Van Horn Automotive Group has had a digital retailing presence since before the pandemic began in 2020, with the goal of selling vehicles to consumers entirely online.
The group, with 19 dealerships in Wisconsin and Iowa, initially drew on its established brand name and called its offering Van Horn Direct. But the process turned out to be disjointed, and it wasn't possible to complete a purchase fully online, said Adam Gaedke, the group's vice president of dealership operations.
Van Horn plans to change that with CloudLot, a digital brand it launched in June for used vehicles. Underpinned by Cox Automotive's new Esntial Commerce digital retailing tool — co-developed with Penske Automotive Group and white-labeled for other dealerships to use — CloudLot enables vehicle selection, financing, delivery and signatures to be done online, according to the dealership group.