Dealers

Toyota plots Prius comeback

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2015

As Toyota prepares to introduce a redesigned Prius later this year, both car and company are at turning points. First introduced in 1997, the hybrid is no longer the green-car darling of the Hollywood set. That sort of buzz now surrounds the EVs produced by Tesla.... Read More »

THE SSR MVP

How an oddball Chevy transformed a Houston dealership

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2015

More than a decade after General Motors launched the Chevrolet SSR, most people still aren't sure what to make of the retro-styled, high-performance roadster pickup. Paul Peebles has managed to make a thriving business out of it.... Read More »

U.S. House OKs bill to kill 'death tax'

3:50 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2015

The House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the 40 percent tax applied on estates worth more than $5 million, which dealers have long complained could saddle their family members with huge tax bills should they die unexpectedly. A similar bill has been introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate.... Read More »

U.S. bill would streamline passage of 2 key trade deals

10:00 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2015

US lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill to move trade deals quickly through Congress, opening the door to sealing a major Pacific trade pact with major implications for the auto industry.... Read More »

GM launches software that flags recalled vehicles on dealer lots

1:54 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

General Motors is rolling out new software this month for dealerships to make it harder for them to mistakenly sell a new vehicle that's subject to a recall, without first performing the recall work as required.... Read More »

Tesla awaits OK from governor to sell directly in Maryland

12:45 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

Tesla will be granted up to four licenses in Maryland if the governor signs a bill supported by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.... Read More »

Q&A

New Black Book exec looks to help dealers close loans, leases faster

11:15 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

Barrett Teague, Black Book's new vice president of lender solutions, says dealership F&I managers are never far from his mind. In part that's because he's been an F&I manager himself. Teague, 43, joined Black Book on April 6. His new role is to work with lenders, but how lenders use Black Book data also has a direct effect on dealerships, he says.... Read More »

Dealership gross profits see bigger impact from F&I

12:00 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

The average dealership gained more from F&I last year, even though retailers' overall sales penetration for products such as extended service contracts and GAP dropped a fraction of a percentage point. On average, F&I accounted for 39.6 percent of gross profit for new- and used-vehicle departments combined in 2014, up from 38.8 percent in 2013, according to the 2014 NADA Data report.... Read More »

JIM HENRY

BLOG: Women in automotive seek more peers

12:15 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

A lot of dealer principals and general managers swear by their female salespeople and F&I managers and wish they had more. But in the business world at large, auto industry careers for women are a “best-kept secret.”... Read More »

Wells Fargo, Chase adopt different lending approaches

12:00 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, two of the biggest banks in auto finance, adopted opposite lending strategies in the first quarter. At Wells Fargo Dealer Services, total originations of auto loans and leases were lower compared with the year-earlier period, for the second quarter in a row and by a larger margin. Chase Auto Finance reported its 14th consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in originations.... Read More »

Lexus, Subaru score highest consumer reviews on DealerRater

5:31 pm U.S. ET | April 14, 2015

Lexus and Subaru dealerships posted the highest average consumer ratings among luxury and mass-market brands on review site DealerRater over the past 12 months. The site examined star ratings earned by franchised dealerships of all brands in the 12 months ending March 31, 2015, to come up with the Consumer Rating Index.... Read More »

Chevy cuts price, adds incentives for Spark EV

1:00 pm U.S. ET | April 14, 2015

Chevrolet is cutting the sticker price on the Spark EV by $1,650 and adding cash incentives that will allow buyers to get the battery electric minicar for as low as $14,995 after federal and state tax breaks.... Read More »

VIDEO: Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

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

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.'' In that role, he relentlessly pushes communication, whether by spreading “true rumors” or holding team meetings to discuss “WIGs” – wildly important goals. The effort has yielded better metrics for tire sales and parts orders. There's a big intangible, too. As Welch says: “You have to run it like a business, but why can't you have fun?”... Read More »

Penske targets 'I' in F&I to boost per-vehicle revenue

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

Penske Automotive Group Inc. is refining its training process on insurance product sales to boost overall finance and insurance revenues.... Read More »

Some dealers prep for flat fees

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

Dealer Mike Thompson believes he might soon lose the ability to make a healthy profit from finance reserves. His concern is well-founded. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been pressuring auto lenders for the past few years to stop allowing dealerships to set their own reserve amounts.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Cramped quarters teach valuable lessons

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

When Hodges Subaru moves to a much larger building on Detroit's famed Woodward Avenue, it will take with it many lessons learned during the years confined in a small space. For instance, it will continue to train workers to perform the duties of more than one job, to boost efficiency and teamwork.... Read More »

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 »

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Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.' Mon., April 13
» Watch the Video
     
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