Vehlo Acquires Rapid Recon and Velocity Automotive
By bringing Rapid Recon and Velocity together, Vehlo is now the market leader in helping dealers connect their reconditioning-to-retail processes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., January 23, 2023 — Vehlo, a leading provider of software and financial solutions for the automotive repair industry, today announced the acquisition of Rapid Recon and Velocity Automotive — software providers comprising a category of fixed ops solutions focused on shortening that critical “time-to-line” for dealer pre-owned inventory by eliminating waste in reconditioning processes. They now 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 pre-owned 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 best-in-class tools with deep feature sets that work within one simple user interface, tout the same live DMS connections as all-in-one offerings, and are proven to drive a return on investment through significant growth in service revenue, CSI, and operational efficiency. Fischer added: “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 that went into a vehicle’s reconditioning. For sales departments, that creates a repeatable process that puts the focus on each used unit’s unique story vs. 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’ pre-owned 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 an elite 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 down 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 VIN within 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 advisor for Rapid Recon. Cowen and Company, LLC, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Velocity Automotive Solutions, LLC.
Vehlo is a leading software and financial solutions provider for the automotive repair industry. For dealership service departments, Vehlo offers a product suite designed to facilitate the entire service lane experience for customers, including retention-driving customer engagement and workflow automation, touchless mobile payments, valet pick-up, and much more. Vehlo also offers solutions that support aftermarket repair operations at every touchpoint of the customer journey, including shop management software, digital vehicle inspection tools, and fintech solutions that power SMS-integrated payments, small business loans, and repair financing. To learn more, visit Vehlo.com.
About Rapid Recon
Reconditioning workflow automation from Rapid Recon is the industry standard in time-to-line inventory turn and speed-to-sale vehicle revenue enhancement for automotive retailers. Benchmarking data based on 13 million vehicles processed uniquely positions Rapid Recon to advise dealers on how to improve their store’s profitability. Used by more than 2,000 dealerships, Rapid Recon ensures the accountability of processes, property, and people. Hence, dealers know answers quickly, find assets anywhere, and sell vehicles promptly to grow dealership profitability. To learn more, visit www.rapidrecon.com.
About Velocity Automotive
Velocity Automotive delivers innovative software solutions that transform how dealerships share car buying information with their customers and create operational efficiencies in the reconditioning process to increase market readiness and gross profits. Velocity Automotive connects recon to retail with accelerating customer digital retail engagement, recon workflow management tools, and provides original OEM window stickers for maximizing buying strategy at auction. Founded in 2018 by Hugh Hathcock, founder of ELEAD1ONE, Velocity was built to help dealers streamline sales and service processes, improve communications, and maximize business opportunities.