Darwin Automotive has officially launched Darwin Online, a system described as the industry’s first fully functional 24/7/365 F&I department. Photo courtesy University of Michigan Library
ISELIN, N.J. — Darwin Automotive, a leading F&I software provider for the automotive industry, today announced the release of “Darwin Online.” The digital retailing application was designed to enable dealerships worldwide to process online transactions with a fully functional F&I department open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, while protecting dealership profitability and providing accuracy and transparency to the online consumer.
Describing the launch as “big news,” Darwin CEO Phillip Battista noted that F&I is “critical to the lifeblood of the dealership,” typically representing 30% to 40% of overall profitability.
“Now, dealers can sell it all 24/7 — service contracts, tire and wheel protection, paint protection, you name it — just by adding a simple widget to any or all their websites. With Darwin Online, dealers can rest assured that their profitability is protected,” Battista said. “It provides accurate, transparent information to the online consumer utilizing a nationwide database of incentives with both lease and retail rates. It also has its own proprietary 50-state tax databases. We provide the missing link that enables a full online vehicle sales transaction.”
Darwin Online interfaces with more than 100 product providers and allows dealerships to control their profitability and disclosure. It interacts with all dealership websites without any need for DMS integration, or the high fees associated. The platform provides accurate payments that match the dealership’s DMS to the penny, all according to the provider.
Darwin was created by a team of F&I software pioneers that brought MenuVantage, one of the first and most prominent electronic menus, to market. It uses a combination of algorithms to analyze in real time the customer’s answers to a set of needs-discovery questions, deal information, previous ownership history and any other details stored in the dealership’s DMS. Then, through predictive analytics, it produces a “Driver’s Needs Analysis,” which scores F&I products based on the buyer’s need and the likelihood the customer will purchase those protections.
The analytics also contain the customer’s prior ownership history, information on the vehicle’s warranty, among other factors. Citing studies that show the majority of online car buyers surveyed said they would be more likely to buy F&I products if they were educated about them before they came into the dealership, Battista said Darwin Online prescribes the products the customer needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Over 2,000 auto dealers nationwide have boosted F&I profitability with Darwin. They, along with the entire automotive industry, will now also benefit from a seamless buying experience from customers on the web,” Battista said. “Consumers have been waiting for a transparent, accurate buying experience, while dealerships longed to have software designed by car people that will protect their profitability. Darwin Online is the first system to accomplish both goals.”