Lyft hitches a ride on CDK's Fortellis network

UPDATED: 8/13/18 12:21 pm ET – adds Lyft comment

At the NADA Show in March, Lyft sought out CDK Global Inc. for a shortcut to connect with dealerships in a bigger way.

Less than five months later, Lyft and CDK are rolling out plans for Lyft to come aboard CDK’s Fortellis, an open network development platform that will enable the ride-hailing company’s Concierge service to be directly accessed through CDK’s dealership management systems.

That will allow dealership service departments to more efficiently provide Lyft rides to their customers, executives from the two companies said. It marks the first time Lyft’s ride-share services will be integrated with a DMS, they said. Initially, the access will be exclusive to CDK’s DMS and other software products. CDK didn’t disclose a timetable for that to begin other than to say this year. Lyft later can invite other dealership software providers to access Concierge via Fortellis.

“Dealerships can reduce customer wait times and liability insurance costs while increasing repair order throughput and improving general customer satisfaction,” Ben Sternsmith, area vice president at Lyft Business, said in a statement provided to Automotive News.

Frey: Will reduce rental car costs

The Fortellis platform allows Lyft to integrate with DMS systems and other service providers at scale in a way that was almost impossible before, said Ron Frey, CDK chief strategy officer. In the past, the company would have to approach each service provider and dealership for integration, he said.

For dealerships, accessing Lyft via the DMS means service employees can plug in the customer’s destination while the person is in the service lane, said Byron McDuffee, general manager for Fortellis. A ride price comes up, the ride is requested and the customer is picked up at the dealership and dropped off at the destination. The dealership covers the cost and can pass that into the warranty system for reimbursement by automakers.

For dealerships, having integrated access to a service such as Lyft will significantly reduce vehicle rental costs and trim store loaner and shuttle fleets, said Frey, citing Lyft.

“Typically what they’re seeing is an average monthly cost reduction between $ 3,000 to $ 7,000,” Frey said.

A Lyft spokeswoman told Automotive News that some dealers who have replaced their service shuttles with Lyft rides save between $ 800 and $ 3000 a month.

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