Vehlo, a provider of software and financial solutions for the automotive repair industry, acquired Rapid Recon and Velocity Automotive — software providers comprising a category of fixed-operations solutions focused on shortening that critical “time-to-line” for dealer preowned inventory by eliminating waste in reconditioning processes. They extend Vehlo's Dealership Fixed Ops customer experience suite beyond the customer-pay side of dealer service operations.
“As the industry continues to evolve, we understand the challenges dealerships encounter in building trust through transparency with their customers and the need to drive profitability in all departments,” said Vehlo CEO Michelle Fischer.
"The addition of Rapid Recon and Velocity to our portfolio allows us to connect the service department to its best customer: the preowned department. Rapid Recon adds the reconditioning solution that invented the software category, while Velocity Automotive gives us a digital merchandising solution that connects those reconditioning investments to the sales process. These companies also align with our mission to build a suite of tools that deliver a clear return on investment for our dealers, with features that their customers love, and powered by passionate employees.”
Vehlo’s Fixed Ops customer experience suite includes Dealerlogix, Service Lane eAdvisor and Text2Drive — three tools with deep feature sets that work within one simple user interface, tout the same live DMS connections as all-in-one offerings, and drive a return on investment through significant growth in service revenue, CSI and operational efficiency. Fischer said, “We pride ourselves on our commitment to excellent customer service and support starting at the very first interaction. The addition of Rapid Recon and Velocity Automotive makes Vehlo the market leader in reconditioning software. It also allows our suite to now cover the dealer’s entire service operations.”
Hugh Hathcock and the team that founded Elead nearly 40 years ago identified a need in the dealer reconditioning space when they started Velocity Automotive in 2018. They also saw an opportunity to connect those reconditioning investments to the sales process with a digital merchandising solution that allows car shoppers to see the investments in a vehicle’s reconditioning. For sales departments, that creates a repeatable process that puts the focus on each used unit’s unique story versus price.
"Vehlo's mission to transform the automotive repair industry closely aligns with the same passion that's driven everything I've done in this industry, which is to shape the future of automotive retail,” said Hathcock, who will lend his experience to the Vehlo leadership team in an advisory role. “Today's announcement comes at a critical juncture in this great business — when more is being expected of service departments. That means specialty solutions that only Vehlo can now provide."
Rapid Recon was founded in 2010 by Dennis McGinn, a former Hewlett-Packard executive steeped in process improvement and quality control who recognized how a lack of speed, accountability and control over the reconditioning process impacted the success of dealers' preowned operations. With McGinn's time-to-line philosophy serving as the foundation, Rapid Recon's software solution tracks used inventory from the time of acquisition to the point of sale while enabling accountability through communication for everyone involved.
In addition to software, Rapid Recon provides dealers with consultation from a team of performance managers who have personally managed successful reconditioning operations. This practice brings a level of efficiency and best practices that streamline processes and remove obstacles that slow productive dealership employees.
"We're in the very early stages of capitalizing on what's possible now that we're part of the Vehlo portfolio. The opportunity to bring our people, products and experiences together can only bring more value to our dealers,” said McGinn, who will continue leading day-to-day operations at Rapid Recon. "And with all the consolidation we've seen in recent years, dealership operations need partners that can help them be more successful. That's especially true in the fixed ops arena."
The Velocity Automotive suite also includes Velocity Window Stickers, a vehicle sourcing and sales tool that integrates with leading CRM and inventory management software. Sales teams and used-car managers simply click on a displayed vehicle identification number in their respective systems to access a vehicle's original build information.
"Velocity Automotive is thrilled to join Vehlo and its Fixed Ops experience suite, which gives dealers a powerful combination of solutions as they continue optimizing their service organizations,” said David Penney, who also maintains his role as Velocity’s CEO and now joins Vehlo’s Dealership divisional leadership team. “Vehlo allows us to accelerate innovation and our product roadmap, and I look forward to working with members of the Dealership leadership team to grow the business."
Presidio Technology Partners served as the exclusive financial adviser for Rapid Recon. Cowen and Company LLC served as the exclusive financial adviser to Velocity Automotive Solutions LLC.
Originally posted on P&A Magazine