Not so sure they are former, some look like they still are dealers.
http://socialdealer.com (Castle Automotive)
http://snap21.com (Bobby Rahal)
https://www.automotivemastermind.com (Johannes Gnauck, Marco Schnabl formerly of Manhattan Mercedes-Benz -- AM was sold for nearly $400M)
There's a bunch more... some successful; most not
That is the question, isn't it? What would happen? Think of it, what if we had technologies from accomplished retailers vs. failed retailers? What if we had ideas from automotive successes vs. automotive frauds? Imagine how wonderful it would be if each vendor would show you their previous manufacturer statements and proof with pay stubs or articles of incorporation that they were a part of it and actually could show you trend increases in dollars, hard dollars, which is all that matters. Bolstering the bottom line is what all this tech exists for in the first place, doesn't it?Alex and I have had this conversation before... What would the technology solution landscape look like if an actual, successful GM of at least a small dealer group set-out to build useful technology that streamlines operations in the dealership? Someone with real experience managing customers and cars across multiple profit centers...
Hard to believe it would resemble the fragmented (silo'd), overlapping solutions dominating today's marketplace.
Yeah, those skills do not necessarily constitute a good automotive digital entrepreneur or start-up founder.VERY well said, it's like all vendors have a get out of jail free card and they also can make it up as they go along. "I was a GM" or "I owned a store" or my personal favorite "I sold 100 cars in a single month" hahahaha really buddy?
It's a healthy mix.Yeah, those skills do not necessarily constitute a good automotive digital entrepreneur or start-up founder.
Yeah it's definitely important to have a good mix. I've heard many "ground breaking tech/digital ideas" from dealers that are either horrible or simply can't be executed. You need the unicorn that can understand both the car business and the tech industry.It's a healthy mix.
Our company, as well as Strathcom and a handful of other Canadian vendors, all started from "dealers".
Almost our entire management team has dealership experience, but our sales, programming and execution teams don't necessarily need that experience.
Having sat through many meetings with those who have and have not worked at dealers, I can tell you that a very common phrase is "that's just not how dealers work" and if it weren't for those of us raising these points, poor decisions would be made.