Why transparency and communication are key to modern auto retailing

On this edition of Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Hugh Hathcock, Owner and Founder of Velocity Automotive, and Kalah Hathcock, Executive Vice President also for Velocity Automotive. We’re also joined by Justin Pomeroy, Vice President of Service Operation and Income Development for Foundation Automotive.

Pomeroy and Foundation Automotive were first introduced to Velocity Automotive through one of their flagship products, VelocityRecon. VelocityRecon is customizable digital workflow software that helps car dealers increase the speed and efficiency of their reconditioning processes. Pomeroy explains that ensuring the scalability of the used car department is vital, especially given the shortage of new vehicles available. Every day that a car sits in recon, the dealership loses $75 or more, adds Pomeroy.

“We’ve come across a few different options here where different vendors are piecemealing it together, and Velocity has just done such a great job of doing a full soup-to-nuts piece,” says Pomeroy. “They do every nuance that’s in the dealership; they can identify where those shortcomings are and how to get a vehicle to market in three days’ average time so that you can scale appropriately and maximize the vehicle as it comes to your lot.”

VelocityRecon is a huge help to communication, adds Kalah. Many different hands touch a vehicle as it goes through the entire reconditioning process, so tracking the process in a CRM or inventory tool is incredibly valuable to car dealers.

“No matter what your role at the dealership is, you’re educated on where the car is,” explains Kalah. “And there’s less disruption in the recon process.”

Hugh says initially car dealers had trouble understanding the magnitude of this issue. Over the last year, as the used car market changed, more recon software has entered the market, and recon is now a focal point for many car dealers.

However, Velocity Automotive didn’t stop there. VelocityEngage is a digital portfolio tool that enables car dealers to be transparent with their consumers. VelocityEngage shows car buyers all of the information they want to see, like original window stickers, service records, and especially recon records.

“The dealer hadn’t been showing [this information] in the past,” explains Hugh. When you can show those things, you gain a competitive advantage over the competition, and Engage has been really a huge, new part of our company.”

Velocity Automotive has also launched VelocityWindowStickers, allowing car dealers to quickly access the original build information for better auction management and merchandising. VelocityWindowsStickers has over 1,000 dealer sign-ups and can be purchased as a stand-alone product or part of the VelocityEngage portfolio. From Pomeroy’s perspective, VelocityWindowsStickers adds tremendous value to the dealership. Now, used car managers or salespeople don’t have to waste time and energy tracking down OEM window stickers. 

In addition to Velocity Automotive’s sophisticated software, car dealers also get support with implementation, employee buy-in, and reporting. 

“In Justin’s case, over 30 stores, how much turnover he has, and if he had to keep track of every person that needs training and retraining, it’s not going to be successful, says Kalah.

“In our process, we really believe you have to have awesome CRM integration and the dealer wants it to go through there,” adds Hugh.

Pomeroy closes out the conversation by saying no matter how good a dealer or used car manager might be at their job, there are still areas for improvement. Velocity Automotive has the capabilities to track and measure these critical operations so professionals like Pomeroy can make positive adjustments.

Did you enjoy this interview with Hugh Hathcock, Kalah Hathcock, and Justin Pomeroy? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at newsroom@cbtnews.com.

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