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Plug-in Adapters Used as Customer Retention Tool

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Feb. 28, 2020—Select AutoNation dealerships partnered with SiriusXM to hand out plug-in adapters for customers who purchase one of their pre-owned vehicles. The units are called Automatic.

Most vehicles, model year 1996 or later can be connected. Drivers will have access to safety features and convenience features from Automatic. They'll also receive service alerts and recall notifications from AutoNation.

Marc Cannon, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for AutoNation says it's no secret that dealerships want to improve customer retention. Industry studies like the 2018 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study indicate that two of every five customers want to keep a remote connection to their dealership for the purposes of monitoring vehicle health, he says.

"That’s where the partnership with SiriusXM and Automatic comes in; the shared goal is to keep a meaningful connection to the customer after they leave the lot, provide them with tailored vehicle health notifications that cut past the clutter of traditional communications programs, and ultimately drive customer loyalty," Cannon says.

The program is live today and AutoNation is providing customers with a six month trial of Automatic Premium's services such as real-time vehicle location and business expense tracking, followed by an additional 18 months of the platform's select services including crash alert, engine diagnostics and service notifications. 

Real-time vehicle location helps customers monitor their car's location and driving history.

While this is a partnership between two larger automotive companies, independent shops are still seeking more access to vehicle data to gain the edge in the repair market. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have issued guidelines on on many new vehicle technologies and defining state and federal responsibilities, but but so far, they have not addressed vehicle data access concerns for independent repairers.

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