A Resource Portal for Automotive Dealers, Industry Vendors and Advertising Agencies

AdAgencyOnline.Net Invites Automotive Advertising Expert Dale Pollak To Discuss vAuto

Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., (AAOL), is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies that share best practices and leveraged resources through a social networking portal – https://adagencyonline.net. The online automotive advertising networking community is widely respected by the auto industry for their willingness to provide free automotive advertising resources to site visitors based on their philosophy that a “rising tide floats all boats.”

Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and host of the portal’s blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time – interviewed Dale Pollak, the President of vAuto, during an online business meeting held on the blog talk radio show, “Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising.” Philip and Dale often contribute their time in seminars and open forums such as WAAOL to help auto dealers and their automotive advertising agencies deal with today’s shrinking auto industry.

About Dale Pollak

Dale Pollak is the chairman and founder of vAuto, a Chicago-based company that provides retail automotive dealerships with a better way to price, appraise and stock pre-owned vehicles. Prior to founding vAuto, Pollak served as vice president of sales and business strategy at Digital Motorworks, a market leader in data integration and application development for OEMs, mega dealers and third-party providers. Pollak helped build the company from inception to its acquisition by ADP in 2002.

Pollak also has more than 20 years of retail dealership experience, including 13 years as owner principal of Pollak Cadillac and GMC Truck in Elmhurst, Illinois. Among other distinctions, Pollak’s dealership consistently ranked among the top five Cadillac dealerships nationally for customer satisfaction. As a retailer, Pollak placed a high priority on used-car sales operations with the belief that a dealership’s pre-owned vehicle department was the driver for both new and pre-owned vehicle sales.

Visually impaired, Pollak has never actually been able to see the “aesthetic” qualities of a pre-owned vehicle. His success is based on an ability to analyze and understand the used-vehicle business from a financial and data-driven perspective – a viewpoint that serves as the foundation for vAuto and the managerial insight the system provides. The author of “Velocity: From the Front Line to the Bottom Line,” a recently published book on best practices among used-vehicle sales departments, Pollak is a regular contributor and columnist for some of the industry’s leading trade publications.

A highly sought-after authority on maximizing dealership profits from pre-owned vehicle operations, he regularly speaks to dealers, Dealer 20 Groups and state dealer associations on a variety of topics, including:

  • How to improve pre-owned vehicle inventory turn by 20% in 60 days,
  • How to effectively price pre-owned vehicles to improve profitability,
  • How to use the Internet to grow pre-owned volume,
  • The top five best practices for pre-owned vehicle operations,
  • How to improve gross and sales volume by optimizing your appraisal process,
  • Managing pre-owned vehicle inventory using financial portfolio discipline,
  • How to manage assets rather than age,
  • Adapting your business in the information age and global economy and
  • The art and science of automotive software development.

About vAuto

Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill., vAuto maintains a research and development center in Austin, Texas. The company provides the auto industry’s only “live, real time” analysis of used-car markets with up-to-the-minute information about used-vehicle supply, demand and pricing tailored to specific dealership market areas. All six of the nation’s highest-volume franchised dealerships by brand, including Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Lincoln-Mercury and Toyota, use stocking, pricing and appraisal strategies supported by vAuto software solutions. Virtually every imported and domestic vehicle brand is represented on the company’s customer list, including Acura, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen, as well as all Chrysler and General Motors brands. More information on vAuto is available on the Internet at www.vAuto.com.

In advance of the scheduled interview on WAAOL Dale provided AdAgencyOnline.Net with the following previously distributed press release describing their use of CarFax and the advantage that their shared resources provide to auto dealers;

auto, carfax unlock profit for Auto dealers – New Study Finds Key to Lifting Vehicle Value, Improving Inventory Turn

CHICAGO — A study released today proves that dealers can maximize profitability by immediately evaluating cars at trade-in. vAuto and Carfax deliver a powerful tool that dealers are using to identify cars that command a premium price on the retail market. According to vAuto, dealers consistently price Carfax 1-Owner cars an average of $1,000 more than cars without the Carfax 1-Owner designation. “In these tough economic times, dealers need to know which cars and light trucks can be aggressively marketed the second they hit their lots,” said Keith Jezek, president and CEO of Chicago- and Austin-based vAuto. “Integrating critical Carfax data with vAuto’s Live Market View inventory-management system gives our customers an immediate competitive edge to maximize profits.”

Consumers prefer cars that have had only one previous owner. Using the vAuto tool, dealers can price their vehicles at the top of the market. The study, based on more than 3.5 million online listings, also indicates that Carfax 1-Owner cars increase inventory turn. Combined with a higher resale value, Carfax 1-Owner cars maximize a dealer’s profit per unit. “In a volatile market such as we have today, it’s essential to be able to identify your surefire winners. By using vAuto in conjunction with the Carfax 1-Owner designation, I continue to see an increase in sales as well as an increase in per car gross,” said Gary Duncan, Duncan Automotive Network of Christiansburg, Virginia. Previous studies show a minimum sale price lift of $300 for Carfax 1-Owner cars. Carfax has programs in place to make sure dealers take full advantage of their inventory’s profit potential. Contact your Carfax representative or visit www.carfaxonline.com.

About Carfax (www.carfax.com)

Millions of used car buyers and sellers each year rely on Carfax, the most trusted provider of vehicle history information. Using the unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents, Carfax instantly generates a detailed Vehicle History Report on any used car or light truck. Carfax Vehicle History Reportsâ„¢ provide valuable information that help used car buyers and sellers make better decisions. Free Carfax Vehicle History Reports are instantly available with vehicles listed in nearly every online marketplace by Carfax-subscribing dealers. For more information or to become a Carfax-subscribing dealer, visit www.carfaxonline.com.

The following advertisement was also provided by vAuto to explain their unique value to auto dealers;

For the next three months, forget everything you’ve learned about the used-car business. And as radical as it may sound, that means forgetting about making gross profit on your used inventory. Instead, your sole focus needs to be creating as much liquidity as possible –now.

You have a strict 60, 45 or 30-day turn policy? It doesn’t matter. Prices are dropping so fast, your turn policies aren’t going to be able to keep up. Dealers that are underwater in their used inventory come March likely will not survive, Dale Pollack, founder of VAuto, a used-vehicle inventory management, firm says. He may sound alarmist, but it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.

Pollack believes used-vehicle prices will take a huge hit in the first quarter of 2009 once public companies announce their earnings for the fourth quarter 2008. He gives two reasons (other than the credit crisis and overall dismal economy). One, vehicles are stacking up at the auctions because of an increasing number of “no-sales.” No-sales occur when a company sets a minimum bid level for its vehicles and no bids meet it. His is driving up inventories at the auctions, which in turn, will continue to drive down wholesale and retail prices.

Another reason is due to an accounting method commonly known as mark-to-market or lower cost-to-market that requires companies to adjust their inventory levels to meet actual market conditions. Used-vehicles values in October and November plunged at a record pace and likely continued the downward spiral in December (as of press time, this was the case). Although public companies – public dealer groups, rental companies, finance firms and auto makers – have been adjusting their inventory values to meet real market prices, the fall drop has yet to be reflected in their earnings statements. When those earnings are reported in 2009, and as auction inventories sell, Pollack believes the used-vehicle market will suffer its worse deflationary moment in history. “Dealers will wake up one day and realize they own 60 days worth of inventory that is $4,000 to $6,000 overpriced,” Pollack says. That’s a hit dealers will not be able to overcome. Pollack predicts that alone could put thousands of dealers out of business overnight. “It’s a dismantling of the automotive retail system,” he says. I’ve talked to other analysts and used-car experts who downplay Pollack’s dire predictions.

Ward’s columnist and NCM consultant Tony Albertson says he doesn’t believe the problem is as drastic as Pollack makes it out to be. “We’re already seeing auction prices come down, he says. “Of course dealers should not be hanging onto their inventory, but I think most dealers are smarter than that.” Still, Albertson agrees there are dealers whose inventory is in bad shape and that need to get a “huge sense of urgency now.”

What should dealers do? First, be ruthless about increasing your liquidity and reduce the amount of working capital that’s tied up in your used vehicle inventory. That means selling your used vehicles now. Pollack suggests shunning the wholesale channel and instead, selling it at retail. The trick is to price vehicles at a level that insures they will sell. Pollack calls it “wholetailing.” Realize you’re going to sacrifice gross profit, and that negatively will affect some of your employees’ pay. Get them on board, explain the situation, and if you have to, change their pay structure for the time being. Pollack says if you jump on this strategy now will put you in a great position the next few months. As other dealers scramble to find ways to liquidate inventory they’ll never be able to sell, you’ll be selling and making money. You have to be willing to take the bullet now in order to survive 2009, Pollack believes.

About AdAgencyOnline.Net

AdAgencyOnline.Net started reviewing automotive advertising vendors and new technologies after their introduction during the 2008 NADA Convention in San Francisco. In addition to providing free creative, hosting online Dealer 20+ Groups and providing links to “preferred automotive advertising vendors” the site also hosts several blog talk radio shows in addition to the “Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising” including the “Lunch With Ralph Discussing Automotive Advertising” and “Automotive Advertising Experts.”

AdAgencyOnline.Net is supported by their independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies, auto dealer clients, auto industry vendor clients and a growing number of O.E.M. representatives that rely on the site to find and review vendors, applications and new technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

vAuto is one of several automotive advertising vendors reviewed on AdAgencyOnline.Net along with a growing number that have hired Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them as their agency of record or consultant to market their products including; CarFolks.Com – an auto industry social networking site, Laser Stream Video – an Internet focused video production application with enhanced vSEO capabilities, SiSTer Technologies Video CarLot – an automated video application linked via a dedicated API with You Tube to provide a uniquely effective vSEO tool, Gumiyo – a universally applied mobile channel platform, DealMaker.Com – providing a new website that connects buyers and sellers in a real time market driven “many to many” online negotiation, Kihon Media – an online magazine and third party website operating as a database marketing tool for auto dealers, Ai Dealer – an online transaction tool that offers a self serve desking tool for website visitors, NeoSynergy – an automotive advertising portal with AOL Auto and their application, Best Deals, allowing convenient updates to posted vehicle information to keep them competitive, and most recently – CityTwist – a DIY self serve online email marketing application as well as Bulldog Marketing Technologies – a data base marketing system with a unique integrated payment quoting application.

AdAgencyOnline.Net also hosts interviews with nationally respected automotive advertising insiders from a diverse group of specialists in the auto industry including; Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors, Mark Boyd and Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, David Wassmann from NeoSynergy, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, David Marod from LeadConverter, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Jim Ziegler, motivational speaker and consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, ecommerce director for The Mile One Automotive Group and host of the auto industry social networking forum DealerRefresh.Com , Jeff Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Tim Zierdon from JMsolutions AAXâ„¢, Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co., Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix and most recently Scott Davis from Bulldog Marketing Technologies.

Automotive advertising vendors,automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers are advised to contact Philip Zelinger directly at pzads@bellsouth.net, call him at 888-796-2228 or to visit AdAgencyOnline.Net at https://adagencyonline.net to support AdAgencyOnline.Net . The shared philosophy of all involved parties is that “A rising tide floats all boats.” To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!” ###

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