Cars: The New Privacy Frontier

May 7, 2024
Is your car sending location data to the police? Should it be?
Listen On
Apple Podcasts IconSpotify Icon

On today’s episode of the ASOTU Wheelhouse, host Daniel Govaer is joined by Ashley Cavazos, Marketing Director at DeMontrond Auto Group, Colby Joyner, VP of Marketing at Cavender Auto Group and Savannah Simms, Director of Business Development at Simms Auto Group.

They delve into dealership challenges such as implementing new processes under new management, navigating inventory levels, and the impact of competitive pricing. Plus, there are some free ways to improve customer experience and signs that your dealership just isn’t that into you.

Here’s what’s covered in today’s episode:

0:00 Intro and Disclaimer

1:19 Around the horn with today’s panel

3:14 Driving It Until the Wheels Fall Off

9:07 Shady Dealers and Shady Deals

17:01 Connected Cars and Privacy

26:49 Are EV Discounts a Conquest Opportunity?

36:07 Free Ways To Improve Customer Experience

42:19 Red Flags to Say Your Dealership Might Not Be Into You

Savannah Simms: 0:00

It's interesting on this list of manufacturers, the only one that did require a warrant and does tell their customers about demands for the data where Tesla on both is the only company but then again, worry about self driving and the fact that you're in a locked cage by Tesla, and they can drive you wherever they want, at some point in time, right?

Daniel Govaer: 0:18

I thought my tin hat was good, holy cow. Welcome back, everybody to another episode. It's actually lucky episode number 21. Of the wheelhouse and today our panel joining us Ashley Cosmos Marketing Director at the demand Tron Auto Group, Colby Joyner, VP of Marketing at the Cavender Auto Group, and Savannah Sims, Director of Business Development at Sims Auto Group. And just to get off the disclaimer out the way that everyone's views here represents simply their views not out of their company that employs them, or any of their affiliates. So with that, let's have a Jolly good show where we each of us can give our insights so people can maybe get some information from that or just laugh and be like, who gave these people a microphone? I'm gonna start out by giving everybody 30 seconds to do the around the horn. And I want to talk about right now, or what are some of the biggest hurdles you think your stories are going to have to overcome? Specifically this May? This month, what do you think some of those biggest obstacles are that you guys are have on your radar? Plan for them already? But what would they be? So 30 seconds on the clock? Savannah Sims start with you. Wonderful.

Savannah Simms: 1:23

So we just finished out our first 60 days under new ownership. So May is going to be tough implementing new processes, building really strong foundation as we're working hard on acquisition mode over the summer. So starting over, cleanup is done. And now building. So that's what we're looking forward to.

Daniel Govaer: 1:42

Now, but now the real work starts.

Savannah Simms: 1:43

Exactly get through all those EVs sitting on the lot.

Daniel Govaer: 1:48

All right, 30 seconds on the clock for you, Ashley,

Ashley Cavazos: 1:51

I would say it really goes back to we've got inventory levels up. And if you're like me, you're going through all of your new car incentives, getting your specials out trying to figure out how to price everything, there are definitely going to be some challenges from a competitive pricing and making sure that we're staying within OEM standards. But you know, it's a competitive market, and we've got inventory, we've got to move.

Daniel Govaer: 2:14

Right? Yeah, toeing the line. I'm sure we're all looking at that right now. Kobe Joyner three seconds on the clock for you.

Colby Joyner: 2:21

I would say our biggest, our biggest challenge in May is to continue performing at the level that we've been performing it, you know, we've had the last four months, we've had some pretty significant growth when it comes to year over year. And so there's this new standard, and we have to make sure that we're continually going there, and we can't go backwards, you know, that's not accepted. So it's a lot of pressure and a lot of, you know, focus on that. But we have a great team. So that's going to be our biggest thing in May, is making sure we're going into the summer and living up to the capacity.

Unknown: 2:52

Yeah, that sounds like a

Daniel Govaer: 2:55

you keep me updated on that. Well, I mean, that sounds like a lot is all I'm saying. But you know, listen, if you've got a if you got a good group of 40 or so people and they're doing a great job of it, then I think that that's, you know that you had a great chance of success there. So, alright, so let's head into some of our headlines here. So the first one is, we've all had heard from either family member or client about a car, I'm just gonna drive it until the wheels fall off. And the thing is, is like the math on that has been changing, and kind of increasing. And cost of ownership has been increasing. We've talked about that multiple times here, right. And in fact, on the first episode, even the pilot episode of the wheelhouse we talked about was a Wall Street Journal article that talked about how long it's going to start taking cars to get repaired. And as dealers, obviously, we're happy to both repair your car and sell you a new one. But when we hear things like I'm never gonna trade, I'm just gonna keep it till the wheels fall off. There's sort of like a new math that goes along with that insurance is more expensive and parts and more expensive. Are you guys still hearing that? And do you think like, what's your what would be your advice to someone who is in the same situation? Does it actually pay? Does it make sense? Is it math or whatever we want to say about it? What do you guys think about that?

Savannah Simms: 4:09

I think there's a fine line between you know, the older cars, sometimes there's a little bit of clout, and I know we talked about this earlier, but having some prestige to an old Land Cruiser, you know, that has like a cool factor to it. And you may say I'm gonna drive to the wheels fall off or you driving an old Prius, that now it weighs this much and the battery doesn't work anymore, you're going to drive until the wheels fall off. It's just not efficient anymore. So as a dealership I think having parts programs for these cars that are older, because the obsolescence and throughput in the shop can really slow things down. So we're not servicing them in house but we have a partnership we have wholesale accounts for local shops that will do that. And building a community around that that welcomes them, rather than oh we don't serve as cars over 10 years old. Make them feel welcome but have these programs in place with a local shop and also the community do a cars and coffee around it like make it cool, have ownership events and build a business within your business to own that, because at some point those wheels are falling off, and I want to be where they come to get the next the next set.

Colby Joyner: 5:09

Yeah, I think I think with, you know, we're not really gonna see the big effect of people driving their cars until the wheels fall off for another five to 10 years, because that kind of started or happened several years ago. So, you know, what we have on our side is we're looking at loyalty programs, internal loyalty programs, making sure that we're, you know, lifting up our service departments, and really kind of starting on the marketing side of really pushing service more than variable, and making sure that the customers that are in our area, understanding that we're able to provide that top tier service for that extended period of time, which makes them feel like the vehicle is more reliable, reliable on that, which makes them more willing to purchase from us at some point in the future. But at the same time to prevent that we are kind of focusing more on the lease side to make sure that we can get that turn. So it's kind of a double edged sword.

Ashley Cavazos: 5:59

Yeah, I mean, I definitely have to echo echo you Kobe in that sense, where we, I even think of my own parents, my parents are driving until the wheels fall off.

Daniel Govaer: 6:10

But like, there's no see, right? You tell him like, it's actually gonna cost you less if you lease especially now, like it's gonna cost you more to be keeping and repairing your car or costume plus to buy? I mean, or what do you advise them?

Ashley Cavazos: 6:21

Is that I mean, that's exactly the conversations we have, because my dad's willing to do it for my younger siblings, because he knows like, hey, I want to keep them in a safe new vehicle and keep cycling them out. But then he's taking his his four to go get, you know, fixed and it's costing X amount of dollars, or it's needing this amount of work. And I'm like, Dad, like, maybe we talk about, you know, what we're looking to do long term, and I understand the no payment thing is great, but like, how is all of that factoring in when Ford doesn't even make your car anymore, and you're trying to find these parts, but from the dealer side of it, you can't go wrong with building that service, retention loyalty plan, and keep that relationship going. So when the wheels do fall off, like Savannah mentioned, you're that first person they're thinking of, because a lot of times, you hear a lot of these people who are driving on that line, they have their at least in my case, I hear a lot of like, their local favorite mechanic shop. It's not so much the dealer, right? It's it's a local shop. So how do we make ourselves feel that way to them, as well?

Daniel Govaer: 7:23

Yep. And that's, that's and then that and exactly what Savannah said to there's, you know, from my experience, guys, there's nothing says you can't have a labor grid specifically for vehicles over 10 years, right? We used to call it our heritage collection. So that was, right. I mean, so there's nothing that says you can't change your labor grid, or change, you know, matrix pricing for vehicles that are over 10 years old, and make people feel appreciated and special for that. So that we are, you know, so that those people are still touchpoint in the dealership, and when they're seeing your new stuff, and they're still paying for the repair on their car, then that's all you could really ask for it. And

Savannah Simms: 7:54

how proud are they when they come in? It's like a badge of honor that odometer right? Yes, yeah.

Colby Joyner: 8:02

And you can celebrate that like look at all the times that we've we post on like, we do a lot of social media. But look at all the times we post on social media saying so and so just bought a car so and so just bought a car, why can't you do the same thing with so and so just came in to service for the 50th time, and is only done their service with us and their cars still running and still perfectly fine like that. That is just as good, if not better of a showcase of the reliability and the service from the dealer versus a hey, we were able to we were able to sell you a car. I

Daniel Govaer: 8:31

don't know if you can you guys can hear my applause. I don't know. But I'm doing it floss. Applause and right. And that shouldn't be something because also like, if you're a new car dealer, and somebody's coming to you so far out of warranty to do their repairs, and they're clearly understand like, they look at the dollar signs on Google and understand that your dollar signs look different than the dollar signs from the independent mechanic that doesn't have a website, and that they understand that and they still come to you for service, and to your point where that'd be awesome to start seeing that we celebrate that both for our service departments and for our clients online. And we make that kind of pay off for them in different ways. All right. Moving on to sort of our next article, this one, you know, I wanted to read this like a couple times because essentially so carnation is a which was was Wichita use car dealership, permanently banned from operating faces $418,000 penalty for selling 13 vehicles without operational airbags. That follows an initial incident a few years ago where customer discovered the vehicle they purchase hadn't deployed airbag, which was not disclosed. situation escalated when another car found an airbag similar device in their car, leading to the discovery of 12 Additional effective vehicles that were sold in early 23. Now the dealerships owner contested the claim stating the customers were aware of the vehicles accident histories, dealership does not guarantee airbag functionality, and he does suggest that customers preferring vehicles without Accident history should get a newer certified used car from a dealer. The owner also mentioned challenges in obtaining legal representation, attributing it to the dealership possibly being minority owned or at a disadvantage for seat Getting legal representation during the first instance. So the penalty includes compensation to the victims along with bulk of the amount covering civil penalties, court costs and investigation fees. And really, we didn't get too much other commentary from the ownership other than what was provided in the article. So is this a shady dealer in Wichita? Is this a situation of buyer's remorse? You know, where do we draw the line? When and we all have as his cars, I know, we have all types of, you know, wholesale to the public type of programs. But where did he go too far? Or is this a case where people realized that they had a car they didn't want and now we're and now he's facing sort of repercussions from that.

Ashley Cavazos: 10:38

I just want to make a note that I feel bad on this headline as shady dealers in Wichita, because I think they're everywhere. And not just in Wichita. But, you know, unfortunately, they're the ones who got called out and this sense, right,

Daniel Govaer: 10:53

carnation, right. But yes, so but you know, but anyway, back to back to my question like is that, you know, is this buyer beware, is this is this a dealer that absolutely was doing wrong? Was he not clear about the fact that this was an accident? And here's the paper. And

Colby Joyner: 11:06

I think clarity is your is your key word in that thing. It's all about clarity, if the dealer is clear enough, or is crystal clear, as they can be with acknowledgement forms and discussions and conversations and, and, you know, awareness checks and a walk around and saying, Hey, this happened, and this happened. But you do understand this as an as is and all the documents are signed. And I think you can do proper correct, you know, valid business that way, if you're selling an as his car, and you're disclosing everything, but since it most likely was not disclosed to the ninth degree and agree, then that's where it looks shady. And it technically is like, if you're not if you're hiding something, it doesn't mean that you know, you can't, they're probably saying, Well, I didn't lie to them. Yeah, but you didn't tell them. So you know, it's omission. I mean, if you're omitting something, then you're just as as much as at fault. If, you know, as you were to say, No, it does have an airbag. And it doesn't. I

Ashley Cavazos: 12:04

don't think both. Go ahead.

Savannah Simms: 12:07

I don't think the laws are as crystal clear as they need to be. And I think that there will always be laws as guidelines, but I think we need to use our moral compass. And in this situation, you know, similar to what you just said, it's not clear, but at the same time, if you know, and you and you don't share, is that still considered lying? You wouldn't put your grandmother in the car? What whether or not it has an airbag? It's disclosed. It's not? Personally I wouldn't. So it all comes down to your moral compass.

Daniel Govaer: 12:33

Gosh, I know he cut you off. Go ahead. Yeah, I

Ashley Cavazos: 12:34

was just gonna say I mean, I kind of goes on both parties, because it's completely about clarity. And, you know, truth by omission. Right? They didn't, they didn't Tran. They weren't transparent with that information. But also on the on the customer side, they're looking for a low cost vehicle and you're going to the Steeler like, I'm sure they have a reputation, or there's a reason why these cars are getting sold. So it's got a it's got to be on both parties, like ask the questions or look at the CarFax and if you see the Carfax, Hey, there's this accident What happened with that accident or confirm these details? I don't think it's right on the dealer side. But I also think there needs to be some some communication on both parts is like customer where that education? And what questions to ask when you're looking to buy one of these vehicles. It's like those

Savannah Simms: 13:21

little chips that sell the manufacturer buybacks and the disclosures that they have, and then the customer then goes and tries to trade it in to a new car franchise that is not a part of that group. And it's worth$20,000 less than they don't know why. Well, it was in a disclosure, did they understand what that means? Same thing, right?

Daniel Govaer: 13:42

I guess my question too, is like was, these cars are at a particular dealership, and this isn't a new car store. And they make no bones about it. And they kind of have their business model is pretty clear. So how these cars were found, like, how did the client find that car that they were going to buy? And had they and from what we know people look at other people look at websites, and they look at a few different cars before they make a decision. So there was an impulse, there was some type of driving force that made sense that I go look and maybe even buy this car. So is it also a case of like a bargain bargain for a reason? You know, and what's not clear, and I think that, you know, I don't know, look, would we sell a car without an airbag? No, probably not. Right? Because it's just like, I feel like a car should have an airbag and standard equipment should have an airbag right? But at the same time was what's the there's no mention in here about what the cost difference was on the particular cars that we're looking at.

Colby Joyner: 14:33

And it's just a matter of integrity. Regardless, it's a matter of integrity, the dealer did not have the level of integrity needed to make sure that they weren't going to get bid in the end. And that unfortunately puts a an additional notch on the bed. You know, bad terminology of automotive, automotive dealers, whether you're a new car retail franchise or not, it doesn't matter.

Daniel Govaer: 14:55

So you don't think so? You just I'm playing devil's advocate. You don't think just because it wasn't a client knew it wasn't an app. accident knew they fixed it, but then finds out it doesn't have an airbag that's still you know that the airbag deployed in this in the first case was the airbag deployed, I knew the car was an accident, they knew they fix the car, but to the airbag deployed, that's something that they feel like they they they didn't do a good enough job disclosing, I don't know that you could really say that somebody was completely naive about the possibility

Colby Joyner: 15:18

of the airbag was deployed? Well, it's a lot easier to, it's a lot easier to see if there's no seatbelts in the vehicle than if there's no airbags, it would be the same level of, you know, dishonesty or lack of integrity, if they just didn't, they didn't have their seatbelts were ripped out. And they sold the car and said, Hey, I will I showed him the Carfax or I showed him the auto tracker, I showed him that the history on the car, you can visually see those, you know, seatbelts, but you can't necessarily tell if there's no airbags unless you're ripping off the dash. So it would need to be very clear and explain there, especially with, hey, the reason why this vehicle is so inexpensive is because of these items, I want you to be aware of that and acknowledge that.

Ashley Cavazos: 15:58

There's a reason why you're buying a 2015 Lincoln MK X for $12,000.

Savannah Simms: 16:04

Do we know what he did when they first came in and reported it?

Daniel Govaer: 16:08

No, I mean, the newspapers pretty much kind of just telling this sort of angle of the story. And I think that was my other point is like the reporting kind of doesn't seem to me to be completely balanced. You know, but, you know, fair points taken all the way around. I suppose the clients could have asked

Savannah Simms: 16:21

like, what's that? You could have offered to replace it or buy the car back to avoid what his actions were? Maybe did, right?

Daniel Govaer: 16:28

That's true. And we don't know, well, what

Colby Joyner: 16:30

car what cars right now out on the street don't have an airbag? Like what is there a certain year model that that started? You know, is it 1985? Is it you know what I mean? Like if the vehicle is past that point of there's an assumptive, airbag

Daniel Govaer: 16:49

or advertise advertising like you know, how there's, there's guys out there they go into break into cars, and they steal airbags doesn't happen here. They've never been here. Not once, you know that somebody's like supposed to figure it out from there. But let us let us move on to a topic that we've covered here a few times on the wheelhouse about what your car is telling about you to other people whether or not you like it. So in this latest case, now, this is in Congress and Democratic senators are calling on the FTC, to investigate eight automakers for handing over users location data with only a subpoena rather than a court based warrant. The reason that's important is back in 2014, I believe, manufacturers pledged that they would only provide this data underneath the correct circumstances, like a court ordered warrant that had been looked at and signed off on by a judge. So we're talking about Ford, GM, Honda, Estonia, dis, Tesla, and then to some degrees, we've got six more manufacturers past that. So really, how much do we know about what our cars are telling everyone else about what we're doing? And we all have connected services with our cars? Do How much are we actually how much do we know about what our cars are telling people and for what and why

Savannah Simms: 18:02

there's a lot more complex than what this article made it out to be. I think there's obviously a time and place you know, if you have a child and they go missing, every second matters. So being able to get that something like a missing persons case, kidnapping, Amber Alert, those types of things makes sense. But for something like seeking an abortion in another state, attending a protest going to a or NA, or going to church, that's pretty wild. And I think earliest I'm gonna give an example of COVID as well, like going and seeing people like there needs to be a lot more work to this before it actually passes.

Daniel Govaer: 18:41

I put it also just with another article that was from the New York Times a couple of weeks ago that car manufacturers have also been sharing driver information with insurance companies. And so now your driving habits, regardless of whether you sign up for it or not that carmaker itself is is sharing this information with insurance companies. So who has access to your data when you're in a car? I mean, is this not worth a bit of a larger? Like, I know, everyone kind of shrugs it off a little bit because they're like data? I don't really, you know, the cloud? I don't get it, but like at the same time like this is your this is your your loved one's life and who controls who's who should be authorized to be able to get that data?

Ashley Cavazos: 19:17

I think the question is, the authorization is who can get it right? It is interesting, because sometimes I feel like we're so numb to like the data piece because it's just so out there for us that we're like, we can't control like, everywhere our data is because it's the it's there's so many places that we don't even know when you hear about it every day with you know, data breaches and stuff like that, but it is to Savannah point like there is that time of that time is is of the essence where we need to find out some locations but also is it something like a warrant when you're trying to get a search for a house and now you know what, where's that line drawn on what you need in order to know where I've been with my car?

Unknown: 20:02

Yep, I think also, that was delayed.

Daniel Govaer: 20:08

I think also like, so my, you're like I have this little conspiracy theory, right? So I recently traded in a performance oriented Ice Vehicle for an electric one. And my insurance went down. And I was like, How is this possible, and I called, you know, my brother in law, who's an insurance agent. And he's like, really asked to do with just how much you know, data the manufacturer the insurance companies have, so maybe they just had more on one than on the other. So then, if you put on your, your tin hat with me, I think that because it's because they're electric, that every time they plug in, there's information is transferred back and forth, right, because your cars can start charging automatically when it's plugged in, and various other things. And I don't recall exactly what was in the 53,000 words of the agreement to consent to being able to plug in and charge automatically. So I think that my insurance in this case actually went down because there's more data on the car that I got, than there was on the previous car that I had. So because it got plugged in, that's just my, you know, tin hat theory, but anyone from

Ashley Cavazos: 21:08

the same with our mobile apps with our phones, too, right? Like, I want to be able to remote start my car from my phone app. But there's all of that data that's getting tied between it as well.

Unknown: 21:19


Colby Joyner: 21:20

thank you. I think it boils down to how much do you care if people have it, if you care enough, that you are concerned about whether so and so knows where you're driving, or your mobile app tracks where you're looking on the internet, or all of a sudden, you care enough, you're going to read through those disclaimers, you're going to read through the the sharing of data, you know, privacy messages, and all this other stuff. And then you're going to make an educated choice on whether you would like to buy that or like to download that or whatever it is. If you don't, then you don't and if you do care enough, and you don't read the read all that the that information, then it's on you.

Daniel Govaer: 21:55

Good. That's gonna let that slide. But if they haven't been affected, people care when they've been affected, and they can understand that. And then once they've been affected, and they know that that's why they've been affected, then they care. So right now the thing is, you've been affected, you don't even know, or you haven't been affected, you don't know. So you don't care.

Savannah Simms: 22:13

Well, that was that was something I wanted to bring up was I have had a situation where it didn't matter where it was. And it didn't matter that someone was able to find me. And that's unfortunate, right and making sure that my data is private about where I am, where I'm living versus where I'm working, right. So I have like my work life is public. But the specific town and whatnot is not. But having to get rid of SIM cards, change devices relocate, like if someone goes through that, they're probably someone that's more cautious about what's out there, because it's happened to them. Previously, I wasn't as aware of that, and I would hit Yeah, location services all the time. Then when you try and backtrack and start turning all those things off and start trying to protect yourself, you realize how much is out there. But then again, know someone who unfortunately was stuck in a snowstorm and was missing for quite some time. And they hadn't done the recent update on their Subaru. So Subaru could not trace where they were. They were found. But that's another really good case on the opposite side of I'd like them to know. But I think if a company itself has my data, and they don't have data breaches, so they're very compliant, they're as safe as possible, which we know things are still gonna happen. Look at what just happened to at&t, right? I'm okay with at&t Having my data, they have all my data. But then again, they have a data breach. I'm more concerned about individuals and individual groups that are attacking these companies and the companies themselves, which I know this all kind of started from law enforcement. But it all comes back together to how do we make all of these organizations more secure with do

Daniel Govaer: 23:48

what's in what did it what difference is it if it's a date, like we say data breach, we get concerned, right? We get something in the mail that says your information might have been exposed or an app tells you that right? So then that's your information has been exposed when your car sells your information to somebody, you don't get anything in the mail. But I want but I'm saying like the same, the information is gone. It went from one place to another, it wasn't a breach. It was actually they opened the door and said come on in and leave.

Savannah Simms: 24:12

Do you like when on Instagram, you get a suggested ad on something you didn't know you needed? But you need to have it?

Daniel Govaer: 24:20

I have my ad preferences kind of locked down on Instagram?

Savannah Simms: 24:26

Well, that's a bad example. But I do because I don't like having to look for everything. And I like that they serve it up. But at what cost? car do I like going up to the charger and not having to scan anything and I just plugged my car right in. It's interesting on this list of manufacturers, the only one that did require a warrant and does tell their customers about demands for the data where Tesla on both is the only company but then again, worry about self driving and the fact that you're in a locked cage by Tesla and they can drive you wherever they want at some point in time, right?

Daniel Govaer: 24:59

I thought my tin hat was good holy cow.

Ashley Cavazos: 25:02

But it's so interesting when you how, but

Daniel Govaer: 25:06

But at&t has to send you something saying we lost your data because we were hacked. That's what I'm saying. They have to notify you that they lost your data, your car, sending out your data without notifying you, manufacturers or buying it or insurance companies or buying it. And manufacturers are selling it. And they don't have to send you anything in the mail saying like, Oh, hey, sorry. But like, that's definitely

Ashley Cavazos: 25:25

like the interesting take on it. Like, it's just like when you're purchasing a vehicle and you sign the form that's like, No, I want you to share my data or, you know, do share my data. But that should be part of that process. When it comes to our locations and all that stuff. Do I want you to share it or not? You know, to Savannah is point I do love the Instagram ads. So tell me I need something that I didn't really need. But it was also really interesting because I recently took a trip to Disney World. And I don't know if y'all been lately, but like your ticket is like your little magic man or whatever it is also tied to your fingerprint. So they like fingers hand you as you're going through every part at Disneyworld. And I was like, what, where is my finger scan going? And as a victim of identity theft? That is exactly where my thoughts go is like, you know, what, where is this going? And what is my workaround? If I don't want to get my finger printed every single time I go through it the zeropark? Absolutely.

Savannah Simms: 26:19

Name data is being used on all the cruise lines right now to the guy who designed it. And it's pretty wild. They're now making all the locks on the cruise lines like that. Think about data breaches in that in that industry. Well, international waters,

Daniel Govaer: 26:33

as the great philosopher Dwight Schrute once said that identity theft is not a joke. I think fingerprints at Disney are just funny though, just because like Mickey and Minnie have like three fingers on each hand. But anyway, listen, in earlier in the show. So you mentioned about you know, we've got all these EVs to move. And we've talked endlessly about EVs, we've agreed on the show before, it's the way to sell an Eevee there's really very few that you can sell without a discount, primarily, you're gonna sell an Eevee, because you discounted. So then I went and leased an Eevee. And I'll be honest with you, like I didn't give two talks about the fact that it was electric or ice. And it was because of how much it was being discounted. That all of a sudden, a car that previously I didn't or car line that I didn't think were was going to be accessible to me, all of a sudden became accessible. And so I got into a car line that I didn't think I was going to get into for a few more years, because of just how steeply it was just kind of the car is a blast. It's an absolute like Marvel to drive. It's, it's complete, it's an absolute year to year smile every time I get into it. And I'm so glad that I got to experience the brand through this car that if it wasn't an Eevee, and it wasn't absolutely up on the altar to be slaughtered and gross for Eevee that I would never have even thought about it. Right. So let me this, this kind of came up in my head. And I want your guys's opinion on whoever thought about the possibility that since EVs are pretty heavily discounted? Are these actually the best conquest tools that we have that we've never really recognized it as a conquest tool? But if we look at it that way, does that not might it might that not change how we go to market with the EVs in our life? Because the price point to get into them willingly from ourselves is so much lower than their counterparts. Does that make sense?

Ashley Cavazos: 28:25

I'm kind of curious to hear from Kobe because Kobe did something that I've been interested in doing, which is we've been trying to figure out to sell EVs and Kobe went and bought an Eevee. So he can understand how to sell it and what, what the appeal is there. But I know you've been digging into this a lot. Yeah.

Colby Joyner: 28:46

I agree with Daniel, I will not with Daniel the statement that he said is I do think it's a great way to conquests clients. Now, is it something that we're actively doing I can't say that we are actively trying to conquest using the an Eevee strategy, but it's a fantastic idea. You know, if I think once, once you make a decision of I'm open to EVs versus ice, or I do want an Eevee versus ice, I don't think it really matters the brand at that point, what you're looking for is range and speed and you know, the luxury or not those kinds of things. You know, that's what you're looking for. And there's certain segments like you know, the truck segment just has the f150 Lightning you know, you have this year Evie coming out of the Silverado. Evie coming out, you know, the ram one or the hybrid rim, you have all these things that are coming out. So I think someone who is a prominent for buyer, for instance, and once Chevy comes out or or GMC comes out with their car and Silverado EVs, you're going to have these four buyers that maybe owned an Eevee lightning that didn't like it very much because it wasn't didn't perform in the way they wanted to. Now you can get into the Silverado. That's 400 miles of range versus the F 150 lightning that had to add.

Daniel Govaer: 30:06

So I'm just certain let me just throw this in there though, right? Because it's like so actually, like I leased an Eevee right. So I own one now, but it's I didn't, I didn't, I didn't give a shit about the range. I never heard about charging time. It turns out that it has decent enough range. It wasn't much different than the eight cylinder ice that I had before. And it charges up super fast. But that picked it up. I drove it down to Lexington for the game conference never had an Eevee before never understood Evie charging or the app or anything like and it was simple to do it. And the reason that I got it, it was because I was getting on. I mean, the discount that I got on that car could buy most new Hyundai's and Kias most,

Colby Joyner: 30:43

I first started looking at EVs with the with the government rebate, because I was like, okay, my taxes have been pretty freakin high lately. You know, and that's when I first started looking at it, it wasn't because it wasn't easy. It was because of the, you know, the extras that I was able to receive with it. And as long as it got me from point A to point B, I was happy. So I'm

Daniel Govaer: 31:02

gonna give you a parallel example real quick, right? So at a scientist store, right, and let's assume that you're a scientist owner. And so what you qualify for in rebates, you can get like a Sahara for vaccine, or Cherokee for xe, the discounts on those are massive. The zero down leases, I mean, this is the way back to a tune that you want to know how to get back to a 299. Lease. That's how. So now I'm asking you. So if somebody comes in, because they're looking for a pre owned vehicle, do you now have the opportunity to conquest them, because for $14,000, you can pay for the term of the lease on an Eevee. Because this is what it would cost you because this is how much we're discounting it. And this is how many rebates we have on it, other than what the government's giving you, this is what the manufacturer is giving you. So I'm saying like now we've talked you came in, maybe you were looking for a pre owned offering that we have. And maybe either the bank's buying power isn't there, or the car isn't quite that nice, or whatever the case is, nothing's going to be as nice as a brand new car sitting on the showroom floor. So is this not an opportunity for us not only the conquest from other brands, but to show people that they're buying because everyone's worried about buying power right now, right? Inflation is a real thing. It's not going anywhere. And yet, we have all of these programs for cars that beat inflation every day, if somebody would just give it a shot. So here's the thing is like you were coming in for this offer and use car that we have. And it's not going to quite work. But let me just also or wood, but let me just give you this option, that really with less money and less exposure and more warranty, and you become a new car owner, you could have this car, it

Ashley Cavazos: 32:33

makes complete sense. Like why wouldn't you want to take that angle with them? 100% agree with you on that piece. I think the struggle with as marketers like we can do that we can sell that message. It's what's happening in the showroom. And our salespeople bought into that, you know, into the Evie stage or the switch? Are they educated on the product knowledge of it, that they can actually make that switch to a customer? I will tell you most salespeople I talk to are not as educated on the end front usually have maybe one or two experts within a showroom, if that, but they have to be confident EVs because we can sell the message and completely conquest that piece. But you need your showroom to be ready for it as well.

Savannah Simms: 33:18

And I think above education, it's, you know, you said Are they educated? And are they confident? I think Did they have a good attitude about it is stronger than those two pieces because as long as they're excited and they have a positive attitude, it helps a ton. The other thing is like Who are we conquesting right now in the new car market. It's going to be a younger generation. I was just recently in a Lincoln meeting and they said it was a 33 year old and it had like a group of very diverse, diverse crowd that they were showing and it was well what do they want and it's technology okay well if you look at every Evie let's look at Toyota as lineup for a second is a little behind in tech, right? They're not always updating that but you go get into Bz, then it has all their new tech in it where I'm dying to get the new for runner, but isn't hasn't been as updated, right? I got one in 2020. And I was like it doesn't even have the little lights on the side mirrors. That's crazy, right? It's a little outdated, but you go into any of them you can have the you will log you can watch TV, you can connect everything you can turn your oven on from your car, it typically is a little bit more upgraded. So it is a good entry point to a brand not only from the price, but getting them enticed and then they're going to be more brand loyal potentially over time. But I think it's helping attract a younger, younger demographic.

Daniel Govaer: 34:29

I think that's the thing is that we have to be able to show people that like your buying power can get you into the latest technology can get you into something you did. Basically it's car sales one on one it can your buying power is actually greater than what you thought it was can actually get you into this. I will say on a final note on that topic, what I would like we put in place at our stores we have a pay plan that's got many components, a couple different components to it, but the base commission that you earn is 1% of the sale price because we realize that especially on EVs if we have$150,000 Evie and we have to take $30,000 off Have it because that's the market on it. The problem to your point with the sales staff not being engaged on it, how engaged would anyone be for 250 or $300, mini on$120,000 car, or $80,000 car or whatever it is, because they're definitely almost always minis based on what we have to discount them. So now like how much shorter and that car requires just a little bit more in the after sale, right like getting your wallbox put in and like making sure you're good on your charging plan, it just requires just a little bit more, not much. But when we're not compensating our sales staff for it, we sort of also pay the price for them, watching them sit on the lot. And then talking to our sales staff about guys, we have these EVs you gotta go like me telling people how efficient they are, and how and it's like no, no, missed up. I mean, obviously, you want people to know if they're efficient, but I'm just saying like, let's focus on the fact that you've got immense, immense buying power you didn't think about as a consumer. And now I'm also compensating my sales staff so that they're not losing out when they have to go show one of these that we're discounting because the market says discounted, right? Moving on to our final topic. Because there are enough things that are costing us more and more money. And there's enough worrying signs in the economy that are out there. And we're compiling our list, the wheelhouse will have of ways to elevate your client experience that don't cost $1. Right. And so and I talked about this, like every time I go into one of the stores, is the whole aspect of walking somebody from point A to point B, instead of just pointing and saying it's over there, right? Or just standing up and greeting clients when they come in or when they're talking to you, right? Or no cold transfers, right? We don't want to just be like, Oh, we're looking for Savannah shirt rings by and then no clue if you're there if your answer if you can answer if you're available, if you know who's calling things that just elevate the client experience that cost $0 But make it seem like they're in a four seasons buying a car. So give me your guys best tips for that things that elevate your client experience, it don't cost you $1

Savannah Simms: 36:52

I think making sure you stay in touch with your customer after the sale. So setting reminders for when they are coming in for a service appointment and being sure to be the one greeting them in the service drive. Not just hitting them up when they're ready to buy a car.

Ashley Cavazos: 37:06

For me, it's video, are you utilizing video, right? A lot of times, you should be able to have video worked into your CRM, you can use it pretty easily Are you utilizing video with your customer interactions from follow up or even while they're in service, and they're getting a walk around of their car during during its inspection from an oil change? That really sets a high bar and most programs we have that shouldn't cost anything for you to do.

Daniel Govaer: 37:35

Like I think if you're an advisor doing an active delivery is so important, because how many times do you walk past your service cashier receptionist and there's somebody there who's like kind of confused at their aro or trying to ask them a question. And it's like that opportunity. So if you're not able to, to your point actually, like we you know, do a ton of video. But it's like that's a good point. If you're not able to do an active delivery with the client for whatever reason. Do that on video and send it to them. Because like that's just a part we haven't thought of necessarily that that's where video belongs. But you're right, it belongs everywhere. And active delivery is important. And a lot of times it gets missed. So there's an experience like that would easily be something that doesn't cost you any money to do that as part of

Ashley Cavazos: 38:12

your process. Or post delivery. Hey, I didn't get to walk you through this because we're running out of time. But I wanted to give you a quick walk through what it's going to look like when you come into service and what the drive looks like. Because that can be intimidating. And that starts building that retention loyalty as well in that sense, but hey, I got a video after about my car of what to expect when I get to service

Colby Joyner: 38:34

goby. Yeah, I think there's there's two things, one kind of what what Ashley was saying, the first thing that I was going to mention is as simple as it is staying consistent with how you serve, like what we're doing on our side, and I will champion Eric Barbosa on this because he just did that with our team. He's our Vice President of variable is bringing in sales associates and service advisors and managers all in different levels from all the stores that we have in the one area once a quarter to redo or review our road to the sale our road to success and make sure that we're walking through every single process to see is there anything in this process that over the last 90 days has been hampering us from being successful? And it's not all about successful? Does it mean selling the most cars and making the most money can it CSI scores its customer happiness and sentiment. It's so many different things but staying consistent with how we're serving the the our customers is massive, because then you know that when a customer is referring someone when that referral comes in, they're gonna get the same experience that they're the person that referred them to. So staying consistent I think is massive. The second thing going back to it I know the bell just rang but the second thing is the the re the readings Every, you know what we're setting up right now. So we set up and I'm not trying to promote anything, but we have a product called zipped deal that's in our stores. And so at the, during that, wait for finance, they're watching these videos and watching these, these, you know the process and kind of, they're getting shown some things that we do in our company, but they're also kind of going and walking through the process. Here's some packages that you could get for your vehicle from a maintenance or service or whatever. But that goes through all this stuff and make sure that we set up their, their, their radio stations and knows what's priority to them when it comes to what's the most important in the delivery. But then, that was phase one. Phase two is taking that data and information and being able to reach back out to the customer for a redelivery and schedule that out, you know, a week, two weeks a month, two months down the road when the customer would need it to go to the customer. And actually sit down with the customer once they've driven the car for a month or so and say, okay, you've had it for a month. Let's go back through the vehicle to make sure you're getting the most out of it. Is there something that you don't know? What's the normal maintenance on this? What's this? What's that and getting that redelivery we're going to have that as a Cavinder connect thing inside, which is our phase two of this whole communication process. There's

Daniel Govaer: 41:17

a few OEMs that require that. So yeah, yeah. Okay, so if you guys if you guys don't, it's

Colby Joyner: 41:22

not a requirement on our OEMs but this redelivery is an actual, we're going to have people, people that are going to go out to those to those customers and make sure that we're, you know, service after the sale, which is, you know, it's a it's a phrase that set gets said a lot but you know, very rarely executed. Right?

Daniel Govaer: 41:43

No, I'm just telling you, because that way if you need some just people out there that can give you like best practices, because there's something there as part of their you know, so you got to like the reconnect is what some manufacturers second delivery, or? Yeah, so then and then you have to and that's based on a lot of metrics that you have to fill out from that. To wrap up this episode one, one final question of also a collection of things that we'd like to get everybody's input on, but because I imagine many of us will be at ASOTU CON, I know for sure I'm recruiting walking around with a big sign saying I'm recruiting bring your talent but and I'm sure everybody is but what's something that red flags you when you look at dealership even if you just going in there as a consumer or you're looking at it as an operator, and you look at a dealership and if somebody because we all have people to call us and they're like, Hey, I got an offer blah, blah blah and you're like

Colby Joyner: 42:34

I'm gonna go but I'm gonna go back to I'm sorry, I can't hear you David because of music.

Daniel Govaer: 42:38

But eating music, I need my data to have this segment. Colby,

Colby Joyner: 42:44

I'm just going to go back to what I said earlier is consistency. If you're working at a store that is inconsistent throughout the year, or throughout the time that you're there, it's just you're you're standing on sand your your house is going to fall eventually, you have to just if you go someplace that is consistent and they are concerned about consistency and concerned about proper growth. That's where it's at that's a green flag. Red flags are if you're constantly changing a process that you know that you can't keep up with it in the end you're gonna get kind of deemed for no pun intended because you just being me, but being for you know, not following a process because how are you gonna remember 10 processes in a year?

Ashley Cavazos: 43:23

A new red flag for me is does my sales manager get up when I need some help with a customer? Are they just telling me what to say and feeding my mouth?

Unknown: 43:33

No, we're loading lifts. Right? Yeah. sales process see behind the glass wall, you

Ashley Cavazos: 43:40

gotta you gotta come out and talk to us on the showroom floor.

Daniel Govaer: 43:43

sales processes that are like 17 steps, 12 steps 15 steps and it's like, I don't know I'm defeated in interviews asking, asking candidates to like give me all the steps. Like we have five because number five usually, but anyway, yeah, like a 17 step process that nobody really works on. That's a that's a thing. So yeah.

Savannah Simms: 44:04

I think gate gatekeeping like keeping team members from learning and being empowering and thinking to create their own processes and continue growing as a unit.

Daniel Govaer: 44:18

Yep, I like all that. Adding that to the list. How about how about also if somebody leaves and like half the dealership doesn't even know about it? For like, a week.

Ashley Cavazos: 44:29

Like that? Definitely a sign that your dealership and just isn't that into you?

Daniel Govaer: 44:33

Not a great sign, but All right. Well, thank you everyone for joining us for episode number 21 of the wheelhouse see everybody out ASOTU CON and see everybody on episode 22 of the wheelhouse coming up right about that same time. Thanks, everyone for joining us. Thanks to my guests thanks to Nathan Southworth, Southwick and Jordan Cox for helping put this episode together. I appreciate your guys's help as always. See you guys next time.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.