Retail

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Settlement rolls Tide coach into Birmingham

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Nick Saban occupies a social position in Alabama that is approximately equal to Julius Caesar's in imperial Rome. So imagine the surprise at Crown Automobile, the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Birmingham, Ala., when it learned last year that Mercedes had quietly awarded the champion football coach a letter of intent authorizing them to open a Mercedes dealership in ... Birmingham....
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The marketing move behind Buick's big year

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Buick-GMC chief Duncan Aldred believes that the campaign that's been running since March just might be starting to do something that a lineup of handsome sheet metal could not: transform Buick's old-fogey image. Aldred is doubling down with the release this week of several more spots, each featuring people who can't wrap their heads around the fact that they're looking at a Buick....
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Elantra's new look

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
The re-engineered 2016 Hyundai Elantra gets major changes to its sheet metal and proportions. This spy photo shows a longer and sleeker sedan, with bigger front and rear overhangs and a hood that looks stretched from the current version....
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Employment slips at Japanese-brand stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Employment at Japanese-brand dealerships in the U.S. slid in 2013, even as manufacturing jobs expanded at Japanese auto companies' U.S. factories, an annual survey found. The number of people directly employed by Japanese-brand franchised new-vehicle dealerships fell 2 percent to 319,568 last year....
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For Alfa dealer, the wait is over

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
From his small dealership between New York City and Connecticut, 78-year-old Alfredo Gulla has waited nearly 20 years for his beloved Alfa Romeo to return....
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Foam-filled Lexus NX spot too retro for America?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Drifting cars, techno music, string bikinis and foam parties. At first glance, Lexus' new "Shampoo" TV spot for the NX compact crossover that arrives in November seems tailor-made for the trendy young crowd that Toyota Motor's luxury brand craves....
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BEST PRACTICES

Collection Auto's Bernie Moreno cultivates managerial talent

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Bernie Moreno was 28 and had no auto retailing experience when Boston dealer Herb Chambers hired him as general manager of a Saturn store. Nearly two decades later, as CEO of Cleveland's Collection Auto Group, Moreno sees big breaks for young talent as the cornerstone of his empire's rapid growth....
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Pick up the PACE, suppliers; apply by Sept. 5

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Suppliers have until the final deadline, Friday, Sept. 5, to apply for the 2015 Automotive News PACE Awards, which recognize supplier innovation....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
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Perks program lifts struggling store's satisfaction scores, sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Land Rover San Diego is rewarding big spenders with a perks program that offers Padres baseball tickets, dry cleaning runs, preferential service times and other goodies....
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Dealership Buy/Sell

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Group 1 Automotive, Lithia Motors and others made acquisitions....
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GM, museum to restore 3 of 8 prized 'Vettes damaged by sinkhole

12:15 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014
GM and the National Corvette Museum will restore three of eight prized Chevrolet Corvettes damaged in February when they tumbled into a giant sinkhole that developed beneath the floor of the museum in Bowling Green, Ky....
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California lawmakers set to adjourn without Tesla aid

6:34 am U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014
California lawmakers are set to adjourn for the year without coming up with incentives to entice Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion battery plant in the state....
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Alfa dealers urged to offer luxury services

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014
Chrysler Group expects Alfa Romeo dealers to provide luxury services -- such as home pickup and delivery for repairs -- despite having only a handful of cars to sell for the next two years....
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Capital Automotive sold for $4.3 billion, source says

4:27 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 29, 2014
Brookfield Property Partners will acquire Capital Automotive for $4.3 billion, according to a source familiar with the deal....
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California to phase out EV incentives for the wealthy

1:44 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 29, 2014
California, which offers rebates of up to $2,500 to electric vehicle buyers to help meet a goal of getting 1 1/2 million zero-emission vehicles onto its roads by 2025, is overhauling its incentive program in response to a common criticism: The state's rebates are sometimes just a windfall for the wealthy....
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Ford to halt B-Max production on slow sales, report says

Aug. 29, 2014 11:22 CET
Ford will halt production of the B-Max at its Romanian plant for nine days in September, a report said. The automaker has halted output in Romania several times since September 2013 on slow sales of the minivan....
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Lexus NX may challenge RX for brand sales leader outside U.S.

6:51 am U.S. ET | Aug. 29, 2014
The new Lexus NX compact crossover, already racking thousands of orders in Japan, may unseat big sibling RX as the luxury brand's top global nameplate. At least outside the United States....
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Toyota targets shoppers with location-based mobile ad tool

4:08 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 28, 2014
Toyota is using a location-based mobile ad tool to supercharge its annual clearance sale. The tool, Opera Mediaworks' Dynamic Sales Event platform, enables Toyota to target shoppers who are intent on making a purchase with banner ads on Web pages and apps that display the annual percentage rate for loans at dealerships in their regions....
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Russia pledges 207 million euros to resume car scrappage scheme

Aug. 28, 2014 12:19 CET
Russia will reintroduce a scrappage scheme to help stimulate car sales after deliveries in the market fell 23 percent in July as the crisis in Ukraine continues to hit consumer confidence....
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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Fiat's cute cartoon characters suggest buying a 500 -- or else

3:38 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Since Fiat was reintroduced to the United States in 2011, the Italian brand has stretched the advertising envelope. But a new animated spot set to debut on Gas Station TV touting the fuel and ecological advantages of a Fiat 500 minicar may be the brand's most wry offering yet....
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AUGUST U.S. AUTO SALES

Sales rate to top 16 million for 6th month in a row, analysts predict

12:46 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Auto sales volume in the United States is expected to keep rolling along in August, with two independent forecasters predicting a sixth straight month of 16 million-plus selling rates. TrueCar predicts a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 16.6 million for August and LMC Automotive/J.D. Power is just behind at 16.5 million....
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Mercedes to ditch M-class in favor of GLE as part of renaming strategy

3:46 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Mercedes-Benz is ditching the M-class nameplate as part of a comprehensive renaming strategy. When the vehicle receives a face-lift in early 2015 for the 2016 model year, it will be called the GLE class....
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BMW joins Cadillac wooing Silicon Valley to combat Tesla

2:24 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
BMW scored a coup this month when former Apple executive Tony Fadell became one of the first owners of the new $136,000 i8 plug-in sports car in the United States. Car companies covet Californians, who are seen as trendsetters for the rest of the country. All the better if they can win adherents among executives at companies striving to stay at the cutting edge of technology....
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HANS GREIMEL

See the wild Lexus NX spot too retro for outside Japan

10:35 am U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Drifting cars, techno music, string bikinis and foam parties. At first glance, Lexus' new “Shampoo” TV spot seems tailor-made for the trendy young crowd the luxury brand craves. But the brilliant, visually enticing commercial for the new NX compact crossover won't air stateside....
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