Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Time: 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1 hour
The digital age has altered consumer buying habits dramatically, a trend accelerated and solidified as a result of COVID-19. Dealers stand to gain from this transition to digital. Higher profit margins are forecasted as Internet sales increase staff throughput, lessen the need for maintaining large and expensive facilities and provide new revenue opportunities as dealers extend their market reach. A survey by Wards Intelligence and Ally of 169 owners/operators, general managers and sales and service staff at U.S. dealerships indicates automobile retailers recognize these trends, although some are moving faster than others to accommodate them.
Join this webinar, sponsored by Ally, where we dive into the research findings with a group of industry experts. We’ll explore how digital impacts the future of vehicle sales, F&I sales and Service/Fixed Ops, including the below questions and more.
- How prepared are dealerships for the shift to digital, contactless sales?
- What digital products or capabilities would be most valuable to dealerships?
- How the retail network will look and operate three years from now?
- What is the biggest impediment to effective selling of F&I products digitally?
- How might dealerships begin to use AI within the next three years?
Patrick Hennessey - Senior Director of Sales, Ally Insurance
Patrick Hennessey was named senior director of sales for Ally Insurance in March of 2020. In his current role, Hennessey is responsible for sales activity and results in the central region.
Hennessey joined Ally Financial in 2017 as the national training manager for Ally Insurance, with responsibility for building and launching a national dealer training team and platform.
Prior to joining Ally, Hennessey was a marketing director for a retail dealership group in the Midwest, with responsibility for managing advertising strategy and budget while enhancing the customer journey throughout the sales cycle. Hennessey has more than 20 years of automotive-related experience in sales, management, marketing, operations, and talent development.
Hennessey earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University.
Ronald J. MacEachern - Platform Vice President & General Manager, The Suburban Collection
Ronald J. MacEachern is a Platform Vice President and General Manager at The Suburban Collection, the nation’s 16th largest automotive dealer group and the largest privately held automotive group in Michigan. Today, The Suburban Collection encompasses 35 automotive brands, across 52 locations including state-of-the-art collision centers, accessories distribution centers, fleet management and retrofitting services throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Ron, as a Platform Vice President and General Manager, directly oversees operations of 10 brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Alfa, Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Volvo), 11 locations and over 900+ team members. These operations generate in excess of $870 Million of annual sales. Under Ron’s direction, numerous performance awards have been received, Including the Toyota and Volvo Presidents Club Award, Walter P. Chrysler Award and Dealer Rater’s “Dealer of the Year” award at multiple locations.
Ron started at The Suburban Collection in 1991 and was tasked with establishing a team to launch the “New” Saturn Brand. The Suburban Collection eventually grew to operate a total of 8 Saturn locations, all under Ron’s direction. In 2008 the Saturn of Troy location became the largest Saturn Retailer in the World and the 3rd largest GM Dealership in the country, retailing over 4,000 new Saturn’s in 2008.
Ron earned his undergraduate degree from Northwood University in 1982, receiving his BBA with a dual major in Marketing and Management. Following graduation, Ron worked for Oakleaf Corporation, a computer company specializing in finance and insurance productivity. Ron was the Project Manager dedicated to improving the F&I process of Southeast Toyota Dealerships. After being presented with an opportunity, Ron went to work at a dealership and took the opportunity to advance his learning in every departmental responsibility.
Ryan LaFontaine, Chief Executive Officer, LaFontaine Automotive Group
The passion, heart and integrity that lives throughout LaFontaine Automotive Group wouldn’t be possible without Ryan LaFontaine. At the age of 15, Ryan started selling cars and worked in every department at the family’s dealership. In 2008, Ryan became the Chief Executive Officer of LaFontaine Automotive Group. Today, Ryan has been the source of countless initiatives and opportunities that have led to the rapid growth and success of the company. The Group consists of 44 franchises, 21 retail locations and six full-service collision centers that employ over 1,600 individuals across Michigan.
Under Ryan’s leadership, LaFontaine Automotive Group has received numerous honors and awards, such as “Dealer of the Year” amongst Cadillac, Buick and GMC for nearly a decade. In addition, the Group’s dealership in Highland was named the #1 Buick dealer in the entire country in 2019. Additional accolades include the Honda Council of Excellence and the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Customer First Award.
Ryan runs his business and life with his heart and passion, and values integrity and generosity. Ryan is a devoted husband to his wife Wendi, and loving father to their five children.
Dave Zoia, Director-Content/Research, Informa Tech Automotive Group
Dave Zoia is a longtime automotive journalist and analyst with Informa Tech Automotive Group. As content and research director, he oversees a team focused on emerging technology, market and retail trends in the automotive sector.
Dave has covered just about every aspect of the global auto industry in his more than 30 years with Wards – from product design and engineering to manufacturing, management strategy and the business of selling and servicing new vehicles. He has written or edited deep-dive reports on autonomous vehicles; electric vehicles and batteries; new mobility and other megatrends taking hold worldwide, as well as covered the impact of big data and technology on the future of automotive retailing.