Ashlyn Stewart

Customer Centric Automotive Veteran Joins Foundation Direct team to Disrupt Conventional Agency Model

Ashlyn Stewart joins Foundation Direct as VP of Client Experience

Ashlyn StewartFoundation Direct, a new technology and consulting company offering automotive marketers an industry-leading option to “Go Direct” with their digital advertising, is pleased to announce Ashlyn Stewart as their new VP of Client Experience. Ashlyn joins Foundation Direct from AutoLeadStar, where she led the Dealer Experience and Technical Support Team.

“It was crucial that our VP of Client Experience was to bring a deep understanding of our customers, their business priorities, and their many options for succeeding in today’s ever-changing digital landscape,” says co-founder Andrew Diffenderfer. “Ashlyn’s experience combines an impressive depth of knowledge on dealership operations, breadth of diverse experience across automotive partners, and an unwavering focus on the clients’ best interests. Ashlyn’s role will help us keep the customer at the heart of everything we do at Foundation Direct today, and everything we’re building towards in the years to come.”

“Dealerships today are realizing that the right technology can replace the old high-margin, limited-transparency agency model… and can drive better business results. Foundation Direct’s solution offers just that – a new way forward that’s focused on improving the bottom line across all profit centers,” says Stewart. “As customers expect more, dealers are pushed to provide more. Steve Jobs once said, ‘You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology,’ and here at Foundation Direct we strive to do just that, empowering dealerships to deliver highly relevant, reimagined customer experiences at exactly the right moments.”

Ashlyn has spent her career working for two of the fastest-growing automotive startups in the industry, where transparency and automation were not only focal points of their business but the foundation to their success. During Stewart’s tenure at TrueCar, she partnered closely with several of the top Dealer Groups in the US. Ashlyn was also part of the crucial team that helped build and scale TrueCar’s first Customer Success field team. A forward-thinking team that consulted with dealerships across the country to share best practices and provide valuable insights to capture missed opportunities to convert more customers to sales.

Ashlyn is from South Bend, Indiana, home of the Studebaker. She currently resides on the West Coast in Portland, Oregon with her family. Stewart is a graduate of Purdue University, with degrees in both Biology and Psychology. She is an advocate for empowering students through her partnership with Elevate Students. Elevate Students empowers communities to elevate character, self-esteem, academic success, and leadership abilities through curriculum and coaches.

Stewart’s experience, attitude and dedication will only strengthen Foundation Direct’s nationwide footprint.

About Foundation Direct

Foundation Direct was created to give OEMs, regional associations, automotive groups, and dealerships the ability to take their ad dollars directly to Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Microsoft, enabling them to spend less on margin, invest more in media, and drive better business results.

Visit for more information.

Original post:

Dealers Should Prepare for Strong Automotive Sales in Q4 2020

Brace yourself for an end-of-year surge of new vehicle sales as the automotive market rebounds in Q4 2020. According to IHS Markit, December has been a top 3 month for new retail vehicle sales for the past three years, and is forecasted to be the #1-selling month in 2020; twice as many sales are forecasted in December 2020 vs April 2020.1

What This Means for Car Dealers

The increase in sales will be preceded by an increase in online research. Dealer presence online across channels such as Google, YouTube, and Facebook, which all reach a high percentage of auto shoppers, is critical to ensure you have the best chance at capturing these customers and driving those Black Friday and EOY sales. With the opportunity to capitalize on increased holiday and EOY sales, it may be prudent to consider evaluating and increasing budgets — which you may have decreased during the dip in sales in Q2-Q3 2020.

  • Start Activating Now
    Car shoppers begin to search for “Black Friday Car Deals” three to four weeks before the event as early as late October and are asking what the “best time to buy a car” is at an increasing rate through December.2
  • Capture Deal Seeker Demand
    Consumers are increasingly incorporating  “deal,” “sales,” and “offers” terms within their search queries related to new car sales around these year-end holidays. Monitor your accounts for any trending terms to add and increase bids against these keywords that can drive tangible business outcomes for your store (ex. “Honda CR-V Deals,” “Toyota RAV4 Offers.”)
  • Prepare and Watch Inventory Levels
    Vehicle inventory continues to be light in the automotive industry.3 Dealers must remain dynamic, continue to monitor inventory levels, and align advertising to what stock is available — this is what Foundation Direct technology does by allowing dealers to advertise exactly what they have on their lots quickly and easily.

Dealers must remain dynamic with their ever-changing offers and inventory while also staying in front of evolving consumer trends. Foundation Direct’s technology keeps dealers ahead and gives them a competitive advantage by quickly reacting to changes across price, offers, inventory, and auto shopper behaviors with accounts set up by a group of former Googlers. Curious and want to know more? Contact us for a pressure-free demonstration.

1IHS Markit, 2020

2Google Trends Data, “Black Friday Car Deals” and “Best Time to Buy a Car’ search trends

3COX Automotive ‘For Car Dealers It’s No Longer a Race To the Bottom, It’s a Race for Inventory’ October 1, 2020