Dealers

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Bad weather will shape future retailing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 27, 2014
Bad weather has the power to overturn auto industry forecasts and plans and outlooks. And the long-range expectations for worse weather to come could have the power to mess up the industry's neat longstanding practices and traditions....
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Chrysler says airbag recall to start earlier than planned

4:17 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 26, 2014
Chrysler Group will send recall notifications to owners of vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags nearly two weeks earlier than planned, the company said late Wednesday....
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JIM HENRY

Military ends paycheck deductions for car loans

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 26, 2014
The Department of Defense last week made it impossible for service members to use the reliable but old-fashioned military allotment system to make auto loan payments -- a small-scale example of a couple of bad apples in auto lending ruining things for everyone else....
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Discounts, falling gas prices driving Nov. sales higher

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 25, 2014
The U.S. auto industry may post its highest November sales volume since 2001, and one forecaster says light-vehicle transaction prices are on pace to reach the highest level ever for a second consecutive month. Year-end clearance sales and the lowest gasoline prices since 2010 are two big factors behind the forecasts....
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Dealer's vintage car auction packs 'em in

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
We reported last month on Dallas-area Ford dealer Sam Pack's plans to auction off 131of his 473 vintage automobiles in Dallas on Nov. 15. So how did things turn out? The event certainly attracted a crowd....
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BEST PRACTICES

Cardinale group makeover flexes digital muscle

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
In 2008, the recession was raging, and dealer Joe Cardinale decided to make some changes. He committed heavily to online sales and marketing, and parted ways with third-party lead providers, developed his own systems and software to manage his online presence. And he set stringent goals for his staff and held them accountable for results. It has worked wonders....
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Structural damage or fender bender?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
TrueFrame will inspect any vehicle, at a dealership's request, that has an accident on its history report. TrueFrame issues its own report if the vehicle passes its cosmetic and structural standards. The TrueFrame report is sent to the dealership that requested it and to vehicle history reporting companies such as Carfax Inc., which has agreed to link TrueFrame reports to its vehicle history reports....
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Next phase of multiplatform sales? Hold your horses

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
Remarketers, auto dealers and others had hoped to hear at a remarketing conference this month about when the next stage in online multiplatform auction selling would arrive. But when Jay Cadigan, who represents Manheim in conversations with other key players hammering out details of the initiative, was asked about its timeline, he demurred....
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Study slams CFPB's proxy methodology

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 23, 2014
The statistical method the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau uses to identify which consumers belong to minority groups correctly identified African-American borrowers only 24 percent of the time. That was one of the findings of a nearly yearlong study commissioned by the American Financial Services Association, a lender group with offices in Washington....
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Toyota to recall 422,000 Lexus vehicles in U.S. due to fuel leak

11:42 am U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2014
Toyota will recall 422,509 of its luxury brand Lexus vehicles in the United States because of a possible fuel leak that increases the risk of fire, federal regulators said today....
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GABE NELSON

Fisker flexes muscle with coachbuilt 725-hp Mustang

2:55 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 20, 2014
Henrik Fisker, the Danish designer behind the Aston Martin DB9, BMW Z8 and the ill-fated Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, apparently can design an American muscle car, too....
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ARLENA SAWYERS

Popping the subprime bubble myth

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014
There is no subprime auto loan bubble, darn it. That message came through loud and clear in session after session during the recent Used Car Week conference sponsored in Las Vegas....
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More car buyers are OK with dealer texting, survey says

2:20 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014
Dealers who want to best engage with tech-savvy buyers should try text messaging to communicate, according to survey results released today....
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JIM HENRY

Free advice for consumers can be worth the price

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014
There’s a bright spot for dealerships that do a lot of business with automakers’ captive finance companies and preferred lenders, data on the website Wallet Hub show: Car manufacturers (that is, captives) charge the lowest auto loan rates for new cars, at 40 percent below average....
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Technology training can help close a sale, AutoTrader.com says

10:39 am U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2014
As automakers incorporate in-vehicle technology features in more models, dealers have to find a way to sufficiently teach customers how to use the new tools, AutoTrader said in a report....
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NADA sees 2015 U.S. sales nearing 17 million vehicles

12:45 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Continued economic improvement, low interest rates and cheap gasoline will help new-vehicle sales rise more than 3 percent to nearly 17 million units next year, the most since 2005, according to forecasts from the National Automobile Dealers Association....
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How 3 dealerships are connecting with tech-savvy shoppers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Three dealers have found ways to forge bonds with car shoppers who are short on time and long on Web smarts. A Honda store has mobilized a young sales team hired from Starbucks and Best Buy. A Mercedes store has a special "honeymoon" tool kit for boosting online ratings. And a photo-friendly Audi store is snapping its way to more Internet leads....
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Financial openness can beat the lowest pricing, dealer says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Customers who apply for vehicle financing on driversselect.com get real information about interest rates, down payments and monthly payments that holds up once they arrive at the Dallas used-only dealership. CEO Steve Hall says many dealers don't find it easy to give out so much information online. But transparency builds trust, he said....
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Toyota sees fuel cell car, priced at $57,500, gaining traction in small steps

8:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Toyota said it plans to sell close to 200 of its Mirai -- it means “future” in Japanese -- fuel-cell sedans when it goes on sale in California in late 2015, and 3,000 units by the end of 2017 as it expands marketing to cover the Northeast U.S....
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Manheim stocks used cars for Sonic

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Sonic Automotive is contracting with Manheim to buy and stock used vehicles at a new-car store near Denver as part of an unprecedented pilot program....
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Takata airbag death linked by lawsuit to delay in Honda alert

3:34 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Honda's U.S. unit advised dealers not to contact customers about a potentially fatal defect because of a parts shortage, one week before shrapnel from an exploding airbag left a woman looking as if she had been killed with a knife, lawyers for her family said....
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JOINING THE CLUB

Lincoln dealers sign up to offer exclusive Black Label series

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Lincoln has signed up 32 dealers in six states for its new Black Label luxury subfranchise. Lincoln announced the Black Label series last year in an effort to set a new standard for luxury vehicles and customer service within the brand....
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AutoNation's plan to change the retail game

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
By the end of 2015, AutoNation customers will be able to finance and buy a car online -- even signing the paperwork electronically from home, says AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. That's the promise of a $100 million-plus investment to establish the AutoNation brand and transform the company's websites from informational to transactional....
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3rd-party partners? Why AutoNation said no

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Before moving away from third-party lead providers earlier this year, AutoNation Inc. explored whether those companies could help the retailer seamlessly connect its online and brick-and-mortar operations....
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A retail system can work for Tesla

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
There is solid logic in having Tesla's growth channeled through a retail system that can expand quickly and give the consumer a first-rate shopping and ownership experience....
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How 3 dealerships are connecting with tech-savvy shoppers

How 3 dealerships are connecting with tech-savvy shoppers

Three dealers have found ways to forge bonds with car shoppers who are short on time and long on Web smarts. A Honda store has mobilized a young sales team hired from Starbucks and Best Buy. Mon., November 17
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