Dealerships

Lincoln opens its first 3 dealerships in China

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
After three years of studying China's consumers and luxury buyers, Lincoln last week opened its first three dealerships in the country and rolled out a new customer service initiative....
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Michigan body shop burns used oil to cut heating bill

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Dealer Ed Brown saw a heating system that uses used oil displayed at the 2002 National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans and had it installed a year later at a cost of $395,000. Since then, the system has reduced the shop's heating bill by nearly $250,000....
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SERVICE MASTERS

Dealerships boost fixed-ops spending to fend off rivals, retain customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Many dealerships are investing heavily in fixed operations. They are adding service bays, longer hours, dedicated express lanes and technology to boost efficiency. Dealers say the investments are justified by strong profits, a big pool of potential customers who defected to independent shops and national service chains, and opportunities to boost customer satisfaction....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Dealers featured this week include James Ramey, dealer operator at Ramey Chevrolet in Tazewell, Va.; Elias Kymingham, president of Shively Motors Inc. (Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram) in Chambersburg, Pa.; Craig Paretti Jr., president of Paretti Imports; David Hudiburg, president of Hudiburg Auto Group; Ron Huggins of Huggins Honda in North Richland Hills, Texas; John and Tony Gabriele of Marina Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Webster, N.Y.; and Nathaniel Sutton, of Sutton Ford-Lincoln in Matteson, Ill....
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Outsiders invest in China's auto retailers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Global companies piled into China for the first phase of the country's auto boom, to build cars and make parts locally. Now they are ramping up for the next phase: retailing. Chinese dealerships, desperate for funds to expand operations and keep up with the country's surging demand, are courting foreign investment....
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Asbury raises its acquisition goal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Asbury Automotive Group Inc.'s acquisition ambitions keep getting bigger. The nation's seventh-largest dealership group said that it now aims to buy stores that will add $500 million in annual revenue during the next 18 months....
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Bad feelings in Billings over deal veto

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
GM nixed the sale of a Chevrolet store in Montana to former NADA Chairman Bill Underriner. The tale behind that deal - what happened before and after -- shows how the right-of-first-refusal option can sour relations between dealers -- and between dealers and the factory....
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FIVE YEARS LATER

GM's loss, Hyundai's gain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Stores targeted for closure by one troubled brand were snapped up by a rising brand....
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EDITORIAL

Factories should take long view using 1st refusal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Automakers are replacing dealership buyers in active deals with preferred purchasers more than ever before, say dealers, buy-sell advisers and dealer lawyers....
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MIKE WOOD: How hard are you willing to work?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Long hours and hard work in the past few years turned Mike Wood from a dealership manager into a dealer with four stores. The market has been loaded with acquisition opportunities, he says, provided the buyer is willing to put in the sweat and hustle....
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JERRY VITZTHUM: Out, in and then back out again

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Ask former small-town car dealer Jerry Vitzthum whether the auto industry is better or worse today than it was before the national economic crisis, and he shrugs....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Dealers featured this week include Charles Day, dealer principal of Tower Ford in Coos Bay, Ore.; C. Taylor Andrews, Alfred Andrews and Elliott Andrews of Dayton Andrews Inc. (Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram) in Clearwater, Fla.; and Jeff Schmitt, dealer principal of Jeff Schmitt Nissan in Beavercreek, Ohio....
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Wrestling with the workweek

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
At Planet Subaru in Hanover, Mass., everyone works fewer than 50 hours a week.
At Friendship Family of Dealerships in Bristol, Tenn., employees who sell 15 or more vehicles a month set their own schedules.
At Schumacher European, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Phoenix, sales staffers regularly get two days off in a row....
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Stores mix competitions and food to cook up camaraderie

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
In Amarillo, Texas, it's not unusual to see restaurant billboards advertising 72-ounce steak dinners. At AutoNation Chevrolet in Amarillo, the ribs or brisket portions may be smaller, but the grill is hardly dainty....
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Scrap metal pays for pizza at Faulkner

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Scrap dealers show up once a month at Faulkner Hyundai on the northeast side of Philadelphia and haul away the worn-out parts from the service department. But unlike most dealerships, Faulkner Hyundai doesn't add the money to its bottom line. Instead, it puts the cash into a kitty that helps feed and entertain the store's roughly 45 employees....
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Ounce of prevention keeps employees on the job

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
When it comes to the health and well-being of its 130 employees, Baker Motor Co. of Charleston closely follows the adage about the relative cost of prevention and cure....
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Offbeat rewards motivate workers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Dealerships across the country hand out cash or plane tickets when their employees hit sales targets or other company goals. Several of the Best Dealerships To Work For are among those that go beyond trips or sporting event tickets with unusual incentives to motivate employees to sell -- and to be good citizens....
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Manager's personalized paychecks encourage, praise dealership staffers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Michelle Petrenko adds extra value to her employees' paychecks. Petrenko, as general manager of Mini of Tempe, one of this year's Best Dealerships To Work For, wrote meaningful, unique messages on the checks of each of the Arizona Mini store's 37 staffers....
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How to get the most from millennial staffers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
If dealers want to attract the best and brightest from the most diverse generation to date, job descriptions should cast the car business as a career with hurdles that millennials should be excited to leap -- not a robotic list of tasks waiting to be checked off, says Jason Dorsey, who bills himself as The Gen Y Guy....
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How to attract, hire and keep college grads

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Dealers increasingly want to hire college grads, believing they bring a high level of professionalism and the drive to succeed. But getting college graduates to consider auto retailing careers can be tough. Large dealership groups would seem to have an advantage, in part because they can offer more opportunities for ambitious new hires who want to advance....
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Giving employees a meal and much more

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Steve Krohn believes there are many ways to reward employees for a job well done. One is Phil Long Dealerships' long-standing practice of giving Thanksgiving Day turkeys to every employee -- from lot porters to general managers, including Krohn, general manager at Phil Long Hyundai of Motor City in Colorado Springs, Colo....
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Getting past the industry's negative image

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
If auto dealers want to hire more college graduates, experts say, they must overcome a variety of negative perceptions: long and odd hours, inconsistent paychecks and workplaces that are less than friendly to women and minorities....
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Forget big vs. small; it's the Best vs. the rest

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
The differences among small, medium and large Best Dealerships To Work For are far less striking than their similarities....
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Dealership hires newbies, then comes the training

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Land Rover North Dade rarely hires salespeople who have worked in the auto industry. "When they have been in the industry, you can't teach them," said General Manager Larry Zinn, 28. And teach them it does. The dealership systematically trains new employees in its processes, culture and approach to customer service. Training is a key to the store's success....
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Dealers take Affordable Care Act in stride

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Hold down costs and turn a profit -- but don't do so by shaving employee health benefits. That is the consensus among owners and managers of stores on Automotive News' list of Best Dealerships To Work For....
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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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