Dealers

Lincoln maps out China retail strategy

5:00 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2014
Lincoln set up a showcase called The Lincoln Space in a busy pedestrian area of central Beijing today to outline its strategy for entering the world’s largest auto market. An initial presence of eight dealerships in seven cities this fall will grow to 20 stores by the end of the year.... Read More »

 

GM sets up new parts-ordering system for recall repairs

4:10 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
GM today gave its dealers a revised ordering process that the retailers said should speed the shipment of parts, ease repairs and ensure the job gets done right. But dealers said they aren't any closer to knowing when they will start getting parts for the millions of vehicles involved in an ignition-switch recall.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Inquiry into alleged CFPB bias picks up steam

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
The issue of whether, ironically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allegedly discriminates against its own employees has got legs.... Read More »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Brace yourself for 'velocity'

1:06 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
There’s a new buzzword trending through the car business right now: velocity. It has been popping up in conversations and presentations for a while, and is on the lips of visitors here at the New York auto show. And it might be a good thing.... Read More »

 

THE GM RECALL

GM will update dealers Wednesday on recall parts status

4:10 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
General Motors told dealers it will hold a Web conference on Wednesday to update them on the status of parts needed to repair millions of small cars recalled for faulty ignition switches, as well as the procedures to follow for the recall.... Read More »

 

Pro-Tesla bill appears dead in Arizona Senate

10:33 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
A bill that would have allowed electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors to sell cars at its factory-owned showrooms in Arizona appears to be dead in the state's Senate. But Tesla vowed today to continue "re-engaging" the Legislature next year on the matter.... Read More »

 

MyFord Touch bugs are getting squashed, Hinrichs says

3:10 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
Ford has brought its problem-plagued MyFord Touch communications system up to exceed industry-average reliability -- and plans an upgrade to improve the system's capability, Ford executive Joe Hinrichs said today.... Read More »

 

Mercedes dealers in U.S. could be overwhelmed by wave of off-lease vehicles, remarketing boss says

6:18 pm U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Mercedes-Benz USA expects its dealership network to be overwhelmed by a tsunami of off-lease vehicles at some point, forcing the brand increasingly to sell those vehicles through non-Mercedes dealers.... Read More »

 

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, needed more used cars. But driving 150 miles to the nearest auction was time-consuming and costly. So the store started providing free market appraisals to service customers and offered to buy their vehicles on the spot. Some customers hand over their car keys and walk away with a check, while others trade their ride for a new one.... Read More »

 

JASON STEIN

Krafcik's back: Many projects, scads of ideas

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Somewhere between a conversation on the future of retailing and the excitement over meeting a big investor for a lunch in Century City, John Krafcik has discovered something incongruous in the way the world works.... Read More »

 

ADP Dealer Services to spin off, go public

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Hot U.S. auto sales and the rise of online shopping have triggered a frenzy of merger and capital-raising activities among auto-retailing vendors.... Read More »

 

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Dealers featured this week include members of the Cifaldi family at Cifaldi Motors (Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep) in Cumberland, Wis.; and Anthony Galardi, AnnaLynn Wheeler and Stephen Wheeler of A-1 Toyota in New Haven, Conn.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

JM Lexus drops middleman to speed sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Eliminating the middleman from negotiating has helped JM Lexus cut the time a customer spends in the store after deciding to buy a specific vehicle to 2.5 hours from 3.5 hours, including delivery. It also is among the reasons that the Margate, Fla., dealership has kept its title as the world's largest-volume seller of new Lexus vehicles for 22 straight years.... Read More »

 

Dealers see parts trickle in for recall repairs

4:14 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Most General Motors dealers continue to wait as parts that were expected to arrive this week to repair faulty ignitions on millions of recalled small cars only trickle in. The wait is disruptive to business, some dealers said today. They are working hard to keep customers informed and patient with the repair process, they said, adding that when the parts do arrive, service shops and technicians stand ready.... Read More »

 

Mustang made Galpin Motors a power player

8:32 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
In early 1964, Galpin Motors was a small dealership with a two-car showroom in San Fernando, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles. Then the Mustang thundered into the Ford lineup and nothing would be the same.... Read More »

 

THE GM RECALL

GM raises recall charge to $1.3 billion, adds lock cylinder to part replacement

2:16 pm U.S. ET | April 10, 2014
GM said it now expects to take a $1.3 billion charge in the first quarter related to its ignition-switch recall, as it expanded the scope of the recall to fix a problem that has caused some drivers' keys to fall out of the ignitions while their cars are on. The amount of the charge revealed today increases GM's March 31 estimate of $750 million by more than 70 percent. In addition to replacing the ignition switches on 2.... Read More »

 

Chevy dealership in Missouri sues customer over disputed repair bill

5:49 pm U.S. ET | April 10, 2014
Jim Butler Chevrolet in suburban St. Louis is suing a customer who took issue with the repair bill for his Chevrolet Malibu, and is seeking $25,000 in damages. Dwayne Cooney took his vehicle to the dealership for service after hours on Jan. 31 because the key fob wouldn't work, the tire pressure monitor light remained on and an airbag warning light had illuminated.... Read More »

 

ADP Dealer Services to spin-off and go public

11:07 am U.S. ET | April 10, 2014
ADP Dealer Services, a dealer software giant, is poised to become an independent public company, according to a statement today by parent company ADP. The board of directors of ADP approved the spinoff, the statement said.... Read More »

 

Cadillac, Buick top service satisfaction rankings for 1st time

1:00 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Cadillac overtook Lexus to top a survey of customer satisfaction with luxury dealership service departments, giving General Motors twin victories in a study by JD Power and Associates. Buick led the mainstream category, ahead of GMC and Chevrolet in the top five.... Read More »

 

Ford F-150 engineer says some ideas were too much to execute

3:56 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
In Ford's five-year effort to strip weight from the 2015 F-150 pickup, some ideas were considered just too big of a stretch, chief engineer Pete Reyes said today. For example, engineers had considered using a front-frame crossmember -- which provides rigidity and lateral strength -- made of magnesium, an expensive metal that is lighter and stronger than either aluminum or steel.... Read More »

 

Weather-related rail congestion keeps vehicles parked near factories

2:48 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Across the Rust Belt, thousands of freshly built cars, pickups and SUVs are parked, waiting for a ride that’s late. A brutal winter and the highest automotive production in a decade have strained railroads and moved automakers to use more expensive over-the-road trucks to get their vehicles to dealerships.... Read More »

 

VW orders U.S. dealers to stop selling cars with new engine

9:55 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Citing the risk of a leak in the transmission oil cooler, Volkswagen of America has ordered dealers in the United States to stop selling newer cars equipped with an automatic transmission and VW’s most common engine, the 1.8-liter EA888. The stop-sale order, sent to dealers Tuesday, applies to cars produced after Feb. 1. VW spokesman Scott Vazin said the problem arose when a supplier changed the specifications of an O-ring linking the transmission oil cooler to the transmission.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Misleading sales ads hurt F&I

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
State and federal regulators have cracked down this year on misleading dealership advertising. In just about every case, their complaint was that the advertising failed to adequately disclose financial terms or hidden costs.... Read More »

 

Washington governor signs Tesla compromise bill

6:09 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
Washington state officially approved Tesla's direct-sales model last Thursday, when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing the electric-vehicle maker to continue selling its cars through its own, factory-owned showrooms instead of franchised dealerships in the state.... Read More »

 

New-vehicle sales driven by off-lease volume, Manheim analyst says

7:42 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
New-vehicle sales increases are being supported by consumers returning to the market as their vehicle leases expire, not just pent-up demand from the recession years, said Tom Webb, chief economist at Manheim.... Read More »

 

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How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, needed more used cars. But driving 150 miles to the nearest auction was time-consuming and costly. Mon., April 14
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