Dealers

Cheap deals drive leasing to new high

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Cheap lease deals helped drive the lease penetration rate to a new high in the second quarter of 2014, according to Experian Automotive. "One out of four new cars that left a dealership in the second quarter was a lease," Melinda Zabritski, senior director of Experian, said during a conference call for analysts last week.... Read More »

 

AutoNation to buy 4 luxury dealerships in Seattle market

9:15 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
AutoNation is expanding its footprint in the Pacific Northwest by buying four luxury-brand dealerships in the Seattle market that generate more than $350 million in annual revenue.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Regulation forecast calls for rain, former CFPB exec says

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Rick Hackett, a former assistant director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who was the bureau's liaison to the auto finance industry, predicted the bureau would probably unveil a long-awaited rule next week, defining which nonbanks fall under the CFPB's jurisdiction.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

F&I wait times have virtual repercussions

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Dealerships know that customer satisfaction suffers if car buyers spend time sitting outside the F&I office. But there’s another reason why dealerships should slash F&I wait times: Most customers who use their mobile devices at dealerships use them to shop for other vehicles and better deals elsewhere.... Read More »

 

Pay disparities are hurting morale, dealership retention, expert warns

11:45 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Rising disparities in pay between the F&I and sales departments are leading to morale problems and high turnover at dealerships, a noted F&I authority said at a conference in Las Vegas. Dealerships are testing a number of alternative pay plans, but nothing proposed so far appears to solve the problem.... Read More »

 

Dodge Challenger Hellcat dealer ordering begins -- with a catch

8:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 9, 2014
Dodge will open dealer ordering for its new 707-hp 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat today, but the brand is changing its normal allocation methods to make sure the high-powered coupe gets into the hands of waiting enthusiasts.... Read More »

 

Over-the-hill used cars fuel Honda store

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Aging, high-mileage trade-ins are welcomed at RiverTown Honda in Grandville, Mich. The store sells up to 30 'Budget Row' cars monthly at an average gross profit of $700. The dealership is also finding value in a low-cost oil change program. It attracts hundreds of consumers weekly. And those bargain hunters are often willing to share their 'priceless' email addresses, which allows the store to grow its customer base.... Read More »

 

MV-1 wheelchair-access vehicle now available at 107 dealerships

3:42 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
More than 100 dealers are now prepared to offer their customers MV-1 wheelchair-accessible vehicles, manufacturer Mobility Ventures said in a statement today.... Read More »

 

SNAKEBIT

Dodge knocks off $15K to spur sales of pricey new Viper

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Since the Viper's reintroduction at the 2012 New York auto show, the sports coupe has moved fast everywhere except where it matters most: off dealer lots. Now Dodge has a plan to boost Viper sales.... Read More »

 

GM leads broad rise in M&A

GM dealerships' buy-sell activity jumps

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
GM stores are by far the most sold and acquired in the dealership buy-sell market this year. Buy-sell expert Alan Haig says "it's a sign that their profits are strong, and buyers are seeing momentum in the GM brands that didn't exist in prior years."... Read More »

 

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Dealers featured this week include Randy and Terry Hagen of Hillsboro Ford in Hillsboro, Kan.; Tony Mistlin, owner of Mistlin Honda in Modesto, Calif.; and Jim Cross, dealer principal at Land Rover Boise in Boise, Idaho.... Read More »

 

How to stop fraud

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Auto retailers can prevent fraud by recognizing certain customer clues, dealers and experts say.... Read More »

 

Report: Lenders keeping lid on risky business

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Experian's latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, covering the second quarter, suggests lenders aren't headed down any slippery slopes when it comes to discipline.... Read More »

 

FOILING FRAUD

Phony deals cost dealers reputation, vehicles and lenders

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
For employees in a dealership's finance and insurance office, spotting a potentially fraudulent deal is top priority. A mistake not only can cost a dealership a vehicle, it can hurt the store's reputation and its relationships with lenders. It's a challenge for all dealership groups.... Read More »

 

With digital data, DARCARS has F&I down to a science

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Finance and insurance managers at DARCARS Automotive Group have a digital Big Brother watching them, ready to spit out a minute-by-minute account of their customer interactions if their sales fumble.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Hiking pay to get 'the pick of the crop'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Earl Stewart Toyota in Lake Park, Fla., examined its pay scale this summer. The conclusion: not high enough. So it hiked its pay scale. For the lowest-paid employees, the change meant a 38 percent jump in their hourly rate.... Read More »

 

Credit unions take long-loan lead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Credit unions are helping lead the charge into longer loan terms -- some longer than 84 months -- as customers seek to keep their monthly payments flat while taking out larger loans.... Read More »

 

Dealership buy-sell pace is hottest in years

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 7, 2014
Dealership acquisitions continue to soar, positioning 2014 to be one of the most active years for buy-sells in more than a decade, say advisers who track transactions. Through July, private acquisition announcements in Automotive News more than doubled to 70 transactions from 32 in the year-earlier period, the midyear Haig Partners Blue Sky Report released last week said.... Read More »

 

NFL receiver, sidelined by a suspension, gets a car sales job

2:35 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 5, 2014
Suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, known for dodging truck-sized NFL defenders, will try his hand at selling trucks -- and maybe some cars, too.... Read More »

 

GM headquarters wrapped up for GMC during 'Monday Night Football'

2:40 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 5, 2014
The signature element of Detroit's skyline -- GM's Renaissance Center headquarters -- is adorned with a massive GMC advertising wrap for the Detroit Lions' upcoming appearance on ESPN's “Monday Night Football” broadcast.... Read More »

 

CarMax recruiting for more than 1,000 jobs

6:33 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
CarMax said it is recruiting for more than 1,000 positions to fill across the country. The used-car retailer said in a statement Wednesday it is offering full- and part-time permanent positions.... Read More »

 

Audi, Porsche roll on; VW extends slump

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
New models fueled double-digit sales gains at Volkswagen Group of America's Audi and Porsche luxury brands, but not enough to offset ongoing weakness at the VW brand and buoy the German automaker's overall U.S. sales in August.... Read More »

 

Sales go from hot to hotter in 'almost' perfect month

4:44 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
Riding strong U.S. demand for crossovers and big pickups, automakers sold almost 1.6 million light vehicles in August, up 6 percent from a booming year-ago period. In August 2013, auto sales jumped 17 percent.... Read More »

 

Higher truck deliveries offset GM's weak car volume

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
GM's August sales were bad for market share but good for the bottom line. GM's deliveries last month fell 1 percent, as booming sales of the company's redesigned pickups and SUVs -- its most profitable models -- were offset by weaker crossover volume and another rough month for Cadillac.... Read More »

 

Ford F-Series sales slow prior to changeover

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
With Ford beginning the prolonged shutdown and changeover to the 2015 aluminum F-150, the company's F-series sales dropped 4 percent to 68,109 units in August.... Read More »

 

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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, second-generation dealers Ray and Rik Fregia have seen a 30 percent boost in sales this year, thanks largely to million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. Mon., September 15
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