eTag’s acquisition by ASSA ABLOY creates automotive key management powerhouse Traka Automotive

The leading provider of electronic key management software for UK automotive dealerships eTag Solutions, has been acquired by ASSA ABLOY which is the world leader in door opening solutions. The result is a new entity called Traka Automotive which is dedicated to providing complete key management systems to automotive dealerships.

The combination of eTag software for automotive dealerships and world-class key management hardware by Traka has created Traka Automotive. Traka Automotive is focussed entirely on creating and delivering world-class key management solutions to automotive dealerships. Traka, a global key and high value asset management solution provider serving many markets, was itself purchased by ASSA ABLOY in April 2012.

The combined customer-base of eTag and Traka already has a presence in five of the top 10 UK car dealership groups. Traka Automotive will now be able to offer a highly compelling key management solution to the whole of the UK dealership market before expanding abroad during 2016. Traka Automotive’s key management solution will be tailorable to the needs of all type of dealerships, especially now that all the hardware, software and domain expertise sits under one roof. eTag Solutions was previously a UK distributor and partner of Traka.

eTag already has more than 25,000 active users of its software in more than 200 locations including 40% of Mercedes-Benz dealerships and 30% of BMW’s UK network.  The substantial-base of dealerships using Traka key cabinets will now be able to access the eTag software platform to unlock additional value from their existing key management investment.

Traka Automotive estimates that it is now able to approach more than 1,500 UK dealerships which, prior to this deal, it would not have been able to offer the right-priced solution to. It could also offer key management solutions to fleet management operations, car rental operations, fast fits, body shops and auctioneers.

eTag previously focused its sales effort on larger prestige car dealerships. But the additional resources, flexibility and reach of Traka Automotive enables the new division to offer a highly compelling key management solution to the whole market. For example, it is now possible to lease Traka hardware and pay for all software and support via monthly subscription, cutting costs for the all-in-one system significantly so that a 100-car key management system might be as low as £32 per week. Or if bought outright from capital expenditure, dealer principals could easily expect a return on total key management investment in under six months.

Paul Smith, director, Traka Automotive, explained:

We’ve gone from serving the high volume, prestige end of the market, to talking to the whole UK automotive market today. We expect to see sales more than triple this year with the benefit of Traka Automotive’s larger resources and expertise. We believe our combined 100 plus years of industry expertise within the team, together with highly mature eTag software and world-class hardware, makes Traka Automotive the only viable key management system for automotive dealerships on the market.
We will also be working with Traka’s global distributor network to offer our key management solutions to dealerships globally. We have the right platform but we will only take our solution to international markets when we believe we can offer that specific market an unparalleled experience.

Traka Automotive predicts increased demand for easy-to-use, centralised and networked key management systems in the UK as the trend for consolidation in the industry continues. This trend is due to declining sales margins on new and used cars, combined with falls in the volume of after sales services being purchased in franchised dealerships. As a result dealership management teams continue their relentless quest for increased efficiencies while simultaneously investing in improving the visitor customer experience. Key management solutions are at the heart of this quest.

Paul Smith of Traka Automotive, adds:

Right now dealerships without next generation key management systems see keys as a pain: they get lost and staff waste time and valuable productivity hunting for them. They also present a security risk to the business. They are a drag on the business. We see this in all dealerships without decent key management solutions.
Yet once our system is deployed, we guarantee you will unlock increased productivity from sales and workshop staff. You will stop having to pay for new sets of keys to be cut and our reporting capability will mean you will be able to confirm at the touch of a button who had that car when a speeding ticket or congestion charge fine was billed to the company. The ROI for our system for a medium-sized dealership can be as little as three months. It becomes a no-brainer for DPs looking to find efficiencies, especially if they are planning refurbishments or relocations.

The busiest eTag sites today clock up over 9,000 key movements per week. This equates to 9,000 opportunities to improve productivity created by eTag each week. eTag also has the advantage of being able to easily integrate with existing dealer management systems (DMS) to enable download of all car inventory so that data entry is minimal during system usage, enabling new Traka Automotive systems to be installed and made live within just two working days.