Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. -- In recent announcements, DealerTrack said its network is now offering lead management systems, with InterActive Financial Marketing Group, provider of Carloan.com, Autoloan.com and (800) AUTO-LOAN, the most recent addition, joining Bar None and BlueSky Marketing Group. Moreover, DealerTrack said it has enhanced the functionality of its eMenu product to assist California dealers in complying with the state's new Car Buyer's Bill of Rights, which takes effect July 1. DealerTrack also named Bank of America and TransUnion executives to its Compliance Advisory Council.
Starting with the addition of leads, company executives said dealers who purchase leads from participating providers may now directly import those leads and customer information into the DealerTrack network. The company said it's providing free access to information about all of a dealership's leads from connected lead providers, as well as those from the dealership's site.
"The value of a lead greatly diminishes with time," explained Vince Passione, president of DealerTrack. "DealerTrack enables lead providers almost real time distribution into the F&I office or sales desk, thus increasing the probability of lead closure. We also provide additional functionality that enables dealers to manage leads more effectively, convert more leads into sales and analyze the performance of their lead providers."
More specifically, dealers can view complete details about each lead and see whether credit applications were submitted. Furthermore, dealers can automatically pre-fill and submit a credit application or credit bureau check with a few mouse clicks, according to executives. Information from lead providers can be electronically transferred to SalesMaker, which the company's new desking and profit management solution. This allows dealers to quickly identify the most profitable vehicle and financing options for a particular lead, explained executives.
"By integrating lead providers with the DealerTrack network, our solution spans even more aspects of the automotive sales and finance process, from lead acquisition through desking, credit applications, aftermarket sales and eContracting," said Passione. "Dealers benefit as we continue to streamline their process, while lead providers can grow more rapidly by leveraging the broad distribution capabilities of the DealerTrack network."
DealerTrack Offers Helping Hand to California Dealers
In other news, DealerTrack said it has improved the functionality of its eMenu to help California dealers in complying with certain provisions of the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights.
Executives said the current version of DealerTrack eMenu now offers the free enhancement for California dealers that automatically generates and prints a separate disclosure document containing a detailed description and price for every aftermarket product that falls into specific categories, as required by the new state legislation.
"This California legislation, with its very specific requirements, underscores how important it is for dealers to keep their F&I departments up-to-date with all the latest federal and state regulations," said David Trinder, president of DealerTrack Aftermarket Services. "DealerTrack is fully committed to supporting dealers' compliance efforts, not only through the ongoing development of our products, but also through initiatives such as the publication of our free Compliance Guide and the efforts of our Compliance Advisory Council."
DealerTrack Names Hyatt, Lines to Compliance Advisory Council
Speaking of the Compliance Advisory Council, DealerTrack announced that John Hyatt, of Bank of America, and Michael Lines, of TransUnion, are now participating with the company's Compliance Advisory Council. These two executives join founding members Tom Hudson, a partner with Hudson Cook; Mark Kirshbaum, president of Experian's Fraud Solutions division; and representatives from DealerTrack's legal and management team.
"With so much pressure to safeguard consumers from identity theft, fraud and privacy invasion, dealers are increasingly challenged to keep their F&I departments up-to-date with the latest state and federal regulations," commented Mark O'Neil, chairman and chief executive officer of DealerTrack. "Our Compliance Advisory Council brings together experts with wide-ranging experience in automotive compliance issues, and will help us support our dealer customers in this shifting environment."
Hyatt said he is pleased to join the council. He is an auto retail credit executive for Bank of America and is responsible for retail underwriting and fulfillment for all of the bank's auto loans.
As for Lines, he serves as the chief security officer for TransUnion. His responsibilities include covering enterprise-wide information security, data protection and the physical security of the TransUnion organization, as well as its international and domestic subsidiaries.
"With the ever-changing threats to consumer security and updates to privacy laws, it is imperative that dealers keep up with the latest strategies and technologies to protect their organizations," Lines explained.
DealerTrack executives also highlighted the fact that they have introduced a new Compliance Guide, which is a free booklet designed to educate dealers regarding compliance issues and recommended practices.