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BLOG: James B. Treece
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 5
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Posted 1:20 pm U.S. ET, March 28
| James B. Treece is retail news editor for
The next time you’re in an Apple store, try this.
When one of the product geniuses who work there approaches you, ask him or her, “So, how much below list price are you offering this iPhone 5 for this month?”
The answer will tell you why I roll my eyes at the suggestion that Tesla’s fight against the franchised dealer system is all about aiding co ... Continue reading "If you like paying MSRP, then Tesla/Apple is for you " » Apr 2, 2014 4:44 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
A small group of Florida dealers gathered last week at a Fort Lauderdale hotel to share best practices.
Automotive News hosted the roundtable in conjunction with Ally Auto. The group swapped best-practices ideas and then talked about some of the challenges auto retailers will face over the next decade and how they might turn those challenges into opportunities.
The sessi ... Continue reading "What's on dealers' minds -- and what's not" » Mar 28, 2014 1:20 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
There’s a lot not to like about a new study on discrimination in car loans. But there also are a few nuggets in it that indicate problems in the F&I office.The study is titled “Non-Negotiable: Negotiation Doesn’t Help African Americans and Latinos on Dealer-Financed Car Loans” and was conducted by the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending in ... Continue reading "Flawed study has lessons for F&I managers" » Feb 5, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW ORLEANS -- A few booths at NADA are hopping. Others are nearly empty. The majority have a good number of representatives of that company speaking with a smaller number of dealers and dealership managers who have stopped by.What makes certain exhibits stand out?Hands-on involvement.The exhibition floor has a large number of booths devoted to computer services, whether D ... Continue reading "Test drives beat walk-arounds" » Jan 26, 2014 10:21 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW ORLEANS -- 2014 will be a good year for the industry. But what about 2016?The following draws from speeches at the American Financial Services Association conference, which precedes the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here.Imagine Mae. In March 2013, she traded in a six-year-old car for a three-year-old one. By mid-2016, she's looking to replace it. ... Continue reading "What happens in 2016 if interest rates rise?" » Jan 24, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW ORLEANS -- News of dealer Ron Tonkin's passing took me back to an NADA convention in New Orleans exactly 25 years ago.It was only my second time at NADA's wingding, and what an extravaganza it was!In New Orleans in 1989, Tonkin accepted his election as NADA president with a stem-winder of a speech vowing to stand up to the factories on behalf of dealers. He compared hi ... Continue reading "Ron Tonkin and memories of the 1989 NADA convention" » Jan 23, 2014 9:40 am U.S. ET Post Comment
DETROIT -- Keep your eyes on the mid-sized car segment.That was one of the messages from Kelley Blue Book's briefing for reporters today ahead of the Detroit auto show.Kelley Blue Book predicts new light-vehicle sales in 2014 will rise 5 percent to 16.3 million -- if the industry stays disciplined. That means keeping production in line with demand. Not overproducing. Not t ... Continue reading "Will incentive discipline hold? Watch the mid-sized car segment" » Jan 12, 2014 8:45 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Here’s a good reason for your customers to buy extended service contracts: to avoid hikes in their regular auto insurance.We all know that, but here’s additional evidence to cite.Drivers pay an average of 38 percent more for car insurance after making a single claim, a new study by insuranceQuotes.com found. The size of the premium hike varies by state, with Ma ... Continue reading "To sell service plans, remind customers about insurance hikes" » Dec 18, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
TOKYO -- The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show has been an unprecedented love fest.On Tuesday, the afternoon before the first press day, the bosses of each member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association stood shoulder to shoulder on the same stage, as the sound of a revving engine from each of their lineups roared in turn.It was an unusual show of solidarity. And it wasn't t ... Continue reading "Japanese auto industry leaders stand strong as survivors" » Nov 24, 2013 8:15 am U.S. ET Post Comment
TOKYO -- In theory, the Honda S660 and Daihatsu Kopen should compete head to head.In fact, it's more like head to navel.Both cars, shown at the Tokyo Motor Show, are designed to be sporty convertibles within the heavily regulated rules of Japan's minicar segment. That means engines no larger than 660cc and specific limits on length, width and so on.Daihatsu decided sporty ... Continue reading "Honda S660 vs. Daihatsu Kopen? No contest" » Nov 22, 2013 10:53 am U.S. ET Post Comment
On average, the industry is doing a mediocre job of selling F&I products.That's my conclusion, based on Power Information Network numbers on penetration rates for F&I products, plus some insight from Tony Dupaquier, trainer extraordinaire at American Financial & Automotive Services.First, the numbers. PIN data show that an F&I product was sold to 40 percent ... Continue reading "Numbers suggest mediocre F&I performance" » Oct 2, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
LAS VEGAS -- Several panelists here at last week’s Industry Summit, an annual F&I conference, endorsed videotaping all F&I presentations. Some cited it as a means of monitoring whether F&I managers presented all products to all customers while others said videos helped in training.F&I managers might be uncomfortable with those reasons. After all, moni ...