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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I believe that like our industry's business...

I believe that like our industry's business model, the treatment of data that originates from customers doing business with dealers can be seen as cyclical... Up until the early to mid 2000's many OEM's were surprised at how easy it was to get dealers to sign data sharing agreements... This "breaking of the ice" led to many suppliers approaching dealers with the same or similar requests for data sharing of DMS data, truly for purposes of making the dealer's use of software or websites more productive, easier to work with and more automation. This period from about 2004 until 2012 could be called the "Golden Age" of data sharing...Now, we have entered a time when many outside companies have entered the automotive vertical with a plan to extract this very valuable consumer, inventory and transactional data, while generating a profit by selling that data or using it in ways that dealers are not aware of... Because if they were, chances are those same dealers would not participate. Jim, Keith, Criss and others have brought up the issue of trust several times... The fact is that data extracted by trustworthy suppliers who use that data to target and optimize a dealer's business for profits and maximum revenue is a good thing...Data used to figure out how much to charge a dealer, or for purposes of enhancing the modeling, targeting and profits of other businesses, both within and outside of the car business is simply not in the dealer's best interest.
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