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Dealer Technologies Need Discernment

There are plenty of new technologies popping up in the automotive industry every day. It's not just the fancy new gadgets on cars. Even in the retail and servicing components of vehicles and their sales, the technologies that drive dealerships are becoming more advanced. There are also more choices, though, and with more choices comes the possibility of making mistakes.

An article on DealerTrack caught our attention. While it's not the best writing in the world (a company bought for billions shouldn't have grammatical mistakes in their blog posts) and the technologies highlighted aren't exactly cutting edge, it highlights the importance of discernment. When given so many choices, making the right one can be challenging.

As car shoppers continue to prioritize online as the first step in their car shopping experience, it’s more important than ever for dealers to leverage digital retailing in their workflow solutions. Today’s 21st century car shopper demands transparency and consistency, which is why an online showroom is just as critical as an in-store showroom. In 2014, dealers who invested in digital retailing, advertising and mobile technologies achieved new levels of customer engagement and dealership profitability.

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The car business has always been one that is very insulated. Many of the promotions that happen at companies are either internal or from other companies in the business. Most dealers promote from within as well and many of the general managers and owners of dealerships started off on the sales floor or in the make-ready department.

There's an exception to this trends. Automotive marketing vendors tend to pull talent from the outside. A lot of companies start as non-automotive marketing vendors and either branch off automotive departments or form entire new companies, filling the talent roster from top to bottom with non-automotive people. This should change.

In an article on Driving Sales by Tyson Madliger, we explore the idea that the majority of talent brought into an automotive vendor should come from the dealership level itself.

Things have changed. A valid argument can be made that the car business is the most savvy industry that's not based in Silicon Valley and that we're trendsetters for digital marketing practices. It's not just the vendors doing the innovating anymore. Anyone who has been to a Driving Sales Executive Summit knows that the best ideas come from dealers.

Read more on Driving Sales.

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Ford Hits Silicon Valley Hard

The move towards improving technology in automotive once resided in Tokyo, Detroit, and Stuttgart. Now, more manufacturers are turning to the San Francisco bay area for their latest innovations. Specifically, they're investing into Silicon Valley where the greatest minds in computers often migrate to for the ease of finding jobs willing to pay well for technological talents.

Ford is the latest to invest heavily into capturing Silicon Valley brilliance. As they put it over at Driving Sales News:

The company already has similar research and innovation centers in Dearborn and Aachen, Germany. The facility in Dearborn focuses primarily on advanced electronics, human-machine interface, materials science, and big data and analytics. The center in Germany is focused on next-generation powertrain research, driver-assist technologies and active safety systems.

Read more on Driving Sales News.

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