BLOG: James B. Treece

Care about new-car sales? Keep an eye on CPO sales

Posted 12:53 pm U.S. ET, March 30
blogs Jim Treece is retail editor for Automotive News.
 
Can the robust CPO market handle the rising tide of used-vehicle supply? That’s one of the critical questions facing everyone in the used-car market -- and the new-car market, too. For more than a year, Automotive News staff reporter Arlena Sawyers has monitored used-car prices closely, knowing that rising supply ultimately would push prices lower. (I’m Sawye ...
     Continue reading "Care about new-car sales? Keep an eye on CPO sales" » Mar 30, 2015 12:53 pm U.S. ET
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North of U.S. border, mixed blessings from oil's skid

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 14
TORONTO -- In the U.S., the drop in oil prices is seen as a boost for most of the economy, with some localized pain in the oil patch. Here in Canada, the view is reversed. The media drumbeat has been that resource-rich Canada is going to take a major hit from lower oil and gas receipts. The Toronto Stock Exchange index collapsed in September, when oil prices did, and aga ...
     Continue reading "North of U.S. border, mixed blessings from oil's skid" » Feb 14, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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In praise of consumer-focused auto shows

Posted 2:00 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 13
TORONTO -- The auto shows I’ve covered repeatedly for Automotive News are major global shows: Detroit, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai. I’ve also been to Chicago, New York, Geneva, Seoul and Frankfurt, but not often or recently enough to really know them. At these global shows, other reporters and I flock to global debuts and chances to interview the bosses of the ...
     Continue reading "In praise of consumer-focused auto shows" » Feb 13, 2015 2:00 pm U.S. ET
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In Canada, celebrating the classics

Posted 3:29 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 12
This week at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, an exhibit called “Art and the Automobile” includes a number of classics and historically significant concepts. Among them: A reconstructed version of Henry Seth Taylor’s 1867 Steam Buggy. Believed to be the oldest car in Canada, the Steam Buggy was designed and built by Taylor, a jeweler an ...
     Continue reading "In Canada, celebrating the classics" » Feb 12, 2015 3:29 pm U.S. ET
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Where are you spending your dollars on digital?

Posted 5:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- The impact of digital tools on dealerships’ marketing has grown exponentially. Those tools have been a hot topic at the last few NADA conventions. But it may be time for the focus to shift. “Digital marketing has left the building,” Scott Gruwell, general manager of Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix, told me on the sidelines of an automotive ...
     Continue reading "Where are you spending your dollars on digital?" » Jan 23, 2015 5:00 pm U.S. ET
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Building a new fortress to protect data

Posted 2:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- It may be too late to be paranoid. When it comes to protecting sensitive data against hackers, the days of building thick digital walls and moat are over, said Boulton Fernando, chief security officer at Toyota Financial Services. We should assume the hackers are already inside our preliminary defenses, he said. Now it’s about moving the crown jewe ...
     Continue reading "Building a new fortress to protect data" » Jan 23, 2015 2:00 pm U.S. ET
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Luddites? Really?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 22
Maybe you saw this: Four states received a “Luddite Award” from a Washington, D.C., think tank for laws preventing Tesla from opening its own stores. The four -- Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas -- collectively were one of 10 organizations or individuals that got the dubious award for having “done the most in 2014 to smash the engines of innovatio ...
     Continue reading "Luddites? Really?" » Jan 22, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Regulation vs. technology -- why are U.S. roads getting safer?

Posted 9:21 am U.S. ET, Dec. 20
Editor's note: An earlier version of this blog had an incorrect name reference to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Here’s some good news you didn’t read much about this year: U.S. roads are safer. The number of people who died in U.S. traffic crashes fell 3 percent in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday. The year’ ...
     Continue reading "Regulation vs. technology -- why are U.S. roads getting safer?" » Dec 20, 2014 9:21 am U.S. ET
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FTC finds fine print too fine, imposes fines

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 14
Here’s a tip for dealers: In your advertising, remember that Americans are getting older. And while smartphone screens are getting bigger, they’re still dinky compared to that big-screen TV on your wall. Think big print. On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission charged two auto dealership groups with violating earlier orders from the FTC to avoid misleading ad ...
     Continue reading "FTC finds fine print too fine, imposes fines" » Dec 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why the bid-rigging? Ask the automakers

Posted 12:29 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 26
Toyota Motor Corp. employees are taught to solve problems with the “Five Whys.” Ask why it happened, and why that happened, and so on until you get to the fundamental problem. If a part is faulty, why? If the machine that made it malfunctioned, why? If the machine hadn’t been maintained properly, why? And so on. Ask ‘Why’ five times, not jus ...
     Continue reading "Why the bid-rigging? Ask the automakers" » Nov 26, 2014 12:29 pm U.S. ET
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Ford's Odell: Sharp, talented and respectful

Posted 7:17 am U.S. ET, Nov. 10
As Jim Farley prepares to run Ford of Europe, staff in sales and marketing at the automaker’s headquarters in Dearborn are getting ready to greet current Europe boss Stephen Odell, who will replace Farley as global head of sales, service and marketing on Jan. 1. The change says a lot about Ford today. Farley is considered a marketing wunderkind. But I don’t t ...
     Continue reading "Ford's Odell: Sharp, talented and respectful" » Nov 10, 2014 7:17 am U.S. ET
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Art program could help shape auto industry's next creative minds

Posted 1:33 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 7
Thursday night, I went to a fundraiser, called #onthefridge, for Art Road. This group arranges supplies and teachers for art classes and programs for schoolchildren in Detroit and southeast Michigan. It does more than that, but that’s the core mission: Let kids have an art class. Too many schools across the U.S. have had to cut those classes. The event was hosted b ...
     Continue reading "Art program could help shape auto industry's next creative minds" » Nov 7, 2014 1:33 pm U.S. ET
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Why loan length doesn’t matter

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 22
Here’s another reason not to fret over longer loans: Their numbers are misleading. Consider these comments from Dave Mondragon, executive director of U.S. sales for Ford and Lincoln at Ford Motor Co. Speaking at Automotive News’ Best Dealerships To Work For event last week in Chicago, Mondragon noted that the most recent data show that 60 percent of all vehic ...
     Continue reading "Why loan length doesn’t matter" » Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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In praise of the Best Dealerships To Work For

Posted 3:07 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 17
Here’s why I love Automotive News’ annual special section and event to honor the Best Dealerships To Work For: We’re celebrating the good guys. These are the folks who give car dealers a good name. These are dealers who treat their people well. Call me naive, but I honestly believe that employees who are treated well are more likely to treat their custom ...
     Continue reading "In praise of the Best Dealerships To Work For" » Oct 17, 2014 3:07 pm U.S. ET
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How Jim Harbour and David Power improved the U.S. auto industry

Posted 6:39 am U.S. ET, Sept. 9
Jim Harbour, who died Saturday at age 86, was one of two men who dramatically improved the American auto industry at a time when Detroit was deeply in denial about how far short of world class it was. You won’t find two men more dissimilar in personality than Harbour and J. David Power III. But what they shared was an absolute insistence on data and facts. Power fa ...
     Continue reading "How Jim Harbour and David Power improved the U.S. auto industry" » Sep 9, 2014 6:39 am U.S. ET
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Searching far and wide for service techs

Posted 9:30 am U.S. ET, Aug. 20
How far is your dealership willing to go to get well-qualified service technicians? General Motors dealers in the Mideast went all the way to the Philippines. On Aug. 7, a group of technicians graduated from the GM Advanced Technician Training Center in a ceremony held at the Lourdes High School Complex in Angat, Bulacan, north of Manila. The center is sponsored by GM M ...
     Continue reading "Searching far and wide for service techs" » Aug 20, 2014 9:30 am U.S. ET
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Toyota, supporter of Korean culture

Posted 12:28 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 8
Would you do a double-take if Volvo were the sponsor of the Country Music Awards? How about if BMW were the primary sponsor, and the only automotive sponsor, of a museum exhibit of Japanese samurai swords? Or if Hyundai were the sponsor of a North American tour of Germany’s hottest electronic-music band? Some pairings just aren’t that intuitive. So how in th ...
     Continue reading "Toyota, supporter of Korean culture" » Aug 8, 2014 12:28 pm U.S. ET
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GM Financial subpoena shifts investigation away from dealers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 6
When dealers saw headlines saying the U.S. Department of Justice had subpoenaed General Motors Financial Co. last month to produce documents relating to its subprime auto loan contracts, they could be excused for worrying that this represented another threat to their arranging car loans for consumers. It appears there’s nothing to worry about on that front, at least ...
     Continue reading "GM Financial subpoena shifts investigation away from dealers" » Aug 6, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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GM, Manheim kiss and make up

Posted 3:15 pm U.S. ET, July 25
Editor's note:  Update deletes references to GM Financial and its relationship with Manheim. About four years after a spat strained their business relations, General Motors and auction company Manheim are starting to kiss and make up. The companies aren’t eager to discuss the origins of the dispute, but the result was a near-boycott of Manheim auctions by GM, ...
     Continue reading "GM, Manheim kiss and make up" » Jul 25, 2014 3:15 pm U.S. ET
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Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz is a pioneer. He and a handful of other employees moved to north Texas last September to help build the automaker's new U.S. headquarters.
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