When Terry Murdock arrives for work in the morning at Leith AutoPark Chrysler Jeep, one of the first things he does is boot up his computer to locate all the dealership’s 24 loaner vehicles, using a wireless Mopar Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS).
“It’s an awesome tool to have — particularly if you have customers whose cars have been done for awhile, but they don’t want to return the loaners,” said Murdock, fixed operations director for parts and service at the Cary, N.C. dealership. “If need be, I have to go out and get the loaner back, so I need to know where it is at any time of the day.
“I was just about at that point with a customer last week. A lady’s car was done with service for about two weeks, but she wasn’t coming in to return the new 2017 loaner — her regular car was a 2013 in pretty rough shape. She brought the loaner in before I had to retrieve it, but I’ve had to do it with other customers before.”
Using the Mopar EVTS powered by Guidepoint Systems, Murdock said he easily tracks the continually rotating fleet of loaner vehicles to know where they are, where they have been, and how long they have been in certain locations.
When it’s time to sell the loaner vehicle, Leith AutoPark converts the Mopar unit to consumer use and touts it as an added option to prospective buyers. The dealership can offer the system to buyers with up to seven years of monitoring by Guidepoint Systems.
Tom Gafford, chief technology officer at Guidepoint, said the experience of Leith AutoPark is far from unique for dealerships across North America. His company developed and launched the Guidepoint Loaner Vehicle Program about a year ago as a way for dealerships to save time and money in tracking loaners. Leith AutoPark began using the program in August.
“It is a big problem with dealerships,” Gafford said. “Loaner cars go out but don’t come back when expected, and the dealer is in the dark about where the vehicle is and if it’s being misused or driven excessively. This lowers the value when the car is finally sold, and in the meantime, increases maintenance costs.”
Dealership personnel are able to monitor loaner vehicles from any Internet-connected smartphone, PC or tablet using the Dealer Management Tool. Every vehicle shows up on a live map display with location, speed and direction. In addition, the dealership can receive notifications if the battery is low or if the vehicle is driven outside of an area as small as the dealership lot.
Dealers say their mechanics can install the Mopar EVTS units in less than 20 minutes since they don’t require additional wiring connections to vehicles. The Mopar system is available on Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles and vehicles with a 16-pin diagnostic data port.
As part of the program, dealerships have access to live technical support and account administration support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each vehicle is also supported with around-the-clock alert notifications, emergency service dispatch, stolen vehicle recovery and law enforcement assistance.
Leith AutoPark Chrysler Jeep and other dealerships also use the Mopar EVTS system to save time and money by tracking parts vehicles as they run their routes, perform audits for floor plan checks, recover stolen vehicles and monitor the security of vehicles parked on lots.
Guidepoint Systems, with headquarters in Detroit and main operational facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, offers nationwide tracking without a subscription for its basic service on the Mopar EVTS. Formed in 1999, Guidepoint owns and operates response centers staffed 24/7/365 in the United States and Mexico to provide a wide range of services for dealerships, commercial fleet managers and individual vehicle owners. Guidepoint customer service representatives personally handle notifications of impact, theft, driver emergencies and concierge services.
To learn more about how dealerships can use Guidepoint Systems, contact the company by calling (877) 477-3463 or writing to [email protected].