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DealerTrack Talks GMAC, OEM Integration and Inventory Management

February 16, 2010

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. ─ While its announced relationship with GMAC Financial Services made waves at the national dealer convention in Orlando, Fla., the software company made several other announcements during its Feb. 12 press conference, including upgrades to its AAX Inventory management system and further integration with third-party companies and OEMs.

Announced two days before the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)’s annual convention, GMAC will now be listed as a financing option on the DealerTrack credit application processing network. Officials said the newly forged partnership is expected to expand beyond the credit platform.

The software company also provided the media with a timeline for further integration with other manufacturers and their lending arms, including Toyota Motor Sales (TMS).

DealerTrack officials said it has completed the initial phase of a test pilot program intended to expand the current integration between TMS’ Dealer Daily dealer communication system and third-party dealer-management-system (DMS) providers. Among the transactions and communications piloted for integration are F&I deal information, vehicle inventory data, parts order and returns, repair orders and warranty payments.

The company also announced its intention to integrate Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC’s dealer communication platform with its DealerTrack DMS, which has transitioned from the Arkona DMS name. Following the planned integration, dealers will be able to transfer a wide variety of communications, including financial statements, parts orders, warranty claims and reconciliations and labor time guides.

DealerTrack also updated media on its OpenTrack third-party integration initiative, with company officials saying that more than 130 vendors have expressed interest in participating in the program. A few of the companies that have executed OpenTrack agreements so far include: DealerSocket, VinSolutions, The Higher Gear Group, Advent Resources, ProMax, MenuVantage, Ristken Software, DMW, DealerMine, Intelligent Automotive Advertising, Xtime, AutoEforms and TimeHighway.

"We are very excited about the momentum of our OpenTrack program," said Raj Sundaram, senior vice president, solutions and services group at DealerTrack. "Our dealers have expressed great support of our OpenTrack strategy and we are working as fast as possible to get all partners connected. The partners share and support our commitment to creating an effective, easy and affordable integration platform for our mutual dealer customers. OpenTrack clearly substantiates our vision of an open platform approach designed to give dealers the maximum flexibility to use the solutions that best meet their needs."

In other news, the company announced further enhancements to its AAX solution, including new mobile functionality and real-time market reads to help dealers with used-vehicle pricing.

Powered by Laser Appraiser LLC, DealerTrack’s Mobile AAX solution is a wireless vehicle valuation system that is accessible using a dedicated handheld device or iPhone. Used-car managers will now be able to evaluate cars at auction by simply scanning the VIN barcodes. Subscribers can then retrieve data from the Manheim Market Report, Black Book, Galves, Kelley Blue Book, NADA or AutoTrader, as well as vehicle history reports, such as ones provided by Carfax. And when a customer trades his or her vehicle, used car managers will be able to access the vehicle’s history and appraisal information wireless.

Officials said the mobile appraisal functionality will be offered as a standalone subscription or as an integrated solution with DealerTrack AAX, which received further enhancements as well.

DealerTrack’s inventory management system will now offer MarketDriver, a feature that will provide dealers with information to help them identify and acquire vehicles that perform well in their markets.

MarketDriver allows DealerTrack AAX users to see top-performing vehicles in their local market. Each individual dealership can now access customized information based on their defined geographical market and other preferences. Dealers who use DealerTrack AAX will be able to see market days' supply, average listing price, and regional profit potential.

"In today's market environment, it is increasingly difficult to source quality used vehicles, and many dealers may be forced to stock 'non-core' vehicles that they have not previously sold - or sold successfully," said Sundaram. "Our new MarketDriver functionality enables dealers to access a wide array of regional market information about a particular vehicle, and to identify the best way to acquire it, so they can confidently make more aggressive inventory decisions that enhance their profits while minimizing the risks."

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