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Lithia Automotive Launches Driver Connect(SM) to Reach Next Gen Customers

DMEautomotive’s mobile shopping and vehicle ownership app allows Lithia dealerships to target younger service/sales customers and keep current customers ‘close-at-hand’

Daytona Beach, FL –May 22, 2012 DMEautomotive (DMEa) today announced the roll-out of its breakthrough mobile app, Driver ConnectSM, to over 50 of Lithia Automotive’s dealerships. Driver Connect is specifically targeted to help dealerships solve the service ‘generation gap’ and keep ‘next gen’ customers engaged through its suite of cool, useful and personalized automotive tools.  Available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, the Lithia-branded and customized app allows consumers to browse new and used inventory, easily schedule service appointments, manage their vehicles’ service histories, and receive targeted dealership alerts and offers.

According to recent research from DMEautomotive*, dealership service customers are aging, while a new wave of wired, hard-researching, high-spending Gen Ys and Millennials are gravitating heavily toward aftermarket chains and increasingly communicating via mobile media. Driver Connect was specifically developed by DMEa to help attract and keep these customers, who represent the lifeblood of a dealership’s service future, and prevent them from bleeding to aftermarket chains – while also keeping dealerships closer to all their service customers.

“Clearly, our greatest challenge and biggest opportunity is reaching the ‘next gen’ service consumer – and one of the best ways to do that is with a mobile app that makes it easier for this critically important customer to engage - and stay engaged - with us. That app is DMEa’s Driver Connect, and we’re excited to provide it to our dealerships and dealership customers,” said Ron Stoner, VP of Fixed Operations for Lithia Automotive. “As our work with DMEa has shown, the service customer communication game has fundamentally changed. And, as the consumption of mobile apps spreads to older generations as well, the time is right to offer our customers this timely and convenient way to interact with our service centers.”

The Lithia-branded Driver Connect app helps customers manage their vehicles’ complete service history and appointment scheduling on the fly. Customer vehicle histories are automatically pulled from the DMS so they can receive up-to-the-minute recall info and alerts, as well as 24/7-service appointment scheduling, which is automatically added to the mobile device calendar.

To keep customers using it on a daily basis, Lithia’s Driver Connect app also includes practical, clever ‘cool tools,’ such as ‘Find My Car,’ with GPS functionality to help customers locate their car anywhere; ‘My Parking Meter,’ which provides meter expiration alerts; ‘Gas Station Locator,’ to find nearest, lowest-price gas stations; ‘Find Local Parking,’ and ‘Flashlight,’ which is literally a flashlight.  Flashlight apps are one of the most popular paid apps for iPhone and Android – but now free to Lithia customers.

“Driver Connect keeps dealership customers servicing and buying, and enables Lithia to have one branded mobile app across all their stores so their customers can find rich, detailed info about every rooftop and all inventory,” said Mike Walther, president of DMEautomotive. “With Driver Connect’s super-targeted alerts based on a vehicle’s service lifecycle, and its popular ‘cool tools,’ Lithia will literally be at the fingertips of the next gen of tech-savvy service customers, while also keeping its current customers ‘close at hand.’”

* DMEautomotive’s recent white papers, The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape and Marketing Success in a Changing Service Loyalty Landscape, are available at

About DMEautomotive:

DMEautomotive (DMEa) is the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing, and provides turnkey marketing to the largest and most innovative automotive organizations, from automobile dealerships to many of the largest aftermarket companies in the U.S. DMEa's uniquely panoramic view of the complete automotive sales and service market, combined with its cutting-edge, science-based marketing programs, increases customer yield, conversion and retention.

DMEa does not take marketing performance on faith, and each product and service is measured by a simple, precise scientific approach: Is it true? Prove it. Will it work? Test it. Does it generate results? Show it! Supported by DMEa’s proprietary, cloud-based Red Rocket Technology Platform, the DMEa product suite includes science-based, data driven, multi-channel customer acquisition and retention marketing programs; best-in-class campaign reporting; data management and analytics; auto-focused Customer Interaction Center solutions, and complete on-site mail and email fulfillment services. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, DMEa also has major operations in Jacksonville, Fla.


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Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, (714) 454-8776,


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