Brian Kramer is the EVP at Cars.com and General Manager of Accu-trade. He is the former General Manager of Germain Toyota of Naples and was responsible for leading the dealership’s digital transformation initiative, working to eliminate traditional dealership “pain points” that cause unnecessary friction in transactions.
Brian has been named one of Automotive News’ “Top 40 Under 40.” He was promoted to General Manager of a Mercedes-Benz dealership at the age of 24 after working in all positions in various operations. His career as a general manager spans 19 years and a variety of franchises, including Lexus, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Toyota stores in the Midwest and Southeast for AutoNation and the Germain family. Alex, the CEO of cars.com, was so impressed by his performance in the used car area that he recruited him to become the Executive Vice President of Cars.com and General Manager of their amazing Accu-Trade program.
Brian begins the show by discussing his experience with Accu-Trade, the lessons he has learned, and how this has altered his outlook in the Automotive Industry. Once upon a time, the marketing guru of marketing gurus, Jay Abraham, stated that, if you think about it, best practices emanate from within an industry. Consequently, we are limited to observing the actions of others in the auto industry. In truth, he maintains, the majority of innovations originate outside an industry, not within it.
Everyone can describe the meet-and-greet process at a showroom. How we as car dealers – we’ll conduct a needs assessment and analyze the customer’s requirements and proceed through the demonstration, test drive, service block, and everything in between, such as the sales menu. The journey is then compared using a Disney journey mapping process. How do you map it out if it’s a virtual project? Are your salespeople authorized to visit clients and do these tasks? At what point have you provided them with emancipation guidelines similar to those found in schools or other environments where they are trusted and aided? This is part of Amazon’s strength in the process. Apple has credibility and clarity. There are so many excellent best practices from outside the business that we’re going to learn considerably more of, rather than learn from the automotive industry.
We’ve seen and heard reports of Carvana’s stock value plummeting by as much as 98 percent over the course of the past year. And it does not appear that they will be able to write that ship anytime soon. And I’m not sure if they’ll ever write the story in which they played a significant role. When all is said and done, there will be a chapter in the history of the automobile industry that states, “These people really made everyone up their internet game.”It altered our viewpoints. It made us believe that perhaps the impossible wasn’t impossible after all. Perhaps we can provide a more transparent and straightforward online method. And now it appears that so many dealers have responded so effectively and are so serious about continuing to improve along that path that if a customer could get that in the future from a franchise dealer or an independent dealer, we don’t know where it will lead, but I believe they served a purpose at the time.
We are currently living in a really intriguing time period. We’ve spent the past three years in fantasy land. Everyone has achieved record profits, which is wonderful. However, we are observing a significant shift in the market for secondhand cars. And the news is good. It’s actually good news because, given the choice between extreme limitations and limits, it’s preferable that we figure out how to do what Walmart did years ago, which was to buy better than everyone else, not sell more than anyone else.
Discussing Accu-Trade and how it has enabled dealers to rapidly expand their market share or sales volume at a greatly reduced risk? Brian says that It is the key to transforming digital retail from a lead generation tool to a transactional tool, transforming it into a transformational tool. And in the future, it will be a transmission that opens that door. Using Accu-Trade on the CARS platform, dealers can now identify distressed inventory and efficiently liquidate vehicles with industry-leading features such as our integrated appraisal technology, historical VIN activity tools, and value-based condition reports, all of which are designed to help identify the best end user for each vehicle. The CARS + Accu-Trade platform enables the wholesale market to expand and provides dealers with more profitable choices for car acquisition and disposal.
Obtaining three essential Key points from the episode on Accu-Trade Tool:
- Increase your inventory and take advantage of Cars.com’s new DIY audience: Nearly half of Cars.com’s 25 million monthly consumers with strong intent are interested in trading in or selling their vehicle. Dealers benefit from Accu-Innovative Trade’s immediate valuation experiences and guaranteed offers, as well as the ability to intercept the millions of private-party sales that occur each year.Customers enjoy real-time information regarding a vehicle’s guaranteed worth, fast access to nearby dealers, and the option to conduct an online transaction in a secure manner.
- Create a Trade-in Machine on Your Dealer Website: In a matter of minutes, dealers can now provide consumers with guaranteed cash offers and trade-in prices for their precise VIN, as well as more accurate condition and option information. The platform instantly populates the same vehicle valuation data across all consumer interaction channels, including the dealer’s website, Dealer Inspire’s digital retailing products Online Shopper and Conversations, and the store.
- Utilize Accu-Sophisticated Trade’s automobile evaluation engine: Through a cutting-edge, patent-pending evaluation method, dealers may discover, locate, and acquire the exact vehicles they desire for their lots. Dealers can give consumers complete confidence in every vehicle they appraise and simply utilize Accu-risk-free Trade’s vehicle divestment alternatives for any automobiles they have acquired but do not intend to sell. As part of this first-of-its-kind solution, the business will develop an appraisal device that creates a VIN-specific valuation and provides a customized, consumer-facing condition report in a timely manner. The gadget enables dealers to efficiently expand the sophistication of their vehicle acquisition capabilities, providing them with a portable, powerful solution to provide correct valuations from the service lane to the seller’s driveway.
By combining forces, Cars.com and Accu-Trade provide dealerships with an easier and safer method to buy, sell, and trade vehicles. Accu-Trade is designed to facilitate seamless VIN-level appraisals, which will speed up dealership procedures and increase wholesale revenues for dealers.
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