As a self-described by-the-seat-of-his-pants “old car guy,” Rocky McCullough assumed he pretty much knew what sold and what didn't.
He learned otherwise through information that's now part of Resource Automotive's new ResourceVIP, a computerized reporting system that tracks new- and used-unit sales, vehicle popularity, turnovers, price points, inventory aging and related data.
“I assumed we sold this many Accords or trucks,” says McCullough, group president of United Auto Group. Then his boss, Roger Penske, asked him to pioneer First Look's used-car data tracking program.
“When we got the data, I was about 180 degrees wrong on what we were selling,” says McCullough.
That's not unusual, says Rob Mancuso, a former dealer, now senior vice president of communications for Resource's administrative group.
“We'll have people at dealerships come up with different answers as to what sells best,” he says. “Even dealers who study the business may not know the top sellers and the fastest sellers.”
He says ResourceVIP, including First Look and other software offerings, “takes the guess work out by offering analyzed data, not just a stack of data.”
ResourceVIP is free to dealers exclusively buying Resource Automotive's finance & insurance products including extended warranties, GAP insurance and credit insurance.
Using a dealership's current production as the baseline, the system analyzes the variable operations of a store, tracks sales trends, follows market demands and allows dealers to stock what sells best and fastest.
“You can zero in on exactly what the customers are looking for,” says Rick Frazier, general manager of Goodson Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Houston, TX. “It ensures your inventory reflects what customers want.”
Another feature is a trade analyzer that tells if trade-in prospects are winners, iffy or high risks based on the dealership's selling experience with such models, trims, colors and mileage.
“It helps smooth the operations of and between new- and used-car departments,” says Donald M. Spitzer, Resource's senior vice president of business development.
Resource is a division of Aon Warranty Group and a unit of Aon Corp. whose chairman Pat Ryan is an early F&I pioneer.
“Not since Pat Ryan formalized the finance and insurance department process in 1964 has such a program had this level of potential impact on a dealership's success,” says David L. Cole, CEO and president of Aon Warranty. “ResourceVIP is destined to leave a lasting mark on the automotive industry.”