Dealer Groups and Dealerships

Lithia Q4 net income jumps 50% as it makes acquisitions top priority

9:38 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Strong sales across all divisions and the integration of its purchase last year of DCH Auto Group pushed Lithia Motors' net income up 50 percent during the fourth quarter.... Read More »

 

Sonic is most-improved in Q4 F&I revenue

11:22 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Sonic Automotive Inc. posted the biggest increase in average F&I revenue per vehicle in the fourth quarter among the six public new-car retail groups, the tallies, completed today, show. “Our experienced guys are delivering an industry leading transparent process in which they handle the appraisal, the F&I process, and the guests love it,” said Jeff Dyke, Sonic’s executive vice president of operations, during a conference call on Tuesday.... Read More »

 

Reports of growing auto loan delinquencies are overblown, credit bureaus say

10:39 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Despite media notions that U.S. auto loan delinquencies are accelerating, they are in fact trending flat, credit reporting bureaus Equifax and Experian Automotive said last week.
... Read More »

 

Group 1 director resigns citing Buffett-Van Tuyl deal

5:27 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Group 1 Automotive board member Beryl Raff has resigned, citing a potential conflict of interest related to her employer, Berkshire Hathaway, and its pending purchase of the Van Tuyl dealership group. Raff gave up her seat on Feb. 20, Group 1 said in an SEC filing.... Read More »

 

Sonic reports progress toward 45-minute transaction goal

9:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Sonic Automotive said today its new One Sonic-One Experience program to speed up transactions is making progress toward hitting its goal of cutting closing times to 45 minutes on average.... Read More »

 

Dealertrack reports revenue gains for Q4, all of 2014

12:02 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Dealertrack Technologies, which supplies a wide variety of auto dealership retail software and services, said it posted revenue gains across the board during the fourth quarter of 2014 -- including organic growth of more than 20 percent.... Read More »

 

ADESA bows out of multiple platform auction sales

7:52 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
After investing nearly two years and “several million dollars” to help create online auction selling across multiple platforms, ADESA is bowing out, said Peter Kelly, president of ADESA's corporate sibling in charge of digital services.... Read More »

 

TrueCar's new pitch: Factory coupons for shoppers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
TrueCar Inc. spent the past two years rebuilding relations with dealers. Now the vehicle-shopping site is turning its attention to automakers to boost sales. TrueCar is forming a council of manufacturer executives, similar to its dealer council, to advance its Live Prospect product, TrueCar President John Krafcik said.... Read More »

 

Porsche dealers eager to upgrade

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
About 150 of the 189 U.S. Porsche dealerships are renovating or expanding as the brand's sales have soared. Porsche Cars North America wants additional showroom and service space from dealers to accommodate the growing number of nameplates in its lineup and the additional vehicles on the road.... Read More »

 

Porsche may close a few U.S. dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
A handful of U.S. markets still have too many Porsche dealerships, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence said, and the company may use its right of first refusal to close stores. But given Porsche's sales growth and the valuations of its dealerships, consolidation in those markets will be difficult.... Read More »

 

Lithia launches pay plan to retain top store managers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Lithia Motors Inc. has started a new program that identifies top managers and gives them increased stock ownership in lieu of cash. The goal is to retain top talent and improve store performance, says Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer.... Read More »

 

Salvage auction does a bang-up business

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Salvage auto-auction company Insurance Auto Auctions Inc., sibling to auction giant ADESA, has been on a growth spurt since December 2013. In that time, it has opened, acquired, reopened, moved or expanded sites in 13 markets. The moves were necessary to meet the demand of quickly disposing of wrecked vehicles, says CEO John Kett.... Read More »

 

TrueCar to stress mobile shopping as revenue surges

7:51 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2015
TrueCar is rebuilding its computer interface around mobile car-shopping to seize on a pronounced trend in its traffic volume, CEO Scott Painter said. In January for the first time, 50 percent of shoppers on TrueCar’s website got there via a mobile device, Painter said; that figure is expected to grow to 90 percent in 18 months.... Read More »

 

Q&A

JM&A is in growth mode

11:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 18, 2015
F&I product vendor JM&A Group sold a record 3.2 million contracts in 2014. That was up from 3 million contracts in 2013 and 2.5 million in 2012. And the company is looking for about 6 percent growth in 2015, President Forrest Heathcott says.... Read More »

 

Lithia, DCH build on the other's strengths

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
Just over four months after Lithia Motors closed on its deal to buy DCH Auto Group's 27 dealerships, the two groups are busy sharing best practices and instituting a new culture at DCH.... Read More »

 

Hyundai, VW add dealer website options

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015
Dealerships of Hyundai Motor America and Volkswagen of America have new choices for vendors to host their websites.... Read More »

 

Public retailers make F&I per-vehicle gains; Group 1 breaks $1,500

11:30 am U.S. ET | Feb. 11, 2015
Four public new-car retailers posted higher F&I revenue per vehicle retailed in the fourth quarter, and three hit all-time highs. Group 1 Automotive's U.S. operations led the way, hitting a record $1,521 for the quarter, up 7 percent from the year-earlier period. Group 1, AutoNation and Asbury -- consistently the highest in F&I revenue per vehicle among the six public new-car retailers -- have gained about $100 per vehicle every year since 2010.... Read More »

 

AutoNation promotes 2 executives

2:53 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
AutoNation is expanding roles for two executives and increasing the number of executives who report directly to CEO Mike Jackson.... Read More »

 

Public dealerships keep buying despite rising prices for stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
Despite an influx of outside investors in auto retailing, leaders of several public dealership groups said they're still scouting for deals without worry that pricing on acquisitions will soar out of reach.... Read More »

 

Trouble in the oil patch? Group 1 says it's ready

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
Houston's Group 1 Automotive hasn't seen sales soften yet in the oil patch because of the drop in energy prices. But the nation's third-largest auto retailer is bracing for a drop.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Victory Automotive plants seeds in the classroom

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
Rodger Olson, COO of Victory Automotive Group in suburban Detroit, makes no apologies for being a retail geek as he lectures undergraduate students in his class on retail sales at the University of Michigan. Whether it's comparing the franchise models of Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's or measuring the success of 7-Eleven convenience stores' rollout in Taiwan, Olson can speak with the authority of someone deeply immersed in his chosen subject.... Read More »

 

AutoNation Q4 profit boosted by gains across board

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
Strong year-end vehicle sales and improvements in all business categories pushed AutoNation Inc. to 12 percent gains in revenue and operating income in the fourth quarter from year-earlier levels. The retailer's net income rose at a slightly slower pace of 7 percent.... Read More »

 

EMOTIONAL DRIVER

TrueCar pitches joy, not price, in Owen Wilson campaign

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
TrueCar, the online car-buying service that has struggled to find its marketing voice, is pitching the joy of vehicle ownership rather than price in a new campaign. The campaign has a new pitchman: actor Owen Wilson, who is familiar to TrueCar's target audience: millennial parents who are moving up in their careers and starting families, said Lucas Donat, TrueCar chief marketing officer.... Read More »

 

For Q auto, expansion to follow profit

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015
Asbury Automotive Inc. has put opening more Q auto used-vehicle stores on hold this year while it works to turn a profit at its three existing stores.... Read More »

 

Group 1's adjusted Q4 net hits record; GAAP operating profits, net fall

8:56 am U.S. ET | Feb. 5, 2015
Group 1's fourth-quarter adjusted net income rose 41 percent to a record $41 million, on an 11 percent rise in revenue, the nation's third-largest auto retailer said today.... Read More »

 

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