Automotive News Table of Contents

February 13, 2017

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Strategies for reducing employee turnover
Author: Jamie LaReau

LAST IN A FOUR-PART SERIES: Car dealers struggle to recruit employees with the best talent and keep them for years. Here are some ways to fix that.

Tax threat heightens concern about affordability
Author: Nick Bunkley

Prices for new cars and trucks, being pushed ever-higher by fuel-economy improvements, safety equipment and advanced technology, could soar out of range for many U.S. buyers with the addition of an import tax to the equation.

Did CDK, Reynolds fence out a rival?
Author: Hannah Lutz

A lawsuit accuses CDK Global and Reynolds and Reynolds of blocking an electronic title company from getting the data it needs, through jacked-up fees and other barriers, specifically because the two DMS giants are favoring a competing company they own.

GM's Ammann: Open up public streets to autonomous testing
Author: John Irwin

General Motors President Dan Ammann urged more local and state governments to allow testing of autonomous vehicles on public streets, saying doing so is the only way to ensure they will be ready for public use.

Good, Walsworth join Automotive News

Automotive News has made two additions to its newsroom staff. Tim Good has joined as a graphics/copy editor, and Jack Walsworth is a Subaru reporter and website producer.

Alfa, Fiat dealers fight the factory
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

More than 20 Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealers in California have filed protests against Fiat Chrysler after the automaker substantially rewrote their franchise agreements in December.

Buy-sell business could boom this year
Author: Jamie LaReau

As more sellers trickle into the market, buy-sell activity is set to soar this year, advisers say. But only if sellers' price expectations come down to earth.

Nissan gets its commercial trucks in a row
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Nissan executives say they finally have a lineup that will enable their dealers to make a plausible run at one of the great bastions of Detroit-dominated truck business: commercial sales to businesses.

Nissan Leaf finds its fan base
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Nissan's bold move into electric vehicles with the Leaf earlier this decade looks like a sales flop to many. But there are pockets of the U.S. market where EVs are in demand.

Redesigned Expedition 'sets the new standard'
Author: Michael Martinez

The redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition, unveiled last week in Dallas, could signal the big utility's return to prominence in the Ford SUV lineup after it languished since its last freshening in 2003.

Lexus still short of utility vehicles
Author: Laurence Iliff

Lexus is still short on supplies of its popular utility vehicles after limited availability led to a 26 percent fall in sales last month.

U.S. throughput falls in '16
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

The average U.S. dealership's new-vehicle throughput fell in 2016 for the first time in seven years to 965, just one unit below the 2015 record, Urban Science said.

A car-crazy kid remembers the Chicago show
Author: Keith Crain

As a car-crazy lad born and raised in Chicago, the old Chicago auto show was something very special to me. That show was my first real taste of cars, and there was nothing quite like it. There still isn't.

Carmakers can't be fooled by gas prices

Automotive News was correct in calling out the Detroit 3 in its editorial in the Feb. 6 issue ("Detroit 3 should skip scare tactics in CAFE debate") for using scare tactics and squishy jobs research when lobbying the president on fuel economy standards.

Dealership reforms would make hiring easier

Almost every dealer we spoke to last month at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans agreed that employee hiring and retention is the biggest headache facing today's auto retailers.

FCA's network expansion defies logic

FCA's network expansion is an attempt to build market share. But automakers should not seek to bolster their own fortunes at the expense of their dealers. They're a team.

Mexican workers build but can't buy

One reader's issue with Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement has been the lack of wage increases in the country.

Dealers, consumers will pay for FCA store expansion

A manufacturer's power to create a new dealership location is the power to destroy any number of existing dealerships within the market, writes Jim Appleton president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.

Incentives hit Subaru parent profit
Author: Hans Greimel

The maker of Subaru vehicles said spiraling warranty costs, higher incentives and big foreign exchange rate losses sent operating profit plunging 35 percent in the latest quarter.

Lear snaps up seat business in Europe
Author: Annalise Frank

Lear's deal to buy Spain's Grupo Antolin seat operations strengthens the suburban Detroit company in Europe.

Dealer Anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Vince Compagno, dealer principal at Napa Nissan in Napa, Calif.; Darrell Coletto, dealer principal at First Nissan of Simi Valley, Calif.; and Andrew Puetz, of Chrysler Winona (Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram) in Winona, Minn.

NCM Labs will vet vendor startups
Author: Jamie LaReau

NCM Associates will launch a service that will vet start-up vendors, as a way to help get innovations into dealers' hands faster.

Kunes lets its people promote themselves
Author: Leigh Raper

Kunes Country Auto Group encourages salespeople to develop their personal social media presence, and gives them the resources to do so.

What my subconscious saw at the Detroit show
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

As I walked through the Ford exhibit at the Detroit auto show, experts at a division of the company called Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience had me outfitted with biometric sensors and a pair of glasses that tracked the movement of my eyes as they darted around the environment until locking in on the...

Toyota sees wider window for TRD
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota's expansion of Toyota Racing Development trims across its truck line opens the door for a sporty subbrand that could find its way onto higher-volume products such as the RAV4 and Camry as the automaker chases younger and more affluent buyers.

GM Financial eyes more growth
Author: Hannah Lutz

After gaining subvented loan and lease exclusivity over the past two years, General Motors' captive finance arm, GM Financial, is eyeing floorplanning and nonsubvented loan share, top executives say.

Used-car leasing fails to meet expectations
Author: Hannah Lutz

In spring 2016, the idea of used leasing buzzed around the National Automobile Dealers Association convention and the American Financial Services Association Vehicle Finance Conference in Las Vegas. Nearly a year later, used leasing is still only a sliver of the market.

Toyota positions two big launches: Camry and C-HR
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota's next-generation Camry represents the upstanding citizen in the brand's lineup, albeit with a fancy make-over and a gym membership. The new C-HR crossover is the polarizing wild child crying out for attention.

Subaru polishes Legacy for 2018
Author: Jack Walsworth

A midcycle refresh for Subaru's Legacy sedan includes a retouched grille, redesigned headlights, improved handling and a more premium interior for the 2018 model year.

When driverless cars call for backup
Author: David Sedgwick

Technology suppliers see redundant systems as the most logical answer to the driverless car dilemma - what happens if an autonomous drive function fails?

Why leave Europe's car market? So many reasons.
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Why is General Motors looking for a way out of Europe? That's easy.

Toyota frets as N. American profits plunge
Author: Hans Greimel

Toyota Motor Corp.'s reliable cash cow, the North American market, is suddenly a swirl of uncertainties. Operating profit in the region plummeted 53 percent in the latest quarter, helping trigger a double-digit plunge in Toyota corporate earnings.

How Enterprise recruits future leaders
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

A training system aimed at career growth helps Enterprise Rent-A-Car keep a steady flow of recent college grads coming in as new hires.

To keep millennials, keep them engaged
Author: Hannah Lutz

Dealers are hiring more millennials, but struggling with how to retain them. Experts say it can be done, and here's how.

Dealership follows steakhouse recipe
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealership general manager Rich Mahon turned his hiring and retention rates around by adopting some restaurant practices.

Opel was once the little engine that could
Author: Richard Johnson

Europe has been a drain on General Motors for a long time, but Opel did have its glory days and at least once helped keep GM afloat. Automotive News Print Editor RIck Johnson was there when it happened.

Daimler extends heir apparent's contract

Daimler has given a lengthy contract extension to Ola Kaellenius, the 47-year-old Swede who heads product development and is seen as the likely successor to CEO Dieter Zetsche.

Stocks rise despite brisk Jan. sales
Author: Jesse Snyder

Automakers and dealers started February with bulging lots after inventories grew faster than January U.S. auto sales.

Fleet sales dip in January
Author: Jesse Snyder

Low fleet activity contributed to the U.S. auto industry's light-vehicle sales decline in January.

GM predicts earnings encore
Author: Nick Bunkley

General Motors projects “another strong year” ahead for itself, despite challenges posed by growing inventories and flattening U.S. sales.

BMW could shift car production from Germany to U.S. to avoid tariff
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

BMW could conceivably shift some car production from Germany to its crossover plant in Spartanburg, S.C., if President Donald Trump follows through on threats to erect high barriers to trade.

Hyundai takes down Lada in Russia upset

Last year, the unthinkable happened in Russia: For the first time ever, a non-Russian brand topped the model charts. The humble Hyundai Solaris subcompact sedan was No. 1, knocking the Lada Granta sedan to No. 2.

Mad dash to sell comes to the big screen

A new film focuses on an ambitious dealership general manager played by Patrick J. Adams from USA Network's "Suits."

On UAW scorecard, Buick ad fumbled

If UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada had a Super Bowl commercial hits and misses column, she would apparently place Buick's ad firmly in the miss category.

The 'Superstar' ad power behind new 'Detroiters'

"Detroiters," a new sitcom about a Detroit-based ad agency that makes low-budget commercials for local businesses, was inspired in part by one of the city's most famous dealership ad campaigns.