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AUSTRALIAN car subscription software provider Blinker has inked a partnership with automotive dealer management specialist Dealer Solutions, just two weeks after appointing dealer management software company Titan DMS as a distributor.

Blinker, part of HelloCars, has a software platform that allows car dealerships and OEMs to manage and operate their own car subscriptions as a service to their customers.

Dealer Solutions, part of the world’s biggest automotive service group Cox Automotive, will become Blinker’s first integrated website partner.

Blinker’s subscription product will be offered to Dealer Solution’s network of more than 800 dealers.

Cox Automotive Australia Retail Solutions CEO Michael Sommerton said the collaboration will allow Dealer Solutions’ customers to integrate Blinker’s out-of-the-box subscription software onto their existing websites.

He said it would see consumers able to subscribe to a car directly from a dealership’s website without leaving the house, providing them with a fully digital experience.

“Blinker’s cutting-edge technology and out-of-the-box solution is already empowering dealers around the country, and our partnership will see car subscription made even more accessible for consumers who expect a convenient, seamless digital experience,” he said.

Blinker provides a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for car dealerships, resellers and manufacturers to offer their own vehicle subscription services to customers.

The end-to-end platform provides partners with “subscription in a box”, including the software, training and services needed to offer the service to customers simply and easily.

In November, Titan DMS became the first Australian distributor for Blinker and started offering the software service to national car dealerships.

Titan DMS managing director Matthew Kroll told GoAutoNews Premium last month that his company had been following car subscriptions overseas.

“Blinker, for me, was the first subscription company in Australia that had a total dealer focus and that is where our focus is as well,” he said.

“If you look at the subscription models that are out there, while they will work with dealerships, generally they are going through their own portal under their own brand and their own website.

“Blinker is more about giving the dealership the tools to retain the customer who is in front of them at any point in time.

“To me, that is where the significance was. We think we are in the industry to help the franchise dealer network at the OEM level or at the dealer level and this was the first time we saw a subscription-based tool that really centred around the dealer.”

Blinker comes out of the three-year-old online sales platform HelloCars founded by brothers Michael and Paul Higgins.

Michael Higgins told GoAutoNews Premium in October that market reaction to the product has been better than expected.

“We have a lot of dealers and OEMs who are interested in getting into subscription, so these are people who understand the concept and want to get involved,” he said.

“What has made them more interested in Blinker compared with other subscription services is that with Blinker the dealers can run their own subscription program.

“That’s what Blinker is all about – allowing dealers and OEMs and other market sales groups to be able to run their own program with their own rules using their own product.”

Subscriptions work like flexible leases, effectively renting a vehicle to a customer and offering the ability to change to another vehicle type or quit the program at relatively short notice.

Mr Higgins said that Blinker can boost dealership revenue by up to 50 per cent through gaining recurring weekly payments for their existing vehicle inventory.

The Blinker platform calculates the most cost-effective subscription model and contains training, serviceability, authentication and risk management processes.

“Dealers choose which vehicles they will offer into the subscription service,” he said.

“They can make profits from day one through a subscription service by locating customers who want that service.”

Once the cars have finished as part of the subscription service program, they are placed into the used-car market. Blinker has previously said it has potential for used-car subscriptions.

By Neil Dowling

Branded Financial