BLOG: James B. Treece

If you like paying MSRP, then Tesla/Apple is for you

Posted 4:44 pm U.S. ET, April 2
blogs James B. Treece is retail news editor for Automotive News.
 
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
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What's on dealers' minds -- and what's not

Posted 1:20 pm U.S. ET, March 28
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
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Flawed study has lessons for F&I managers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 5
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
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Test drives beat walk-arounds

Posted 10:21 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 26
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
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What happens in 2016 if interest rates rise?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 24
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
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Ron Tonkin and memories of the 1989 NADA convention

Posted 9:40 am U.S. ET, Jan. 23
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
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Will incentive discipline hold? Watch the mid-sized car segment

Posted 8:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
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
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To sell service plans, remind customers about insurance hikes

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 18
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
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Japanese auto industry leaders stand strong as survivors

Posted 8:15 am U.S. ET, Nov. 24
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
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Honda S660 vs. Daihatsu Kopen? No contest

Posted 10:53 am U.S. ET, Nov. 22
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
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Numbers suggest mediocre F&I performance

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 2
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
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A video can be your best F&I defense

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 25
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 ...
     Continue reading "A video can be your best F&I defense" » Sep 25, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Auction group's new president reflects the rank and file

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 2
The leadership of an association should reflect that group's members.That's why it is appropriate that Jack Neshe will take over as president of the National Auto Auction Association on Tuesday, Sept. 3.Consider the National Automobile Dealers Association. The NADA chairmanship seems to swing between dealers who run large dealership groups and those who run one- or two-sto ...
     Continue reading "Auction group's new president reflects the rank and file" » Sep 2, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Getting to yes on a lease

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 14
In the F&I office, it's all about getting the customer to say yes and sign.Ideally, that's for a well-structured loan with other F&I products as well. But sometimes it means getting the customer to say yes to a lease.A lease doesn't have the profit potential of a loan. But cash sales hold even less profit potential. If a cash customer can be persuaded to switch to ...
     Continue reading "Getting to yes on a lease" » Aug 14, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Who do you want on your resume: Tesla or Chrysler?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 29
Here's further proof that Tesla Motors is the hottest U.S. automaker right now: It has moved up in the resume rankings.This week, EcoDual Inc., a maker of dual-fuel, natural-gas systems for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks, named a new CEO. Here's the headline on their press release:"EcoDual announces former Tesla, Chrysler executive as President and CEO."Check out the order on t ...
     Continue reading "Who do you want on your resume: Tesla or Chrysler?" » Jun 29, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Europe is a proving ground for rising star executives

Posted 3:33 pm U.S. ET, June 14
"It's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel."That quote, from Chrysler's "Made in Detroit" commercial, certainly applies to automotive executives. Consider this year's list of Europe's Rising Stars -- executives who have a minimum of 10 years of work experience, multiple language skills and are 45 years old or younger -- as chosen by Automotive News Europe. They we ...
     Continue reading "Why Europe is a proving ground for rising star executives" » Jun 14, 2013 3:33 pm U.S. ET
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Is Akio Toyoda cut from the Steve Jobs mold?

Posted 12:48 pm U.S. ET, May 8
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda wants to take personal responsibility for injecting design and performance pizazz into the Lexus brand.In essence, Toyoda is setting out to be the automaker's equivalent of the late Steve Jobs, the legendary boss of Apple.An excellent story in this week's Automotive News, by Asia Editor Hans Greimel, lays out how Toyota's boss is ge ...
     Continue reading "Is Akio Toyoda cut from the Steve Jobs mold?" » May 8, 2013 12:48 pm U.S. ET
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