Dealers

2015 WORLD CONGRESS

Panelists to focus on retail trends

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Three experts with rich backgrounds in auto retailing will discuss the convergence of trends and what they mean for the future during next month's Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.... Read More »

 

Ford deploys kiosks to push F-150

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
But even before the new Ford F-150s arrive in showrooms in large numbers, some dealerships can give shoppers a good look at the redesigned pickup truck with video kiosks.... Read More »

 

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Dealers featured this week include Willie Rickel and Dara Nielsen of Lee's Summit Mazda in Lee's Summit, Mo.... Read More »

 

Mazda executives zoom, zoom past dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Some car companies say thank you to their dealers with a trip to Hawaii. Racing-mad Mazda executives do it by challenging retailers on the track.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Urban-living trend a chance to branch out and up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
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 »

 

For Murphy, building up charity is the next move

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Mike Murphy's plan to embed his Volkswagen of Oakland dealership into a mixed-use development that includes housing may be one of his final acts in the car business. He is pivoting away from the car business and toward charity to honor his wife, Margot, who died in 2011 after a nine-year battle with breast cancer.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

FTC finds fine print too fine, imposes fines

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 14, 2014
Dealers should remember Americans are getting older. And while smartphone screens are getting bigger, they're still dinky compared to that big-screen TV on your wall. Think big print.... Read More »

 

GM dealers take on more loaners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 13, 2014
Dealers are seeing a huge expansion of General Motors' Courtesy Transportation Program, a bid to create better loyalty via the service lane and by getting more people to try vehicles.... Read More »

 

FTC launches second crackdown on auto dealer advertising

2:13 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission today charged two auto dealership groups with violating earlier orders from the FTC to avoid misleading advertising regarding payments and financing, such as improper use of fine print and failure to adequately disclose significant costs.... Read More »

 

GM offers fix on small-car ignitions to prevent stuck keys

6:15 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
General Motors is offering to repair customers' Chevrolet Cobalts and other older small cars to prevent keys from getting stuck in the ignition, but the company said it isn't issuing a recall because the problem doesn't pose a safety risk.... Read More »

 

Janet Barnard named president of Manheim North America

5:34 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
Manheim North America COO Janet Barnard has been named president of the auction company, effective immediately, the company's parent, Cox Automotive, said Thursday.... Read More »

 

DriveTime names Manheim, low-end vehicle auction as exclusive remarketers

4:07 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
DriveTime has named Manheim and Go Auto Exchange, an auction that specializes in dealer-to-dealer sales of low-end used vehicles, as its exclusive sales outlet for remarketing vehicles.... Read More »

 

JACLYN TROP

Why Honda is touting its new 'Green Dealer' guide

8:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
Honda is releasing its internal “Green Dealer” guide today to help automakers and other franchised businesses reduce their carbon footprints.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Who distorted what? Wording of CFPB statement will get its own investigation

11:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The ombudsman’s office for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would conduct an independent review into complaints that the CFPB’s press releases don’t match the consent orders they describe -- something auto finance insiders have complained about bitterly but privately, for fear of provoking the bureau.
... Read More »

 

Lenders dispute CFPB's proposed threshold for oversight

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in its effort to extend its jurisdiction over “nonbank” auto lenders such as captive and independent finance companies, is reaching for lenders that are too small, the American Financial Services Association said.... Read More »

 

JAMIE LaREAU

F&I jobs hold a powerful lure for women

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
It seems women are keen to work in the finance and insurance department. In fact, F&I has the highest percentage of women employees in a dealership, after the office/administration department.... Read More »

 

Faster is better in F&I, Power survey shows

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The latest J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study underscores how important it is to get customers in and out of the F&I office as quickly as possible.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Westlake aims for 20% growth in 2015

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
Westlake Financial Services, traditionally a subprime auto lender, has branched out into near-prime and prime-risk lending, plus commercial lending to dealerships. Last month, the privately held Los Angeles company said it was opening a sales office in Dallas to better serve the Midwest and Texas.... Read More »

 

Online F&I product sales a 'struggle'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Dealership staffers must either present F&I products to customers when they take delivery of their car or contact them later by phone, says Lou Bregou, a director of operations at Driver's Village. Selling F&I online is "an uphill struggle," he says. "We're not there yet."... Read More »

 

ONWARD ONLINE

After decades of store confinement, the F&I office is inching digital

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Lou Bregou, a director of operations at Driver's Village in Cicero, N.Y., says he has embraced putting financing tools on the dealership group's e-commerce website. Why not? The features that enable online car shoppers to get firm financing quotes, monthly payment calculations and trade-in values are helping the 16-dealership, 20-franchise group sell vehicles.... Read More »

 

Bergstrom on Buffett, Musk, life as dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
John Bergstrom once begged Roger Smith for a GM franchise. Today the head of Wisconsin's largest dealership group sits on the Green Bay Packer board and counts Warren Buffett as a friend. In this profile, Bergstrom, 67, tips his hat to those who taught him how to treat customers well and gives credit to Tesla's Elon Musk. He also shows healthy respect for a business that “will eat you up if you don't stay on top” of it.... Read More »

 

Finance managers found on showroom floor

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
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. Williamson told his sales manager in the spring that he was interested in moving to the finance and insurance department. In June and July, he went through Atlantic's F&I bullpen training classes.... Read More »

 

F&I, sales managers see paychecks converge

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
The days of fat paychecks for finance and insurance managers may be ending. Many F&I managers are earning compensation more in line with their dealership management peers, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study.... Read More »

 

High salesperson turnover getting worse, study finds

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
In 2013, the average dealership had a 66 percent turnover rate among sales consultants, up 4 percentage points from the previous year and well above the national average for the private sector of 42 percent, the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study found.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Creative pairing: 2 dealers innovate as partners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
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 »

 

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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