Interview with Steve Yankovich about the eBay Motors App, NASCAR, and the Future of Mobile

By: eBay Inc. Staff

Steve Yankovich, eBay’s VP of Mobile, discusses the app’s fans and its future.

The eBay Motors app is moving into high gear. On June 26, eBay Mobile and team members behind the Motors app sponsored a well-attended NASCAR race: the Toyota/SaveMart 350 held at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The sponsorship, and an auction of a vintage NASCAR race car, introduced many of the more than 175,000 race attendees to the app, which has delighted users since its debut in May.

 

Among other features, the free eBay Motors iPhone app makes car and parts and accessories shopping easy with its “My Garage” feature that allows shoppers to add vehicles from their collection or dream cars to the app. Users can simply scan any Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to automatically add car details including year, make and model to My Garage. From My Garage, car owners can easily shop the extensive eBay Motors inventory to find matching parts and accessories for their specific vehicles in My Garage.

Steve Yankovich, eBay’s Vice President of Mobile, was on hand at Infineon Raceway for the sponsored race, and discussed it and the app in the following interview.

Tell us about the race over the weekend and the NASCAR sponsorships that eBay Mobile is doing.
This race at Infineon is a local NASCAR event, and NASCAR is actually the largest spectator sport in the U.S. More than 175,000 attendees showed up for this race. All these attendees make up a great audience for eBay Motors, and that’s part of our sponsorship. There is a strong opportunity for engagement with car enthusiasts at this type of race.

Within the eBay Motors App, we’re incorporating features such as scanning of QR codes that can make attendees’ experiences at these types of races better.  We can inspire these attendees, and the people here already have the hardware devices they need to run our app.

Tell us about the reception for the Motors app so far.
Even in its first several weeks, in terms of GMV, the eBay Motors app actually has the highest growth curve in eBay’s mobile history.  What’s important to understand about car enthusiasts is that when they’re with the products they care about, namely cars, they’re by default not with computers. But they have smartphones, so we have a really big opportunity to engage and inspire car lovers with a mobile application.

Through the Motors app’s “My Garage” feature, users can simply scan any Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to automatically add car details including year, make and model to My Garage. From there, users can pivot right into Motors searches where the results will be customized for their particular vehicles.

Car people also really like to look at nice cars. Lots of them get car magazines and watch related shows. One feature of the Motors app that has been very well-received is the simple slideshow we do by default when you open up the Motors app. It shows very desirable cars, and has a magazine-like effect on users. This has resonated really well.

You’re a car guy yourself. Can you tell us about your own interests in this area?
I am a car guy. I own several Porsches, and used to race them in amateur club events. I’ve restored several classic Mustangs, and am currently building a 427 Shelby Cobra — literally building it from scratch.  I have a passion for all of this, and driving exotic cars. In addition, I have a car blog.

What do you see in the future for the Motors app?
We’re going to continue with the idea of the magazine effect that I mentioned. We’ll get new content in the app — both images and articles — that are inspirational for car people. Along these lines, we are developing three-minute car shows, produced just for eBay Motors, that will be accessible in the app. These will be very cool.

By combining all the products on eBay Motors with these new types of experiences, and video shows right in the app, we’ll make the app very interesting even when someone doesn’t have a purchase in mind.

We’re also going to help users of the app with car ownership. Once you’ve entered the details on your own car into My Garage, we’ll create integration with the car’s diagnostic port, which is called the OBD2 port and is found in cars made since 1996. This will inform the app about the mileage of the car, how it is running and more.

Working with partners, we’ll have the app track maintenance records and requirements, and more. Users of the app will be up to speed on recalls, how to deal with error codes — all for their own cars.  The app will even steer you toward the nearest and best repair shop if you need service.