United States, Co... "Company Direction - In 2000, Automotive Internet Management, Inc. was founded to manage all aspects of electronic commerce for Franchised Automobile dealerships. Overall, our company can be characterized as a company that has the ability to not only stay on top of and deliver cutting edge technology, but also bring a wealth of automobile dealership experience and understanding, which we believe tying those two elements together will set us, and our customers, apart from the field. Company Overview Background:The condition of the industry today is such that there is tremendous opportunity and growth in the electronic commerce field as it pertains to automobile dealerships. Unfortunately, there are also numerous inefficiencies in the way this technology is being managed. Dealers are being asked to sacrifice profits and accept poor customer service in an effort to stay competitive with the large pioneers of this industry. The legal form of Automotive Internet Management is C-Corporation. We chose the C-Corporation form because we would like the ability to offer stock in our company to organizations that will help us implement our service. Automotive Internet Management's business headquarters is located at P.O. Box 861, Middlebury, CT, USA, 06762. Now, Automotive Internet Management has recently received a grant and loan and has purchased a 4100 square foot office condo suitable for meeting the company's technology needs. We are now at a point where we are looking to acquire additioanl capital to implement its sophisticated programs. Staffing: Additional staff will need to be added beginning with our second month of operation. We feel our staff will need to be increased by one person every 45 days of operation during year one due to anticipated rapid growth. During years two through five we expect to add 1 additional employee every 60 days as steady company growth continues. We expect to have a total of 34 employees upon completion of our first five years of operation. Service Strategy: Current Services include: Monthly Service Fees, Sales Commissions Monthly service charges for Internet Management, our principal service, consist of managing all Internet related items for an automobile dealership. This includes building and improving Websites, collecting and managing customer data, sales presentations and closings, advertising, funneling leads, and customer follow up. Monthly services charges will be $3150.00 per dealership. We intend to ultimately increase automobile sales at the dealer level. Every time a signed dealer makes another sale through our efforts, we will be paid a $50.00 commission. The Process: AIM will be signing dealers all across the Continental U.S. In the dealer contract it will be stipulated that AIM can communicate with the factories and financial sources as well as any third party companies it deems necessary to stimulate and deliver business via the Internet. It is understood that we will be contacting all of the above companies as an employee of the dealer and should be accommodated as any other manager at the dealership. Also in the dealer agreement is the pricing structure for all models sold by the dealership. A dealer may say $900 over cost on brand x, $1500 over cost on brand y, $2000 over cost on used vehicles, etc. It will also be stipulated how low of an offer we can bring to the dealership on a counter offer with a deposit from a serious customer. After the lines of communication and data flow are opened, the process is as follows: A customer is searching for information on the Internet for a brand X automobile. They come across a website that supplies brand X automobiles. The supplying dealer is a client of AIM. They inquire through the dealer’s website looking for a price on brand X with certain equipment and choice of colors. They will receive an instant response saying someone will be in touch within 30 minutes but please make sure that your inquiry had certain elements for best response. The Internet Salesperson assigned by AIM gets back to the customer via e-mail and gives them a market competitive price along with availability for the vehicle. Customers are encouraged to call or e-mail us with any questions they may have. If a customer wishes to make an offer that is less than the quoted price, they are instructed to proceed to the ""make a counter offer zone"". In this area a customer has the ability to consummate a deal immediately or they can make a lower offer than the already low price. Customers offer can be no lower than 8% lower than already given price. The Customer is also informed that dealer is under no obligation to sell the vehicle for the lower price and could be taking other offers on car during negotiation. In other words, a sophisticated shopper may already know that the first published price may be the best available price on a scarce vehicle and may opt to be less aggressive with bargaining by offering 2% lower than the published price, but not trying to go so low as to risk loosing the good deal. Once a customer makes a counter offer they must leave a refundable ""good faith"" deposit. The counter offer then comes back to the AIM salesperson and the deposit is processed. The offer is moved to an Assigned AIM Internet Sales manager. (Every account rep handles 4 dealerships maximum where a sales manager has 16 maximum and is overseeing three account representatives). The Sales Manager gets instant access to the dealer and the offer is made. The customer is contacted back within 60 minutes with the decision. If the offer is not accepted, the customer may make an adjusted offer or may receive a full refund of their deposit. This negotiation is a necessary part of the process as dealers make decisions differently depending on overhead issues, availability, hitting sales quotas, etc. We feel that we can make it a more pleasant experience by getting back to customers in a timely and non-confrontational way. Even when the sales prices are not met we feel the customers will walk away satisfied with the interaction and pass the information on to other potential car buyers in their community. The lead may also come in from a broker who sells leads or customer inquiries to dealers. Even in these cases, the process remains the same for the customer. AIM will have several of its own websites on the market that will be attracting customer inquiries. Our specialty software will evaluate the inquiry and forward it to the appropriate account representative based on the customer’s geographic location and specific car requirements. At which time the prospect is handled in the same manner previously described. Market Analysis: Customer Profile: Automotive Internet Management's target market is franchised automobile dealerships throughout the United States, who have entered or plan to enter The Internet marketplace. There are approximately 22,600 automobile dealerships nationwide selling 16.9 million new vehicles and 12.3 million used vehicles per year. Competition: In this growing field there are numerous companies that may be considered competition. These companies offer similar services as Automotive Internet Management, however there are no companies offering a complete package that matches our services. Since our services are unique, we plan on partnering with some of these companies in order to offer our customers all of the available technology in this field. In all comparisons, Automotive Internet Management's services provide more features and have superior performance than do competitive services. In most cases, the number of differences is substantial. Automotive Internet Management's services perform in virtually all situations offering the ability to collect data and interface daily with hundreds of different companies and their specific computer systems. How are we different than the competition? Most companies offering Internet related services to automobile dealerships are funneling leads to the dealership for their employees to manage. The majority of dealerships are not equipped with enough trained staff or sophisticated technology to leverage these leads and provide adequate Internet customer service. Automotive Internet Management not only helps create Internet leads, but also manages them for the automobile dealerships, acting as their Internet managers and salespeople. This is accomplished at a fraction of the cost, is more efficient, and provides better results. Our management fee and low commission per sale costs significantly less than the expenses associated with the additional staffing and benefit needs required to accomplish this in-house. Currently, when Internet leads are received at most dealerships, customers are not responded to in a timely manner. Most requests are handled in a matter of days, if at all. Automotive Internet Management responds to customers immediately. First, an automated e-mail is generated instantly to remind the customer of what to expect. Within 30 minutes an e-mail is generated by an AIM representative containing the information the customer has requested. Alliances between Automotive Internet Management and companies such as AutoByTel, AutoWeb, and others, as well as AIM’s affiliated websites, will allow dealers to access a nearly unlimited supply of Internet leads. Once again, these leads are managed by AIM on behalf of the dealership. In addition to gathering leads from Automotive Internet Management customer-based sites and other lead-generating sites, inquiries will also come from the dealership’s own site. A new state-of-the-art website will be created for each dealership in order to generate business for all departments (Sales, Service, Parts, and Body Shop). Since Automotive Internet Management will maintain the dealership’s site, they can be assured that it will be kept fresh and up-to-date. Automotive Internet Management’s specialty software will be used to collect and manage customer data, communicate with Dealers’ factory and financial arms, as well as the dealer, to streamline the process and keep the promise of the 30-minute actual response after the initial automated response. Special Advantages: AIM has the technology in place to offer all of its dealers the ability to consummate a deal electronically. When a dealer signs up with AIM they are given an electronic pad at the kickoff meeting. AIM will be closing deals for the dealership online and the salesman can bring the agreed vehicle to customer’s house or job for inspection. Once the inspection is completed, the salesperson plugs the pad into a Notebook PC. All paper work is signed electronically to complete the transaction. This is a big bonus for dealers since the technology is new and is expected to take 6-8 yrs to trickle down to individual dealerships. Risk: The greatest risk to Automotive Internet Management is to maintain control of the delicate balance between rapid growth and superior customer service. We must maintain steady growth in order to stay ahead of our competition while not sacrificing our customer service, which is the strength of our company. We feel this risk is minimal and will be controlled by our expansion timetable. Marketing Plan: Sales Strategy - Automotive Internet Management's potential customers will be reached using a combination of direct mail marketing, print and new media advertisements, trade shows, seminars, as well as utilizing the existing large database of industry contacts already developed by our management team. Direct Mail - Direct marketing to automobile dealers will be accomplished by utilizing a combination of printed brochures and an interactive Shockwave presentation. The Shockwave presentation will include background information about our company, features and benefits of our service, sample dealer Web sites, screen grabs from our software, links to the Automotive Internet Management corporate site, and an interactive step-by-step illustration of the process in which leads are managed. The Shockwave file will be made available for both the PC and Macintosh, and requires no additional software to run. Print and New Media - Print ads will be used in publications such as Automotive News, Dealer Age Magazine. New Media advertising will focus on industry related sites, such as The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Automotive News. NADA has more than 19,600 franchised new-car and -truck dealer members holding nearly 40,000 separate new-car and light-, medium-, and heavy-duty truck franchises, domestic and import. Trade Shows -National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Connecticut Automotive Trades Association (CATA), NALF, NAFRD. Seminars - Arrangements for joint ventures with companies such as Edmunds and Interim Funding, who currently provide seminars to automobile dealers, will allow us to communicate directly with potential customers. Current Contacts - Our management team has developed an extensive list of po...
Chief Executive Officer