Dealers

Tesla blasts Michigan bill as 'raw deal'

2:31 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 17, 2014
Tesla says it's getting a “raw deal” in Michigan and is speaking out on a bill that would block its direct-sales model in the state -- and prevent it from operating a gallery. The bill cleared Michigan's legislative chambers October 2 and is awaiting the signature of Governor Rick Snyder.... Read More »

 

Chrysler recalls more than 900,000 vehicles for fire risk

7:59 am U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
Chrysler Group is recalling more than 900,000 vehicles worldwide for potential safety problems that could cause fires. One recall covers some 470,000 cars and SUVs from model years 2011-14 and equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and 160 amp alternator, which may fail, possibly causing a stall or fire. A second recall covers 437,000 Jeep Wranglers -- water in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector could cause an electrical short.... Read More »

 

Anti-Tesla bill reaches Michigan governor's desk

12:50 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Legislation that would prevent Tesla Motors from directly selling its EV lineup in Michigan has cleared the state's legislative chambers and is awaiting the signature of Republican Governor Rick Snyder. The deadline to sign the bill is October 21.... Read More »

 

Lithia expects flat per-unit F&I revenue through 2015

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Lithia Motors expects average F&I revenue per vehicle retailed to stay flat through the rest of 2014 and 2015, at the current level of about $1,200 on a same-store basis. The retailer expects same-store average F&I revenue per unit of $1,202 in the third quarter.... Read More »

 

RICHARD JOHNSON

The joy of being a Jeep dealer in 2014

3:35 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Holy Toledo, what's it like to be a Jeep dealer in 2014? Andy Shaver, president of the Shaver Group, just smiles when I ask. A smile that says: "Awesome and then some."... Read More »

 

TrueCar offers upfront pricing on document fees, dealer-added accessories

11:46 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
TrueCar, bidding to increase transparency of vehicle transaction costs, said its 9,000 dealer franchisees agreed to reveal all vehicle accessory and nongovernmental document fees when guaranteeing prices to TrueCar shoppers... Read More »

 

Wells Fargo, Chase boost auto lending

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Wells Fargo expects to keep its position as the No. 1 U.S. auto lender by volume as auto lenders report third-quarter results.... Read More »

 

CFPB faces legal hurdle in regulating F&I products

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
It’s clear the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would like to increase regulation of what it calls “add-on” F&I products such as extended-service contracts and GAP. But it’s less clear whether the bureau can find the legal grounds to do it, a former CFPB official says.... Read More »

 

Colorado Ford, Subaru dealer Carlson in line to become '16 NADA chairman

4:03 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 14, 2014
The National Automobile Dealers Association chose Colorado dealer Jeff Carlson as its next vice chairman, putting him in line to become chairman after Bill Fox of New York, who -- as expected -- will be NADA's 2015 chairman.... Read More »

 

DAVID BARKHOLZ

Why Dale Pollak recommends a call center that employs blind workers

6:42 am U.S. ET | Oct. 14, 2014
Near the end of a conference in Chicago, vAuto founder Dale Pollak made a very personal appeal to the 170 hand-picked dealers present. Please consider, Pollak said, signing up for call center services from a nonprofit in Florida that employs blind and visually impaired people to handle calls for private companies.... Read More »

 

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 »

 

Special Report
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
» Watch the Video
     
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