Acquiring used EVs discussion with Brian Kramer at AccuTrade

We hosted Brian Kramer on RefreshFriday last week and he spoke to how the Tesla Model Y price changes can change the entire valuation of the pre-owned EV market :crazy:

There are so many warnings to watch out for when acquiring EVs that Brian got into. Now you've got to be checking battery health as well. Ugh.

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Ford Fusion Energi hybrids recall and the current SOLUTION :poop:

Not full on EV but still - what kind of stupid :poop: is this? Nothing like purchasing a Ford Fusion hybrid only to be told to NOT USE or CHARGE the battery - with currently NOT FIX available.


Ford has issued a recall that applies to nearly 15,000 units of the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid built during the 2019 and 2020 model years. The sedans affected in the campaign are equipped with a defective current interruption device (CID) that can, in some cases, cause a fire.

Assigned recall number 23V-440 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 14,452 units of the Fusion Energi built between December 6, 2017, and July 27, 2020. Ford estimates that the defect is present in 100% of the recalled cars.

The company explains that "CID activation in a high-voltage battery cell can result in excess voltage and current flow through the battery energy control module (BECM)." In turn, this can damage the BECM and cause the drivetrain to turn off, though Ford adds that drivers might see a "stop safely now" message in the instrument cluster before this happens. Damage to the BECM can also cause "a localized fire."

Ford states that it's not aware of any accidents or injuries linked to the defect, but it notes that its Trend and Early Warning Support (TEWS) team reported five instances of fire allegations that started in the trunk of a 2019 Fusion plug-in hybrid. The firm explains that these incidents occurred between March and May 2022, and that the fires started while the cars were getting a new BECM installed by a dealership.

On February 8, 2023, Ford sent its dealers a technical service bulletin (TSB) instructing them to replace the high-voltage battery if a customer brings a Fusion Energi for service due to one or more voltage sense diagnostic trouble code instead of only replacing the BECM.

While it searches for a solution to the problem, Ford is asking owners of affected cars to "refrain from charging their vehicles to maintain a lower charge level in the high-voltage battery" to reduce the risk of the drivetrain shutting down and the risk of a fire. The company will reach out to owners by mail starting on July 10, 2023, and it plans to keep them updated as engineers uncover more details about the problem.


Their current solution...

Send the owners a $250 Cash Card for gas. :banghead:


Needing a fork lift to service EV battery replacement

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Not too long ago we had Matthew Haiken on RefreshFriday to discuss EV's and their current impact on the dealers service department.

Why are EVs stacking up on dealership lots?
Will we see creative leases for them?
AI is getting really close to replacing Internet managers - what has Matthew's initial experience been like with it?
Do we have any idea what's coming?
And much more.

Check it out!

EV Credit Transfer - accounting and payables nightmare?

Who remembers waiting for for "cash" from the cash for clunkers? With all the things that the government does the right and easy way, I am sure this will just be another easy process right? LOL

Dealership Phone Systems? From apps to CRM Integrations, what you got?

GoTo, RingCentral, TotalCX, Nextiva, Momentum, and the list goes on. I'm currently in the middle of looking for a new business phone system for our 13 retail and service locations (run through 7 systems). I'm curious to know what the DR crowd is using at their retail locations and what experiences you've had. The plot thickens when adding a phone tracking provider like CallRevu, Purplecloud, or TotalCX for CRM integrations. Here are my current combination options:

- RingCentral plus CallRevu/Purplecloud/TotalCX connected to CRM
- GoTo highlights their relationship with CallRevu but Purplecloud has deeper integrations with some CRMs. Can work with TotalCX
- TotalCX (formerly InteractiveTel) can do it all (Phone system and tracking) without adding CallRevu or Purplecloud
- Nextiva plus CallRevu/Purplecloud/TotalCX but may not have an SMS API, which would kill that pretty quick for CRM integration.
- Momentum is our current phone provider but is built on the same platform as Nextiva so may have the same limited integration capability

The other variables:
How good is the app if the user doesn't really need a desk phone?
Can it play with Azure/Microsoft Office 365 for User management?
99.999% Up Time?

What are you using?
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Uncle Joe's Makeover Diary 2.0

11 years later, I'm back in my happy place, back in the Lab building DISC stuff!

Stop by for strategy talks, prototypes and updates digging for new ways to sell MORE iron. In the spirit of the original Diary*, PLEASE challenge me and ask questions. It almost always stimulates new thoughts for me :)

*Uncle Joe's Diary 1.0

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"Why are third parties running Google VLA ads on MY vehicles? Shut it down!"


"Why are third-party platforms like Autotrader or CarGurus running Google VLA ads on MY vehicles? Shut it down!"

Sound familiar, car dealers?

Let's dissect this common concern with a sharper lens: What if allowing third-party marketplaces to run VLA ads on your inventory isn't a curse, but a veiled blessing?

Here's my take: If you've already maxed out your VLA budget, yet you're not capturing a full 100% impression share, why not be grateful that Autotrader,, CarGurus, and CARFAX are helping fill the gap?

Because here’s the kicker: Your cars are still the ones reeling in the clicks. And guess what? You’re not footing an extra bill for it.

Pause and consider: If you tell these third-party marketplaces to hit the brakes on running VLA's for your vehicles, guess who benefits? That’s right, your competition. The same advertising budget will just veer towards showcasing their inventory instead; they certainly won't pass the savings along to you.

"But Ryan, my website converts WAY better than a third-party site."

That may be the case, but aren't some leads better than no leads? The answer is yes.

"But Ryan, third parties are inflating my cost-per-click!"

Does it, though? Real talk: VLA ad units have a carousel of 20 vehicle cards. The search keywords that trigger a VLA often have an army—sometimes hundreds or even thousands—of eligible vehicles, especially when you factor in geographic scope, the inventory availability of certain models, and nationwide VLA advertisers like Carvana.

So, pulling your cars out of the game won't really lower your CPC, unless every other dealer decides to collectively opt out.

And let's not forget: Google's recent shift to Performance Max is changing the game once again.

VLA's were originally a dynamic, VIN-specific ad format that could go toe-to-toe with Facebook’s Automotive Inventory Ads.

Now, Pmax is diluting VLAs by forcing dealers to also serve the ads on YouTube, Gmail, Discover, Display, and traditional Search.

Only time will tell how effective VLA's will remain.

So, dealers, let's not be too hasty asking third parties to stop promoting your vehicles.

Sometimes, what seems like a problem may actually be an opportunity.

Awards are here!

I'm excited to see this new system blossom. So many of you have put a lot of time into DealerRefresh, and you should be recognized for it!

In the navigation above, you can see a new item called "Awards" and what they are rewarded for. As this is brand new and MANY people qualify for a bunch of these, they will take a little while to process. Jeff and I will be watching the progress.

In the meantime, please post your suggestions for new award ideas.

And be sure to click your name at the top >> Account Details:
Screenshot 2023-09-18 at 5.38.34 PM.png

Then scroll down to select your current affiliation if it is wrong or you have not received your Award yet.

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PR & News Roll Call for TWO upcoming Events - Digital Dealer Fall '23 and ASOTU CON

Dealers: Where are you headed this fall? What new process, technology, or "buzzword" are you hoping to learn about?

Vendors: Where will we find you? What are you most excited to share with dealers? What solutions are you bringing to the table?
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#RefreshFriday EV uh-oh! Dealers beware EVs - new data | Brian Kramer

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Brian Kramer and the team at Accu-Trade are seeing some interesting data trends in EV valuations.

Some MAJOR risks are surfacing that dealers need to be aware of. Don't miss this show on EV valuations, service drive acquisition updates, and how to avoid getting underwater in the near future.

Join us LIVE on Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube Friday at 1PM
DealerRefresh | LinkedIn

subprime financing company

Hi I have had been having difficulty with getting the usually used car dealer subprime lenders accepting even 550 scores with a couple of thousand down. I use the usual companies sensible UAC CAC. They seem to be offering 1/2 of loan does anyone know of better companies for lenders in RI MA CT areas.
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GA4 ASC Wishlist

Am I getting ahead of myself dreaming up a GA4 Automotive Standards Council 2.0 wishlist?

In my deep dive into GA4 over the past couple of months, I've identified 7 event parameters that could add significant reporting value:

1️⃣ item_location = A must-have parameter for group sites, rollup GA4 properties, and sites with shared inventory to identify which dealership the vehicle is located at.

2️⃣ item_sale_price = to track the impact of discounts and OEM incentives. It pairs well with item_price to calculate the $ / % of the discount.

3️⃣ item_photos = # of vehicle photos. This would allow us to track the performance and impact of merchandising. It could also be used in conjunction with item_age to provide an added layer of understanding.

4️⃣ item_age = # of days in stock at time of asc_item_pageview. This would allow us to track performance by inventory age instead of a static inventory date.

5️⃣ item_video = A simple true / false boolean

6️⃣ item_360 = Another true / false boolean

7️⃣ item_model_normalized = I know the intention was for item_model to use a 3rd party lookup table, but that does not seem to be happening. Could we create a list of official OEM preferred model names to use (or maybe the Chrome Data ID)? For instance, merging model names like Silverado with Silverado 1500 ensures user metrics by model are accurate without duplication.

I'm well aware many vendors are still in the midst of rolling out ASC. Nonetheless, my hope is ASC will continue to evolve and improve from its debut version (and maybe include some of the parameters on my wishlist ).

And I'd be remiss if I didn't give a huge shoutout to Brian Pasch and the entire Automotive Standards Council. Their efforts have ushered in a refreshing wave of collaboration in the industry!

So, have you come across any other event parameters that would be beneficial?
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Carfax Advantage Dealer

We are an independent dealer specializing in European Cars. We predominantly run classified ads to generate traffic to our store. We already have Cargurus, Autotrader, Edmunds, Carsforsale, etc.

Now looking into as well. We were recently pitched with a $999/ Month for ADVANTAGE PLAN program with an additional $899/ Month for USED CAR LISTINGS as an Add-on.

Seems a little bit excessive for a 50-60 inventory store but would appreciate any feedbacks regarding the pricing on this.

Thanks in advance.

The Edmunds Gut Punch

Really Edmunds?
1). The price drop chart is at the top of the page (i.e. top of mind), this is an ANTI-CALL TO ACTION.

1) It's causing ALL edmunds shoppers to shopper to conclude "if I wait it'll be A LOT cheaper"
2) the lead gen CTA is 100% anti-dealer

Dealers, FYI: by demanding leads, leads, leads, you've help create this.