Mini dealers to keep popular customer satisfaction program; sales expected to return to '13 levels

2:30 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Mini told its US dealers Saturday that the brand will continue its popular “Motorer Obsession” program that reimburses dealers when they go above and beyond the call to exceed customer's expectations. Mini expects US sales this year to at least return to 2013 levels, when the brand sold 66,502 vehicles.... Read More »

 

Ford dealers want U.S. market share back

2:15 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Ford's new sales chiefs aim to recapture the 1 point of U.S. market share that the brand gave up in the past year. After launching 14 North American vehicles in 2014, the brand will begin realizing the benefits of those in the year ahead, said Stephen Odell, who took over this month as Ford's executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service.... Read More »

 

Kia recalls nearly 87,000 Forte sedans in U.S. due to fire risk

3:15 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Kia is recalling 86,880 Forte sedans in the US because a cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents filed by federal auto safety regulators.... Read More »

 

Sat. Newscast 2: Busting millennial 'myths'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Young people actually do want cars, MTV study finds; no 'subprime bubble,' lending expert says; advice for dealers: Reinvest.... Read More »

 

Subaru dealers seek more cars even as growth slows

1:30 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Subaru dealers told the factory they want more cars as the brand heads into what's promised to be another record year. Subaru executives told dealers US sales are expected to grow by 8 percent to 540,000 units in 2015 -- slower than last year's 21 percent increase.... Read More »

 

Hot Subaru sets its sights on the Sunbelt

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Subaru, gunning for a seventh straight year of record U.S. sales, hopes to get an additional boost by bringing its retail network in Sunbelt states in line with those of rivals.... Read More »

 

ADAM KRAUSHAAR, HYUNDAI NATIONAL DEALER COUNCIL

New product, new marketing are key for Hyundai

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
From 2008 to 2011, fresh-looking Hyundai sedans arrived in U.S. showrooms, and Hyundai dealers were able to seize on the competition's struggles. The brand's market share expanded from 3 percent to 5.1 percent. For 2014, the number was down to 4.4 percent -- chipped away by resurgent Detroit automakers and Japanese brands that have caught up with Hyundai's bold designs and spent freely on incentives. Hyundai dealers, once ecstatic, are now circumspect.... Read More »

 

DAN MARKS, LINCOLN NATIONAL DEALER COUNCIL

McConaughey spots, MKC fuel Lincoln optimism

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
2014 not only halted Lincoln's three-year streak of declining sales, it produced the brand's biggest year-over-year gain since 1997. Libertyville Lincoln owner Dan Marks, who became chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council in July, attributes that to two big reasons: the MKC and Matthew McConaughey.... Read More »

 

FOILING FRAUD

Phony deals cost dealers reputation, vehicles and lenders

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
For employees in a dealership's finance and insurance office, spotting a potentially fraudulent deal is top priority. A mistake not only can cost a dealership a vehicle, it can hurt the store's reputation and its relationships with lenders. It's a challenge for all dealership groups.... Read More »

 

Q&A WITH DAN FIELDS | PRESIDENT, FIELDS AUTO GROUP

Dealership group invests for 'nice, exciting, fun' stores

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Merit Earl Fields was sales manager at Cadillac before becoming a Cadillac dealer on Chicago's North Shore in 1971. After his son, John Fields, quit a career as a contract-law attorney to join the car business, the duo began adding franchises: BMW, Saab, American Motors and more.... Read More »

 

SERVICE MASTERS

Dealerships boost fixed-ops spending to fend off rivals, retain customers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Many dealerships are investing heavily in fixed operations. They are adding service bays, longer hours, dedicated express lanes and technology to boost efficiency. Dealers say the investments are justified by strong profits, a big pool of potential customers who defected to independent shops and national service chains, and opportunities to boost customer satisfaction.... Read More »

 

At Miami store, no more 'beat up' customers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
F&I managers at Dadeland Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Miami are responsible for the gross profits from both vehicle sales and F&I and handle vehicle purchase negotiations with customers as well as financing. They also get a cut of both to motivate them.... Read More »

 

Shops use standard inspections to help boost repair orders

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Over the past four years at Dublin Toyota in Dublin, Calif., the service department has increased its average customer-pay repair order by $105. Not through high-pressure selling or pushing unnecessary repairs onto customers, says Larry Tate, fixed operations director for the San Francisco Bay Area store, but through a better system of inspecting and tracking vehicles in for service.... Read More »

 

BOB ALVINE, SUBARU NATIONAL DEALER ADVISORY BOARD

Subaru dealers focus on serving all those customers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
It's a good time to be a Subaru dealer, says Bob Alvine, chairman of the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board. New-vehicle sales are strong; dealers' relationship with Subaru of America is good; and Subaru's parent, Fuji Heavy Industries, says it will expand capacity at its Indiana assembly plant to meet growing demand for Subaru vehicles.... Read More »

 

RYAN GREMORE, MITSUBISHI NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

Dealers: 'Product, product, product, we want product'

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
If anyone understands that it's darkest before the dawn, it's Mitsubishi dealers. After a harsh few years in which onlookers openly debated Mitsubishi's odds of survival in the U.S., the brand's dealers saw a crack of daylight in 2014, when Mitsubishi posted the strongest U.S. sales growth of any mass-market brand but Jeep and Ram.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Second-chance store lets staff shine

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
At AutoNation's Houston Mitsubishi store, General Manager Irfan Siddiqui has found top performers by hiring people who have struggled in their roles at other nearby AutoNation dealerships.... Read More »

 

Loan application blasts could be a blow to dealers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Technology makes it easy for finance and insurance managers to blast credit applications across a wide spectrum of lenders, called shotgunning, rather than matching the right consumer with the right lender. Some dealership groups and auto finance experts say shotgunning can harm a dealership's relationships with customers and lenders alike.... Read More »

 

JOHN IACONO, LEXUS NATIONAL DEALER ADVISORY COUNCIL

New products, strong margins delight Lexus dealers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Lexus expanded its lineup to 11 nameplates from nine last year with the new NX crossover, for which Lexus is targeting 40,000 sales in 2015, and the sporty RC coupe that's attracting new customers to the brand. Dealers will get a boost this year from a redesigned RX and an F performance version of the GS sedan.... Read More »

 

DON HOBDEN, KIA NATIONAL DEALER COUNCIL

Kia dealers prepare for an off-lease blitz in 2015

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Several years after Kia Motors America hit the gas on leasing to accelerate its growth, Kia dealers are readying their certified pre-owned programs for a wave of cars. Kia's lease penetration rose from 6 percent in 2010 to 19 percent by the end of 2013, meaning that a larger-than-usual number of off-lease vehicles will return to dealerships in 2015.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Urban-living trend a chance to branch out and up

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Few dealers would get far offering a $2,500-a-month lease. Not on a car, anyway. But outside San Francisco, where the booming technology sector has sent real-estate prices into the stratosphere, one Volkswagen dealer is betting that apartments are a different story.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Creative pairing: 2 dealers innovate as partners

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
After toiling to revitalize separate single-point dealerships in the Detroit area, two childhood friends merged and expanded operations to compete with larger groups. "It's not an acquisition, but a partnership," says Sam Slaughter. The distinction is key.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

A terrible wreck, but not a total loss

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Most dealerships send totaled cars straight to the junkyard. White Bear Mitsubishi put one on display, and it has been reaping the rewards ever since.... Read More »

 

Outsmart the fake pay stub

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Missing pay stubs are pitfalls for finance and insurance managers. Finance managers don't want to ask a potential customer to go home and get a couple of pay stubs to verify his or her income. That customer may not come back. Even worse is the customer with a fake pay stub.... Read More »

 

Finance managers found on showroom floor

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
After working as a sales representative for almost two years at Atlantic Hyundai in West Islip, N.Y., Russell Williamson was ready for more responsibility and the chance to earn more money. Enter Atlantic Auto Group's new bullpen training program to develop finance managers.... Read More »

 

F&I departments need a farm team

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
The term “succession planning” is usually applied to dealer principals, but it can apply to F&I managers, too. Executives at two dealerships say store managers should nurture their own talent pool, so they have a ready replacement if a top F&I producer quits.... Read More »

 

 
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Ryan Hunter-Reay races to Indy 500 winner’s circle

Ryan Hunter-Reay races to Indy 500 winner’s circle

BorgWarner’s video montage highlighting 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Thu., January 15
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