Editor's note: Bruce Thompson launched American Auto Exchange in 2001. An earlier version of this story misstated which entity actually did the launch.
Ohio dealership Germain Toyota of Columbus has a clear view of all expiring leases in its market, and that knowledge has expanded its business and cut marketing costs.
The dealership uses Propensity360, a tool by Pearl Technology Holdings and Experian that helps auto retailers target potential customers in their markets based on factors such as customers' current vehicle payments or the type of vehicles they drive.
"We [can] market to anyone in an expiring lease between a certain payment range," said Germain Toyota General Manager Rich Newsome. That gives the dealership and Toyota exposure to customers who "hadn't been considering Toyota let alone Germain Toyota," he said. "It's gotten us in front of them before their servicing dealer or manufacturer had gotten in front of them."
Typically, conquest campaigns are more expensive than equity mining because the dealership has to "get in front of customers a few times," Newsome said. "But with the expiring lease campaign, customers are running out of time." They often have only a few lease payments left, so they are more inclined to listen to their options, he said.