I spent last week in Detroit with all the dealer candidates for the American smart Car franchises. The meeting was about the philosophy of smart USA and an introduction to the product. I had a lot of fun there! However, little about that meeting is relevant to Dealer Refresh, except….
smart (that’s right, stay off the shift key!) USA is building a national BDC for all smart dealerships. The BDC will handle all incoming Internet leads and smart USA phone calls (not dealer phone calls). All Internet leads includes the AutoTraders, Cars.coms, the dealer websites, and AutoUSA’s of the world….basically anything related to a smart. They do not plan to work with the smart customers to the extent a dealership BDC would, but are planning to make sure the lead is completely scrubbed, and the customer is ready for dealer contact, before being passed to a dealer. The BDC will also handle CSI calls and unsold floor traffic. The goal with CSI is to call the customer within 48 hours of RDR and have those results to the dealer within 24 hours of the customer completing the survey (under 10 questions).
All this for $50 per sold unit that originated in the smart BDC. Eventually smart plans to get involved with lead purchasing through their BDC as there are no plans to use traditional media for advertising.
To the best of my knowledge, no OEM has ever tried to service all their dealers through a centralized, national, BDC.