Tekion wants to shake up the automotive retail software industry with its Automotive Retail Cloud
Jan 25, 2023
Automotive News recently wrote in detail the Tekion story, including how it was started and why in the words of Founder and CEO, Jay Vijayan.
"The thought process I had, the seed of the original idea of a cloud-native SaaS (Software as a Service) started at Oracle but expanded and validated at Tesla where I could build a platform for Tesla," said Vijayan. "I found an opportunity to solve the [DMS] problem comprehensively for the auto industry which, in my view, needed this technology platform."
Tekion's biggest challenge was breaking into the competitive DMS market where established companies such as Reynolds and Reynolds and CDK Global have been with some dealerships for years. Moving from one DMS provider to another can be an onerous process. "We've converted dealers that were on the same DMS systems for 40 years," Vijayan said. "It's almost impossible to convince them to switch.
"We need to convince dealers why we are different and can make a fundamental difference to their business to help them level the playing field with this technology and have an edge to operate today and in the future."
Vijayan said Tekion's Automotive Retail Cloud software is "super simple and beautiful."
"It's how I feel software should be," he said. "Humans do much of the work, but this technology makes that work simple and easy. If it makes the work more complex, there is really no use for it."
The article also recounts Automotive News' discussion with several of Tekion's Dealer Partners and their decision to make the switch to Tekion. One of those Partners is Steven Jarrell, director of group operations at Walt Massey Auto Group, which has eight stores in the Gulf Coast region of Alabama and Mississippi.
He explained, "We had conversations and talked about their vision of one tool or system," Jarrell said. "Most DMS providers spend their time telling you what they can or can't do. The DMS space for us had become so stale. We were looking for something that cut down on our need for multiple vendors.
Tekion "had a vision that intrigued us in the long term."
Napo Rumteen, Tekion's chief commercial officer, added "We are soliciting referrals from existing dealer [customers] and get introductions from dealers who have heard customers talking about us at Dealer 20 Group meetings. We are in a fortunate place where a lot of dealers are asking about and aware of Tekion."
He said Tekion's booth at last year's NADA Show was busy with demos and conversations about its Automotive Retail Cloud with 14 percent of new-car franchise retailers receiving demos of the Tekion DMS.