Dealers

Loan amounts, payments reach new highs

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The average amount financed for a new vehicle reached a record $28,381 in the fourth quarter of 2014, Experian Automotive said today. That was an increase of $950, or 3.5 percent, from the year-earlier quarter and a rise of $582, or 2.1 percent, from the previous high of $27,799, set in the third quarter last year.... Read More »

 

AutoNation's 8% sales gain beats market for Feb.

11:14 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
AutoNation said its new-vehicle retail sales jumped 8 percent in February compared to a year earlier, reaching 23,780 new units.... Read More »

 

Jeep ramps up dealers in China as production commences

2:14 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Jeep will increase its dealerships in China by about a third this year and will start local production of its Cherokee SUV in November followed by the smaller Renegade model in 2016, CEO Mike Manley said.... Read More »

 

Online retail tools are changing F&I jobs, work force analyst says

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The neat organization of dealership F&I departments isn't so neat anymore. And industry researchers believe online retail is the reason why.... Read More »

 

Millennials coming on stream in auto loans, leases

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Millennials get a bum rap as being less interested in driving and cars -- and in auto finance -- than previous generations, TransUnion says in a new study. In fact, millennials are the fastest-growing group of car buyers in auto lending, the TransUnion study found. Millennials represented 27 percent of total auto loans and lease originations combined in 2014, up from 16 percent in 2009.... Read More »

 

Toyota Financial explores how to improve e-commerce

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
As more shoppers turn to e-commerce as part of buying a car, Toyota Financial Services is turning to its U.S. dealers to find ways to improve its digital offerings. A major push: e-contracting, which Toyota Financial Services launched about two years ago.... Read More »

 

Mr. K a force for the Z and Nissan

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Yutaka Katayama, Nissan's first U.S. president, who grabbed American consumer awareness by introducing the affordable Datsun Z sports car in the early 1970s, died last month at 105.... Read More »

 

Toyota to end production of Venza

4:51 pm U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Toyota is pulling the plug on the Venza crossover, a vehicle the automaker once touted as engineered in America for American buyers.... Read More »

 

Buffett says Berkshire's job is to perform, grow in auto retail

11:16 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
With Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of the Van Tuyl Automotive dealership group materially complete, Warren Buffett already is looking toward how to expand his company’s dealership holdings.... Read More »

 

FCA recalls 2,211 Hellcats after fuel leak discovered

10:29 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Fiat Chrysler is recalling its brand-new, top-end 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats after a dealer discovered a fuel leak on a car being delivered from the factory. The recall affects 2,211 vehicles.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Eat at the food court, buy a car

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Aloha Auto Group sells about 3,500 new and used vehicles a year from its seven Kia dealerships, across the islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. His mall location sells about 200, mostly new, vehicles a year. It is profitable despite having no service department.... Read More »

 

Report: Prices of used cars to tumble as supply rises

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Prices of used cars and light trucks up to 5 years old will drop 3 to 4.5 percent this year, fueled by a rising supply of the vehicles and an increase in off-lease volume.... Read More »

 

High-rise parts bins ease space crunch

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Electronic parts storage machines that allow small parts to be stacked vertically and retrieved automatically at the touch of a button or scan of a bar code are gaining acceptance at some dealerships, where square footage is at a premium.... Read More »

 

Service outsources small stuff

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
As dealers everywhere press their service departments to improve customer-satisfaction results, some Florida stores are outsourcing their more troublesome tasks, such as detailing, porter work and lot maintenance.... Read More »

 

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
Dealers featured this week include Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Rocky Franich, dealer at Marty Franich Ford-Lincoln in Watsonville, Calif.; Fred DeStefano, dealer principal at Infiniti of Massapequa in Massapequa, N.Y.; and Mark Winkler, general manager of Champion Ford Edinboro in Edinboro, Pa.... Read More »

 

Dodge dealers called out for 'unscrupulous' Hellcat sales practices by FCA exec

9:32 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2015
Fiat Chrysler has taken the unusual step of warning some of its most enthusiastic customers -- about some of its dealers. At issue is outsized consumer demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats and dealer practices that the company says are “unscrupulous” and perhaps illegal.... Read More »

 

Snowbound New England dealers miss strong Feb. sales

1:15 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2015
As Massachusetts recovers from 100 inches of snow in recent weeks, many dealers there are reporting weaker-than-expected February sales, operational losses and lack of space because of massive snow piles. And New England missed out on an otherwise robust month for US auto sales.... Read More »

 

Group 1 names banker Doyle Arnold to its board

12:51 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2015
Group 1 Automotive has named a new director to its board seven days after another director resigned. The retailer said today its board of directors appointed Doyle Arnold, 66, as a Class I Director, effective immediately.... Read More »

 

Sonic is most-improved in Q4 F&I revenue

11:22 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Sonic Automotive Inc. posted the biggest increase in average F&I revenue per vehicle in the fourth quarter among the six public new-car retail groups, the tallies, completed today, show.... Read More »

 

U.S. auto sales roar toward strongest February since 2002

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
U.S. auto sales are on pace for the best February since 2002, forecasters say, even as relentless snow slowed demand in the Northeast. February is expected to mark the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year gains for the industry. Analysts said sales have been minimally affected by rising gasoline prices and a work stoppage at West Coast ports that could reduce March inventories of some vehicles imported from Asia.... Read More »

 

Lithia Q4 net income jumps 50% as it makes acquisitions top priority

9:38 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Strong sales across all divisions and the integration of its purchase last year of DCH Auto Group pushed Lithia Motors' net income up 50 percent during the fourth quarter.... Read More »

 

Reports of growing auto loan delinquencies are overblown, credit bureaus say

10:39 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Despite media notions that U.S. auto loan delinquencies are accelerating, they are in fact trending flat, credit reporting bureaus Equifax and Experian Automotive said last week.
... Read More »

 

Group 1 director resigns citing Buffett-Van Tuyl deal

5:27 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Group 1 Automotive board member Beryl Raff has resigned, citing a potential conflict of interest related to her employer, Berkshire Hathaway, and its pending purchase of the Van Tuyl dealership group. Raff gave up her seat on Feb. 20, Group 1 said in an SEC filing.... Read More »

 

Sonic reports progress toward 45-minute transaction goal

9:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Sonic Automotive said today its new One Sonic-One Experience program to speed up transactions is making progress toward hitting its goal of cutting closing times to 45 minutes on average.... Read More »

 

Dealertrack reports revenue gains for Q4, all of 2014

12:02 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Dealertrack Technologies, which supplies a wide variety of auto dealership retail software and services, said it posted revenue gains across the board during the fourth quarter of 2014 -- including organic growth of more than 20 percent.... Read More »

 

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