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New Industry Summit Track to Examine F&I’s Role in the Digital Age

LAS VEGAS — Today’s Internet shopper will be a top-of-mind topic during Industry Summit’s newest educational track, Dealership Sales & Technology. The program will open and close with two panel discussions that will center on two major challenges facing dealers when it comes to their online sales and marketing efforts.

The first panel session — a two-part discussion on “Building the Fully Online Sales Process” — is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 11:15 a.m. It will open with a conversation between Richard Shugg, director of strategic accounts for Autobytel, Steven Knight, director of online auto retail concepts for Black Book’s Activator Division, Pete Batten, senior director of product management for Dealertrack’s Digital Retailing Solutions, and Todd Mason, chief product and marketing officer for RouteOne.

The group will share data and insights on how their digital retailing solutions are helping dealers turn their websites into better lead conversion tools. They will also take a look ahead and offer their take on where the future of online vehicle sales is headed. That discussion will feed into the second part of the 75-minute session, which will feature dealers who are making strides in connecting online shoppers to their in-store processes.

“This super panel will focus on web plugins that are helping dealers realize a better return on their digital advertising and marketing investments,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Monthly. “We’re going to open the session with a discussion between the providers of these solutions, which include everything from trade appraisal tools, chat features to finance tools and shop-by-payment features.

“We’ll then shift gears by bringing up representatives from some of the industry’s most progressive dealerships. They will provide a real-world perspective on where the automotive retail industry is in this digital evolution,” Arroyo added. “What’s really exciting is we’re capping off Industry Summit’s new education track with a session that will focus on F&I’s place in this new way of vehicle retailing.”

That session, “How to Protect F&I Profits in an Online Transaction,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 11:30 a.m. Moderated by Ron Greer, an executive with Open Dealer Exchange, the panel will feature F&I trainers from some of the industry’s top F&I product providers. They include Peter Chafetz, national sales training manager for Allstate Dealer Services, John Lovin, an executive with Chrysler Capital Consulting, Rich Moore, director of training for Protective Asset Protection, and David Worrall, director of training and development for Resource Automotive, a division of The Warranty Group.

Panelists will offer their take on new technologies and techniques for keeping the F&I office in the digital retailing game. They will also reveal what’s working and what’s not, and will discuss the steps their taking to secure F&I’s role in this new retailing environment.

The two sessions sandwich a host of other sessions that will focus on other aspects of online retailing, from converting Internet leads into appointments and digital reputation management to digital advertising and social media marketing.

“Our new education track will touch on all the hot topics related to digital retailing,” Arroyo said. “And we’re bringing out the top experts to give our attendees the insights they need to positively impact their store’s Internet strategies.”

Aside from the new Digital Sales & Technology program, Industry Summit 2014, scheduled for Sept. 8-10 at Paris Las Vegas, will feature tracks for F&I, Special Finance, Used Vehicle Retailing and P&A Leadership. For more information or to register, visit


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