Special Guest Steve Greenfield, ?s on Dealer’s Minds, & Salvaged Teslas

February 3, 2023
Welcome to a packed Friday of conversation with our good friend Steve Greenfield. Just before All Things Used Cars on Clubhouse, we are talking about the recent installment of the Auto Intel Report, a partnership for EV battery reports, and lightly damaged Teslas headed to the salvage yard.
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  • The newest installment of the Automotive Ventures monthly Auto Intel Report is out and it is centered around the conversation with top dealer group leaders at NADA
  • Questions Dealers, OEMs, and Allied partners should be asking themselves
  • A lot around SPOC (Single Point of Contact), EV future, and People strategies
  • An introduction to Pete Batten, Partner at the newly formed Auto Market Insights

  • Recently, Automotive Ventures’ portfolio company Recurrent announced their partnership with Experian to give dealers a packaged opportunity to provide EV insights to customers.
  • “Our new alliance with Recurrent ensures data attributes unique to EVs are easily accessible for all parties whether looking to buy or sell a used EV—which is essential knowledge in today’s evolving market,” said John Gray, Experian’s president of automotive, North America.
  • Autocheck subscriptions now have an available add on of the Recurrent reports

  • Insurance companies are increasingly deciding to write off low-mileage Teslas because they are too expensive to fix, according to a new report from Reuters.
  • Recent salvage auction listings showed that the "vast majority" of the 120 Model Y vehicles listed had less than 10,000 miles on them, insured by names like State Farm, Geico, and Progressive.
  • For example, a $61,000 2022 Model Y Long Range EV was in a front collision and would have cost more than $50,000 to fix had the insurer approved the repair.
  • The average Tesla owner with a good driving history and good credit will pay about $2040 a year for a Model Y and as much as $3044 for a Model X. The average cost to insure a Model 3 is almost 30 percent higher than the national average for car insurance, according to Nerdwallet.

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dealers, evs, people, report, questions, battery, vehicle, evie, auto, insights, steve, nada, automotive, productize, insurance companies, reuters, industry, conversation, check, obsessing


Steve Greenfield, Kyle Mountsier

Kyle Mountsier  00:29

Right, it is Friday, February 3. And next to me over here, this side, this side, if you're watching is Steve Greenfield, good friend of the family. And we're talking about what's on dealer's minds this morning. People really want to know who is and who Id they stopped and a few other things. And a few other things as natural. Steve, how are you this morning? You just You just got out of some wonderful early breakfast I heard as you were jumping on the call

Steve Greenfield  00:54

early breakfast and hear I'm in my car. So there you go. sun's beating in the good day in Georgia.

Kyle Mountsier  00:59

I love it. Like last time, we talked to you on the show you were out at CES. Now you're in your car, I'm waiting for you to show up and be on like a private jet one of these days just like flying through the air on. Give me a few years, maybe a few years. A few years. There you go. That works. That works. All right, we're gonna get into it. Just a couple of things as by way of update. I'm really excited about this. We talked about this a couple of times. But we are both going to be at the Reuters automotive retail event coming up in the middle of May. With I've never been there. Paul's never been there. But Steve, have you been to this Reuters event in the past?

Steve Greenfield  01:37

I did. I'm moderating it last year. And I think they've got me I'm seeing it this year as well. And yeah, good group of folks, very, very progressive dealers will be there OEMs will be in the audience. For me. It's a nice mixture of getting the OEM perspective, and putting them on the stage as well as getting a bunch of dealers. So it'll be a lot of fun. It's in Vegas, and they put out a really top notch show.

Kyle Mountsier  01:59

Awesome. Yeah, I think it's probably kind of a new show for some people in our audience and in the in the dealer world. So yeah, catch up with us, Paul, myself, Steve Walby. They're doing panels, you know, Steve's gonna be emceeing the whole thing. We'll be running podcasts. So I'm sure that'll be a whole bunch of fun. Steve, your recent installment of automotive ventures monthly auto Intel report is out. And a lot of it you just centered around this time, the conversation that you got to have with a few top dealers at na da I'd love to kind of like get your perspective on that conversation for the people that couldn't get in because there were only 800 Out of the 30,000 people that were at na da this year that we're able to be in that room. But it seemed like every one of those 800 people I at some point talk to and they were like, Yo, that was that was an amazing conversation. So it seems like a lot of it centered around like single point of contact Evie future customer experience. Can you kind of give like a little flyover of what that conversation was like and where it headed?

Steve Greenfield  03:05

Yeah, I really appreciate nada for allowing me to get on stage with four very, very forward thinking dealers, right the beginning of nada on noon on Thursday, and we were packed 800 dealers, they didn't let Press in. They didn't let OEMs in the room. And they did turn people away. There was an overflow room way oversubscribed. So that was great. And then you know, I did something that's dangerous. I put my cell phone number up on the slide and told people to text me live questions. And I had 58 questions come in. And it was great. We an hour and three quarters. There were no holds barred every single question. Anything you can imagine was discussed on stage that day, the dealers were incredible. And you know, reflecting back flying back from Dallas, I was like, you know, I've got all these questions. Now. I think I'm just going to synthesize them and group them and present them to folks in the Intel report. Because you know, I got that written this weekend out. And you can get that for free. If you go to automotive ventures.com You can download that for free. But it's very interesting. I think it does. It's interesting. If you're a dealer, definitely if you're an OEM, and if you're a vendor selling into dealers, you got to like just spend some time just absorbing these questions, because this is sort of Top of Mind questions. 58 different folks that were in that audience that day, and we never know the topics on stage. But it's it's amazing. Melee, I think very powerful to get like, what's really, our dealers obsessing about right now, in terms of questions about the industry and how things are changing?

Kyle Mountsier  04:31

Yeah, I think it's key that it wasn't just you, you know, sitting in a corner one day going, here's 58 questions I'm going to ask it was real live questions that people are asking. And, you know, obviously some of them are tuned to the people that were on the stage. But I think like I'm reading through them going, this would take me a month of executive kind of conversations within what imagine taking, I'm just thinking if you took your profit centers in the store and started to align them around meetings around each other those different sections, right? There was stuff about service, there was stuff about HR, there was stuff about EVs and sales and single point of contact. So if you were to take those and kind of make them topics of meetings, I think that would be a really prudent place to start, right? Even more, like you said, industry partners to go, what's my like? What part do I play on this? And how do we respond to answering the challenges that maybe dealers are having right now? Yeah,

Steve Greenfield  05:27

at the very base, I mean, it makes you smarter, and makes you understand how to have conversations with dealers right now based on the things that are obsessing about. But to your point, if you can solve some of these things, come back to them and say, I've got a solution for some of these challenges that are facing the industry, all the better. But you know, anyone who's interfacing with a dealer right now should be thinking about these questions, because these are the things that are top of mind on dealers heads right now.

Kyle Mountsier  05:49

Yeah, I feel like every single month, you you're announcing something fun and new. We've we've talked about the dealer Fund and the automotive venture investment club. And now you're a part of this partnership on the auto market insights side of things. And you introduce Pete baton in the auto Intel report, can you give us just like the 32nd Highlight overview of of where those what those insights and what that that crew was doing? That's maybe different from what automotive ventures and what you are typically seen as right now?

Steve Greenfield  06:22

Sure, yeah. That's great. Great, great question. So we had a Pete do an op ed piece to kind of introduce this and introduces nada, we've got, we've got a healthy consulting business. So we don't really broadcast that at all. But we do a bunch of consulting work, typically for auto tech companies, some for dealers, but mostly auto tech companies over the course of the year, strategy, consultant, product market, you know, these fit on competitive intelligence, we help out with acquisitions, and target targets for acquisitions and things and really just trying to ramp that up. At this point, we've got some really great guys who are coming on as partners, all of us are ex Cox people. So don't hold that against us. But that's how we've met. We've known each other for a long time and have a good working relationship. But I think that the idea is now to take some of the consulting work we've done and productize some of it right, we've got all this great intelligence and data out there, people are creating more insights. And you'll see sort of an evolution now will will software consulting services, absolutely. But will also start to productize some of the stuff and offer recurring reports to people based on industry insights and data that we believe people need in the industry.

Kyle Mountsier  07:29

That's awesome. Well, speaking of industry insights and data segue. This one is close to your heart, because recurrent, a portfolio company of yours has recently announced just during nada week announced their partnership with Experian to bring their reports into the experience ecosystem alongside the auto check offering, I'd love to get just like you probably have a little bit of behind the scenes on on how that partnership was structured and how like that might enable dealers to kind of come quicker to this, this customer communication of, you know, battery capacity, and they're like the Evie side of vehicle reporting.

Steve Greenfield  08:13

Yeah, it's great. There's like a marriage made in heaven from a business development standpoint. You know, we're currently 17 companies we've invested in, we're really excited, great CEO, great company, you know, the need that they're addressing is on a used Eevee. Today, whether you're buying it at the auction or trying to buy it as a consumer, there's no use evey report. So the Carfax is an auto checks of the world do not have that up until now. And you know, you don't have any idea how many fast cycles that battery's been charged, and if it's been charging cold weather, and, you know, used to be the, you know, mileage of the vehicle was highly correlated with how hard the car had been been been exercised, and the remaining condition. And really now that's not the case, you can have a low mileage Evie that's been charged quickly over its entire life in cold weather, and the battery can be in a lot worse shape than one would expect. And the converse is true, you could have a high mileage Evie that was baited on trickle charge every night in someone's garage, and they can have a great remaining battery life. So that's really what we're currently doing is scoring an Eevee from remaining life and giving confidence to the buyer, whether it's in the wholesale auction lanes on a trade in for a dealer, or to a consumer and representing that to the consumer. And the auto check integration is perfect, right. So auto check didn't have a way to represent the remaining life of an Eevee. They're now putting in the recurrent report embedded within the auto check report. And I think it's a true win win for both sides. And hopefully we'll get additional tailwinds to recurrent who we become we hope becomes that de facto condition report for EVs in the industry.

Kyle Mountsier  09:52

Yeah, I think it's a big deal because everybody's asking that question. Like, how is my battery going to do over time and so and I think it's important And when you're thinking about the dealership even appraising these vehicles, it's not just a consumer report sort of thing. It's you know, so many dealers use auto check and Carfax to do things like vehicle appraisals and understand what that vehicle has been through, but from Accident history or mileage or, you know, time of day to Vin service, and so this just adds a layer to the ability to appraise a vehicle appropriately. Speaking of appraising of vehicles appropriately, good way. We're just rolling Man, these were these were easy, these rocks rock straight through. So you shared an article just a couple days ago, that's kind of made its way around the interwebs, where insurance companies are increasingly deciding to write off low mileage Tesla's because they are too expensive to fix, according to a new report from Reuters. So the report basically showed that of the 120 model Y's listed on a salvage auction listing, the majority of them had less than 10,000 miles on them. And and seeing like, essentially, what's happening is these $61,000 2022 model wide long range EVs, even just in a front end collision, sometimes the the cost to repair is up to $50,000 if they would have approved the repair and so we're seeing these Evie vehicles had to salvage yards as opposed to insurance companies deciding to deciding to fix them. What do you see is the impact there of like this, there's this push of the insurance companies to move these vehicles out of the ecosystem instead of repairing them?

Steve Greenfield  11:36

Yeah, so lots of implications. I mean, it's a great article. And if you haven't looked at it, everyone should to think about this, right? So these cars, even in a minor accident, to your point, could damage the battery cells, and there's no way to open these battery cells have been replaced into individual cells. So you have to replace the entire battery. And the threshold. You know, we hear these reports that 4050 60% of an EVs cost is in the battery cell itself, right? So, you know, I think it's going to be easier for these insurance companies just to write the entire thing off. Even if just one cell has been has been damaged. Otherwise, this Tesla could look perfect, and big implications for what people are gonna have to pay for insurance premiums. Because if that's the case, and we start to see more and more of these write offs for these EVs, then anyone who buys an Eevee is going to have to be paying a higher insurance premium as a result. The other thing is, if we start scrapping the entire EVs, the salvage yards don't yet know what they're going to be able to do. And we do not want these EVs ending up in landfill, right?

Kyle Mountsier  12:39

Piling batteries, that when they're heated up, don't do well.

Steve Greenfield  12:45

If you remember, you know, 20 years ago, all the tire fires, right with these bands, were you. I mean, imagine imagine a junkyard full of EVs if one of them catches fire, they're all gonna catch fire, it could be very, very dangerous that they'd be they'd be leaking, you know, these minerals into the, into the groundwater, we need to also think about the circular economy because we start scrapping these things. Because of this, this total loss threshold, we got to figure out what we're going to do with these EVs at end of life. There's a lot of companies innovating in that space building, either marketplaces and or recycling ripping apart and recycling the batteries. But we're gonna have to get ahead of that as well.

Kyle Mountsier  13:23

Well, hey, look, if we didn't give you enough to think about on a Friday, dealer questions, insurance companies totaling Tesla's and shoot, great insights and data that you got to get your head around. Hey, let's go

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