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FordDirect Debuts DealerConnection Elite Service for Dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention
Feb 04, 2012 (11:02 AM EST)


Enhanced website solution helps dealers connect with their customers and drives sales and service opportunities - pilot dealers experienced 13 percent visitor to lead conversion rate

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchise dealers, announced today the launch of its new website solution for Ford and Lincoln Dealers, DealerConnection Elite. Developed by FordDirect with the Ford National Dealer Council, the Ford Dealer Advisory Board, and a group of more than 40 pilot dealers, DealerConnection Elite gives dealers more options to customize their websites based on the needs of potential and existing customers.

"DealerConnection Elite provides Ford Motor Co. dealers a competitive advantage with complete customization, integration with Ford assets, world-class service and enhanced functionality all at a fraction of the cost you'd normally pay," said Todd Ouellette, owner, Long-Lewis Ford Lincoln and member of the National Ford Dealer Council.  "At just $699 per month, this is an extremely good value for the Dealer."

Ford and Lincoln dealers can upgrade to DealerConnection Elite, replace their current DealerConnection base website and access a wealth of new features including:

  • More branding and custom content: Dealers now have the highest level of branding flexibility with fully customizable website content.
  • More leads: Every design element of DealerConnection Elite has been built from the ground up to improve conversion. Pilot test results show that Dealer Connection Elite has an industry leading conversion rate of 13 percent.
  • Enhanced SEO: Each DealerConnection Elite website utilizes optimization best practices for easy crawling, indexing and ranking by search engines.
  • Full mobile website: DealerConnection Elite includes a customizable, mobile website at no additional charge. 
  • Inventory management: DealerConnection Elite has enhanced inventory management capabilities including the ability to update listings in real time.
  • World class support:  DealerConnection Elite provides a dedicated account manager that will provide recommendations, as well as implement custom branding and updates to the website. Technical support is available 24/7.
  • Reporting and maintenance tool:  Dealers have access to a real time analytics suite and an easy-to-use maintenance tool if they want to update the website on their own.
  • Ford Motor Company integration: FordDirect integrates incentives and leverages Ford Motor Company next generation website assets to drive additional value for dealers. 
  • Increased ROI of Dealer's investment in video: Available to DealerConnection Elite Dealers also enrolled in DealerConnection Premier Advanced Inventory Service, DealerConnection Video Showroom (VSR) enables customers to instantly search and view videos of new and used vehicle inventory through a Dealer's Facebook page, YouTube channel and Dealer website. All inventory videos are based on updated inventory providing customers with a real-time video experience.

    VSR includes unique interactive search functions, filtering and keywords search that provide the users with the desired selection in real time.  Furthermore, unlike other video inventory tools, VSR switches automatically to an HTML 5.0 version for users who access it via an iPad or an iPhone maximizing the users' experience and the dealer's ROI.

"With the constant evolution of consumer vehicle shopping, it is important for dealers to provide the most enhanced online customer experience," said Valerie Fuller, COO of FordDirect. "DealerConnection Elite offers a customizable and controllable web solution that helps dealers attract interested car buyers whether they are searching from their computer or smartphone and turn them into customers."

The DealerConnection Elite website solution is powered by technology from ClickMotive.

FordDirect's DealerConnection Video Showroom is utilizing the vSHOC and Publisher platforms powered by SiSTeR Technologies. 

More than 2.7 million unique monthly visitors come to DealerConnection websites.  Last year, more than 100,000 new vehicles were sold through DealerConnection Internet sales leads.

About FordDirect

FordDirect (forddirect.com/dealercenter) is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. FordDirect provides dealers new and pre-owned marketing services, call tracking, lead management solutions, dealer websites, search optimization and marketing, database marketing, marketing services for regional dealer advertising groups and other digital services. Sales from FordDirect Internet referrals represent 22 percent of total Ford Motor Company retail sales.  FordDirect is headquartered in Dearborn, Mich.

SOURCE FordDirect