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their face away from the sales floor? According to Dealer Services Consulting, LLC there will be approximately 1.4 million vehicles sold and delivered in the US this year without the customer ever visiting a dealership. By 2023 this number is projected to be greater than 8 million. Your local new and used car dealers are searching for ways to maintain a competitive edge and being able to deliver a vehicle directly to their customer’s home is one giant advantage.

often even be a trade in to return to the dealership or take directly to a local auto auction. How sweet would round trip work be in these uncertain times? For local car dealers to go fully online in their sales process, which will be a survival tool for their future as well as ours, they need more than just someone to deliver the sold vehicle. Often online customers will want to look at a vehicle without the commitment to purchase or perhaps they wish

Providing this type of service as a tower is quite different than a typical service tow but nothing a

true professional can’t handle. I am willing to wager that many would love to offer this type of service but simply do not have the staff or other resources to do so. Providing this type of service as a tower is quite different than a typical service tow but nothing a true professional can’t handle. The key thing to remember is you will be the face of your customer, possibly the first time their customer has met with anyone in person, so appearance and attitude are key to success. I envision a typical final mile transport service to include a detailed inspection prior to loading the vehicle, walk around with a dealership representative to confirm the condition and make sure all the customers requests have been met, flatbed transport to the delivery site and a walk around (socially distant of course) with the buyer to verify the condition of the car as received. There may 20 • January 2021 | Towman.com

to trade in a vehicle. In either case someone needs to bring them the vehicle to test drive and inspect their potential trade in, both services that a tower is well qualified to provide. I feel towers are uniquely qualified to provide a detailed vehicle inspection on behalf of the dealership. Imagine having work for your service drivers to do in between breakdown calls that use their mechanical skills. For a flat fee you could dispatch a driver in a small car or van to take a few pictures, some tire measurements and maybe even a short test drive -all in the name of helping your client at the dealership make a better sale, one that you will ultimately end up delivering on their behalf. Side note about liability. Transport work is much different than traditional towing in that the Bill of Lading is the go-to document for who is liable for what and

getting a signature for delivery without exceptions noted is key to reducing your exposure. Many of the towing dispatch software programs have great features for this, especially those that allow for pictures before and after and the capture of a signature on both ends. Many of the auto transport focused dispatch apps and load boards also have this type of functionality built in. In either case, the days of paper condition reports and no photos are long gone, please protect yourself with good photos and an organized system to store and retrieve them. Offering services such as these to your local dealership also opens up the conversation about providing transport work to and from auto auctions or between detail centers and their retail locations. Large used car dealerships such as Car Max often contract their overflow work with local towers to rotate inventory between locations as well as other traditional transportation services. Often dealers are willing to pay a premium above wholesale rate if you can be quick as time is money. National Automobile Dealers Association studies show the average used car loses $12 in value per day, which means if the dealer has to wait a week to get their car from the auction onto their lot it has already lost around $60 in sale value. This concept is not limited to just automobile dealerships. Every type of dealer whether they sell cars, trucks, motorcycles or even farm/garden implement dealers can benefit from this type of concierge service today. Besides the COVID implications around social distancing many folks just don’t have the time to go pickup their purchases in person anymore nor do these dealerships always have someone on staff with the time and skill to make the delivery. This is prime for someone that thinks

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American Towman Magazine - January 2021  

American Towman Magazine - January 2021