Sales of premium-luxury vehicles have long been viewed as guaranteed money in the bank. Not any more. Both Penske and Group 1 reported a decline in per-vehicle gross profit for new and used vehicles, citing oversupply of some luxury models as brands like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and others have pushed inventory on dealers in bids to grab market share.
Group 1's revenue increased in the fourth quarter, thanks to higher sales volumes in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, but its profit in the final three months of the year declined because of tighter margins on new cars, especially luxury vehicles.
CEO Don Walker is leading Magna International Inc. through the headlong advance of technology, an evolving regulatory environment and industry globalization that have forced even the largest automotive suppliers to move nimbly to adapt.
Nissan's frayed relations with dealers can be seen in Boston, where one abandoned store sits vacant and the company has had problems filling two open points, sources say. The problems, they say, stem from Nissan's push to reach 10 percent market share in the U.S.