What’s An Automotive BDC?

Automotive BDC

Detroit, MI - Detroit Trading Automotive BDC Services

What's an Automotive BDC?

Dealership's across the US are in constant battle trying to keep pace with their internet shoppers. As the internet has become a normal part of the automotive shopping experience, more and more shoppers are starting their relationships with dealers online with a "quote request" or "availability request". Shoppers originating from the internet, are usually funneled to a particular team at a dealership called the Business Development Center, or what we refer to as the Automotive BDC. The term Automotive BDC spans two efforts within a dealership: (1) Sales, where the goal is to move metal, and (2) Service, where the objective is to schedule Repair Orders.

The Sales BDC is what you'd think of primarily when thinking of an Automotive BDC. As such, the departmental duties are tied to reaching out to internet leads (or manifest/service lists in other cases) and trying to bring them to come in for a test drive or "appointment". This is a crucial piece of the sales cycle for a dealership. However, it is a department that traditionally doesn't get the most love (more on this later). Ultimately, this team is the first point of contact with the shopper and makes the first impression, so Automotive BDC's are critical to the success of the dealership. Once an "appointment" is set for the shopper, it's usually up to the sales team to pick up on the "on-lot experience" and take if from there.

Automotive BDC Responsibilities

An automotive bdc has many task related functions, but the 4 most important objective of all are:

1) Contact leads immediately

2) Give the prospect a world class experience

3) Answer any questions happily

4) Help pull the potential transaction forward by setting an instore appointment

This sort of simple treatment can turn leads into dealer appointments today. Appointments are important because they are the dealership’s equivalent “at-bats”. If a dealer can close 1/3 of people that walk through the dealership’s front door, you bet they will value setting appointments. More appointments means more dealer at bats, which means a larger bottom line. By following the core objectives above, and using our BDC Best Practices guide for 2020, you should be well down the runway to leveling up your BDC efforts.

Types of Automotive BDC Leads 

In 2019, dealerships have the opportunity to separate themselves from the pack with ‘excellent service’. There are a lot of tools at a BDC’s disposal that can get shoppers excited, antsy, and ready to act! For example, a dealership usually sees 3-6 different types of leads over and over again:

1) Sales Leads
2) Service Leads
3) Overnight Leads
4) Email only leads
5) Phone only leads
6) Trade-in Leads

Having a solid lead response strategy in place for each lead type can yield 13x ROI, rather than treating them all the same with the same process, templates, and tones. Today, more than ever, iPhones/Androids/Smart Devices are a norm. And sending a real-life photo or video of the unit the prospect is interested in can yield 80%+ engagement rates. And as dealerships should be, if you’re trying to generate more appointments, it all starts with maximizing lead engagement. 


The Automotive BDC unit serves a critical role at a dealership, one that’s sometimes overlooked. Responding to leads, influencing shoppers to visit, and solidly passing that shopper to the sales team for them to take to the finish line. If you don’t have an Automotive BDC setup at your dealership, it’s never too late to get the ball rolling!

Detroit Trading BDC specializes in Sales & Service BDC Packages. We work with some of the largest dealer groups in North America, and conduct Lead Qualification at an OE Scale. 

Reach out to us if you'd like our team to help you with Sales or Service BDC work.

Call us at (248) 965-4875.

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Learn more about what a BDC is and how it can help you grow your new & used car sales.

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