Retail

Ally to take over Mitsubishi's U.S. lending arm

1:26 pm U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Mitsubishi, one of the smallest car companies with a captive finance arm in the United States, is selling its book of business to Ally Financial, the former lending division of General Motors.... Read More »

AutoNation Ford store in Bellevue, Wash., burns down

10:45 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

AutoNation Ford Bellevue in Washington state was still burning today after a fire tore through the dealership Saturday morning. The local fire department is calling it a total loss.... Read More »

Best April sales in decade expected, driven by light trucks

1:09 pm U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

New-vehicle sales in the United States are projected to reach the highest April level in a decade, capping the best four-month start to a year since 2001. Four forecasts -- calling for a year-over-year increase of about 5 percent to 6 percent this month -- show the industry remains on track to finish 2015 right around 17 million units, a threshold last crossed in 2001. TrueCar.com recently increased its full-year forecast to 17.... Read More »

Public dealerships plan for growth

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

AutoNation, Sonic, Asbury and Lithia gave updates on their new projects as they reported generally robust first-quarter earnings. Here's what they said.... Read More »

LEADERSHIP CRISIS AT VOLKSWAGEN

Piech exit to shake up VW's politburo, creating U.S. opportunity

April 27, 2015 12:00 CET

The sudden departure of VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech may loosen his politburo-style management on the automaker, which could help VW finally start making cars Americans want to buy.... Read More »

Whole lotta wholesalin' goin' on

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Soaring new-vehicle sales for the last few years mean that used vehicles are more plentiful. Dealers have become more selective about the vehicles they stock, and more willing to wholesale the ones they cull.... Read More »

SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW: PRICED TO SELL

China's cheap car strategy for the U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Wu Song, boss of China's Guangzhou Automobile, says his cars need to be 30 percent cheaper than rivals to make it in America. If everything goes his way, GAC will test his pricing strategy with the U.S. launch of its GS4 crossover in 2017.... Read More »

JESSE SNYDER

States' varying auto insurance rates play with the car-buying equation

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Want $7,700 more to spend on a new car? Move from Michigan to Maine before you insure it.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Small VW store delivers top customer ratings

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Attention to detail and personal contact by the owners of a small, 50-year-old Volkswagen dealership in rural Pennsylvania helped it earn the brand's top scores for customer satisfaction in 2014.... Read More »

'RATIONAL EXUBERANCE'

Industry revels in good times but manages to avoid overdoing it

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

There are many signs suggesting the U.S. auto industry is on a positive, sustainable track, but perhaps the most reassuring sign is the kind of caution that dealers and manufacturers are showing amid the boom.... Read More »

Audi tests 2 car-sharing concepts in U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Audi On Demand is a car sharing pilot in San Francisco where consumers book an Audi rental from a smart phone app, and a concierge delivers and picks up the car. Audi at Home in Miami will place Audis at high-end condo buildings for residents to use as perk.... Read More »

Recalled program cars vex GM, hurt profits

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Late last year, General Motors decided to hold off on auctioning many of its retired rental vehicles because of depressed prices. But lower prices on the sale of program vehicles - those that the automaker took back after they were retired from rental fleets - hurt GM's first-quarter operating profit by about $400 million, the company said.... Read More »

Google prods stores to ease mobile shopping

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Google nudged dealerships last week to make their websites friendly to users of smartphones and other mobile gadgets. The giant search engine, a key cog in most dealerships' marketing strategies, changed its search formula or algorithm.... Read More »

Obituaries

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Tom Anderson, who owned Carrera Motors in Bend, Ore., died April 8. He was 72.... Read More »

NADA: Used-vehicle retail prices will rise more

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association show the continued strength of used-vehicle prices in 2014. NADA's top economist says that strength could continue for another year or 18 months.... Read More »

25 with Hyundai

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Christopher Gleason, general manager of Price Hyundai in Charlottesville, Va., receives a 25-year award from Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.... Read More »

Manheim expands its mobile auctions

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Manheim is expanding its mobile auction business, which the company says could grow to 20 percent of its revenues eventually from less than 5 percent today.... Read More »

EDITORIAL

Succession plans: Be flexible and get started now

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Soaring values of automobile dealerships are a boon to hard-working entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses. But, increasingly, dealers whose succession plans rely on selling to family members or general managers are being forced to rethink options.... Read More »

Toyota: Output of fuel cell cars will top out at 3,000 a year

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Japanese customers have a three-year wait for Toyota's new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, because the automaker can't make more of the cars. Using existing manufacturing technology, Toyota predicts output will top out at 3,000 fuel cell cars a year.... Read More »

Futurist sees self-driving cars as a given

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Self-driving cars aren't just possible. They're inevitable, says Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who's now director of engineering for Google.... Read More »

Split your squad

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

AutoNation Honda Roseville divided its sales staff into 2 groups - floor personnel and phone/Internet specialists - steering more resources to phone/Internet, the faster-growing source of sales leads.... Read More »

RFJ buys Dave Smith Auto

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 25, 2015

Fast-growing dealership group RFJ Auto Partners is expanding in the Northwest by buying Dave Smith Auto Group, which operates two of the highest-volume stores in the U.S. RFJ, backed by private equity, aims ultimately to become one of the biggest dealership groups in the country.... Read More »

JAMIE LaREAU

BLOG: Uber might trump the cost of car ownership, but not leasing…yet

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 25, 2015

Most dealers probably don’t lose sleep with worry that Uber, the popular app-based service that pairs private drivers with riders, will usurp car ownership anytime soon despite Uber’s ambitions to make it so.... Read More »

Mazda quarterly profits fall on currency losses while sales rise

6:41 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2015

Profits fell at Mazda in the January-March quarter, undercut by higher outlays for marketing and factory startups and foreign exchange losses, despite rising sales.... Read More »

Toyota makes noise with Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

10:18 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2015

For all its silence, Toyota's Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle actually can be pretty noisy. Ironically, that is because the car is propelled by a whispering electric motor that allows the driver to pick up sounds that might otherwise be droned out. And the distinct whirring and intermittent clicking are unique to its hydrogen drivetrain.... Read More »

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