'Old-time' car guy Larry Dominique preps PSA's new era of retailingMay 21
Former Nissan and TrueCar executive Larry Dominique is devising PSA's decade-long return to the U.S. with a focus on mobile apps, car sharing and a possible retail network in which dealers could “actually make a profit” on new-vehicle sales.
Toyota's Lentz on sticking with cars, avoiding pickup overbuilds, being ready for EVsMay 14
Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz says the automaker is eyeballing opportunities in passenger cars as rivals exit the segment. He also explains why there may be comfort in a shortage of Tacoma pickups and why being a laggard in EVs now won't hurt in the long run.
Keeping Saabs on road with original parts, serviceApril 16
Saab may be dead, but it has loyal fans who strive to keep their cars in pristine condition. Orio North America is keeping those aging cars on the road with original equipment parts and a network of official service centers. Along the way, Orio is coming up with innovative ways to make its parts stand out, to leverage Saab's engineering know-how, and to keep its customers for life.
Honda store's oil-change assembly line targets independentsApril 9
Motorcars Honda was losing oil-change customers to speedy independent garages. That's why the Cleveland-area dealership built a 100-foot-long, express-service assembly line. Executives say the process of pulling cars through service is slashing wait times, providing greater transparency to clients and feeding more work into the main shop.
Akio Toyoda: If we don't change, we won't growNov. 6, 2017
Toyota President Akio Toyoda feels the pressure of steering his company through a rapidly transforming industry where new entrants and technological advancements are forcing the family scion to rethink an 80-year-old business. As a result, he's betting on alliances and investments in areas from fuel cells to artificial intelligence. One thing the 61-year-old sees enduring through the decades is people's “friendship” with their cars.
Mazda CEO: U.S. plant, product blitz and customer satisfaction will revive brandNov. 22, 2017
Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai says the company is preparing for ‘a new era’ that begins with a product blitz in 2019 and follows with the opening of its joint U.S. plant with Toyota in 2021. Kogai believes those efforts, along with a renewed focus on customer loyalty, will stimulate Mazda’s U.S. sales.
Honda's Hachigo on boosting partnerships, light-truck production and U.S. salesDec. 25, 2017
Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo prefers partnerships, not capital tie-ups, as the company tackles a rapidly changing auto industry. In the near term, Hachigo is focused on increasing light-truck production to help lift Honda's U.S. sales in 2018.
Mitsubishi CEO on U.S. strategy, industry survival, ‘too old’ execsOct. 30, 2017
68-year-old Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko sees an auto industry filled with aging executives who are scrambling to understand the changing car-buying habits and 'values' of young people. Masuko says CEOs and their companies must learn how new shoppers 'think' to survive in this uncertain environment. His advice comes as Mitsubishi looks to boost U.S. sales and re-energize dealerships without much immediate help from partners Nissan and Renault.
How to 'stock smart' during the off-lease floodFeb. 26
Matick Auto Group in suburban Detroit analyzes historical sales data, gross profit opportunities and existing inventories to ensure the used vehicles it buys are sold within an average of 30 days. The strategy is becoming increasingly important as a tidal wave of off-lease vehicles and rising interest rates put pressure on used-car prices.
At age 17, he had never sat in a new car. Now he's guiding 7 dealerships.July 17, 2017
A homeless man gave Kenneth Banks a piece of life-changing advice: “Go work for a car dealership.” Banks listened and overcame poverty and professional rejection to eventually become director of variable operations at Denver-based Mike Shaw Automotive. In this video report, hear how Banks and other members of the 2017 40 Under 40 retail class beat the odds and ascended to key positions at their dealerships.
Dealer Liza Borches on learning from mistakes, handling OEM pressure, succeeding dad Carter MyersSept. 18, 2017
After working at Honda, Liza Borches joined the family dealership business just as her father, former NADA Chairman Carter Myers, was thinking about an exit strategy. He has stepped back enough to allow her to make her own decisions - some of them painful learning experiences. Those lessons have shaped a distinct growth strategy and helped her deal with pressure from automakers with inventory to unload.
How to improve factory-retailer relations: A dealer’s viewpointDec. 11, 2017
Clint Newell says manufacturers need to address problematic dealerships individually, rather than react with 'broad-brush' policies that impact the entire retail network. The veteran Oregon dealer says while automakers have made significant strides in areas such as vehicle distribution and product mix, some factory programs are reducing retailers' fixed coverage ratios.