Dealer Groups and Dealerships

Giant Miller group reshuffles for the buy-sell bonanza

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

A drastic restructuring at the nation's fourth largest private dealership group is the latest sign of changing times in the auto retail business. Eager to expand, the giant Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. last week positioned itself for a new era in which private equity and other nontraditional buyers are coming on fast.... Read More »

Penske tests Texas store's staffing program

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Penske Automotive Group has been so impressed with a program started at its Toyota store in Round Rock, Texas, aimed at converting Internet leads into appointments and, ultimately, sales, that it is taking the idea to other dealerships in Texas.... Read More »

A long drive: 100-year-old still selling Chevys

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Derrell Alexander has lived a century, and for most of that time, he's been on the showroom floor. The Wyoming car salesman celebrated his 100th birthday on March 17. Despite his age, "like clockwork," he reports for work at White's Mountain Motors in Casper at 8 a.m. sharp and leaves at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.... Read More »

BMW wants 1,000 Geniuses in coming years

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

To date, BMW stores have a total of 500 product Geniuses -- customer advisers who explain features and do vehicle deliveries but don't sell cars. Peter Miles, vice president of sales channel development and customer relations, expects that number to grow to 750 by the end of the year and to 1,000 in coming years.... Read More »

Toronto dealers recruit staff by listing jobs, cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

Attacking a problem that plagues all dealerships, new-vehicle dealers in Ontario have launched a multipronged campaign to get more high school and college students to consider careers in auto retailing. Their latest effort: a website that combines the dealers' inventory listings with job listings.... Read More »

Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller resigns

5:51 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Greg Miller, CEO of Utah's Larry H. Miller Group, is stepping down as the nation's 11th largest dealership group restructures. Miller, 48, is leaving to pursue personal interests, the company said. He has served as CEO for seven years.... Read More »

Penske launches digital sales pilot

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Penske Automotive Group is launching an online sales pilot program it calls "Preferred Purchase," which enables customers to handle much of a transaction online. The pilot this week will be available on the websites of five Florida stores and six Washington-area stores.... Read More »

Asbury plans to hire 200-400 technicians

11:04 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Asbury Automotive Group says it will hire between 200 and 400 technicians during the next one to two years in a bid to meet potential growth opportunities in its parts-and-service business.... Read More »

Buy-sell deals, blue sky soar

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Buy-sell transactions surged last year, sending dealership values higher, especially for luxury brands.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

An obsession with 3rd-party schemes

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

TrueCar is just another example of the opportunistic scheme of a vendor (albeit a very smart one) to leave the industry in a no-win predicament through its own sense of misplaced trust.... Read More »

Where America met the Beetles

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2015

New Milford Volkswagen, one of America's earliest VW dealerships, is closing its doors in April, after nearly 65 years of operation at the site of a former Amoco station in rural western Connecticut.... Read More »

AutoTrader is changing name, brand identity

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2015

AutoTrader is changing its name and logo as part of operational moves aimed at rebranding itself as a broad-line digital marketing company, rather than primarily a vehicle inventory listing site.... Read More »

AutoNation drops chief accounting officer

12:40 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2015

AutoNation is searching for a new chief accounting officer after removing Michael Stephan from the post this week. The change is connected to “an internal realignment of its finance department,” AutoNation says..... Read More »

TrueCar blasts dealers' suit over advertising claims as 'meritless'

11:27 am U.S. ET | March 11, 2015

TrueCar blasted a lawsuit filed this week by dealers over its advertising claims as “meritless.” In a detailed statement released late Tuesday, the vehicle-shopping site says it has “high confidence that we are compliant with all laws applicable to our business, including those referenced in this litigation.”... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway completes Van Tuyl acquisition

10:51 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2015

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway completed its purchase of the Van Tuyl Group, the largest dealership acquisition in industry history. All aspects of the sale were finalized Monday. The new Berkshire Hathaway Automotive now is the fifth-largest dealership group in the US.... Read More »

China may be biggest market, but U.S. still richest

11:21 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2015

China may be the world's biggest auto market, but the U.S. is still the richest when it comes to the value of new sales. According to a study by TrueCar, the total value of new-vehicle sales in the U.S. still exceeded the total value in China by as much as $161 billion last year.... Read More »

Open-air designs create F&I privacy puzzle

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Though walls and locked doors still are considered the sure-fire way to keep customer data safe today, manufacturers and some automotive retailers are exploring ways to move the finance and insurance part of the sales transaction outside the traditional F&I "box." It's a bit of a challenge.... Read More »

TrueCar sued by dealers for 'false advertising'

5:45 pm U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Dealers representing 117 new-car franchises are suing TrueCar for more than $250 million, claiming they are victims of false advertising and unfair competition. In the complaint, the dealers argue that TrueCar's advertisements falsely claim that consumers who use the vehicle-shopping site's services can buy a car without haggling or negotiations. The filing dealers are not current users of TrueCar, though some have used the service in the past.... Read More »

Hellcat demand is unleashed on eBay

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

A quick check of eBay confirms how strong demand is for the SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger.... Read More »

Auction changes meet hurdles as coalition breaks

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

For two years, the hottest topic in the auto-auction world has been multiplatform selling: A vehicle listed on one company's online auction would show up on rivals' platforms as well, allowing buyers to bid across those competing platforms until the sale is done. But that dream is now in danger.... Read More »

JAMES B. TREECE

Why GAAP and the bottom line matter

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, is how accountants keep score across highly different industries. By agreeing to tally the figures in a consistent way, accountants provide scorecards that investors can review with confidence. So I take note how often publicly traded dealership groups present their earnings on an "adjusted" basis rather than on a GAAP basis.... Read More »

Lithia refocuses on customer-pay work

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

A surge of warranty business largely accounted for Lithia Motors Inc.'s gain in service and parts revenue last year. That's prompting the group to urge store managers to emphasize winning more customer-pay work.... Read More »

Manheim offers a la carte services

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Manheim, the nation's largest auto auction company, is unbundling services that it had offered only on vehicles that dealers bought or sold through its auctions. The company will offer vehicle acquisition, inspection, reconditioning, transportation and other services a la carte.... Read More »

Loan amounts, payments reach new highs

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015

The average amount financed for a new vehicle reached a record $28,381 in the fourth quarter of 2014, Experian Automotive said today. That was an increase of $950, or 3.5 percent, from the year-earlier quarter and a rise of $582, or 2.1 percent, from the previous high of $27,799, set in the third quarter last year.... Read More »

AutoNation's 8% sales gain beats market for Feb.

11:14 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015

AutoNation said its new-vehicle retail sales jumped 8 percent in February compared to a year earlier, reaching 23,780 new units.... Read More »

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Tenure is measured in decades, not just years, at Jenkins & Wynne Ford, Lincoln, Honda in Clarksville, Tenn. Its full of workers who've spent 20, 30, even 50 years with the company. Mon., March 23
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