Dealers

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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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ADESA bows out of multiple platform auction sales

7:52 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
After investing nearly two years and “several million dollars” to help create online auction selling across multiple platforms, ADESA is bowing out, said Peter Kelly, president of ADESA's corporate sibling in charge of digital services....
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Dilawri Group expands rapidly in Canada

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Privately held Dilawri Group of Cos., Canada's largest dealership group by store count, is in rapid expansion mode. Dilawri, of Toronto, expanded into Quebec in January and since then opened a second dealership in the province with a third, in Montreal, slated to open by the end of the first quarter....
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TrueCar's new pitch: Factory coupons for shoppers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
TrueCar Inc. spent the past two years rebuilding relations with dealers. Now the vehicle-shopping site is turning its attention to automakers to boost sales. TrueCar is forming a council of manufacturer executives, similar to its dealer council, to advance its Live Prospect product, TrueCar President John Krafcik said....
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Tesla: The one company that can get Kochs, Sierra Club to see eye to eye

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
The Koch brothers' businesses market fossil fuels and turn forests into toilet paper. The Sierra Club, well, doesn't do those things. But on this much they agree: Tesla should be able to sell its electric cars directly to consumers....
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JAMES B. TREECE

Car stores could be just like Apple stores, right?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
"How's it going?" I asked my friend Gene-Erik Marketer. I hadn't seen him since the NADA convention. "Great!" he replied. "I really got our dealers fired up at our make meeting with my pitch to make our dealerships more like Apple stores!" I had to ask: "What does that mean?"...
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Porsche dealers eager to upgrade

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
About 150 of the 189 U.S. Porsche dealerships are renovating or expanding as the brand's sales have soared. Porsche Cars North America wants additional showroom and service space from dealers to accommodate the growing number of nameplates in its lineup and the additional vehicles on the road....
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Porsche may close a few U.S. dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
A handful of U.S. markets still have too many Porsche dealerships, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence said, and the company may use its right of first refusal to close stores. But given Porsche's sales growth and the valuations of its dealerships, consolidation in those markets will be difficult....
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Lithia launches pay plan to retain top store managers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Lithia Motors Inc. has started a new program that identifies top managers and gives them increased stock ownership in lieu of cash. The goal is to retain top talent and improve store performance, says Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer....
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BEST PRACTICES

Helping hand for minority dealer hopefuls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Bill Perkins knows how hard it is to get a dealership and to succeed. He lasted one year in his first store. But when he later acquired a dealership in suburban Detroit, other dealers helped him. That made the difference. Perkins has picked up the mantle, mentoring and training others, mostly African Americans, to become dealers. Perkins believes in minority dealers training other minorities to create a mutual support system....
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Silver dealer

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Dealers featured this week include Howard Braunstein, president of M&M Auto Group in Liberty, N.Y.; Peter Hoffman, dealer at Sierra Honda in Monrovia, Calif.; Jeff Crippen, dealer principal at Crippen Mazda in Lansing, Mich.; George Grubbs Jr., dealer principal at Grubbs Infiniti in Euless, Texas; and John Morlan, dealer principal at Toyota of West Plains in West Plains, Mo....
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Salvage auction does a bang-up business

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Salvage auto-auction company Insurance Auto Auctions Inc., sibling to auction giant ADESA, has been on a growth spurt since December 2013. In that time, it has opened, acquired, reopened, moved or expanded sites in 13 markets. The moves were necessary to meet the demand of quickly disposing of wrecked vehicles, says CEO John Kett....
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HANS GREIMEL

Japan Toyota dealer hits 2 million milestone

9:28 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
Nagoya Toyopet sold its 2 millionth new Toyota vehicle on Monday, making it the first independent retailer from Japan’s top manufacturer to reach that rarified stratosphere....
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Tesla could open up to 12 Texas stores if legislation passes

11:28 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
Tesla may be able to open up to 12 stores in Texas, if a group of state legislators gets its way. Under current state law, customers can purchase new vehicles only through a franchised dealership. The bills would allow customers to purchase vehicles directly from the manufacturer....
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TrueCar to stress mobile shopping as revenue surges

7:51 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2015
TrueCar is rebuilding its computer interface around mobile car-shopping to seize on a pronounced trend in its traffic volume, CEO Scott Painter said. In January for the first time, 50 percent of shoppers on TrueCar’s website got there via a mobile device, Painter said; that figure is expected to grow to 90 percent in 18 months....
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JIM HENRY

GM Financial-Chevy lease exclusivity seems likely

11:15 am U.S. ET | Feb. 18, 2015
There wasn't much doubt, but General Motors disclosed for the first time in an SEC filing that it is considering plans to throw all Chevrolet lease incentives to GM Financial instead of sharing them among GM Financial, Ally Financial and U.S. Bank....
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JAMIE LaREAU

Are flat finance fees inevitable? How to lessen the blow

11:30 am U.S. ET | Feb. 18, 2015
Flat finance fees are coming. And if you now derive more than 40 percent of your F&I revenue per vehicle from a finance reserve, you're in trouble....
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JAMIE LaREAU

Buyers make big bets on dealerships in a seller's world

9:55 am U.S. ET | Feb. 18, 2015
You know it is a seller's market when the seller can dictate all the shots, and I mean all the shots. I was speaking to a buy-sell adviser this week, who shared an unsolicited anecdote because this adviser was so awe struck by it....
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