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October 13, 2022 / by

Alberto Cairo shares Solera’s vision on Zeigler Auto Group podcast

Fresh off the announcement that Solera product LoJack will sponsor Josh Bilicki’s No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for three NASCAR Cup Series races courtesy of a partnership with Zeigler Auto Group, Solera Managing Director of Vehicle and Fleet Solutions Alberto Cairo sat down with Zeigler Auto Group COO Sam D’Arc on his Driving Vision Podcast.

Cairo shared Solera’s vision as the global leader of vehicle lifecycle management, the ongoing partnership with Zeigler Auto Group, and the benefits of using LoJack, the ultimate stolen vehicle recovery and connected-car solution.

Below is an excerpt of Cairo’s conversation with D’Arc. The transcription has been partially edited for clarity and conciseness.

Sam D’Arc: It’s awesome we have this partnership between Solera and the Zeigler Auto Group. Would you tell us a little bit about Solera as a company? What are you, what do you do?

Alberto Cairo: Solera is not a household name, but it is a name that’s pretty well known in the automotive transportation industry as a whole, but not a brand that’s known to dealers yet. So we are a company that started out in 2005 in the estimatics business, our first pillar of business.

Sam D’Arc: What on Earth is estimatics?

Alberto Cairo: The art and science of helping insurance companies and collision repair facilities estimate the damage on a car. So that’s where we started, and then from there, we built a strategy around following a vehicle throughout its lifecycle.

So we believe that a car has about 54 touch points with its industry throughout its life and the touch points would be its manufacture, its sale, financing, titling, scheduled maintenance and service inside a dealership. Eventually, when it leaves the dealership envelope into the aftermarket, it’ll have several aftermarket repairs. It’ll have three and a half accidents in its life, cracked windshields, first notice of loss events, and it’ll end up either recycled in a recycling yard or sold at auction after some kind of total loss event or when it ages out.

So we started with this business that serves insurance companies and their collision repair partners. Through acquisition, Solera grew into a fairly large company with about 7,000 employees and about 300 products and we operate four business pillars.

One is insurance, where we serve the top 20 insurers in the world, about 35,000 collision repair shops globally. I would say over one quarter of the world’s accidents flow through our estimating systems. We’ve built that business around estimatics and built around it a series of workflow solutions and AI solutions all to help insurers shorten the claims cycle.

We then have a second pillar called vehicle repair, which has to do with the aftermarket. We have about 150,000 aftermarket repair shops as customers globally. To them, we provide information solutions that help them assess the damage to the vehicle or what has to be repaired as well as the most likely process to repair it. And through that, we help the mechanic save an enormous amount of time and diagnosing and avoiding the experimentation with fixes that might not be so obvious in front. We also in that business have about 50% market share with recycling yards in the US and to them, we offer our management systems ecommerce solutions, partner chain solutions. So we have a full suite of solutions therefore for the vehicle aftermarket.

The third pillar is vehicle solutions, where our dealership business is. In that, we’ve assembled through a number of acquisitions over the last 18 months, a complete portfolio to help dealers run their entire business. And the acquisition of Spireon, to which we gained this wonderful product LoJack. We greatly appreciate our partnership on that product, it complemented everything else we have.

So starting with DMS solutions, CRM solutions, digital retailing website solutions, and a full suite of fixed operations solution, including appointments, mobility, lane reception, MPI solutions, payments. We have a full suite that we’re building out into a platform that allows us to help dealers with everything having to do with sales, marketing, internal operations and service.

Sam D’Arc: That third prong of which you speak of ran headlong about a year ago to Zeigler Auto Group into a need. With us today but slightly off stage is Karianne Thomas, Head of Security for the Zeigler Auto Group … she will tell you we had a horrendous theft problem. And it was frustrating for us because it was something we had never experienced before or seen before. An enormous number of theft in a very short period of time caused the Zeigler Auto Group to reach out to Karianne and hired her on staff and she helped us to isolate LoJack. Our thefts went from 70 last year to 19 this year with 15 recovered, so it basically eliminated this as a problem and created a value proposition for every single one of our customers that come into the Zeigler Auto Group that also wants to protect themselves from that problem as well. That customer can know at any given moment where that vehicle is what it’s doing, how fast it’s going, where it’s headed, and they can have a wealth of information about that vehicle that previously simply before the technology existed wasn’t available. So we’re grateful to you for that.

Alberto Cairo: We loved LoJack, it was a perfect fit for our business for a couple reason. One was the dealer business, we saw LoJack as a great complementary solution to everything else we’ve been doing in the dealer space, and of course valuable in its own right. It’s growing incredibly fast because it does provide tremendous value and peace of mind to the retail consumer. They also have a great business in the fleet space, which is our fourth pillar. In the fleet space, we have a very, very large telematics and video-based safety business that helps fleet operators with regulatory compliance, workflow solutions for drivers, safety for drivers. And the data solutions we provide there demonstrably reduce accidents involved with heavy duty vehicles. So this kind of thing — software for good is a big thing for Vista Equity Partners, and it’s a big thing for us. There are a number of solutions where it ties very tangibly to that outcome. LoJack is one, and it feels really great. That’s why we’re so excited about this, it’s really one of the very few consumer-oriented solutions we have.

Sam D’Arc: How do you go about creating awareness about LoJack in the public to those customers that are walking into our dealerships looking to protect themselves?

Alberto Cairo: We’re doing a number of things. One is we want to, in concert with dealerships, try and start a reactivation campaign. That’s something we haven’t done in the past but we want to make sure we start to do because there’s a lot of value for the consumer beyond the initial term they buy. There’s a lot of value for the dealer, and also trying to educate consumers to the value that it has for other family members or teenage drivers. This initiative is really unique in terms of our marketing efforts, simply because we’re overwhelmingly a business-to-business company and so this is one touchpoint that we have with consumers. And so we’re really excited about this partnership and the partnership with Josh, because it’s really the first time out for us to have a very consumer-oriented campaign.

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