From his perspective at Oracle, VMware, Tesla, and more, Vijayan sees the automotive industry as one of the fastest evolving, with electric vehicles, self-driving cars, subscription services, ride-hailing initiatives and more to come. There are many groundbreaking ideas to shape.
At the same time, however, dealers’ technical systems are far from catching up with the retail side of the business, he said. It is the retail side that not only sells cars, but where car buyers buy, finance, service, and maintain their cars.
Tekion’s biggest challenge was entering the highly competitive DMS market, where established companies such as Reynolds and Reynolds and CDK Global have worked with several dealers over the years. Migrating from one DMS provider to another can be a tedious process. “We have been converting a dealer who has been using the same his DMS system for 40 years,” says Vijayan. “It’s almost impossible to convince them to switch.
“Convincing our dealers why we are different and how we can make a fundamental difference to their business, we will use this technology to level the playing field and give them an edge in their current and future operations. I have to be able to have it.”
Vijayan says Tekion’s Automotive Retail Cloud software is “very simple and beautiful.”
“I feel like that’s what software should be,” he said. “A lot of the work is done by humans, but this technology makes that work simple and easy.
More than 600 dealers have signed up with Tekion, with about 50 more joining each month, according to the company. There are also hundreds of dealers on the platform through the Enterprise program.
In addition, investment arm of automotive and manufacturing companies such as BMW i Ventures, Airbus Ventures, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Co. and Mitsubishi-Renault-Nissan Alliance financially support the company. According to the UX Reactor case study, Tekion’s value has tripled from over $1 billion in 2020 to $3.5 billion in 2021.