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Auto retailing thrives on new. New vehicles. New marketing methods and advertising campaigns. And new blood. Meet the men and women who make up the fourth annual Automotive News listing of 40 Under 40 Retail: 40 up-and-comers who already are making their mark in dealerships. These individuals are applying the lessons of the past with the techniques of today to carry vehicle retailing into the future. And they're delivering astounding results.

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Jennifer Briggs

POSITION:E-commerce director Feldman Automotive, New Hudson, Mich.

Jennifer Briggs is a self-described numbers wonk.

A certified business intelligence report designer, Briggs has used statistics to build the Internet presence of Feldman Automotive, an eight-store group in suburban Detroit.

Her goal is to create a mini version of AutoNation's new digital strategy, which relies on strong websites and Google placement to reduce reliance on third-party shopping sites for prospects. "I want to go from 10 websites to three mega-websites, she said.

Briggs is well on the way to attaining her goals. Since joining Feldman two years ago, Briggs has advanced a strategy that had five people handling Internet prospects for the group to one that now has 30 people with defined roles for how that's accomplished. Briggs put a business development center in each location.

With people now systematically following up on those leads, the group is closing on 15 percent of Internet leads from all sources vs. 4 percent when she arrived. 

Unique visitors to the group's 10 websites have jumped 170 percent since she came aboard from a dealership group in Saginaw, Mich., where she competed against her best friend and previous 40 Under 40 winner Bobbie Herron of Garber Automotive Group. 

Briggs said she is constantly looking for the next dealership software breakthrough to try to give Feldman an edge in the heavily dealered Detroit market. 

She gets to see those technologies first hand as a frequent speaker on the dealer marketing conference tour, including the upcoming Women in Automotive Convention scheduled in Orlando, Fla., in August. 

Her main theme is mining store data to retain customers and conquest new ones. 

"It's all about the statistics," she said.



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