Dealers

How to navigate the incentives maze

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
From cash rebates to discount financing to lease subvention deals, complex automaker incentive programs keep dealership F&I departments constantly on their toes to find car buyers the best deals. That vigilance is poised to become even more critical as manufacturers beef up offerings. The stakes for dealerships are high.... Read More »

 

Hyundai makes diversity key part of business plan

6:55 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Under CEO Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America has made diversity a key objective of the company's business plans with clear-cut goals in areas such as hiring, the automaker's retail network, suppliers, marketing and advertising. Employees in every department are held accountable for meeting the objectives.... Read More »

 

Lithia predicts Q3 net income gain despite lower used-car profits

2:19 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Lithia Motors expects to report a gain in third-quarter unadjusted net income, boosted by improved new-vehicle sales, service and parts business and F&I revenue, it said in a statement today. But Lithia said its third-quarter operating income was mitigated in part due to narrowing used-car profit margins because of a dip in used-car values.... Read More »

 

How dealers can block automakers' right of first refusal

3:32 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
With automakers increasing their use of right of first refusal in buy-sell deals, some dealers want to structure transactions to effectively block its use. But they must be watchful about how they do it, dealership buy-sell advisers and dealer lawyers say.... Read More »

 

Exit strategy on Buffett deal? Not so fast, says Larry Van Tuyl

2:24 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Selling to a highly respected outside investor such as Warren Buffett may have been the ideal exit strategy for Van Tuyl Group -- and one of the few exit paths available to such a large automotive retailer these days, said some dealership buy-sell advisers. But Larry Van Tuyl doesn’t see it that way.... Read More »

 

What, me worry? Hendrick says deal-hungry Buffett won't keep him from buying

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Car dealer Rick Hendrick has a message for auto retailers looking to sell their family business: He's still buying.... Read More »

 

Dealership consolidation is coming -- but how fast and how much?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Dealership consolidation is expected to accelerate as Warren Buffett's entry into automotive retailing attracts more buyers, observers said.... Read More »

 

While you wait for service, make yourself at home

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Large, elaborate and packed with people -- that's what dealerships' service department waiting rooms are becoming, said Forrest McConnell, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, last week.... Read More »

 

LIKE OR DISLIKE?

Dealers split on value, effectiveness of Facebook advertising

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Fewer than 10 percent of the nation's 17,875 franchise dealers use Facebook advertising to any degree even though it's a fairly inexpensive way to get in front of shoppers. Ironically, automakers generally use Facebook heavily to build engagement with their brands.... Read More »

 

GM extends 'speak up' safety message to dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
General Motors' heightened focus on safety in the wake of its recall crisis is spilling over to its 4,300 dealerships. In a Sept. 30 memo, GM North America President Alan Batey asked dealers to reinforce to their staffs "a sense of safety ownership and responsibility," and told dealers to encourage staffers to "speak up" if they spot a potential problem.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Do-it-all dealer learns to delegate as business grows

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Through long hours and hands-on involvement in every corner of his business, Mike Wood has rapidly built a group of four dealerships in seven years. He has more growth plans. But first he says he is learning to master a new business skill: letting go.... Read More »

 

Texas dealer Sam Pack thins his vintage car collection

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2014
Sam Pack, a Dallas-area Ford dealer and antique car collector, will sell 132 of his 473 cherished vintage automobiles at an auction in Dallas on November 15.... Read More »

 

Maserati wants to add 20 U.S. rooftops by year end

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2014
The global head of Maserati wants the Italian luxury brand to add 20 dealerships in the United States by year end. Speaking to Automotive News at the Paris auto show, Harald Wester said the U.S. is Maserati's "most important market" to reach its ambitious global sales goals.... Read More »

 

Pickups defy fall in used-vehicle prices

1:59 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2014
In September, overall used-vehicle prices fell for the fifth month in a row, but prices of used pickups rose sharply. It’s all part of a healthy overall market, said Tom Webb, chief economist at auction giant Manheim.... Read More »

 

NADA economist doubts sales over 17 million will last

1:09 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2014
New light-vehicle sales will top 16 million units annually in the United States at least until 2018 but won't reach the heights some forecasters -- and automakers -- are anticipating, predicted Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association.... Read More »

 

DAVID BARKHOLZ

In Chicago, Cox execs hear dealers' concerns -- and praise

10:26 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 9, 2014
vAuto's Access: Velocity conference has been an eye-opening experience for the senior management of Cox Automotive -- formerly the AutoTrader Group -- as well as the dealers attending.... Read More »

 

How the energy boom has come to dealers

9:53 am U.S. ET | Oct. 9, 2014
Reporter Larry Vellequette talks about his upcoming feature in the Oct. 13 issue of Automotive News on how dealers deal with the surging sales – and challenges – in suddenly prosperous natural gas “fracking” areas.... Read More »

 

Dealers to face more lender scrutiny

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
Dealerships can expect more scrutiny from more lenders -- possibly including new attention aimed at leases -- when the “larger participants” rule proposed last month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is enacted, possibly by year end.... Read More »

 

Q&A

TD Auto Finance sheds stores, eschews subprime

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
TD Auto Finance has shed about 2,800 dealerships this year in its campaign to cut low-volume stores and concentrate on dealerships that send the most business. Many of the dealerships cut were independent, used-car stores.... Read More »

 

GM Financial has big role in GM master plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
GM Financial will have an oversized role in General Motors’ efforts to increase revenue, market share and customer loyalty in the U.S. and other mature markets through 2020, GM President Dan Ammann says. GM will rely more heavily on GM Financial in mature markets such as North America, Europe and Japan because it doesn’t expect much sales movement in those regions beyond cyclical ups and downs.... Read More »

 

Landers starts up another dealership group

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Longtime Arkansas dealer Steve Landers said he simply likes to build dealership groups.... Read More »

 

Dealerships learn how to handle calls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Phone calls into dealerships are soaring, and so is the need to reduce fumbled calls that are hurting sales and customer satisfaction.... Read More »

 

'THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING'

Buffett's Van Tuyl purchase puts top retailers in cross hairs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
When Warren Buffett signed a deal to buy Van Tuyl Group last week through his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. investment company, he clearly signaled that the top four dealership groups are in his sights. With Buffett at its helm, the country's fifth-biggest dealership group is about to get a lot bigger.... Read More »

 

BUFFETT | VAN TUYL DEAL

For Buffett, long drive to next Cadillac

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s purchase of the Van Tuyl Group means he probably won't be going back to Huber Cadillac, the Omaha, Neb., dealership where he bought a new XTS in May.... Read More »

 

BUFFETT-VAN TUYL DEAL

Reactions to Buffett-Van Tuyl deal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Some reaction of the Warren Buffett, Van Tuyl deal from dealership groups and buy-sell groups.... Read More »

 

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No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

Texas dealer Greg May encourages his staffers to provide input and solve problems on their own. Mon., October 20
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