SANTA MONICA, Calif. — March 01, 2013 — Hackathon history was made yesterday when Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, spontaneously agreed to give away two $10,000 first place prizes for its Hackomotive 2013 event when judges found two worthy winners.
In total, the company gave away $28,000 to the winners of the free competition designed to encourage participants to reimagine the car shopping experience and present to judges a tangible, applicable solution to a specific problem experienced by car shoppers. Judges included Michael Accavitti (Vice President of Automobile Marketing for American Honda), Stacey Coopes (CEO of FordDirect), Tamara Darvish, (Executive Vice President of Washington, DC area dealer group DARCARs and currently serving on the National Board of Directors at the National Automobile Dealers Association) and Carl Sewell (Chairman and CEO of Sewell Automotive Companies, a privately owned Texas based company with 14 dealerships that represent 15 franchises).
Over 100 people came from all over the country to Edmunds.com's Santa Monica office to participate in the event. Following an inspiring keynote, a brainstorming session and the self-selection of teams, the teams worked long hours to develop three-minute presentations that conveyed their innovative ideas.
The two first prize winning teams, "Tegrity" and "My Motive," both recommended a process that, using social media and other input, matches a car salesperson to an individual car shopper by interest and expertise.
"Tegrity demystifies and humanizes the salesperson, gives them a reputation and an identity," the team's presentation stated as it promised to stop the commoditization of service at the dealership and to create trust and loyalty.
"My Motive" tackled the consumer problem: "For the money I'm spending, the retail experience (of buying a car) is not on par with other retail experiences." Its solution matches car shopper to sales person via attributes and expertise such as truck specialist or green car specialist to improve rapport and create higher customer satisfaction at the point of sale.
The second place team, "Grease Monkey," suggested that the car ownership experience would be greatly improved if drivers better understood their cars and could be presented with real-time information about their car's operation, any necessary diagnostics, relevant quick fixes, links to local service bays, and bids for repairs.
Third place winner "Cartell" presented a creative "safety in numbers" car shopping concept that relies on the power of group buying to get the best price.
"Most of the ideas conveyed the theme that car shopping is not just about making a purchase, but about creating a trust-based relationship," stated Edmunds.com CEO Avi Steinlauf, who, at the conclusion of the event, Tweeted @steinlauf that the company's expectations for the event were greatly exceeded.
More information on the event can be found at www.hackomotive.com and on Twitter @hackomotive.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.