DealerSocket targets independent dealerships, buys DealerFire

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DealerSocket Canada executives confirmed it is rolling out its Independent division aimed at exploring the “untapped market” of providing software solutions to independent used-car operators in Canada.

Built on a similar model deployed in the U.S. roughly a year ago, Independent is a separate division with sales force trained and ready to hit independent stores across the country.

“This is a huge market but it can be a bit like the Wild West,” explained Sam Rizek, director of sales and business development for DealerSocket in Canada.

“There are a lot of educational requirements but we are bringing a package customized to their needs and tailored to what they can afford to spend.”

Rizek said not all independent operators are ready for CRM so the solutions are broken up and can be packaged together if required.

“Many of these stores get great web leads, so if they want a simple standalone Internet lead management package, it can start as low as $250 a month for a basic system to manage leads,” he said.

Prices and complexity climb from there with options for ILM, showroom systems, DMS integration, texting and more.

“It all depends on how advanced they want to get. We have a range of packages that run from basic to more advanced for stores like HGregoire and AutoPark Superstores.”

Aside from its work in the independent space, DealerSocket followed through on its prediction of growth through acquisition with the late-January announcement it had bought DealerFire for an undisclosed sum.

DealerFire is a custom automotive web design and digital marketing firm providing Internet solutions and direct leads to large dealership groups and independent car dealers internationally for over a decade. Headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, DealerFire had a limited presence in Canada.

Micah Burgess, DealerFire directory of sales, said the company is excited to be a part of DealerSocket now and that it hopes to deepen its work with Canadian dealers in the months and years to come.

“DealerFire has demonstrated wonderful innovation and high-integrity service to many of our dealers for a long time,” said Jonathan Ord, CEO of DealerSocket.

“They know automotive; they are passionate in what they do for the industry, and they are a perfect addition to our ‘We Are Automotive’ platform. This acquisition is just one more step in demonstrating our ability to leverage the right tools and service offerings to make life easier and more profitable for dealerships around the world.”