Dealer Groups and Dealerships

Penske Automotive eyes more growth overseas, retail truck stores

10:04 am U.S. ET | Oct. 29, 2014
Penske Automotive wants to grow by snapping up more car dealerships overseas and buying other businesses, such as heavy-duty retail truck stores. Penske said today it agreed to raise its stake in The Around The Clock Freightliner Group, a “heavy-duty retail truck dealership group” in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Penske said such businesses are attractive because they provide strong revenue with lower costs.... Read More »

 

Edmunds.com buys startup, plans to offer texting services to dealerships

12:09 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 29, 2014
Edmunds has purchased a startup texting technology company that it helped nurture. The acquisition will enable Edmunds dealership subscribers to offer texting services to mobile customers.... Read More »

 

Car dealer Lookers to beat expectations

Oct. 29, 2014 10:55 CET
Britain's fourth-largest car dealer group, Lookers, forecast better-than-expected 2014 results on Wednesday after seeing strong new car sales. Lookers said retail new car sales rose 12 percent in the first nine months of the year.... Read More »

 

AutoNation halts sales of used cars under Takata recalls

12:51 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 28, 2014
AutoNation has stopped selling used vehicles that are subject to the Takata airbag recalls and warnings. The action affects fewer than 400 cars, AutoNation said today.... Read More »

 

Q auto's sales strategy: 1 person, 1 price

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Casey Coffey said the goal at Q auto -- Asbury Automotive Group Inc.'s new line of used-only dealerships -- is to stock an array of quality used vehicles and make quick, no-hassle sales to consumers. To speed sales, Q auto's strategy calls for product specialists to handle deals from beginning to end.... Read More »

 

Edmunds YouTube flap underscores tension with 3rd-party sites

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Edmunds.com's YouTube ad campaign that spoofed price haggling at dealerships lasted just two days. The third-party vehicle shopping site, which dealers pay to find sales leads, pulled the videos on Thursday after an outcry from some dealers who found the ads offensive.... Read More »

 

Group 1 slows acquisitions

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Group 1 Automotive Inc., put off by high prices for dealerships and unacceptable returns, will slow its acquisition pace in the near term.... Read More »

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Fla. dealers are upfront on pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
TrueCar's new bid to increase "transparency" in vehicle purchases is, in my view, nothing more than a marketing scheme for the misinformed and, frankly, distorts the image of the franchise system that I work in and for.... Read More »

 

Asbury raises its acquisition goal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Asbury Automotive Group Inc.'s acquisition ambitions keep getting bigger. The nation's seventh-largest dealership group said that it now aims to buy stores that will add $500 million in annual revenue during the next 18 months.... Read More »

 

Rivals see Buffett as just another competitor

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 25, 2014
Warren Buffett's entry into automotive retailing may mean more overall competition for acquisitions, but public dealership groups expect no interruptions to their growth plans.... Read More »

 

Asbury names former Group 1, RML exec David Hult COO

10:50 am U.S. ET | Oct. 24, 2014
Former Group 1 and RML Automotive executive David Hult will become the next COO of Asbury Automotive Group Inc. as the public retailer expands a used-car store initiative and looks to grow through acquisitions.... Read More »

 

AutoNation signs on to sponsor college bowl game

5:16 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
AutoNation will become title sponsor of a new college football bowl game that will raise money for breast cancer research.... Read More »

 

Group 1 slows acquisition pace

1:03 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
Put off by high prices for dealerships and unacceptable returns, Group 1 Automotive will slow its acquisition pace in the near term, CEO Earl Hesterberg said today.... Read More »

 

Dealers fume over new Edmunds videos that spoof price haggling

4:18 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2014
New YouTube ads from Edmunds.com have provoked a backlash. Some dealers say the four videos perpetuate stereotypes of dealers as unscrupulous bargainers. Edmunds says the ads are simply spoofs intended to show that customers dislike haggling.... Read More »

 

Sonic learns the importance of paperwork, staffing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2014
In launching its One Sonic-One Experience initiative, Sonic Automotive had the technology, the store and the full attention of its top management committed to making it work. What it didn't have, in the finance and insurance office, were enough document specialists.... Read More »

 

Sonic pushes back rollout of customer-experience program

3:40 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Sonic Automotive will take at least six months longer than originally planned to roll its new customer experience program out to all of its dealerships.... Read More »

 

BILL LIA: Keep stores modern

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
"People keep asking us for our store designs," says Bill Lia, the 78-year-old CEO of Lia Auto Group in Albany, N.Y., which just finished building its 19th dealership. "We want to keep everything modern and up to date."... Read More »

 

CarMax's U-turn: A return to Web leads

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Used-car powerhouse CarMax has begun posting vehicle inventory again on AutoTrader.com and Cars.com after a 16-month hiatus. The shift underscores the challenge that new-car leader AutoNation faces in its effort to rely less on third-party lead sites.... Read More »

 

AutoNation won't up and quit 3rd parties

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Mike Maroone, COO of AutoNation Inc., said the dealership group intends to proceed cautiously in reducing its reliance on third-party online shopping sites.... Read More »

 

Bad feelings in Billings over deal veto

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
GM nixed the sale of a Chevrolet store in Montana to former NADA Chairman Bill Underriner. The tale behind that deal - what happened before and after -- shows how the right-of-first-refusal option can sour relations between dealers -- and between dealers and the factory.... Read More »

 

FIVE YEARS LATER

GM's loss, Hyundai's gain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Stores targeted for closure by one troubled brand were snapped up by a rising brand.... Read More »

 

JERRY VITZTHUM: Out, in and then back out again

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Ask former small-town car dealer Jerry Vitzthum whether the auto industry is better or worse today than it was before the national economic crisis, and he shrugs.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

In praise of the Best Dealerships To Work For

3:07 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 17, 2014
The stores honored this week as the Best Dealerships To Work For retain employees at a rate that puts the industry to shame.... Read More »

 

Wrestling with the workweek

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
At Planet Subaru in Hanover, Mass., everyone works fewer than 50 hours a week.
At Friendship Family of Dealerships in Bristol, Tenn., employees who sell 15 or more vehicles a month set their own schedules.
At Schumacher European, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Phoenix, sales staffers regularly get two days off in a row.... Read More »

 

Stores mix competitions and food to cook up camaraderie

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
In Amarillo, Texas, it's not unusual to see restaurant billboards advertising 72-ounce steak dinners. At AutoNation Chevrolet in Amarillo, the ribs or brisket portions may be smaller, but the grill is hardly dainty.... Read More »

 

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Track, tech events draw crowds to Hoffman stores

Track, tech events draw crowds to Hoffman stores

Hoffman Auto Group holds more than 100 elaborate events annually to attract and retain customers. Some buyers zip around a racetrack in Porsches at 130 mph. Mon., October 27
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