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A New Spin on the AutoTrader Buy-a-Thon

Chris Cachor

Sr. Refresher
Apr 29, 2011
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Chris
So can Southwest Airlines. What do you think happens with them? Can they be the only holdout in a system like this?
I think you'll see even more airlines follow Southwest's lead. Southwest has done a fantastic job operationally but also on positioning themselves exclusively, similar to what Apple has done. I can't recall how many people I've spoken with that "only fly Southwest". Automotive markets are much different than airlines, but the principle is the same. Auto dealers publish prices, 3rd party sites create traffic, then the dealers begin pricing aggressively to compete in search results. It becomes a race to the bottom. You can choose to compete in that race to the bottom, or alter your strategy. There's a fantastic book on this: Amazon.com: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant (9781591396192): W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Books

Very much agree with the comments on traditional advertising as well, especially TV.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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I think you'll see even more airlines follow Southwest's lead. Southwest has done a fantastic job operationally but also on positioning themselves exclusively, similar to what Apple has done. I can't recall how many people I've spoken with that "only fly Southwest". Automotive markets are much different than airlines, but the principle is the same. Auto dealers publish prices, 3rd party sites create traffic, then the dealers begin pricing aggressively to compete in search results. It becomes a race to the bottom. You can choose to compete in that race to the bottom, or alter your strategy. There's a fantastic book on this: Amazon.com: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant (9781591396192): W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Books

Very much agree with the comments on traditional advertising as well, especially TV.

sniff... sniff... music to my ears CC, you've nailed it and you're singing my song!!

CC totally gets marketing!!!
 

yagoparamo

Sr. Refresher
Dec 30, 2009
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Yago
Chip Perry was obviously advised to diversify. Everycarlisted and carsforsale created some fear but Craigslist made them wonder; how can I compete with FREE and the public likes it better!?

At Driving Sales Chip talked about his dream of taking over the car biz with asuite of products so the dealers pay one company that offers all. it was amonotone speech with very little encouragement.

John Holt surprised me with a calm and eloquent rebuff when he said to Chipthat ADP already offers a full suite, but that no company can the best at everything. At enjoyed listening to Holt the most of all the pannel and I will follow him more than I had from now on.


Whats most interesting about the Autotrader-VIN Solutions marriage and the way they are storming the dealers with promises is how quick everyone has forgotten the way Autotrader rolls. Remember when they upped your package every other month? They changed the contract with the dealers because they knew how many leads you got so they wanted money based on that. Is that the company corporate culture that you want to invest all your Digital marketing needs?

 
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Zhendrix

Getting Refreshed
Apr 22, 2009
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Zach
Whats most interesting about the Autotrader-VIN Solutions marriage and the way they are storming the dealers with promises is how quick everyone has forgotten the way Autotarder rolls.
Is that a typo or was it on purpose? Reminds me of the time I ended an email with re"t"ards instead of regards.
 

Shawn Morse

Getting Refreshed
Apr 15, 2009
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Yago
When was the last time that AutoTrader raised their price? You do know that VinSolutions along with most of the newly acquired companies in the ATC family do not encourage dealers to sign contracts for services?
 

yagoparamo

Sr. Refresher
Dec 30, 2009
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Yago
When was the last time that AutoTrader raised their price? You do know that VinSolutions along with most of the newly acquired companies in the ATC family do not encourage dealers to sign contracts for services?
Not since Craigslist came around... However I was talking of the past and there is always room for improvement in the future and you guys may be doing better than in the past.

My comment was trying to illustrate that in the past, not only autotrader but other companies, changed from sheep to wolf as soon as they had leverage in the dealer. I don't think is a good idea for the dealer to have all the eggs in one basket.

John Holt said it very well at Driving Sales summit: "no company can be the best at everything", right after Chip Perry said that he was going to be the best at everything.
 

Shawn Morse

Getting Refreshed
Apr 15, 2009
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Shawn
Sounds like there were different opinions at DSES as there are on this fourm. I agree that it would be very difficult for one company to be the best at all things for all dealers. That does not mean that any one company should not strive to accomplish that goal however. If a dealer or any business can have a system of "top tier" products that integrate and give a total that is greater than the sum of its parts where is the downside?
 
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yagoparamo

Sr. Refresher
Dec 30, 2009
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Yago
Sounds like there were different opinions at DSES as there are on this fourm. I agree that it would be very difficult for one company to be the best at all things for all dealers. That does not mean that any one company should not strive to accomplish that goal however. If a dealer or any business can have a system of "top tier" products that integrate and give a total that is greater than the sum of its parts where is the downside?
Yes, but that is the challenge isn't it?

I'm not calling you out on it, most of the time I only learn from people better than me at this biz, so I enjoy when a company gets a great team toguether and I can watch them. However the past provides great insight on how large corporations ahve worked with the dealers and how product integrations have shaped the biz.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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