Dealers

What is a recall? Automakers confuse drivers in deadly airbag saga

10:48 am U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2014
More than 17 million cars with Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide, including over 11 million in the United States. But that number represents a patchwork of confusing safety messages to drivers: "safety improvement campaigns," informal "regional recalls," and formal recalls of certain models rather a consistent national action. The mixed messages make owners wonder how worried they should be....
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Ernie Boch confuses, charms presidents

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 15, 2014
Even when meeting former presidents, Boston-area dealer and Subaru distributor Ernie Boch dresses like a rock star....
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Dealerships' newspaper ad spending forecast to dive

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 15, 2014
Auto dealers large and small will eliminate $800 million worth of print advertising from U.S. newspapers next year, according to a new industry forecast, accelerating their media rush onto the Internet....
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JAMIE LaREAU

Great product isn't the only ingredient for making happy customers

3:48 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 14, 2014
Sure, product is very important, but consider that most vehicles on the market look good and have comparable quality within their segments. So that means purchase decisions and customer happiness ultimately land on nontangibles such as service, salesperson and the deal....
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Mercedes, Mini top J.D. Power sales satisfaction rankings

1:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 13, 2014
Mercedes-Benz ranked highest in sales satisfaction among luxury brands in the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study released today. For a fifth consecutive year, Mini ranks highest among mass-market brands, with a score of 727....
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Mazda to offer unlimited mileage warranty in Canada

3:37 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 13, 2014
Mazda Motor Corp. will offer an unlimited mileage warranty to consumers who buy or lease a vehicle in Canada beginning with the 2015 model year, the automaker said today....
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JIM HENRY

‘Disparate impact’ opposition sees hope

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2014
Hope remains among opponents of the “disparate impact” theory that the U.S. Supreme Court could ultimately rule against the theory in court, maybe in 2015....
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Mercedes introduces new names for its vehicles to avoid customer confusion

6:30 am U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2014
Mercedes-Benz, hoping to overcome consumer confusion as its product lineup expands, is overhauling the nomenclature used to identify its cars and light trucks. The moves comes as it prepares for the launch of 30 models -- including 11 all-new vehicles -- by 2020....
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Cox Automotive to buy Xtime for $325M, enters service software business

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2014
Cox Automotive has agreed to pay $325 million in cash to buy Xtime, a leading provider of service scheduling and workflow software to dealerships, the companies announced today. The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days, said Keith Jezek, software division president at Cox Automotive....
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Ford dealership pays $128,780 in EEOC settlement after firing disabled manager

5:25 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Randall Ford in Fort Smith, Ark., has been ordered to pay a former used-car manager $128,750 after failing to accommodate his post-spinal surgery disability and then firing him, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said last week.
...
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BEST PRACTICES

Luxury retailer is in for long haul

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Living a teenage boy's fantasy of driving exotic cars is part of Tom O'Keefe's job at Midwestern Auto Group, a 15-franchise group of mostly exotic and luxury dealerships in Dublin, Ohio, that offers valet service to its high-line customers....
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Chinese car import deal draws U.S. litigation

2:39 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Julie Brown, the embattled former CEO of Plastech Engineered Products, is back in court six years after her company was liquidated under bankruptcy. Brown's new venture, Plastech Holding, is taking action against a company it says interfered with its relationship with a Chinese carmaker....
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GM touts 13,000 vehicles sold under Shop-Click-Drive

3:46 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
General Motors has sold more than 13,000 new vehicles via its online shopping tool Shop-Click-Drive since it debuted for use on dealership websites a year ago, the automaker said today....
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Benefits of Lithia-DCH deal go beyond numbers, CEO says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Before Warren Buffett bought Van Tuyl Group in October, the buy/sell sensation of the year was Lithia Motors' surprise acquisition of DCH in June. Lithia paid $340 million in cash and another $22.5 million in stock for the 27-store group. But did Lithia over- or underpay for DCH?...
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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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Dealertrack is content in background

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Sites such as TrueCar Inc., Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com and Cars.com, provide millions of leads to dealers. Critics say they do so by building their own brands, too. Mark O'Neil, CEO of Dealertrack Technologies, is trying to provide dealerships an alternative....
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AutoNation's Jackson: Hot sales years ahead Jamie LaReau

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
U.S. light-vehicle sales will continue in the high 16 million to low 17 million range for the next "several years," AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson told the Detroit Economic Club....
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EDITORIAL

Dealers must tailor technology to their needs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Sonic Automotive's One Sonic-One Experience pilot in Charlotte, N.C., is the latest effort to make car buying easier....
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Auto vet Joe Herman dies at 72

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Joe Herman had a knack for knowing people from all walks of the automotive industry, said Greg Goodwin, CEO of Kuni Automotive in Vancouver, Wash....
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Rising off-lease volume hits ADESA lanes

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
The number of vehicles sold at ADESA's physical auctions rose 4 percent in the third quarter as a much-anticipated rising volume of off-lease vehicles began to be felt in the remarketing world, said the CEO of the auction company's parent....
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Pull customers ahead to lift loyalty

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
A new study has found that reducing the customer's time in the vehicle can play a major role in building loyalty: The longer a customer owns a vehicle, the less likely the customer is to buy the same brand again....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Dealers featured this week include John Barile, dealer principal at Barile Ford in Valparaiso, Ind.; Doug Ikegami, owner of Doug's Lynnwood Mazda in Edmonds, Wash.; Dan Gorges, general manager, and Joe Isbell, assistant general manager; Jim Arrigo, president of Arrigo Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Michael and Bradley Schlossmann of Schlossmann's Honda City in Milwaukee....
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AMY WILSON

Joe Herman's lessons about the business will live on

9:46 am U.S. ET | Nov. 8, 2014
Joe Herman, even in the months before his death at age 72 in October, was focused on keeping his auto dealerships at the forefront of technology....
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M-B bolsters service with concierge program

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 8, 2014
Mercedes-Benz has launched a product specialist program for dealerships and aims to train 1,600 employees through the program by the end of next year....
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Mercedes gears up for its 3rd Super Bowl appearance

4:27 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 7, 2014
Automakers' plans for the Super Bowl in February are beginning to emerge. Mercedes-Benz has bought time in the big game, according to Donna Boland, a spokeswoman for the company. The news was reported earlier Friday by The New York Times....
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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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