The year of M&A continues with Impel acquiring CarLabs

Perhaps 2022 is just the year of the acquisition — from auctions to artificial intelligence software providers to dealerships.

The latest move arrived on Tuesday, as Impel, a provider of digital automotive engagement software and data, announced that it is acquiring, a U.S.-based provider of conversational AI products for the automotive industry.

Impel highlighted that CarLabs digital assistants are used by OEMs and dealers to drive greater engagement across the customer lifecycle.

According to a news release, the acquisition brings additional product capabilities and resources to Impel and builds on the company’s acquisition of Pulsar AI completed last May.

Founded in 2016, CarLabs provides artificial intelligence products that can enable automotive retailers and OEMs to engage customers with automated, contextual two-way conversations that drive greater sales and service revenue.

The company’s solutions are designed to optimize content delivery and business performance by leveraging machine learning and advanced statistical models based on more than five years of serving international OEMs and enterprise dealer groups.

Carolina Coral Ayala Garcia is senior digital specialist at KIA Motors Mexico.

“For the past several years, Kia has made significant investments in digital capabilities designed to deliver an enhanced experience along the entire shopper journey,” Coral Ayala Garcia said in the news release.

“We’ve been fortunate to work with innovative technology companies like CarLabs that have enabled our digital transformation,” she continued. “They have been an indispensable partner, providing us with leading-edge AI capabilities that have helped us engage and educate consumers while at the same time strengthening our brand in an increasingly digital-driven world.”

Impel said the CarLabs acquisition comes at a time when service revenue and customer loyalty has become more critical than ever to dealer profitability.

“We’re thrilled to welcome CarLabs to the Impel family, and we look forward to integrating their innovative technology capabilities to generate even greater levels of digital engagement and business results for OEMs and vehicle retailers of all types,” Impel co-founder and CEO Devin Daly said in the news release. “This acquisition will accelerate our product development and innovation efforts to meet the growing need for exceptional end-to-end omnichannel experiences across the entire customer lifecycle.”

By continuously mining vehicle purchase data and service records, the company’s AI-powered solutions are geared to unlock new profit opportunities for dealers by engaging customers with highly relevant service messages and reminders at precise moments of the ownership lifecycle.

The addition of CarLabs technology and API integrations to Impel’s Service AI offering will create a complete solution for automated service drive communications, according to the companies.

“Impel is the preeminent digital engagement provider in the industry with thousands of satisfied customers around the world. We share a passion for creating seamless omnichannel journeys that deliver customer delight while driving increased business results and efficiencies at scale,” CarLabs co-founder and CEO Martin Schmitt said. “Automotive is ripe for intelligent automation, and together with Impel we’ll be able to accelerate efforts to deliver AI-powered applications that transform the experience for customers and dealers alike.”

Impel co-founder and chief strategy officer Michael Quigley added, “As the world’s foremost automotive digital engagement company, ongoing innovation and continuous growth are a key driver of our success. We are always on the lookout for leading-edge companies and emerging technologies to accelerate our efforts, and we couldn’t be more excited about the additional capabilities that CarLabs brings to our organization and to our technology platform.”

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