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Edmunds just announced their Hackomotive 2014 contest where folks come up with ideas on how to improve the car buying process etc., and as a former employee I was initially excited to see this but within 60 seconds something caught my eye that was disappointing.

Last year's #1 Winner - My Motive which paints the picture that up until now the Dealer has made the consumer their "Bitch" yes, that's in there, and that this new My Motive lets the consumer turn the tables and finally make the Dealer their "Bitch" (yes it really says that).

Why does this bother me so much? We'll frankly because I was with them and helped launch their direct to dealer program and when I went to work there I remember in my interview saying: "I've been a dealer and for years we really haven't had much love for Edmunds so how are you going to fix that because, as a dealer, I need to know you're there for me if I buy your program."

My boss at the time shared the vision of Edmunds still maintaining their integrity with consumers but not really being focused on creating more content like 'confessions of a car salesman' anymore.

I bought into the idea that they would finally respect the dealer community and helped enroll well over 100 dealerships in their program in my first year with them.

Apparently I was wrong about their true motives and if all of this doesn't tick you off as a dealer, you need to get your head examined.

You can see the award of $10,000 they paid for a 1st place idea in hackomotive 2013 right here

If you don't want to click over to their site, here are actual screen shots (Note - I've added the arrows and comments on the side)

In my not so humble opinion, vendors should work to help Dealers do two things: Get and Keep Customers. Rewarding a "Make the dealer my bitch" idea only furthers what many already believe about Edmunds.

Simply put, they don't care about your dealership, they only want your money and behind the scenes they're all still high fiving each other when they disrespect the dealer.

In this case, the high-five had a $10,000 bonus.

What's the best idea for 2014 going to be: "F@€K Dealers, buy direct from Edmunds" ?!?!?

I'd love to hear your feedback and please everyone, share this with other dealers ASAP but really I have a question for everyone seeing this:


Helping the best get better,
Mat Koenig
CEO & Founder
KonigCo & iCarMedia

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There are many dealers who have strong criticisms regarding, but regardless of whether you consider Edmunds an asset or a liability to the retail auto industry there is little debate about their unique position within the vehicle buying process for many millions of automotive consumers...

The stark reality for car dealers seeking greater understanding of how car buyers shop online in 2013 is that has the ability to paint a vivid portrait of today’s online car shopper... Which includes 9 out of 10 new and used vehicle buyers!

About 18 million visitors use the site every month to shop for their next new or used car, and this gives the Edmunds team an unparalleled insight into the car buyer's research and shopping process.  For as many years as I can remember, Edmunds has used the online automotive consumer activity to generate extensive research data and analysis to drive the sort of car buying insights that would establish itself as one of the more valuable resources for car companies and dealers to better understand car shopping and the way buyers use automotive information.  Historically, Edmunds has made the analysis and insights available to their business partners and to the public through academic inquiries and media requests.  However, Edmunds has not previously assembled together the complete volume of current time period data and the analysis and insights gleaned in one coherent piece.

By publishing and making available the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report, they have provided the auto industry and especially dealers and automotive marketers with a true gem of a document.  The report which ADM Professional Community members can download using the link at the bottom of this blog post, shows the results of extensive data mining within the’s extensive database to reveal the most relevant car shopping and purchasing trends in America today.  These trends offer direct clues toward ways that the automotive industry can move forward by empowering a more engaging car shopping experience.

Throughout the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report, you’ll also find references to a 2011 survey conducted by "Added Value" on behalf of that asked 2,476 online car shoppers representing the U.S. car shopper population to describe their expectations for their next car purchase.  Edmunds correlated these responses to real-world buying data to see if shopper expectations match reality. In preparing their analysis and conclusions, the Edmunds market research team found many striking consistencies between the two sets of market research data. These surprisingly strong correlations between the two reports suggest that car shoppers have a strong sense of the automotive marketplace and that they know how to set reasonable expectations around price, availability and product performance.

By evaluating this wealth of data provided by the Edmunds team, you will find a story about car shoppers that is often surprising and counter-intuitive to many dealers and automotive professionals.  While at other times, the Edmunds data reinforces critical theories held by car dealers, automotive sales professionals and throughout the auto industry. Some of the key findings in the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report include:

  • Two out of every three car shoppers consider themselves highly engaged in the car shopping process, and they turn to a variety of information to help them decide on a new or used car. Time spent on is up 2 percent from 2011 to 2012. And the most-viewed elements by new car shoppers on are reviews, pricing information and photos. 
  • Mobile access is becoming a powerful tool for car buyers. Traffic to’s mobile site spikes on the weekends – and especially on Saturdays – when the bulk of car buying takes place. 
  • Shoppers are very good at anticipating how much they’ll pay for a new car. New car shoppers told us in 2011 that they plan to spend $30,500, on average, for their next vehicle. In fact the average transaction price for a new car the following year was $30,803.
  • The average age of a new car buyer is about four years older than the average age of a used car buyer.  

  • Shoppers are turning to leases now more than ever. And the difference between the average monthly lease payment ($433) and the average monthly finance payment ($468) is greater than at any time since started keeping records.  

  • About 44 percent of all trade-in vehicles last year went toward a new car by the same brand, which is consistent with our 2011 survey that found that 49 percent of shoppers say they “plan to stick with a brand that has worked in the past.” 
  • Luxury car owners and shoppers are buying and considering more nonluxury cars. The trend speaks to the improved quality of non-luxury vehicles.  

  • Many shoppers say they want just the basics in a new car, but emotions can drive buyers to add options. New car buyers are willing to spend an average of $2,200 – or about seven percent – above base model and trim prices to add more options on their cars. 

The’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report is intended to be a free resource for ADM Professional Community members who are interested in creating a better car buying experience. This is just the first in a series of reports that the Edmunds Research team hopes will shed more light on car shopping behavior.  The team intends these findings to open up a dialogue which will contribute to the ongoing improvements within the automotive retail industry. They also want to encourage ADM Professional Community members to contact Edmunds at any time to discuss more ways that can help you better understand today’s car shopper.

Here is a link to download a PDF version of the’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report: 

Edmunds Points of Contact

For Dealer Inquiries: 855-EDMUNDS
For Press Inquiries: 310-309-4900


Edmunds Annual New Vehicle Sales Forecast for 2013 and Historical Actual Sales:


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Dealer Ratings & Reviews

Media Kit

Why partner with

  • Over 90% of automotive buyers use the Internet1
  • Most Research Occurs on Third-Party Sites2
    - 71% of all automotive audience visit third-party resource sites
    - 61% excluding OEM sites
  • 42% of deeply engaged shoppers use Edmunds.com3
  • Audience Size4
    - Unique Users: 13.69 Million
    - Page Views per Month: 166 Million
  • Visitor Patterns: 90% of visitors who submit a lead, purchase a vehicle within 70 days5
  • Demographics6
    - Male/Female: 71%/29%
    - 73% between the ages of 35-64
    - 64% have college or post-graduate degree
    - 91% own their home
    - 62% are employed full-time
    - 79% are married
    - is the #1 auto site for consumers make $100K+
    - is the #1 auto site for users with portfolios of $250,000 is the definitive resource for in-market auto consumers. By partnering with, you gain exposure to the consumer.


One of the BIGGEST Reasons Why Prospects Utilize is because of their True Market Value "TMV" Pricing... Here is a breakdown of what it is. It is my opinion that EVERYONE in the Dealership, ESPECIALLY the Internet / BDC department needs to not only KNOW about this... but they need to understand how to use this information for their dealership's success

True Market Value® Pricing

TMV's True Market Value® gives you the opportunity to optimize customer satisfaction and maximize dealer profitability!

What Is True Market Value® (TMV®)?

  • An exclusive Edmunds resource used by consumers to calculate the price others are paying for new and used vehicles in their area.
  • A proprietary pricing system that takes into account key variables.
  • Free, no-hassle way for dealers to improve customer experience and increase the likelihood of repeat customer visits (sales & service) and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

How True Market Value® Benefits You

  • Reduces primary tension with customers during purchase process (price negotiation) while ensuring you get a fair price.
  • Decreases time spent on price negotiations, allowing you to allocate more time for additional sales or other activities.
  • Negotiations from a TMV® position are generally more profitable than those done from invoice.

Do You Disagree with True Market Value® (TMV®) Prices Reported on

If you think our numbers do not accurately reflect transactions in your area, you can help us refine our prices by providing sales data from your dealership.

True Market Value® FAQs


  • What is TMV®?
    TMV® is Edmunds' estimate of the most commonly paid, current, actual transaction price for new and used vehicles — the True Market Value® in a particular region.
  • Are TMV® prices regionalized?
    Yes, TMV® prices reflect varying market conditions for new and used vehicle sales throughout the country.
  • How does TMV® benefit me?
    By providing your dealer transaction data, you influence the TMV® pricing for your region. Dealers benefit from providing non-specific dealer data (identified by Zip only) - it enables analysis of selling conditions and trends in your area which you may not be aware of.
  • Why does Edmunds want dealer vehicle transaction data?
    The data is needed to establish Edmunds' True Market Value®. More transaction data translates into higher accuracy for TMV® pricing.

    The goal is to determine the most commonly paid price in the marketplace, based on actual transaction prices, in order to give dealers a fair profit and the consumer a fair deal without lengthy and stressful negotiations.
  • Where does Edmunds get its pricing data from?
    Data is downloaded weekly from the Dealer Management Systems (DMS) of 5,000 dealerships and dealer groups across the country. Edmunds receives data from roughly 25% of all the US dealerships.
  • How is transaction data provided to Edmunds?
    Edmunds uses a contracted vendor to extract only the specific data you have approved for extraction from your DMS. This data is then delivered electronically back to Edmunds.
  • How is the data extraction done?
    It is typically done remotely via a dial-in modem through a user name and password provided by dealer. Dealers also have the option of delivering the data directly to an FTP site. This option enables dealers to bypass data extraction from their DMS by a contracted vendor.
  • What do I need to do to participate in the program? Is there any cost to me?
    Your written authorization is required. There is no cost to the dealer.
  • What does this program require of me on a day-to-day basis?
    Nothing. Once the authorization document is signed, the data is extracted without any interruption to your DMS or daily operations.
  • How often is data electronically transferred from the DMS, and how often is the data updated on Edmunds?
    Data is transferred weekly. Major updates take place on a monthly basis, minor updates are handled weekly.
  • Will information about my dealership or its operations be available to any other person or organization?
    No. Edmunds will not disclose any information that could identify a dealer. The dealer's data will be used solely in aggregate as an input to the determination of TMV®.
  • Does the TMV® price include regional marketing fees?
    They are not called out as a separate line items but, if applicable, they are factored into the overall TMV® price.
  • What items are called out as separate line items?
    National base price, destination charges, regional adjustments, color adjustment, optional equipment and any applicable incentives are called out and figured into a bottom line New TMV® price. Used TMV® prices also include condition and mileage adjustments.
  • Will any data be written to my DMS?

Source -

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As you know or if you’re not already aware, is going direct to dealers. They’re cutting out the middle man (AutoUSA, Dealix and Autobytel) and coming after our business with a newly hired sales team.

edmunds vs TrueCar pricing analysisDealers, WE/YOU have a very important choice to make that WILL help determine change (good or bad) to our industry. Keep in mind, has never been one to treat the dealer fairly.

I’ve been watching this for a while, and it’s not rocket science, but follow me…

A few years ago, Zag is re-selling leads to dealers per lead basis. Zag changes their subscription model and starts charging dealers on a per sold basis.

“So I don’t pay unless I sell a car?” – nope. That is music to a dealer’s ears!

However, in order to determine what to charge you, Zag needs access to your DMS in order to match-up customer sold data (dare they say “transactional data to the dealer”) with the leads they’ve sent you over the last few months.

Dealers don’t think twice about signing up for the new Zag subscription model. But not thinking twice is the potential issue. You just signed an agreement allowing a 3rd party company to proudly scrub your DMS for YOUR transactional data! Only to use this data to power a CONSUMER facing price analysis tool – TrueCar!

TrueCar Inc. is an automotive solutions provider focused on changing how cars are sold by providing a significantly better customer experience while helping qualified dealer partners to gain incremental market share and reduce costs. is a transparent, visual publisher of new car transaction data.

How much more transparency does our business need? Perhaps this is nothing more than the evolution of our business.

I’ve spoken to several higher-ups at TrueCar and trust me, this is a determined company. They “want to change the way cars are sold and bought”. Yeah, we’ve heard this before, but this time we dealers need to listen and pay attention.

The challenge; how does TrueCar turn TrueCar to be a household brand?

Let’s review the top visited online automotive research sites …

Edmunds Most Visit Site

In order for TrueCar to become a household name, they need a platform to brand themselves. fits the bill.

Before I go any further, allow me to inform you the following is pure speculation on my part… ;)

TrueCar’s people speak to Edmunds people about a possible synergy between the two. They consider a deal UNTIL say “Whoooaa – wait a second, we already have a TrueCar piece and it’s over a decade old”. TMV – True Market Value.

For sure you haven’t forgotten about TMV have you? quickly figures out exactly what they need to do. Sell direct to the dealers. And in return suckering dealers into allowing them to pull their transactional data. Dealer Contract for DMS Polling

Click here for a copy of the Dealer Agreement For Dealers.

TrueCar already claims to have over 40% of all transactional data In the United States. Dealers allowed this to happen due to our ignorance and oversight.

Are you going to allow to have YOUR data as well?

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PHILADELPHIAJan. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dealer Synergy has announced its newest service today, Dealer Review Boost, to provide both a proactive and reactive process to maintain and improve automotive dealers' on-line reputation. Dealer Synergy is the industry's number one training, consulting and digital marketing service provider for car dealerships. Review Boost is the leading on-line reputation company that helps companies promote their on-line reputation by syndicating positive reviews from their clients throughout the major search engines and directories.

"Our new service, Dealer Review Boost, complements all the services that we currently provide to our many associates in the industry. We feel this is a huge component that will continue to serve all of our clients' needs," said Sean V. Bradley, Founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy. Bradley goes on to state, "The automotive industry is plagued with negative perception and stigma. There is a very serious need to monitor your dealership's reputation both positively and negatively as well as have an action plan / strategy to protect it. There are a lot of Dealership Online Reputation sites, software, strategies that are 'proactive' that can assist a dealership in harvesting positive reviews. However, there are NO 'reactive' solutions for dealers that are victims of negative reviews or point blank 'Cyber Terrorists' that try to decimate a dealership's reputation online for whatever reason.Dealer Review Boost is a POWERFUL answer to negative reviews a dealership might get as well as the ONLY real 'reactive' solution once a dealership has an 'online reputation' issue. Dealer Review Boost can rectify the situation and neutralize the negative reviews very quickly."

William Rivas, founder of Review Boost, states, "We are aligning ourselves with excellent companies like Dealer Synergy to provide a truly authentic reputation management service. We are very careful in selecting our partners. Being experts in 'Reputation Management' we are careful who we align ourselves with. With that being said, we are proud to be partnering with a company like Dealer Synergy and are looking forward to creating awareness and solutions in the automotive sales vertical."

The service will consist of two packages and will cater to dealerships that are experiencing varying degrees of on-line reputation. While most dealerships have at least some reviews, both positive and negative, the proper package will be determined by the number of reviews, the directories and search engines that the reviews are currently listed in and the severity of the negative reputation.  For the premium package, "we encompass all angles and strategies possible" to restore and enhance their reputation, said Rivas.

The Dealer Review Boost is scheduled to launch at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention,February 5th, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Ca.  Bradley, a featured speaker at the convention, and Rivas will also be hosting a press conference at the center.

Dealer Synergy and Review Boost have both displayed a commitment to setting the standards of best technology and marketing practices and consistently venturing a step ahead of the industries.

Review Boost- Founded in 2007, is headquartered in Oceanside, Ca. Its proprietary technology and processes continue to assist companies of multiple sizes and years in business secure and maintain a healthy on-line reputation.

Dealer Synergy – Founded in 2004, is headquarter in Philadelphia PA. Dealer Synergy is an Award Winning Training, Consulting and Digital Marketing Company for the Automotive Industry.

Contact – Sean V. Bradley, 856-264-0564 –


SOURCE Dealer Synergy

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