the process to receive our appreciation package."
Tetzlaff said that the package is not intended as "compensation," but more as a sincere "thank you" for customers and dealers maintaining their patience while the company works on a remedy for the vehicles alongside regulators.
Similar to the deal offered in the United States, the VW Canada said the "thank you" package includes:
  • A $500 pre-paid credit card for use anywhere credit cards are accepted
  • A $500 dealer credit, which can be used at the Volkswagen dealer of their choice for service, parts, accessories or as payment towards a car purchase
  • 3 years of complimentary roadside assistance (an added three years for customers that still have their "original" roadside package in place)
"Thus far, we have received positive feedback from our customers, many of whom have already registered on the site," Tetzlaff said. "We are hoping to reach as many of our affected owners as possible, as this will improve the flow of information, and will expedite the repair process when it has been established."


VW Canada Outlines Thank You Package Following Apology Ad.........

Friday, 4 December 2015

9 best new vehicles as honored by AJAC

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has released nine "Best New" category winners for 2016, including double wins for both Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
The nine vehicles are now in the running for the overall Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February.
For 2015, the Subaru Legacy was named the Canadian Car of the Year, while the Ford F-150 took home the award for utility vehicles.
AJAC will also announce the winners of its Canadian Green Car of the Year awards at the Vancouver International Auto Show in March.
How were the nine winners chosen? Well, the race was on when some of Canada's best-known auto journalists gathered this past October in Clarington, Ontario for a four-day test-drive evaluation of brand-new or significantly changed models for an event known as "TestFest" held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
"TestFest is the most intensive new-vehicle evaluation process on the planet," said Gary Grant, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. "No other organization employs such stringent testing methods to determine its award winners."
During the event, 71 auto journalists each drove vehicles in their categories - one after another on the same day and under the same conditions to ensure objective comparisons, AJAC shared.
"Our program is absolutely testing-based," said Justin Pritchard, also co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee. "We have dozens of experienced vehicle testers driving dozens of vehicles, back to back, over the course of several days. This testing process generated 1,911 test drives, producing over 110,000 data points and 1,701 category ballots. It's important to note that every aspect of this testing data is shared online via our website, so shoppers can see how any given vehicle won its category, or how it stacked up to the category winner."
The results were tabulated by KPMG, which works with AJAC and its Canadian Car of the Year awards, and the categories cover segments ranging from Best New Sports/Performance to Best New SUV/CUV.
And most of these core categories are divided into price ranges to better provide fair and relevant comparisons, giving dealers another marketing tool when working with customers within a specific price budget. The winners are as follows:
Honda Civic
Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 1.8TSI
Volkswagen Golf R
Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class (C 63 S)
Mercedes Benz AMG GT (S Coupe)
Chevrolet Silverado
SUV/CUV under $35K
Mazda CX-3
SUV/CUV $35K - $60K
Kia Sorento
SUV/CUV over $60K
Volvo XC90

9 Best New Vehicles as Honored by