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Mazda helps dealers with data mining software

NEW ORLEANS -- Mazda is helping dealers pitch customers coming off lease or with equity in their vehicles.

Mazda North American Operations has begun payments to dealers who use equity-mining software called DealActivator from Dominion Dealer Solutions.

The software alerts dealers when customers become good prospects for a new vehicle based on the equity they have in the vehicles, lease expirations, residuals, interest rates and other variables.

Often the customers flagged by the software can be offered a new vehicle for a monthly payment that is the same or lower than the one they're currently making.

DealActivator is the only equity-mining software eligible for the Mazda dealer co-op reimbursement.

The software "provides our Mazda dealers with information that generates greater customer interest and maximizes traffic opportunities," said Ron Stettner, Mazda North American vice president of sales.

Industrywide, the importance of the software is growing as lease expirations surge after a post-recession boom in leasing. Today leasing makes up 26 percent of new vehicle sales.

Reynolds and Reynolds recently bought equity-mining company XtreamServices to offer the product to the thousands of dealerships that use Reynolds' dealer management systems. The management system is the electronic nerve center of dealerships, managing everything from accounting and payroll to inventory, customer retention and service.

Dominion this weekend also announced its next-generation customer retention software. The replacement for its Autobase and Web Control products is built on the same Microsoft Dynamics AX platform as Dominion's new DMS product launched last year to compete with Reynolds, ADP Dealer Services and other vendors.

You can reach David Barkholz at dbarkholz@crain.com -- Follow David on Twitter: @barkholzatan

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