Editor's note: VehicleXchange is one of four products offered under GM's equity-mining program for U.S. dealerships. The owner of VehicleXchange, Pearl Technology Holdings, was omitted in an earlier version of this story.
DETROIT -- General Motors is paying about half the cost for its dealers to try equity-mining software for a year.
The voluntary program is the first time that GM has subsidized its dealers to use the software. Equity mining helps identify prospects who can trade into a new vehicle for about the same monthly payment.
GM is subsidizing dealer subscriptions with four vendors: AutoAlert, Dominion Dealer Solutions, DealerSocket and VehicleXchange, a product of Pearl Technology Holdings.
Participating dealers can get up to a $5,000 credit from GM for annual enrollment in GM's Standards for Excellence program.
That program pays dealers quarterly bonuses for reaching sales and customer service goals and adopting new technology.
The $5,000 represents about half of a year's subscription to DealerSocket's RevenueRadar equity- mining software, said Reuben Muinos, DealerSocket director of business development.
This year, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Brian Sweeney told Automotive News that the software pinpoints which customers have equity in their vehicles so they can be pitched a new vehicle by email, phone call, direct mail or in person while they are seeking vehicle service.
"Our dealers are seeing a heavy flow of service business. Some of those folks potentially are in equity, but haven't been back in a long time to see the new showroom and all the great new product," Sweeney said. "They're open to a potential test drive or sales."
GM dealers had to sign up with an approved vendor by Dec. 31, according to an email statement from Dave Mingle, GM's executive director of global connected customer experience.
Even dealers who were using one of the vendors before the program began were eligible for the $5,000 credit, Mingle indicated.
GM declined to say how many of its dealers have signed up under the program.
Tom Castriota, dealer principal of Castriota Chevrolet near Tampa, Fla., said he chose VehicleXchange equity-mining software marketed by CDK Global because he already was using CDK Global's dealership management system.
He said the software's ability to identify a customer who can be switched into a new vehicle is a low-cost way to reach someone who might not have started shopping for a different vehicle.
Castriota, who sold just shy of 900 new vehicles in 2014, said: "We use the system to try to talk with everybody on the floor."