The overall scores in this category were virtually unchanged from last year. What did change was that the DMS category as a whole is no longer at the bottom of the ratings. They are finally in the respectable middle of all product sets. For so many years, dealers felt like they had little choice in their DMS, but today there are many good solutions and the dealer sentiment is warming. They also believe customer support is improving overall.
A year ago Reynolds and Reynolds had just been purchased by Universal Computer Systems and there was much clamor about what the potential ramifications would be to the dealer. Their private CEO Bob Brockman was feared by many, and dealers were wary. Those concerns must have vanished, as the former triple Platinum Award winner emerged with a resounding claim on the Diamond Award with a score of 103.3.
When asked how it feels to finally win a Diamond Award after three consecutive Platinums, Tom Schwartz, director of corporate communications for Reynolds and Reynolds, said, “It’s especially gratifying for two reasons. First, customers are the ones voicing confidence in our products and our support. And, second, we pride ourselves on delivering the best technology that’s available in a DMS.”
Arkona, acquired by DealerTrack last year, made their second award appearance by claiming the Platinum Award with a score of 98.3. Mark O’Neill, president and CEO of DealerTrack, commented at NADA that Arkona was the single most important application they have purchased. Judging by the voting, it looks like a good investment. ADP rounded out the category as the Gold Award winner for the second consecutive year.
Chinese carmaker Zotye Automobile has formed a U.S. sales and distribution company and has begun a search for dealers of a yet-to-be-named SUV.