Retail

Sonic 'delighted' with rollout of new retail plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Three weeks into Sonic Automotive Inc.'s customer experience initiative, customers at the pilot store aren't yet getting the promised iPad-enabled transaction with a single salesperson....
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SHAREHOLDER VALUE

Lithia's big DCH deal was a boon for shareholders

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Lithia Motors' big acquisition last month fueled a strong second quarter for the publicly traded retailer in terms of shareholder value return....
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Targeted digital ads start with car color

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
New York digital marketing company Eyeview is betting that its color-morphing capabilities will trigger an emotional reaction from consumers who spent time researching a vehicle and likely visualized themselves in it. And research shows that vehicle color is a crucial part of the shopping experience....
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Happy Birthday, boss! Let's open some stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Sonic Automotive President Scott Smith will get a special birthday present when he turns 47 on Oct. 20....
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Honda pushes dealers for buyers' signatures on airbag liability

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
"I understand that if this used car I'm buying is in a crash, the airbag could kill me." That's the gist of a document that American Honda Motor Co. wants its dealers to require buyers of certain 2001-11 used Honda and Acura vehicles to sign....
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Hot hybrid

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Honda Motor Co. engineers are trying to figure out why an Acura NSX undergoing high-speed testing at Germany's Nurburgring last week caught fire and burned to the ground....
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AutoTrader, Manheim rebrand under 1 entity

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Manheim and AutoTrader Group, a collection of digital automotive marketing and software companies, are now part of Cox Automotive, according to signage and employees representing the various properties at a recent trade show in Florida. Sandy Schwartz, president of Manheim and AutoTrader Group, leads the new entity....
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Auction Broadcasting sites get makeovers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Auction Broadcasting Co., expecting to increase its sales at least 20 percent in 2015, will improve seven of its eight auction sites in various ways by year end. Jason Hockett, president of the Indianapolis auction company, says the improvements include drive-thru photo booths and new or expanded reconditioning centers and body shops....
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Certified-used sales fall in June, expected to rise for year

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Sales of certified used vehicles slipped in June for the first time in a year and a half. But analysts still predict certified sales will rise overall this year. Sales dipped 2 percent in June from a year earlier to 181,112, but still posted an 8 percent gain for the first half, to 1,133,588....
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BEST PRACTICES

'Middle of nowhere' site limits store's costs

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
the rural location of Volkswagen of Salem County in Monroeville, N.J., helps the family contain its real estate costs. That freed time and money to focus on building the store's sales to roughly 28 new and 43 used vehicles per month from the 8 to 15 mostly new vehicles per month that the previous owners sold....
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5 YEARS LATER

'Cash for clunkers opened up the floodgates'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 27, 2014
The Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as cash for clunkers, was a lifeline at a desperate time for the U.S. auto industry. Nearly 700,000 vehicles were traded in through the nearly $3 billion program, which provided consumers as much as $4,500 each to trade in an old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient new model....
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Millennials drawn to car-sharing services, but eventually, they buy

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 26, 2014
Car- and ride-sharing programs are changing the way city dwellers get around and the way millennials think about car ownership. Automakers have noticed and are experimenting with ways to adapt -- creating partnerships with car-sharing services or offering their own transportation services....
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Volkswagen marketing chief quits

July 25, 2014 22:20 CET
Volkswagen's global marketing head, Simon Thomas, will leave the post after about a year in the job. Thomas, a former top Nissan Europe executive, said he is leaving VW at his own request....
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Jaguar Land Rover cuts prices on 3 models in China in response to government probe

7:40 pm U.S. ET | July 25, 2014
Jaguar Land Rover will cut prices on 3 models by an average of $32,300 starting August 1, after the National Development and Reform Commission, China's state planner, launched an investigation into monopolistic prices in the auto industry, the company said in a statement on Friday....
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JAMES B. TREECE

GM, Manheim kiss and make up

3:15 pm U.S. ET | July 25, 2014
About four years after a spat strained their business relations, GM and auction company Manheim are starting to kiss and make up....
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Strong retail demand to push U.S. sales higher in July, forecasts show

2:44 pm U.S. ET | July 25, 2014
The pace of auto sales has slowed slightly after hitting an eight-year high in June, but July's results are still shaping up to be at least 9 percent better than a year ago, according to four forecasts. The seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate is expected to hit 16.6 million to 16.8 million, projections show....
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VW may open planning center in Brazil to revive sales

July 25, 2014 10:07 CET
VW Group is mulling a planning center in Brazil. It would be part of the automaker's 3.6 billion euro ($4.85 billion) investment in new models, plants and technology for the country through 2018, sources said....
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Citroen DS upscale line off to a slow start as a stand-alone brand

July 25, 2014 06:01 CET
Vehicle sales at Citroen's upscale DS line, which became a stand-alone brand on June 1, fell during the first half, hit by an aging product lineup and tougher competition from refreshed rivals such as Mini....
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Audi, BMW and Mercedes pressure Ford, GM as UK market booms

July 25, 2014 06:01 CET
Germany's premium automakers are benefiting most from the UK car market boom. Audi, BMW and Mercedes are winning customers from mass-market brands such as Ford and Vauxhall....
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Audi, BMW and Mercedes pressure Ford, GM as UK market booms

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 25, 2014
Germany's premium automakers are benefiting most from the UK car market boom. Audi, BMW and Mercedes are winning customers from mass-market brands such as Ford and Vauxhall....
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GM remains bullish on Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship deal

July 25, 2014 06:01 CET
One bad season for Manchester United has not shaken GM's belief in its sponsorship deal with the English soccer club. Chevrolet's logo appeared on players' jerseys for the first time when United beat the Los Angeles Galaxy team in a friendly match in Pasadena, California....
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Outstanding U.S. auto loans hit all-time high, Equifax says

1:58 pm U.S. ET | July 24, 2014
Total outstanding auto loans in the United States hit an all-time high of $902 billion this spring, an increase of more than 10 percent from the same time a year earlier, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report....
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Bentley may add a fifth model after SUV launch

9:51 am U.S. ET | July 24, 2014
Bentley may add a fifth model to its lineup after it launches an SUV in 2016, CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said. The new model could be a two-seat sports car or a larger model slotted between the Continental GT coupe and Mulsanne sedan....
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Ford Q2 earnings rise on N.A. record, first European profit in 3 years

6:45 am U.S. ET | July 24, 2014
Ford posted a second-quarter pretax profit of $2.6 billion, bolstered by a record performance in North America and its first quarterly profit in Europe in three years....
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Bentley may add a 5th model after SUV launch

July 24, 2014 15:51 CET
Bentley may add a fifth model to its lineup after it launches an SUV in 2016, CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said. The new model could be a two-seat sports car or a larger model slotted between the Continental GT coupe and Mulsanne sedan....
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