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BLOG: James B. Treece
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Don’t feel sorry for Group 1 Automotive. They’re doing just fine, thank you. More than fine, in fact.
From the outside, one might assume Houston’s Group 1 would be hurting.
The nation’s third-largest dealership group gets 48 percent of its U.S. new car and truck sales in Texas -- with 20 percent in the Houston area alone -- and another 9 percent i ... Continue reading "Group 1 makes terrific lemonade" » Jul 23, 2015 1:03 pm U.S. ET Permalink
My colleague, Philip Nussel, in a blog posted Thursday, draws parallels between the tale of Julie Hamp’s run-in with Japanese law and the price-fixing scandal that has embroiled a number of Japanese auto suppliers.
I’d like to offer a seemingly more far-fetched comparison: to the 2006 case where Toyota’s top-ranking Japanese executive in the U.S. was acc ... Continue reading "Lessons for Americans from Hamp's case" » Jul 10, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET Permalink
In case you missed it, this week brought more reminders that the used-car market is in flux.
First, there was an article on Monday in Crain’s Chicago Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, about yet another online startup seeking to help dealers find specific used vehicles. “A new model for used cars” proclaimed the headline.
Next was a Bloomberg ar ... Continue reading "Startups just keep coming in the used-car market" » Jul 9, 2015 7:14 am U.S. ET Permalink
Credit unions as a group, largely working through Credit Union Direct’s CUDL platform, are poised to become the largest single lender to auto buyers -- eventually. Here’s how.
First, a disclaimer. I moderated a panel of dealers at a conference in May sponsored by Credit Union Direct. Hearing four dealer panelists and a roomful of credit union representatives t ... Continue reading "How credit unions, as a group, will become the largest auto lender" » Jun 3, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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 Permalink
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’ ...