3+ Hour Vehicle Transaction Times Still the Norm, But Vendor Cooperation Could Help, Says Auto Dealer Survey

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40% of dealers report start-to-finish transaction time of 3 hours or more in eLEND Solutions™ survey; lack of vendor integration and data exchange seen as key obstacles to faster process by majority of dealership respondents

The survey confirms that the sales process can’t evolve – or speed up - unless vendors start connecting the online and offline dots, yet the lack of systems integration means that dealers are unable to embrace new processes

A new survey of dealerships from eLEND Solutions™ shows that dealers continue to struggle with shortening the lengthy, often three-hour plus, car-buying process, down to two hours or less, which is what 85% think is ideal. In fact, the survey results show the situation has not improved one iota since eLEND ran a similar survey in 2014 and, yet, the number of dealers who think a less than 2-hour sales process is ideal increased by 25%. This correlates with an Autotrader.com survey that showed that buyer satisfaction begins to decline after 90 minutes at the dealership.

No improvement in length of transaction time for 2 in 5 dealers:

How long do you estimate the start-to-finish (sales/financing) transaction takes for your dealership(s)?
2014 vs. 2015 Survey
40% vs. 42%: 3-5 Hours

Ideally, how long would you want your sales & financing process (show to final close) to be?
2014 vs. 2015 Survey
59% vs. 85%: Under 2 hours

The survey asked dealers what impact vendor integration (or lack of it) was having at their dealerships. While dealers overwhelmingly agreed that the biggest opportunity to streamline the sales and financing process is improving the quality of the customer’s transition from sales to F&I, they also saw a significant obstacle in the lack of integration and data exchange between vendors’ systems/platforms – which hampers connection between online tools with in-store process. Eighty-eight percent agreed that improved cooperation and data sharing could eliminate online to in-store information disconnects and bottlenecks.

“The survey confirms that the sales process can’t evolve – or speed up - unless vendors start connecting the online and offline dots, yet the lack of systems integration means that dealers are unable to embrace new processes,” said Pete MacInnis, CEO of eLEND Solutions. “The way to shorten the customer sales journey – and sell more cars in the process – is to create seamless, real-time integrations between the dealer website, CRM, Desking/Finance and DMS platforms.”

In fact, 86% of dealers agree that vendor cooperation and coordination could facilitate a greatly reduced start-to-finish transaction time. However, dealers are not optimistic that this can be achieved: 54% of dealers said that it is only somewhat likely and 19% said unlikely that this type of cross-platform integration will happen in the future.

Survey highlights:

  • 85% think the ideal sales & financing process should be 2 hours or less (versus 59% in 2014)
  • 42% of dealers estimated the average start-to-finish transaction time is 3+ hours (versus 40% in 2014)
  • 86% of dealers strongly agreed or agreed that improved cooperation and data sharing between their vendors’ systems and platforms could eliminate online to in-store information disconnects, reduce bottlenecks and accelerate transaction times
  • 54% of dealers said that it is only somewhat likely and 19% said unlikely that in the future, Website, CRM, DMS and Finance platforms will move to an open integration model that supports the dealers evolving Sales and Finance processes
  • Of those that think open integration is unlikely, competition and protecting the status quo were cited as the top reasons.
  • 86% of dealers strongly agreed or agreed that vendor cooperation and coordination could facilitate a greatly reduced start-to-finish transaction time.
  • Nearly 60% of dealers agree that specialized best of breed solutions are the way to go because of their higher product quality and service levels (70%).

*Survey conducted online among U.S. dealerships in November 2015.

About eLEND Solutions
eLEND Solutions is a privately held technology company whose patented platform offers integrated credit, identification and finance solutions that enable a connected buying experience for consumers and a streamlined sales and finance workflow for dealers and lenders that reduces the time to complete a vehicle purchase transaction from hours to minutes. For more information, visit http://www.elendsolutions.com.

Contact:
Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com
Crystal Hartwell, mWEBB Communications, (714) 987-1016, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com

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Crystal Hartwell
mWEBB Communications
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Melanie Webber
mWEBB Communications
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