1 July 2019

CDK Global launches its Partner Programme at the South African Hot Air Balloon Championships

International automotive tech company looking to partner with innovative tech providers to provide best in-class solutions to car dealers and customers

CDK Global, Inc (Nasdaq, CDK), took to the skies to launch its Partner Programme across South Africa, inviting prospective automotive tech partners to join them in a balloon overlooking the South African Hot Air Balloon Championships, in Skeerpoort, North West Province.  The CDK International (CDKI) Partner Programme opens up the CDK Dealer Management System (DMS) to emerging and specialist tech companies via API access.  

The CDK open platform strategy is an industry first for CDK outside the US (where CDK has been running its Partner Program for 10 years and has over 400 programme partners, encompassing 600 unique applications).  It demonstrates just how crucial agile technologies are for today’s automotive retailer. Dealership technology currently delivers a fragmented experience, with complementary solutions working in silos, which are disconnected and inefficient.  This can lead to a frustrating, even poor, user experience negatively impacting the consumer perceptions around the services rendered. 

Car buyers today expect the same level of experience when they buy a car as they do when they purchase from the likes of TakeALot.com, or when they book their next flights to the coast as an example. They expect that the car they configure online will be in stock when they visit or call the dealership, or that once they change ownership of a car they will stop receiving servicing reminders for that car.  These expectations, however, are not always met. CDK has created the Partner Programme to help meet changing customer demands, joining up technology to help dealers deliver a seamless customer experience.

There are currently 15 partners in the CDKI Partner Programme across Europe and South Africa, with this number growing month by month.  

Thanks to the open platform, which gives partners unprecedented access to the DMS, disparate IT systems will be able to work seamlessly with the CDK DMS, making data available in the right system at the right time. Any challenges that car buyers have faced can be resolved by the use of a truly open and connected auto retail industry.

“Car dealerships, and the wider automotive industry, are facing a period of rapid transformation,” said Harm Stavast, CDK Global. “New markets are emerging in the Far East, next generation vehicles are commonplace, new sales channels are opening up online, car ownership models are shifting and customer buying expectations are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and demanding.  

“At the heart of all of these changes lies rapid technical transformation.  Dealers have to match this transformation, and better use of technology, deeper understanding of data and more connected systems are key strategies for long term business success.

“Connections are crucial to automotive commerce and they are at the heart of delivering joined up customer experiences.  Our Partner Programme brings applications together via an open platform, enabling integration with CDK DMS products to provide easy access for dealers to deliver the very best car buying experience for today’s customer.”