SAN FRANCISCO — Roadster is on the move. The startup has secured additional funding and added the largest Toyota dealership in the world to its digital retailing platform.
The ecommerce solution provider today announced that Penske Motor Group’s flagship dealership, Longo Toyota, is now plugged into its Express Storefront ecommerce platform. The El Monte, Calif-based dealership this year celebrated its 50th consecutive year as the No. 1 Toyota dealership in the world.
“While buying a car is much more complicated than buying a toaster online, shoppers increasingly want a similar experience,” said Brendan Harrington, president of Longo Toyota, which averages 30,000 unit sales annually between its Toyota and Lexus stores. “With the help of Roadster’s technology, our sales team can help our guests configure their purchase either online or in-store, and have the vehicle washed and ready in less than two hours.”
First adopted by San Rafael, Calif.-based Toyota Marin in July 2016, Roadster is now being used by 85 dealerships in 21 states and across 22 brands. One of the company’s most recent additions was Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Queens, N.Y., which added Express Storefront earlier this month.
Roadster officials also revealed this week that the startup raised $7.25 million in additional funding from Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures. The new funding round will be directed toward building more field teams, dealer support teams, and dealer success managers.
Through the Roadster Express Storefront, dealerships can offer their entire inventory of vehicles to consumers online. Consumers can design their deal anyway they want, whether it’s a cash, finance or lease purchase. They also have the option to select the finance source and finance incentive that fits their budget. Buyers can also take advantage of Kelley Blue Book's Instant Cash Offer if they have a trade-in and also purchase F&I products straight from the dealership’s website.
The platform is also designed to work as an in-store mobile app that allows tablet-equipped salespeople to guide customers through the Express Storefront buying process.
“Instead of being six to eight hours to buy a car, we're taking three to six hours out of that process,” said Roadster CEO Any Moss. “The consumers in some ways are less fatigued by the time they get to the F&I office, and all those things kind of contribute to maintaining or even increasing the sort of the back-end growth that you can expect on these kinds of transactions.”
Longo’s Harrington added: “As the largest volume automobile dealership in the world, guest experience and high efficiency are extremely important to us. We believe [Roadster] is the most modern and comprehensive solution on the market.”