Dealerships

POP GOES THE BIMMER

BMW tries to win shoppers' time back from third parties

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

BMW’s quiet opening of a neon-lit pop-up store in a California mall would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But today, BMW faces new competition....
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Giant Miller group reshuffles for the buy-sell bonanza

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

A drastic restructuring at the nation's fourth largest private dealership group is the latest sign of changing times in the auto retail business. Eager to expand, the giant Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. last week positioned itself for a new era in which private equity and other nontraditional buyers are coming on fast....
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A long drive: 100-year-old still selling Chevys

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Derrell Alexander has lived a century, and for most of that time, he's been on the showroom floor. The Wyoming car salesman celebrated his 100th birthday on March 17. Despite his age, "like clockwork," he reports for work at White's Mountain Motors in Casper at 8 a.m. sharp and leaves at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday....
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Porsche dealers' profits keep piling up

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The reason Porsche dealers are generally happy? They make a lot of money, and that only improved last year. Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev von Platen said Porsche's U.S. dealerships posted an average net profit margin of 3.9 percent in 2014, up from 3.6 percent the year prior....
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Toronto dealers recruit staff by listing jobs, cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

Attacking a problem that plagues all dealerships, new-vehicle dealers in Ontario have launched a multipronged campaign to get more high school and college students to consider careers in auto retailing. Their latest effort: a website that combines the dealers' inventory listings with job listings....
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Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller resigns

5:51 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Greg Miller, CEO of Utah's Larry H. Miller Group, is stepping down as the nation's 11th largest dealership group restructures. Miller, 48, is leaving to pursue personal interests, the company said. He has served as CEO for seven years....
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Upheaval hits dealership group rankings

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Consolidation is shaking up Automotive News' ranking of the largest dealership groups. After staying fairly stable for several years, the top 10 spots underwent several changes in the latest list, and 2015 promises more turmoil....
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Buy-sell deals, blue sky soar

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Buy-sell transactions surged last year, sending dealership values higher, especially for luxury brands....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Dealers featured this week include the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association and Larry Spradley and Carol Spradley of Spradley Chevrolet in Pueblo, Colo....
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BEST PRACTICES

BMW store sponsors, hosts Pinewood Derby

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Early this month, Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., took a dozen cars out of its large showroom to make room for a huge aluminum track and hundreds of enthusiastic Boy Scouts and parents. The daylong event was paid for entirely by the dealership and included BMW hats, stickers and other gifts for each Scout participant, as well as food and appearances by celebrity racing guests. Dealer Patrick Womack is doing what he can to fan the passion of fast cars in a new generation....
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DEALERSHIP CENSUS

Lexus leaps in sales per franchise

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

It's great to be a Lexus dealer these days. Last year, the luxury brand bumped mass-market Honda out of the No. 2 spot for U.S. light-vehicle sales per franchise....
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Lithia refocuses on customer-pay work

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

A surge of warranty business largely accounted for Lithia Motors Inc.'s gain in service and parts revenue last year. That's prompting the group to urge store managers to emphasize winning more customer-pay work....
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High-rise parts bins ease space crunch

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Electronic parts storage machines that allow small parts to be stacked vertically and retrieved automatically at the touch of a button or scan of a bar code are gaining acceptance at some dealerships, where square footage is at a premium....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Dealers featured this week include Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Rocky Franich, dealer at Marty Franich Ford-Lincoln in Watsonville, Calif.; Fred DeStefano, dealer principal at Infiniti of Massapequa in Massapequa, N.Y.; and Mark Winkler, general manager of Champion Ford Edinboro in Edinboro, Pa....
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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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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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Car dealer wannabes must pay the price

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Last month medical industry entrepreneur Taseer Badar became a dealer the way most do these days: by forking out huge sums, in this case to Gerald Hollingsworth for his Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Mazda stores. The deal illustrates the twists and big bucks involved in buy-sells today....
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A better score for dealers: Feedback

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

I just read Krishnan M. Anantharaman's Feb. 2 column, "Why can't dealers shake the shady rep?" After working in the auto industry for nearly 40 years, I think he has hit it dead on....
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A mission to add, keep minority dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, whose minority dealer ranks suffered huge losses during the recession, say they are working hard to add more minority-owned dealerships to their networks and keep the ones they have....
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GM is forming a second 20 group for female dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

After adding 17 female-owned dealerships last year, General Motors is setting up its second 20 group for female dealers, said Celeste Briggs, director of the GM Women's Retail Network. At the end of 2014, women owned 225 GM dealerships, a net gain of 10 since the end of 2013, she said....
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AutoNation Q4 profit boosted by gains across board

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

Strong year-end vehicle sales and improvements in all business categories pushed AutoNation Inc. to 12 percent gains in revenue and operating income in the fourth quarter from year-earlier levels. The retailer's net income rose at a slightly slower pace of 7 percent....
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LINDSAY CHAPPELL

BLOG: Infiniti gives a glimpse of Geneva's QX30

6:43 am U.S. ET | Feb. 5, 2015

Infiniti retailers face a product drought for most of 2015. And if most of them don't seem particularly worried about it, it is because of images like this one, released Thursday by Infiniti, teasing a peek of the upcoming QX30 crossover....
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EDITORIAL

New players are changing rules of retailing game

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

If the deal by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to buy the Van Tuyl Group wasn't enough of a signal, certainly the agents of billionaire George Soros' investment fund and other investor groups prowling the floors of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco last month removed all doubt. Bigger players have checked into the game....
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THE NEW FACE OF RETAIL?

Moguls, superrich families and private-equity titans prowl for dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

First Warren Buffett. Then George Soros. Who's next? Outside investors are shopping for auto retailers in greater numbers - and with larger checkbooks - than the industry has ever seen....
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RICHARD JOHNSON

BLOG: A new Gold Rush sweeps over California

12:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

Like Warren Buffett and George Soros, so-called hybrid buyers -- private equity funds and super-wealthy families and combinations of the two -- are on the hunt for dealership deals. This new category of dealership buyer could turn out to be as transformational as the six public groups that rolled up a significant part of the industry almost 20 years ago....
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