Category: Customer Relations

By on April 13, 2016

2017 Ford GT

If there’s about $450,000 burning a hole in your pocket, Ford wants you to get in line for the new GT.

The application process for the 2017 and 2018 model years of the carbon fiber supercar kicked off today, and along with it, a very selective customer screening process.

Ford will sell a limited number of GTs each year, produced by Canadian firm Multimatic, so it could be a long wait if you don’t make the cut this time around. Ford anticipates first deliveries will begin late this year, with applications ending on May 12. Oh, and Russia? You can’t order a Ford GT, unless you have a friend buy it for you in an eligible country — like, say, China.

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By on April 11, 2016

Tesla Model 3

Much to the delight of EV fanatics and sandal enthusiasts around the world, Tesla reported last week that 325,000 people had placed refundable $1,000 deposits on its Model 3 sedan. Even pessimistically projecting a defection rate of 25 percent, that’s still nearly a quarter of a million cars which need to be built and delivered starting late next year.

Industry analysts have nattered at length about the logistics of the mass order and Tesla’s ability to pull it off. However, there is a new obstacle on the horizon, this time involving the core reason many have given for reserving a Model 3: tax credits.

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By on April 11, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is expected to cave to shareholder and labor pressure today and ask that his management board agree to trim their bonuses by 30 percent, insider sources have told Reuters.

Will it satisfy dealers and vehicle owners stuck with depreciated rolling stock? Not. Bloody. Likely.

The request, if it comes to pass, comes after workers unions and the state of Lower Saxony (Volkswagen’s home and its second-largest shareholder) protested the idea of senior management receiving full compensation while the diesel emissions scandal continues to rage.

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By on April 9, 2016

Jeep Wranglers Coming Down The Line In Toledo

A group of Jeep fans wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to make a Sophie’s Choice-style decision to save their beloved offroader.

To avoid the destruction of the storied brand at the hands of its parent company, FCA must cast it loose, the group states in a strongly-worded Change.org petition.

“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s stable of failing brands and debt,” the petition states. “We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.”

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By on April 2, 2016

Volkswagen Dealer Sign (Image: Rob Brewer/Flickr)

Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. have formed a go-to team tasked with drawing compensation out of the automaker while avoiding a looming barrage of dealer lawsuits.

The five-member committee was formed at a dealers-only meeting held yesterday at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, one day before U.S. dealers were expected to meet with top Volkswagen brass, Automotive News has reported.

The move is designed to head off a potential slew of lawsuits from U.S. dealers seeking reparations for sunk costs and lost revenue stemming from the automaker’s expansion push and subsequent diesel emissions scandal.

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By on April 1, 2016

tdiengine

Volkswagen’s slow roll-out of fixes for recalled diesel vehicles in Europe has hit a snag.

Authorities in Europe have put the brakes on a series of Volkswagen recalls after greater fuel consumption was allegedly recorded in models that have undergone the diesel emissions fix, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Reports say that fuel economy suffered after the fix, forcing Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to halt the repairs of 2.0-liter Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda models.

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By on April 1, 2016

Ford Dealership

Light vehicle sales haven’t peaked in the U.S., but the way they’re being sold is putting automakers in some financial peril.

That warning was delivered by Thomas King, vice-president of the Power Information Network, ahead of this weekend’s National Automobile Dealers Association, Wards Auto reports.

Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit, King said retail sales of cars and light trucks will rise this year and next, even after a very healthy 2015. Last year saw 14.2 million units reach customers, with volume projected to hit 14.7 million in 2017.

Despite moving more vehicles and rising MRSPs, automakers risk forgoing the financial benefits due to incentives and a growing trend towards leasing.

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By on March 31, 2016

2015 Ford Focus Electric

If you live in California and your demographics are right, your electric car dream is within reach. Yes, even you, baristas and struggling actors!

The website Leasehackr stumbled upon a killer deal for lower-income Californians (assuming they live near charging stations), and spelled out how leftover 2015 Ford Focus Electrics can be leased for essentially nothing.

If your personal life aligns with Ford’s customer incentives and California’s revamped EV rebate program, it can be done.

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By on March 31, 2016

Auto Repair

Your vehicle’s hidden flaws and most shocking (mechanical) secrets will soon be just a click away.

The Department of Transportation is ending the clandestine relationship between your car’s dealer and the manufacturer by posting all Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) online, according to Consumer Reports.

TSBs, which outline the recommended procedure for repairing vehicles, will be posted in PDF form on the safercar.gov website.

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By on March 29, 2016

Christian Meunier, Image: Nissan

Nissan’s U.S. sales boss delivered some Glengarry Glen Ross-style “motivation” to its ad agencies in order to pump up the brand’s weak messaging via a new campaign.

Christian Meunier, who took control of Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing in January, dressed down a roomful of agency reps a week into his new job, according to Automotive News (via Ad Age).

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  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

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