Dealer Groups and Dealerships

AutoNation's March sales rise 5 percent

3:54 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2015

AutoNation today said its new-vehicle retail sales rose 5 percent in March from a year earlier to 30,107 units. On a same-store basis, new retail sales rose 3 percent.... Read More »

IHS buys digital car-shopping behavior tracker Dataium

5:19 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2015

Data and consulting powerhouse IHS Inc. has purchased the assets of Dataium, a small company that can see shopping behavior on dealer and carmaker websites to direct and measure the performance of ad and marketing campaigns.... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway Automotive targets growth, possibly abroad

3:00 pm U.S. ET | March 31, 2015

Berkshire Hathaway Automotive already is on the prowl to acquire more dealerships. And, top executives hinted today, that might include looking outside the US. Berkshire Hathaway closed on its purchase of Van Tuyl Group on March 9... Read More »

Ex-dealership staffers face prison

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Several former sales staffers at a Birmingham, Ala., Nissan store face federal prison time as part of a federal crackdown on fraudulent practices in car dealerships.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The top 10: Where the action isn't

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Your roundup of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S. was invaluable, and I don't doubt consolidation among dealerships is moving ahead.... Read More »

Sonic to expand initiative piece by piece

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Sonic Automotive Inc.'s rollout of its customer experience initiative to stores in the Charlotte, N.C., area came slower than expected, in part due to a malfunctioning website. But One Sonic-One Experience is now live at all five Sonic stores in that pilot market, and market share against local same-brand dealerships is rising at three of them.... Read More »

Leases to get more expensive, ALG says

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 28, 2015

Low-cost monthly auto leases will become more expensive over the next couple of years, predicts ALG President Larry Dominique. That's because the supply of used light vehicles -- especially those 3 to 5 years old -- returning to the market will rise significantly, lowering used-vehicle prices and residual values to prerecession levels.... Read More »

Manheim invests in vehicle inspection company

3:17 pm U.S. ET | March 27, 2015

Manheim invested in Alliance Inspection Management, a vehicle inspection and software company, and the two companies have formed a “strategic alliance” to develop inspection technologies that will lead to a more consistent inspection process.... Read More »

AutoNation, analytics company Zubie join to monitor cars' service needs

3:38 pm U.S. ET | March 27, 2015

Some AutoNation dealerships' service advisers will know which vehicles need fixing before they even talk to the driver, thanks to a new partnership with vehicle analytics company Zubie.... Read More »

Aston Martin claims Henrik Fisker's Thunderbolt is unauthorized copy

8:59 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2015

Aston Martin said Henrik Fisker’s “Thunderbolt” prototype for a $400,000 GT coupe is an unauthorized copy of its iconic sports cars featured in James Bond movies for 50 years.... Read More »

Giant Miller group reshuffles for the buy-sell bonanza

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

A drastic restructuring at the nation's fourth largest private dealership group is the latest sign of changing times in the auto retail business. Eager to expand, the giant Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. last week positioned itself for a new era in which private equity and other nontraditional buyers are coming on fast.... Read More »

Penske tests Texas store's staffing program

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Penske Automotive Group has been so impressed with a program started at its Toyota store in Round Rock, Texas, aimed at converting Internet leads into appointments and, ultimately, sales, that it is taking the idea to other dealerships in Texas.... Read More »

A long drive: 100-year-old still selling Chevys

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Derrell Alexander has lived a century, and for most of that time, he's been on the showroom floor. The Wyoming car salesman celebrated his 100th birthday on March 17. Despite his age, "like clockwork," he reports for work at White's Mountain Motors in Casper at 8 a.m. sharp and leaves at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.... Read More »

BMW wants 1,000 Geniuses in coming years

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

To date, BMW stores have a total of 500 product Geniuses -- customer advisers who explain features and do vehicle deliveries but don't sell cars. Peter Miles, vice president of sales channel development and customer relations, expects that number to grow to 750 by the end of the year and to 1,000 in coming years.... Read More »

Toronto dealers recruit staff by listing jobs, cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

Attacking a problem that plagues all dealerships, new-vehicle dealers in Ontario have launched a multipronged campaign to get more high school and college students to consider careers in auto retailing. Their latest effort: a website that combines the dealers' inventory listings with job listings.... Read More »

Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller resigns

5:51 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Greg Miller, CEO of Utah's Larry H. Miller Group, is stepping down as the nation's 11th largest dealership group restructures. Miller, 48, is leaving to pursue personal interests, the company said. He has served as CEO for seven years.... Read More »

Penske launches digital sales pilot

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Penske Automotive Group is launching an online sales pilot program it calls "Preferred Purchase," which enables customers to handle much of a transaction online. The pilot this week will be available on the websites of five Florida stores and six Washington-area stores.... Read More »

Asbury plans to hire 200-400 technicians

11:04 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Asbury Automotive Group says it will hire between 200 and 400 technicians during the next one to two years in a bid to meet potential growth opportunities in its parts-and-service business.... Read More »

Buy-sell deals, blue sky soar

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Buy-sell transactions surged last year, sending dealership values higher, especially for luxury brands.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

An obsession with 3rd-party schemes

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

TrueCar is just another example of the opportunistic scheme of a vendor (albeit a very smart one) to leave the industry in a no-win predicament through its own sense of misplaced trust.... Read More »

Where America met the Beetles

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2015

New Milford Volkswagen, one of America's earliest VW dealerships, is closing its doors in April, after nearly 65 years of operation at the site of a former Amoco station in rural western Connecticut.... Read More »

AutoTrader is changing name, brand identity

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2015

AutoTrader is changing its name and logo as part of operational moves aimed at rebranding itself as a broad-line digital marketing company, rather than primarily a vehicle inventory listing site.... Read More »

AutoNation drops chief accounting officer

12:40 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2015

AutoNation is searching for a new chief accounting officer after removing Michael Stephan from the post this week. The change is connected to “an internal realignment of its finance department,” AutoNation says..... Read More »

TrueCar blasts dealers' suit over advertising claims as 'meritless'

11:27 am U.S. ET | March 11, 2015

TrueCar blasted a lawsuit filed this week by dealers over its advertising claims as “meritless.” In a detailed statement released late Tuesday, the vehicle-shopping site says it has “high confidence that we are compliant with all laws applicable to our business, including those referenced in this litigation.”... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway completes Van Tuyl acquisition

10:51 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2015

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway completed its purchase of the Van Tuyl Group, the largest dealership acquisition in industry history. All aspects of the sale were finalized Monday. The new Berkshire Hathaway Automotive now is the fifth-largest dealership group in the US.... Read More »

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