Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
AdAgencyOnline.Net, a nationally recognized automotive advertising resource / networking portal, will be reviewing a new cutting edge technology vendor -- VehSmart -- on the portal's blog talk radio station WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time. VehSmart is introducing a fully integrated asset management and profit enhancement program for the automotive finance and dealership community. Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the host AdAgencyOnline.Net, will be interviewing Brian W. Story, the Chairman and CEO of VehSmart, and Rich Zellner, the President of VehSmart, on his blog talk radio show Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising. The show is scheduled to air live on Wednesday, January 05th, 2011 from 12:00 Noon to 12:30 PM EST.
Philip shares best practices and new technologies on his blog talk radio shows with automotive advertising agencies who recognize the increasing role that technology and improved processes in sales and service play in today's consolidating auto industry. According to Philip, "Most automotive advertising agencies have learned to use today's technology to coordinate their marketing messages on the Internet with their conventional automotive advertising. Some have even learned the importance of integrating sales and service processes on their Internet based virtual showrooms with their auto dealer client's brick and mortar facilities. Unfortunately, few automotive advertising agencies focus on other areas of day to day operations that require similar efficiencies to provide more profit from sales and service with less staff, inventory and working capital."
"Today's show reviewing VehSmart will take the value of technology to another level by applying efficiencies to commercial floor plan management, dealership inventory management, enhanced dealer to consumer aftermarket sales, retail automobile lender advance and service drive data programs. I have interviewed the principals from most of the major inventory management / appraisal / marketing vendors including Dale Pollak from vAuto, Len Critcher from eCarList, Pat Ryan from FirstLook and Tim Zierden from AAX. Each of these platforms effectively cover similar aspects of the sales and service process based on technology driven inventory management data, however, VehSmart offers a number of unique complimentary features and benefits that attracted my attention. I am anxious to listen and learn from Brian and Rich about their platform during my review of VehSmart so I can continue to teach my affiliated automotive advertising agencies and online audience of auto industry decision makers about the latest and greatest advancements in technology to maximize their R.O.I. on many levels. After all, what are friends, AdAgencyOnline.net and WAAOL for!"
With applications that reach across multiple business sectors in the burgeoning billion dollar telematics sector, VehSmart™ is focusing its initial product rollout in the automotive sector with the roll out of its KeySmart™ products.
The VehSmart system utilizes a sophisticated telematics device that plugs into a vehicle’s diagnostic computer port and provides two-way information and control of automobile systems. The “plug & play” device, installed on the vehicle while on the dealer’s lot, provides a valuable risk mitigation tool for the lenders who are financing the dealer’s inventory. Simultaneously, the device provides valuable information to the dealer to help manage inventory, improve sales and increase profitability at the dealership. The same device, sold on to the car buyer, becomes an enhanced OnStar-like product for the consumer. The device can be plugged into any car manufactured since 1997; it is estimated that there are more than 300 million such vehicles registered and on the road in North America alone.
KeySmart's advanced technology has the ability to provide information even when in underground parking lots or deep inside office buildings, whereas standard GPS cannot. KeySmart provide a suite of services that includes emergency and roadside assistance, concierge services, real-time traffic updates, and more.
Commercial and retail channels
VehSmart’s unique multi-pronged go to market strategy targets the consumer while also providing specific risk-mitigation value for automotive lenders who discern key value in the device’s ability to provide real time location and VIN information for the vehicles being floor plan financed on the dealers’ lot. One of the country’s three largest automotive finance lenders has completed beta testing and placed the first substantial order against a long term commitment. The lender will be using the device as a risk mitigation tool and a more effective way to manage collateral. As of January 2010, there were more than 9 million new and used vehicles on floor plan financing.
Being embraced by lenders, dealers and consumers alike, VehSmart is seeking additional growth capital to fund an accelerated growth ramp.
OnStar™ on steroids
VehSmart products feature a full suite of features and benefits such as accident notification, stolen vehicle recovery, emergency roadside assistance, real time traffic updates, low battery warning, low fuel level alert. In addition VehSmart™ offers Concierge service, assisting drivers in locating restaurants, hotels and gas stations with turn-by-turn directions and even making reservations and stolen vehicle tracking. VehSmart also offer young driver alerts and geo-fence capability, sending alerts via text messages or email when young drivers are speeding, or out of a pre-determined geographic boundary.
Business / Revenue Model
Product going to market via three channels (VehSmart gathers revenue at each of the stages):
VehSmart has three current patent applications filed (Remote Panic Button, On Demand Floor Plan Audit System and STARS Reporting system). and is actively preparing filings for six additional patents. Additionally, VehSmart will rely on a combination of contractual restrictions, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law to establish and protect our trademarks, software, and expertise.
Simultaneously “pushed and pulled” to market: pushed into institutional market as risk-mitigation tool for lenders and pulled into retail market as revenue enhancement tool for dealerships and retail channel selling safety and convenience functions to the consumer.
VehSmart’s comprehensive functionality, including GPS based real time online mapping of the vehicle’s location, coincides with a time of extreme upheaval in the marketplace. Wholesale lenders (“floor-plan financing”) and auto dealers each are urgently searching for solutions to vexing institutional problems in the industry, and VehSmart’s multi-point solution is emerging as the industry’s favored solution.
VehSmart’s initial domestic product roll-out is being driven by automotive credit providers / lenders who have embraced this easily installed device as solution to many of the problems the lenders are currently experiencing in their “floor plan” finance portfolios. The VehSmart system is a way to mitigate loss and fraud by tracking their assets – the cars on the dealer’s lots – in real time. Within two minutes of being plugged in to the vehicle’s OBDll port (On Board Diagnostics Port, the small plug receptacle under the dashboard.) VehSmart relays the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the latitude and longitude of the vehicle, telling the lender exactly where the automobile is located, and when sold, the lender knows to expect payment within 72 hours.
Disruptive technology automates a 70-year old manual process
The current means of auditing floor plan lending has the lenders sending out teams of auditors to each automotive dealer once a month with a bar code scanner and a clipboard to physically count each car on a dealer’s lot. With the VehSmart device installed, lenders know in real time where the vehicle is located and when it is sold. Cost effectively solves a MAJOR industry wide cataclysm – the reduction of floor plan financing across the industry. By providing real time floor plan audits, the VehSmart device combined with our IP protected software and reporting processes, resolves a major risk management problem for dealers and their lenders
Beta test already successfully completed at two of the country’s four largest non-captive lenders; and the first institution has committed to an initial order of 10,000 units against a total planned 100,000 units. The lender is installing the device on all vehicles being “floor planned” at dealerships designated as “at risk” and as “high risk” dealerships. The company expects that other large lenders will also very rapidly adopt the VehSmart automated risk management system in quantities of at least the same size, and perhaps significantly larger. Discussions to begin beta testing at other non-captive lenders have been underway and are progressing nicely.
SBA embraces VehSmart to eliminate waste and fraud
In major recent development aimed at getting floor plan lending flowing into the automotive sector again, the Treasury Department’s Small Business Administration (SBA) has recently begun a program that guarantees loans to banks for floor planned vehicles. Following a meeting in Washington DC last year, the SBA has embraced VehSmart’s technology as an extremely efficient means of eliminating waste and fraud in its program, and has written the VehSmart solution into the guidelines that dealers and lenders must follow in order to participate in the loan guarantee program.
Given the tumult in the automotive sector, dealers are now actively seeking profit enhancing aftermarket products and VehSmart is being actively sought by large and small dealerships across the country. With the device pre-installed on the vehicle, the customer has the option of leaving the device on the vehicle and activating a fully featured set of services such as accident notification, stolen vehicle recovery, emergency roadside assistance, real time traffic updates. concierge service with turn-by-turn directions and stolen vehicle tracking. Vehsmart offers young driver alerts and geo-fence capability, sending alerts via text messages or email when young drivers are speeding, or out of a pre-determined geographic boundary.
VehSmart has developed a product for the motorsports / motorcycle marketplace that delivers the same robust personal safety and security features. A BlueTooth™ enabled helmet delivers the voice and safety features of the VehSmart system directly to the helmet for hands free operation. This product will be available for a variety of Powersports products including motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and more.
About Brian W. Story, Chairman& CEO
Mr. Story has over 24 years in the automotive industry, combining both his retail and aftermarket experience to bring highly successful and profitable opportunities to auto dealers. Mr. Story began his auto sales career in Southern California in 1984. Ten years later, he surveyed the automotive landscape, resigned as General Manager at a successful Ford dealership in the Los Angeles market and formed his own automotive aftermarket company, Safelite of America, incorporated in 1996. Through Safelite of America, Inc., he provided highly profitable promotions, products, and services to auto dealers. He created the Slasher Sale, trademarked in 1997, to move used car inventory at a time when lease returns were flooding the used car market and bringing wholesale prices down. Mr. Story eventually licensed the concept to other marketing companies. In 1999, Mr. Story developed and trademarked the Stealth Automotive Security System, a product designed to enhance the dealer’s bottom line in both new and used vehicles. Mr. Story is well known throughout the retail automotive industry and has an extremely impressive track record in the aftermarket business.
About Rich Zellner, President
Mr. Zellner has been in the automobile industry for almost 30 years, with over 17 years in automobile finance management. After twelve years in dealership management roles, he joined AutoFinance Group and quickly climbed the ladder becoming a key member of a company that was ultimately sold to Key Bank for 10 times book value. As a member of the Key AutoFinance management team, Mr. Zellner was considered one of the company’s sub-prime experts and traveled throughout the country lecturing bank management and dealer groups on auto finance.
From 1999 through 2006 Mr. Zellner was a Senior Vice President at WFS Financial and ultimately Wachovia after a merger. During his tenure Mr. Zellner was responsible for policies, procedures and management of a sales and marketing group of over 170 associates, travel and incentive group, and dealer services group. In recent years Mr. Zellner served as President of Cogent Financial Group, an auto finance and elective surgery medical finance company, offering consumer loans through auto dealers and medical practices. As President, he was responsible for all facets of the business including credit, operations, funding, collections, accounting, and legal. Additionally he formed a consulting company, Automotive Resource Group, with a client list that includes companies such as J.D. Power, Blue Chip Financial, and Universal Auction Group.
About Philip Zelinger
Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and host of a nationally respected automotive advertising social networking portal, AdAgencyOnline.Net. Philip invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry representing auto dealers and technology vendors focused on the automotive advertising industry.
His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time. As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to help them bring their products and services to market.
About AdAgencyOnline.Net and Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.
AdAgencyOnline.Net reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows including Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising, Auto Industry Insiders and their most listened to program Automotive Advertising Experts. The shows attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to the blog talk radio station WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.
AAOL is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger. The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies. The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.
Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include; ronsmap.com, DealerMouth, TeleTextSolutions, GetAutoAppraise, Argistics - AutoTransaXion, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer, Laser Stream Video, SiSTeR Technologies - Video CarLot and IntellaCar; to name a few.
For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., VehSmart or any of the vendor clients represented by Ad Agency Online contact Philip at 888-796-2228 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at http://adagencyonline.net. To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away! After all, what are friends for!” ###