In 2006, Traveller’s Insurance reported approximately 1.2 million motor vehicles were stolen in the United States alone. What’s even more staggering is that the theft was performed at a rate of one car every 26.4 seconds! Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t even finish brushing my teeth in 30 seconds. Unfortunately the consequences were devasting with the losses estimated around $8 billion.
Car dеаlеrѕhiрѕ аrе by no means immune to this. In fact according to a report published by the FBI, 41 percent of the vehicles stolen from car dealerships are never recovered. The impact is costly. Dealerships don’t only suffer the loss of their inventory, in many cases they incur vandalism too – costing millions more. And let’s not forget what it does to their insurance premiums thereafter.
More and more саr dеаlеrѕhiрѕ hаvе begun to bееfеd uр ѕесuritу mеаѕurеѕ tо рrоtесt themselves аgаinѕt thеft. It’s tough though. With keys passing through multiple people hands including mechanics servicing vehicles throughout the day, countless test drives, loaner cars in and out and if you’re managing multiple lots, how can you protect yourself and protect your business?
Here are 5 tips to help automotive dealers protect their inventory:
- Keep Your Keyboard Locked
- Make sure you keep your keyboard / lock boxes are locked during and after business.
- Train your team how to handle keys throughout the day.
- Remind them to never leave keys unattended.
- Illuminate Your Dealership Inside Out
- Make sure your showroom and lot are brightly lit at night to deter would be thieves.
- Strategically Place Inventory
- Surround high value cars in the middle of the pack making it more difficult to get to or keep them inside your showroom at night.
- Use block parking at ends of aisles, showrooms and around high value vehicles
- Make sure emergency parking brakes are on and front wheels turned sharply to make it difficult to tow or remove tires.
- Park trucks and other cars that sit up high under well-lit areas. Creating this somewhat highly visible spotlight can help deter thieves from sliding underneath to gain access to the converter.
- Screen Your Employees & Contractors
- Theft can come from outside or even inside. Make sure you screen all job applicants prior to hiring including contractors that come into your facilities.
- Bond employes with financial responsibilities.
- Train your team on proper procedure
- GPS Tracking Systems
- Look at advanced technology such as Connected Dealer Services (CDS) to help secure your inventory
- Systems can provide you with real-time tracking and alerts if one of your vehicles is moving when it shouldn’t be
- GPS systems keep you connected to your assets 24/7
Let’s talk a little bit more about GPS tracking systems and more specifically, CDS. CDS uses the most advanced GPS tracking technology, is lead by industry experts and visionaries and not only protects your assets, but provides you with profit center add-ons that can increase your per-car-profit by $450.
But let’s talk about how it secures your inventory. CDS manufactures its own GPS tracking device and they are the most reliable product on the market today. The team works with your service team to train and preload GPS devices on all your inventory. Once this is done, we set up your account and once your vehicles are paired with their corresponding GPS devices in the application the magic happens. With CDS, you’ll be able to:
- View your entire inventory in real-time 24/7
- Create boundaries around your lots and have alerts sent to your phone if a vehicle begins to move or leaves that area after hours.
- Create groups of vehicles that you want to monitor slightly different such a loaner, stock or demo cars. If a loaner car goes missing, you can instantly locate it in real-time.
- Push a button to get real-time locates on any specific vehicle
And, if one or multiple vehicles are stolen, our stolen recovery team will work directly with you and your local police department to locate all vehicles to help recover them quickly.
To learn more about the CDS Dealer Inventory Management & Profit Center, provide us with the following and we will give you a call: