Dealers

Blue sky surges for German luxury brands

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

The values for German luxury brand dealerships in the United States are in the stratosphere, while some other brands are such poor prospects that the buy-sell market cannot even assign them a multiple. Those are some of the key findings in a just-released report put out by the advisory firm Haig Partners.... Read More »

Ford's stair-step workout for dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

As its U.S. market share slides, Ford Motor Co. has dug up one of the old-school, sales-boosting tricks it had seemingly buried: stair-step incentives. The move comes as other automakers swear off stair-steps and dealers criticize such a strategy as profit-eroding, confusing and ineffective long term.... Read More »

Toyota's Costa Rica retailer expands in U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Costa Rica's distributor of Toyota Group vehicles wants to own five to seven Toyota dealerships and "a couple" of Lexus stores in the U.S. within three years, its CEO said. Purdy Motor Group is not quite halfway to that goal.... Read More »

Tailor shopping to your customers, studies suggest

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

If auto dealers and manufacturers would give customers a better shopping experience, those customers would visit dealerships more often and even buy more vehicles, two new studies conclude.... Read More »

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Dealers featured this week include the Elhart family of Elhart GMC in Holland, Mich.; Gene Giacchino, co-owner of Honda Cars of Boston in Everett, Mass.; Mark Snethkamp, owner of Snethkamp Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Redford, Mich.; and the Gagne family of Gagne Ford in Princeton, Wis.... Read More »

Georgia dealership group sues Shelby American over sales leads

3:45 pm U.S. ET | April 10, 2015

Shelby American is being sued by a Georgia dealership group for violating a retail agreement designed to steer sales prospects to the brand’s authorized dealers.... Read More »

Dealership net margins hold steady despite higher costs

10:00 am U.S. ET | April 10, 2015

Total dealership expenses, including sharply bigger payrolls, rose 4.7 percent at the average U.S. dealership in 2014. But at the same time, increased new- and used-vehicle sales per dealership, as well as additional service business helped stabilize net pretax profit margins at 2.2 percent.... Read More »

Honda to drop Crosstour, move Accord hybrid output to Japan

4:00 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

Honda will stop producing the Crosstour, a slow-selling derivative of the Accord, after the 2015 model year as part of a broader move aimed at boosting truck-production capacity.... Read More »

JIM HENRY

BLOG: Lenders' outcry against CFPB 'narratives' is justified

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

It's no wonder auto lenders cried foul last month when the CFPB announced its plan to begin posting consumers' first-person tales of their grievances with auto loans later this year.... Read More »

Q&A

Mercedes’ captive boosts dealership training on branded F&I products

11:00 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ U.S. insurance unit is gearing up to train more dealership F&I managers to sell its First Class-branded F&I products. Lease penetration is high for Mercedes-brand vehicles, so the insurance unit specializes in F&I products suitable for lease customers, such as prepaid maintenance and coverage for excess wear and tear.... Read More »

FICO pilot holds promise for auto financing

11:45 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

The results of a pilot program between Fair Isaac Corp. and 12 big credit-card companies could ultimately help dealerships get auto loans approved for so-called thin files -- that is, customers with little or no credit history.
... Read More »

Low rates will continue to help auto sales, financing in 2015, experts say

11:45 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

Interest rates should remain low for the rest of 2015, helping auto dealerships sell vehicles, experts say. Low interest rates and longer auto-loan terms have largely offset higher transaction prices the past few years, keeping increases in monthly payments to a minimum.... Read More »

CarMax finance arm won’t become major subprime player

11:30 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015

CarMax’s finance arm will continue its subprime lending test and might expand it in the future. But the unit won’t become a “full player” in that space, says company CEO Tom Reedy. CarMax Auto Finance will continue to originate loans under the test at its current rate of 5 percent of subprime vehicle sales or a little less than 2 percent of overall loan originations.... Read More »

VIDEO: Opting for the online auction lane

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2015

Online used-vehicle shopping is changing how dealers and auction companies operate.... Read More »

Subaru stores have year to get service-expansion aid

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Subaru will have renovated and expanded two-thirds of the service-shop capacity at its U.S. dealerships by the time a national investment drive ends next year.... Read More »

VIDEO: Manheim Pennsylvania's legacy in the lanes

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Manheim Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the nation's largest auction company, celebrates 70 years in business.... Read More »

Ford says aluminum repair smooth so far

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

It's early, but Ford says it's so far so good on repairing damaged 2015 F-150 pickups with aluminum bodies. Ford has not heard of any dealers or independent body shops having problems obtaining parts, installing parts or dealing with insurance companies about the time it takes to repair the new pickup, said Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt.... Read More »

Porsche taps Cox unit to help manage off-lease portfolio

11:27 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Porsche Cars North America Inc. has tapped a Cox Automotive software platform company to help it manage its off-lease portfolio.... Read More »

Buffett extends a hand to dealers -- 'If we shake hands, we've got a deal'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

With the deeper pockets of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now backing it, the former Van Tuyl Group intends to add dealerships going forward. "In the next couple of years, we're likely to make a number of acquisitions," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said last week.... Read More »

Dealers place bets on presidential election

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

It’s still early in the presidential election cycle, but the contest for dollars is well under way. Some high-profile auto dealers already have begun placing their political bets.... Read More »

Seminars tackle generation gap

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Generation Y is projected to account for 40 percent of new-car purchases within the next five years. In June, Automotive News will launch a series of national seminars that will outline strategies focused on generational issues.... Read More »

Oil boom slows; techs return

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Oil drillers are cutting production in response to lower crude prices, meaning fewer oil jobs. Some dealers in oil-laden states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota and California say some of the service technicians who had fled for the rich-paying oil-industry jobs a few years ago are trickling back.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Pa. dealership group gains from market-based pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Eighteen months after #1 Cochran Automotive launched a customer experience initiative centered on market-based pricing and transparency, the dealership group says its market share and customer satisfaction ratings are up. Employee turnover is down, and the company is hiring more people with experience outside the auto industry.... Read More »

Tesla blocked in W.Va. as governor signs bill

11:35 am U.S. ET | April 3, 2015

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today signed legislation that will effectively prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars in the strategically located state. West Virginia shares borders with five states and its easternmost county is considered a suburb of Washington, D.C.... Read More »

AutoNation CEO Jackson's 2014 compensation soars 69% to $10.6 million

1:33 pm U.S. ET | April 3, 2015

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson’s overall compensation soared 69 percent to $10.6 million for 2014, up from $6.3 million for 2013, AutoNation said in its proxy filing released late Thursday.... Read More »

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