Car Culture

Car Culture

Advanced Business Computers of America Inc., a Software-as-a-Service company entrenched in the used car industry and known for Deal Pack and cyclCRM, is hosting its fourth Deal Pack User Conference on Oct. 17-18 at its headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Deal Pack User Conference covers Deal Pack’s complete, cutting-edge ecosystem including cyclCRMÔ, desking, digital document management and vaulting, loan servicing and collections tools, omni-channel payment processing, automated reporting, and its industry-leading, integrated accounting.

The User Conference covers Deal Pack’s complete, cutting-edge ecosystem including cyclCRM, desking, digital document management and vaulting, loan servicing and collections tools, omni-channel payment processing, automated reporting, and its industry-leading, integrated accounting.

Speakers provide in-depth training sessions of Deal Pack’s Sales, Finance, and Service & Parts modules for retail, BHPH, and leasing dealerships, related finance companies, direct and indirect finance companies.

“The Deal Pack User Conference is a great learning experience for our dealers and finance companies,” said Karolina Jarvis, marketing assistant at ABCoA. “Not only do they see how to maximize Deal Pack’s new and existing features, but they also have an opportunity to collaborate with other Deal Pack users much like a performance group.”

Amazon Web Services Inc. and the BMW Group announced a strategic collaboration to develop customizable cloud software that will simplify the distribution and management of data from millions of connected vehicles.

The BMW Group will be the first automaker to use the software, which will serve as the basis for its next-generation, cloud-based vehicle data platform. Moving forward, the new software will be available to other automakers, enabling them to integrate vehicle data sources, accelerate vehicle and fleet application feature development, and improve life cycle management, while delivering advanced vehicle features and more personalized driver experiences at lower costs.

“We have 20 million connected vehicles on the road today,” said Nicolai Krämer, vice president of Vehicle Connectivity Platforms at the BMW Group. “With the launch of the ‘Neue Klasse,’ BMW’s next generation of vehicles, our offboard cloud platform, powered by AWS, will process roughly triple the volume of vehicle data compared to the current generation of BMW models.

“Together with AWS, we will continue to create innovative solutions that enable us to develop and deliver new data-driven functions to customers worldwide, even faster.”

The BMW Group and AWS co-developed solution collects BMW vehicle signals and fleet intelligence data, then securely processes and routes the data in the cloud. Using AWS’s cloud infrastructure and its industry-leading security, the BMW Group ensures that its customer data is protected and processed in accordance with data privacy requirements and customer preferences.

RefiJet, an auto loan refinancing company, will be featured on an upcoming episode of Designing Spaces.  

Designing Spaces is an award-winning home improvement show that travels America to remodel, redecorate, and redesign people’s homes. The show also includes segments on topics such as technological advancements, gardening, and financial matters. 

William Kenneth Padgett Sr., known by all as “Billy,” age 88, of Walterboro, S.C., died Oct. 3, 2022, at the Colleton Medical Center.

Born Dec. 3, 1933, in Walterboro, he was a son of the late Kenneth Ray Padgett and the late Lois Drawdy Padgett.

Padgett was a graduate of Mars Hill Junior College and the University of South Carolina. He served in the U.S. Army having been stationed in France. For 40 years he owned and operated the iconic BP Motors Sales on Jefferies Boulevard in the heart of Walterboro. During those years, Padgett made countless friends through his work and service to a community he dearly loved. He was a businessman and friend. Padgett was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Walterboro.  

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Wilma Ree Graham Padgett of Walterboro. He was preceded in death by his son, William “Bill” Kenneth Padgett Jr. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials be directed in his memory to: Live Oak Cemetery, Post Office Box 1351, Walterboro, SC 29488. 

“Southwest Florida is our home, and Hertz employees live and work among areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ian,” said Stephen Scherr, chief executive officer of Hertz.

The company announced $1 million in contributions to support relief and recovery efforts across Southwest Florida and to further assist Hertz employees who live in areas impacted by the hurricane Ian.

Hertz made a $500,000 donation to the Florida Disaster Fund, administered by the State of Florida to assist communities with disaster recovery, along with a $150,000 donation to Collaboratory’s Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund, which benefits the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties to directly assist people across the region. 

“The impact of the hurricane is devastating, but the resilience of this community is inspiring,” Scherr said. “We are proud to contribute to the Florida Disaster Fund and Collaboratory as part of our broader disaster relief efforts and to help Southwest Florida rebuild.”

In addition, the company is providing $350,000 in grants to employees in the most severely impacted areas. Employees can also receive grants through the Hertz Employee Relief Fund, which enables the company’s employees to help one another. Inc., an automotive marketplace platform that provides a robust set of digital solutions, has reappointed former executive Sonia Jain as its chief financial officer, effective Oct. 17. 

Sonia Jain

“We are thrilled to have Sonia back as we continue to invest for sustainable growth,” said Alex Vetter, chief executive officer at CARS. “I'm confident that Sonia's deep experience in retail, tech and financial management will help advance our platform strategy, driving growth and incremental shareholder value.”

Jain previously served as CFO of Redbox, overseeing finance, treasury, strategy and analytics, and mergers and acquisitions activities. Prior to Redbox, Jain served as vice president, finance and treasurer with Outerwall. She was also an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

“The strength of the CARS business and its track record for growing market leadership and leading industry innovation represents a clear and compelling opportunity,” said Jain. “The company's strong free cash flow profile, solid margins and consistent growth across revenue, traffic and customers all signal stability and continued momentum. I'm eager to rejoin the talented team at CARS.”

Jandy Tomy has served as interim CFO of CARS since April 2022. She will remain at the company as Executive Vice President of Finance and Treasurer where she will drive treasury operations and support investor relations and other strategic finance initiatives. 

Vehlo, a provider of software and financial solutions, has appointed automotive software veteran and longtime dealer advocate Ronda Lewis as Chief Revenue Officer. The more than 20-year industry veteran will now drive Vehlo’s sales and marketing organization and go-to-market strategy. With notable stints at Cox Automotive, Dealertrack, and automotiveMastermind, Lewis brings extensive M&A and private equity experience.

“Ronda comes to us with a wealth of experience in automotive,” said Vehlo CEO Michelle Fisher. “She brings an impressive track record of driving business expansion as an executive leader and revenue strategist, and she’ll be the tip of the spear for our organic growth plans. We are excited to welcome her to Vehlo and our executive team.”

Lewis most recently served as senior vice president of sales and service for Spireon, joining the telematics solutions provider nearly two years before its February 2022 acquisition by Solera.

Lewis entered the automotive software industry in May 2008, joining Dealertrack as senior director of national sales for the company’s F&I Solutions Group. Lewis spent the next seven years in various leadership roles of escalating responsibility until Dealertrack’s acquisition by Cox Automotive, which then named her to the team focused on the nation’s Top 19 dealer groups as senior director of enterprise partnerships.

In January 2017, Lewis joined automotiveMastermind — now part of IHS Markit — as vice president of dealer relations. She now joins Vehlo, a company that counts 19,000 rooftops as customers of its automotive repair software and payment solutions.

“Technology has a short shelf life,” said Lewis. “It’s not just what you’re doing today; it’s what we can do tomorrow. Always be innovating, and that’s what’s happening here at Vehlo. What makes this a perfect match is the company’s goals are so closely aligned with my experience and passion for this industry. We want to help our customers thrive, and we are bringing solutions to the market designed to help them do that.”

Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, has been honored as one of this year’s Northwood Institute Distinguished Women.

“Northwood has a rich history of honoring the enormous contributions of women,” said Northwood First Lady Mary Ellen MacPhee. “This year’s group of honorees is very accomplished.”

Other 2022 honorees are:

  • Carolyn Clifford-Goss of West Bloomfield, a news anchor with WXYZ-TV
  • Junia Doan of Midland, a journalist and producer of The Spark, and president of the Herbert and Junia Doan Foundation
  • Nicole Glenn of Allen, Texas, the founder and CEO of Candor Expedite
  • Wendy H. Steele of Traverse City, the founder and CEO of Impact 100
  • Sanya L. Bryant Weston of Northville, the founder and CEO of Your Premier Travel Service

In 1970, the Distinguished Women Award was created by the Northwood University Board of Trustees to honor the enormous contributions of women. Its recipients represent the values Northwood espouses for its own students: commitment to free enterprise, the partnership of arts and business, and the management of global commerce. 

The 2022 Class of Distinguished women will be honored during the 53rd Distinguished Women Awards Gala on Oct. 15, at the H Hotel in Midland, Mich.

CDK Global Inc., an automotive retail software provider, will host its second annual industry conference, CDK CONNECT, virtually on Sept. 28 from 9-11 a.m. CT. The event will bring the auto industry together and showcase how CDK connects dealers, auto manufacturers, software developers and consumers to create a seamless car-buying and owning experience.

“The auto retail industry continues to rapidly evolve, and now more than ever, consumers want to have a connection with their local dealers – helping them navigate the vehicle purchase journey,” said Brian MacDonald, chief executive officer, CDK Global. “CDK CONNECT will showcase our vision on how dealers can utilize the next generation of technology solutions to continue successfully growing their businesses while enhancing the omnichannel experience.”

Event attendees will hear from CDK leadership, automotive experts and customers on the transformation of the dealership, consumer expectations, supply challenges and efficiency demand; participate in lively breakout sessions; and receive exclusive previews of CDK products that will streamline auto retailer operations.

MacDonald will deliver the keynote address in conjunction with Mahesh Shah, chief product and technology officer, CDK Global. CDK CONNECT emcee Jason Stein, president and corporate development officer of motormindz, will also lead a discussion with special guests Kim Irwin, senior vice president of SmartDigital, J.D. Power; Sam D’Arc, chief operating officer, Zeigler Auto Group; and Ron Frey, industry strategist, investor and advisor, RL Frey Inc.

Rapid Recon, the originator of reconditioning time-to-line software for dealerships, has appointed Dan Anton to performance manager and team lead for its Recon Edge performance management service.

Anton spent eight years in the auto industry managing front- and back-end operations. He has worked in all departments to reduce reconditioning time to line, including the nation’s largest Jaguar/Land Rover operation. He is Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.

Dan Anton, Team Lead, Recon Edge, Rapid Recon

This expanded Recon Edge performance team now offers dealers 110 years of combined expertise in reconditioning, service, parts, sublet vendor, and variable issues that when fine-tuned speed up T2L and dealership profitability.