Dealers

NO LAND, NO STORE?

High-volume dealer sues after Mitsubishi sells SoCal site

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Abbas Ahmadi's passion for cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has made him a star in the automaker's retail network. His four Mitsubishi stores accounted for 3 percent of the automaker's total U.S. sales last year. Yet Ahmadi's relationship with Mitsubishi has been rocky, generating multiple lawsuits, and now he's in a battle to save his Huntington Beach, Calif., dealership....
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Calif. dealer champions chaplain services

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Calif. dealer Bill Hoehn has something few retailers have: A full-time chaplain. The chaplain provides care and support for employees, is available 24/7 for crisis needs and even presides over weddings. The service is part of Hoehn Motor’s spiritual and wellness benefits that also include free yoga and Pilates classes. Hoehn says these benefits enhance employee satisfaction....
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Ford salesman's fall job? College football player

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
The movie script writes itself, a Rudy-like tale of the middle-aged Ford salesman who went back to school to get his degree -- and play college football....
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Tesla, dealers dispute impact of Mass. ruling

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Tesla Motors Inc. says its win against dealers in Massachusetts' highest court last week bolsters its argument for selling directly....
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Q&A

AutoNation's brand building sets up more growth

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Mike Maroone, COO of AutoNation Inc., says the nation's largest dealership group is meeting the goals of a multiyear $100 million branding campaign....
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New NAAA chief steps in as volume steps up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
The past few years have been rough for the auto auction industry. But things are looking up, said Ellie Johnson, president-elect of the National Auto Auction Association....
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3rd parties see their role sticking around

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Third-party online shopping sites are likely to continue influencing auto shoppers for the foreseeable future, despite pledges by dealership groups such as AutoNation Inc. to rely less on them for prospects, two new studies say....
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BEST PRACTICES

Charity is a priority, not a look-at-me

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
George Nahas, a Chevrolet dealer in central Florida, says his annual budget for philanthropy has consistently been greater than $100,000 per year. Though Nahas says his charitable projects help him sell a few extra cars per year, additional business is never a factor when he evaluates a request....
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Group 1 exits N.Y., looks south

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
jlareau@crain.com...
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Porsche SE cash gives Inrix fuel to grow

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Inrix Inc., the traffic information provider that drew a $55 million investment this month from Volkswagen AG holding company Porsche Automobil Holding SE, is officially in growth mode....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Dealers featured this week include James Auffenberg, president of Auffenberg Hyundai in O'Fallon, Ill.; John Bommarito, president of Frank Bommarito Mazda in Ellisville, Mo.; Howard Bush, dealer principal at B&B Ford in Barnwell, S.C.; Martin Taylor, dealer principal of Taylor Nissan in Lancaster, Ohio; and Ron Parks, owner of Stadium Toyota in Tampa, Fla....
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JESSE SNYDER

Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 20, 2014
Detroit's a big city. But if you're in the car biz, the Motor City is a small town, too. Karl Zimmermann's party at George Matick Chevrolet was both big city and small town....
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Tesla argues New Jersey regulators can't stop direct sales

2:06 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
Tesla Motors, in a court filing submitted Tuesday, argued that New Jersey regulators have no authority to shut down direct sales at the electric-vehicle maker's stores in the state....
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JIM HENRY

The case for casting a wider net with credit apps

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
Auto lenders complain they hate it when dealership F&I managers send them credit applications outside their preferred range of credit scores....
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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, Ray and Rik Fregia are seeing sales boom after million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. They are boosting Internet business, using contractors to deliver cars across the U.S. All the while, the brothers, who defied their father's advice and went into the business anyway, are creating fun workplaces with what they call a 'get to' versus 'got to' attitude....
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Edmunds: U.S. sales to stay strong

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
The surge in U.S. light-vehicle sales last month could help lift this year's volume above levels last seen in 2006, Edmunds.com analysts said....
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Tesla prevails in top Mass. court over direct sales

5:52 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
Massachusetts' highest court on Monday threw out a lawsuit seeking to block Tesla from selling its luxury electric cars directly to consumers in the state, enabling it to bypass traditional dealerships....
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Easing off on acquisitions

AutoNation adds 4 stores, but won't buy much more this year

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
AutoNation Inc.'s deal to buy four Bellevue, Wash., luxury-brand dealerships is the company's biggest acquisition since late 2012....
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Sell more Dodges, get more Hellcats, brand tells dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
Dodge will give more new 707-hp 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcats to dealers who sell more other Dodge vehicles. Challenger SRT Hellcat allocation is based on the total of Dodge vehicles that a dealer sold in the previous 180 days, brand head Tim Kuniskis said....
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Wall Street sees value in Group 1, Lithia acquisitions

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
In the dealership acquisition market, reward follows risk. The two most active acquirers among public dealership groups -- Group 1 Automotive and Lithia Motors -- are also the winners when it comes to rising valuations, according to a report released last week by dealership buy-sell adviser Erin Kerrigan....
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BEST PRACTICES

Dealerships' tech team offers training for all

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
A few years ago, Ford's quality ratings began to take a hit from consumers who found its MyFord Touch infotainment system less than user-friendly....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
Dealers featured this week include Carter, Joe, Willy and Gerard DeCormier of DeCormier Nissan in Manchester, Conn.; Ray Dennison, dealer principal at Ray Dennison Chevrolet in Pekin, Ill.; Marie Brooks at Ellis Brooks Honda in Yreka, Calif.; and Dan Dederick of Hendrick Chrysler-Jeep in Fayetteville, N.C....
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Edmunds pushes dealers toward Price Promise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
Edmunds.com, a popular car-shopping site, intends to drop dealers unwilling to join a sales program that guarantees vehicle prices to consumers, President Seth Berkowitz said last week....
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LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 13, 2014
Take a look at who's been increasing incentives lately and you will see a larger trend in vehicle strategy for the United States....
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JAMIE LaREAU

Smart dealers can make big bucks through smartphones

2:50 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 12, 2014
Car dealers are sitting on a gold mine: their idle inventories. The tool to turn that goldmine into gold is the smartphone....
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Calif. dealer offers staff spiritual care

Calif. dealer offers staff spiritual care

Calif. dealer Bill Hoehn has something few retailers have: A full-time chaplain. The chaplain provides care and support for employees, is available 24/7 for crisis needs and even presides over weddings. Mon., September 22
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