The Truth About Cars » Dealer News http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 29 Aug 2015 15:27:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Dealer News http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/dealer-news/ At This Price, Nissan Just May As Well Pay You For a New Leaf http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/price-nissan-just-may-well-pay-new-leaf/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/price-nissan-just-may-well-pay-new-leaf/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152793 I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby. Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan […]

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2011 Nissan LEAF

I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby.

Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan Leaf one of the least expensive new cars in America is fascinating.

Right now, Leaf buyers in Colorado can receive the following perks: a $7,500 federal rebate, around $5,000 back from the state of Colorado, and $5,000 from Nissan if you finance your purchase through them. (Georgia, West Virginia and Connecticut are pretty high as well.)

All told, that’s $17,500 back in Colorado on a car that starts at $29,860 ($850 destination included) and your price — before negotiations with the dealer — is $12,360, if your shirt is starched, teeth are white and you max out rebates.

I called up a local Nissan dealer to confirm the details and after a little bit of checking (and a lot of trying to sell me on a lease) she confirmed I could score a Nissan for severely cheap.

FYI: A Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $12,995.

The financing rebate ends at the end of August, and Colorado’s $6,000 incentive (which is the highest in the nation) can’t last forever.

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Fiat Chrysler Reportedly Showing Dealers Impossibly Fun Cars That We May Never See http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fiat-chrysler-reportedly-showing-dealers-impossibly-fun-cars-may-never-see/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fiat-chrysler-reportedly-showing-dealers-impossibly-fun-cars-may-never-see/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153129 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports. At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, […]

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports.

At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Fiat) that may include up to 30 new or refreshed products within two years.

According to reports, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne also addressed reports that the automaker was seeking a merger with another automaker, and any potential deal would be “to strengthen the competitive position of the companies involved,” he said according to Automotive News.

According to reports, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was shown with all-wheel drive and FCA’s 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engine. It was unclear if the super SUV would be all-wheel or just rear-wheel drive.

According to reports, a next-generation Wrangler was shown, but not in truck form.

Future products for the Chrysler brand weren’t immediately clear. Aside from a new Town & Country minivan, Chrysler may not have much on its horizon aside from a redesigned 300, which could be based on the new rear-wheel drive Giulia/Charger/Challenger framework.

We reached out to an FCA spokesperson who predictably said that the automaker wouldn’t comment on confidential news from its dealer meeting.

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Toyota Asking Dealers To Stop Advertising Below Invoice, World Not Over Yet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-asking-dealers-stop-advertising-invoice-world-not-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-asking-dealers-stop-advertising-invoice-world-not-yet/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1151489 At an upcoming dealer meeting in Las Vegas next month, Toyota will ask its dealers to stop advertising cars below invoice in an attempt to help keep residual values higher and keep dealers from competing in a “race to the bottom,” Automotive News is reporting. If accepted, Toyota would join Honda in penalizing dealers who […]

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"Both certified Toyota dealerships -- and those pending certification -- were built as part of the company's Eco-Image USA II initiative that puts an emphasis on environmental sensitivity when building new facilities or updating current facilities. For instance, under the program, panels used on the building's exterior are made up of 90 percent recycled aluminum and Toyota assists dealers with cutting edge green options, including different power sources such as solar, wind and geothermal."

At an upcoming dealer meeting in Las Vegas next month, Toyota will ask its dealers to stop advertising cars below invoice in an attempt to help keep residual values higher and keep dealers from competing in a “race to the bottom,” Automotive News is reporting.

If accepted, Toyota would join Honda in penalizing dealers who advertise cars below invoice. According to the report, after three reported violations in one year, Honda could withhold marketing money from a dealer — which could be $400 per vehicle. It’s unclear how Toyota may penalize its dealers who don’t comply with the proposed new rule.

A less-than-happy dealer said he would consider suing Toyota for price fixing if the ad mandate were enforced.

“This is not in the best interest of the consumer, and I’m not going to keep my mouth shut,” said Earl Stewart, who runs a dealership in Florida.

A Boston-area Toyota dealer said keeping other dealers from advertising below invoice could keep unscrupulous dealers from bait-and-switch tactics to lure buyers to a showroom with one price, and sell them on another.

“It would be wonderful if this move could put some sanity into pricing,” said Mike Hills, general manager of Bristol Toyota-Scion.

Stewart said that he sells three out of four cars below invoice and that his dealership is a no-haggle dealership, something Lexus will reportedly adopt soon. He said that if he can’t advertise below invoice, he would lose business.

(It’s worth mentioning that dealer holdback allows some dealers to sell below invoice, but still make a profit on the car.)

At its Scion stores, Toyota is reportedly streamlining its online shopping process to encourage buyers to shop and pay for a car online before having it delivered*.

*Only in states where that sort of thing is legal, of course.

No word on whether balloons on cars would still be allowed.

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Interest in Hybrid Cars the Same, But Not When Money is Involved http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/interest-in-hybrid-cars-the-same-but-not-when-money-is-involved/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/interest-in-hybrid-cars-the-same-but-not-when-money-is-involved/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150945 Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 […]

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Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 on the hoods of those cars, Automotive News is reporting.

According to a Harris Poll, 48 percent of polled Americans say they would consider a hybrid vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car, which is roughly the same number of people who said so in 2013. Interest in electric and plug-in hybrid cars was up slightly to 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.

Getting people to pull the trigger on that purchase, it seems, is still a matter of dangling a tangible benefit — fuel economy and environmental benefit may still not be enough.

Jeff Aiosa, who owns a Mercedes dealership in New London, Connecticut, said his electrified B-Class cars weren’t going anywhere until that state started offering money directly to consumers to buy one.

“We weren’t selling them heavily before,” Aiosa told Automotive News. “The program certainly created some amped-up demand.”

Connecticut is offering money off the cars directly from a $1 million fund aimed at moving cars off lots. The state is putting up to $3,000 on the hoods of some cars, depending on battery size, to incentive purchases of hybrids and electric cars. Through July, about one-quarter of the incentive money available had been claimed.

“This is the type of program that can be a win-win-win for the state, auto manufacturers, dealers and consumers,” said Leo Karl, who owns a Chevrolet dealership. Karl said he was nearly out of 2015 Volts, which qualify for $1,500 from the program, and expects that the 2016 Volt, which will qualify for $3,000, will go quickly too.

Interestingly, part of the Connecticut program allows dealers who sell the cars to keep up to $300 of the incentive.

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You’re Paying More for That 2016 Hellcat, Quite a Bit More http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/youre-paying-more-for-that-2016-hellcat-quite-a-bit-more/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/youre-paying-more-for-that-2016-hellcat-quite-a-bit-more/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 16:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150841 Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting. The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting.

The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and tax, which is an increase of $3,650.

(Those prices don’t reflect the “market adjustment” one could likely see for the highly coveted, limited-production vehicles. Although, Dodge really doesn’t like that.)

Pricing isn’t official from Dodge, but Autoblog says they’ve confirmed the figures for next year. Roughly 900 customers who ordered Challenger and Charger Hellcats had their orders cancelled last month after Dodge said it would ramp up production of the muscle cars. The report says those customers would get $5,000 and $4,000 off their Charger and Challengers, respectively.

The report also details a similar price hike for most SRT models, the Challenger SRT 392 will see a $3,150 price hike to $51,190 and the Charger SRT 392 will jump $3,000 to $51,990.

For your extra dough, you get leather as standard.

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Quattro Receives Re-brand in Australia, Now Called Audi Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1143417 You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called […]

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Audi R8 V10

You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called quattro GmbH (without the capital Q, because Audi), which is the name of the all-wheel drive system that made the brand so popular with Group B rally fans. It’s compounded by the fact normal Audi’s wear the quattro nameplate when they sport all-wheel drive, so it’s not that exclusive of a name.

In Australia, Audi is looking to fix this organizational and marketing nightmare. Enter Audi Sport.

The performance division itself, quattro, will not change its name, but the products developed by Quattro (screw it, I am using capitals) will now be marketed under the customer-friendly Audi Sport umbrella. CarAdvice reports 15 dealers will have Audi Sport-specific showroom areas by the end of the year for selling RS models and Audi’s halo car, the R8. S models will still be sold under the more plebeian Audi banner.

The additional moniker is a pilot project by Audi that could be found in other regions in the future. Considering the sub-branding success of BMW and Mercedes — the latter has completely re-engineered how it’ll name all vehicles in the future — it’s probably about time Audi did the same.

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Russian GM Dealers Want More Before Automaker Leaves Country http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/russian-gm-dealers-want-automaker-leaves-country/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/russian-gm-dealers-want-automaker-leaves-country/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 18:02:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1141410 General Motors dealers in Russia are unhappy at the compensation the automaker is offering as it pulls out of the country, Wards Auto is reporting. Russian dealers want more than it cost to start their dealerships, the report details. Negotiations stalled on how much GM would discount service contracts for thousands of GM cars currently on the […]

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opelrussia-autoworld.com_General Motors dealers in Russia are unhappy at the compensation the automaker is offering as it pulls out of the country, Wards Auto is reporting.

Russian dealers want more than it cost to start their dealerships, the report details. Negotiations stalled on how much GM would discount service contracts for thousands of GM cars currently on the road, and how much GM would offer dealers who need to change their businesses after GM leaves the country. The latest round of negotiations stalled in July.

GM sold more than 247,000 Chevrolet, Daewoo, Opel and Cadillac cars in Russia in 2014, which was down more than 24 percent from the prior year. This week, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said the luxury automaker would focus on sales in Russia — and also China and the Middle East — even after GM announced it would be leaving that country.

According to the report, the biggest issue between GM and its dealers in Russia may be the service contracts for the hundreds of thousands of cars on the road. GM has asked that Russian dealers provide half of the 20 percent off of spare parts that its offering consumers for service.

Russian dealers are hesitant to take GM to court because that may void the service agreement in place and leave service centers on the hook for thousands of cars that may need future repairs.

GM said it will still import Cadillac, Corvette, Camaro and Tahoes into Russia after it pulls out of the country.

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Auto Loans Top $1T; Sub-prime Loans Grow 10 Percent Over 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/auto-loans-top-1t-sub-prime-loans-grow-10-percent-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/auto-loans-top-1t-sub-prime-loans-grow-10-percent-2014/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 21:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1138674 Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year. The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime […]

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GUARANTEED APPROVAL 2

Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year.

The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime loans comprised 23.5 percent of newly originated auto loans.

More than 9 million new loans were made up to April 2015, which is a 5.8-percent increase over last year. Overall, more than 73.7 million cars are financed through loans in the U.S.

Now that the average car loan is six years or longer, buyers may be able to afford taking longer, more expensive loans, and rising consumer confidence may spur more people into buying.

“Strong sales numbers in both the new-car and used-car markets, coupled with the availability of quality financing for consumers are a few of the main reasons the industry has reached the one trillion dollar mark,” Dennis Carlson, Deputy Chief Economist at Equinox, said in a statement. “It clearly reflects that the improving economy has provided the impetus for consumers to replace their aging vehicles and begin to satisfy their pent-up auto demand.”

For context, the current student debt burden in the U.S. is around $1.2 trillion, which some have said is an “epidemic,” (although college debt usually doesn’t have any collateral). And if the sub-prime figure raises an alarm, David Ruggles has a fairly cogent argument why that may not be a bad thing.

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This Year Could Be the Biggest Car-buying Year in 15 Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137538 Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting. Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the […]

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Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting.

Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the year. Last month was the 18th consecutive month for increasing sales.

Our own Timothy Cain thinks that regardless of the final number, 2015 will be a very, very, very good year for automakers.

Cain writes:

It’s been 18 months since monthly auto sales volume last decreased. That decrease, mind you, was brought about by a slight decline in the lowest-volume month of the year, January. In other words, growth in America’s auto industry is notable both for its rapidity and its consistency. It’s that consistency that makes it hard to believe the current pace won’t continue. Regardless of the outright volume attained by manufacturers competing in the U.S., 2015 will undoubtedly be better than 2014. Already, through just seven months, an additional 434,000 new vehicles have been sold compared with the same period one year ago.

Spurred by cheap gas prices, trucks are pacing the overall market as the fastest-selling segment in the U.S. this year. Sales of trucks grew 13 percent this year.

Automakers such as Honda and Chevrolet will introduce newer versions of their Accord and Malibu respectively in the coming months, and that should further stoke car sales, Automotive News points out.

The Wall Street Journal notes that while new car purchases are happening more frequently, and at higher prices, used car prices are finally starting to dip, which may be a relief to low-cost and entry buyers.

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Lexus Will Test No-haggle Pricing at Some of its Dealers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/lexus-will-test-no-haggle-pricing-at-some-of-its-dealers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/lexus-will-test-no-haggle-pricing-at-some-of-its-dealers/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 14:59:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1136490 Taking a page from the old Saturn playbook, Lexus will test no-haggle pricing at a dozen dealerships this year, according to the Detroit Free Press. The pricing strategy will apply to new and used cars, and service and maintenance at the dealers. According to Lexus general manager Jeff Bracken, no-haggle pricing could be initially difficult. […]

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Taking a page from the old Saturn playbook, Lexus will test no-haggle pricing at a dozen dealerships this year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The pricing strategy will apply to new and used cars, and service and maintenance at the dealers.

According to Lexus general manager Jeff Bracken, no-haggle pricing could be initially difficult.

“The dealer has to be willing to let the customer walk away or word gets out and the model falls apart,” Bracken told the Detroit Free Press.

Lexus says that it’s adopting the strategy in an effort to differentiate itself from other luxury competition. Luxury automakers such as Cadillac may overhaul their incentive program for dealers to focus on the shopping experience, rather than hard sales goals.

Bracken said the strategy could be expanded to Lexus dealers by 2017.

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TrueCar CEO Scott Painter Will Step Down http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-ceo-scott-painter-will-step/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-ceo-scott-painter-will-step/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:45:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135586 TrueCar CEO Scott Painter will leave the company at the end of this year, Automotive News is reporting. Painter announced he was leaving the company after TrueCar announced it had lost $14.7 million in the second quarter on $65.3 million revenue. “After a decade of building TrueCar from an idea into a public company, I […]

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Scott Painter - Picture courtesy venturebeat.com

TrueCar CEO Scott Painter will leave the company at the end of this year, Automotive News is reporting.

Painter announced he was leaving the company after TrueCar announced it had lost $14.7 million in the second quarter on $65.3 million revenue.

“After a decade of building TrueCar from an idea into a public company, I have come to the conclusion reached by many founders and entrepreneurs in my position: It is time for a change.” Painter said in a statement according to Automotive News.

Painter will remain on the company’s board of directors.

It’s been a tough year for Painter and TrueCar.

In July, AutoNation announced it would sever ties with the online auto-buying tool. Representatives from AutoNation said TrueCar wanted sales data from all its car sales — not just the ones directly attributable to TrueCar. TrueCar representatives said the company asked AutoNation for fees that it was charging other dealerships for its service.

Also, a lawsuit brought by 100 dealers this month alleged that TrueCar engaged in deceptive business practices by not disclosing that it was charging dealers $299 to $399 for each car sold, a cost that would presumably be passed along to customers.

A replacement for Painter has not yet been announced.

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Why Can’t We Buy Bentleys on Amazon Yet? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cant-buy-bentleys-amazon-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cant-buy-bentleys-amazon-yet/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135514 Chinese luxury car dealer Yongda and giant online retailer Alibaba are offering the next logical step in online car buying for luxury car buyers: point-and-click car buying. The South China Morning Post is reporting that Yongda, which has more than 200 high-end car dealerships in China, will make available its cars on the shopping site for browsers […]

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Chinese luxury car dealer Yongda and giant online retailer Alibaba are offering the next logical step in online car buying for luxury car buyers: point-and-click car buying.

The South China Morning Post is reporting that Yongda, which has more than 200 high-end car dealerships in China, will make available its cars on the shopping site for browsers to point, click, pay and drive away from a dealership.

Seems like a good idea for ultra-luxury cars.

According to Yongda, more than 20 luxury and ultra-luxury car makers will have available models online, including Land Rover and Bentley. To celebrate the new partnership, Alibaba will offer 4,000 models of the Chevrolet Epica at a 40 percent discount.

According to the companies, the partnership allows a broader base for Alibaba to appeal to a wider range of buyers. The online retail giant already sells cars that range between $15,000 and $25,000.

According to reports, roughly 20 million people signed up to finance their purchase through the online retailer.

It’s unclear how many dealerships Alibaba’s automotive division works with already, but the agreement with Yongda would offer 200 more dealerships where buyers would pick up their cars. Alibaba and Yongda would also offer a used car network where owners could sell their cars back to the companies online.

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Scion Wants to Sell Cars on New-fangled Thing Called “The Internet” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/scion-wants-to-sell-cars-on-new-fangled-thing-called-the-internet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/scion-wants-to-sell-cars-on-new-fangled-thing-called-the-internet/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 21:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1134665 Scion — the youth focused, geriatric-coveted Toyota Junior Team brand — is looking to push sales in a different direction as it tries to shed its “retiree in an xB” image in favor of #millenials Snapchatting their road trips in Scion iMs. According to The Detroit Bureau, Scion wants to offer their wares online in more markets […]

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Scion — the youth focused, geriatric-coveted Toyota Junior Team brand — is looking to push sales in a different direction as it tries to shed its “retiree in an xB” image in favor of #millenials Snapchatting their road trips in Scion iMs.

According to The Detroit Bureau, Scion wants to offer their wares online in more markets in an effort to appeal to younger consumers who don’t want to take test drives, I guess.

The Pure Process program, as Scion calls it, allows #millenials to login to AOL, use the Scion keyboard, and pay for their vehicle by money order shop for a brand new car via their tablet, computer or other iDevice, get a final price, arrange financing, and have the vehicle delivered. The Detroit Bureau points out that last point can only be done where it’s legal to do so.17

The system is linked to dealers. A pilot program brought 10 dealers into the test. Now there are 60 participating Scion locations as part of Pure Process. Average purchase time, from start to finish, was four hours, though about 50 percent of participants completed the process in about two hours.

If you are not a #millenial and unsure about this whole Internet thing, here’s a how-to video from some smart, British IT people.

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FCA Dealers Can’t Sell Used Cars Without Recall Repairs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fca-dealers-cant-sell-used-cars-without-recall-repairs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fca-dealers-cant-sell-used-cars-without-recall-repairs/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 21:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1132529 Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealers won’t be able to sell cars without recall repair work or they risk losing their incentive money under a new agreement with the federal government, Automotive News is reporting. The agreement was part of the sweeping package penalties imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including up to $105 million […]

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Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealers won’t be able to sell cars without recall repair work or they risk losing their incentive money under a new agreement with the federal government, Automotive News is reporting.

The agreement was part of the sweeping package penalties imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including up to $105 million in fines. According to the consent agreement by the federal bureau and FCA, the company already asks dealers to complete recall work, but the new mandate would reinforce that existing policy.

In the United States, it’s illegal for a dealer to sell a new car without recall repair work, but no such law exists for used cars. A recent proposal in Congress to force used car dealers to complete open recall repair work was met with opposition.

Congress may approve a measure requiring car rental companies to comply with open recalls before it sends its cars out on to the roads.

According to a used car industry spokesman, the difficulty in getting all used car dealers to comply with recall repair work is resources and the dealers’ abilities to close the work orders with NHTSA. Only dealerships affiliated with manufacturers can perform open recall work and close those cars out with the federal safety bureau.

Carmax, for instance, provides a detailed report of recalls for its cars and encourages new buyers to register with the manufacturer to be notified of recalls. A recent report suggested that there may be up to 36 million cars on U.S. roads that haven’t complied with recalls.

It’s unclear from the consent order if the recall repair work applies only to FCA used cars sold on FCA lots, or if it would require all cars sold at FCA dealers to comply with manufacturer recalls.

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TrueCar Involved In “Deceptive Business Practices” Says Lawsuit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-involved-in-deceptive-business-practices-says-lawsuit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-involved-in-deceptive-business-practices-says-lawsuit/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131417 A lawsuit brought forward by a group of 100 auto dealerships are alleging car-buying service TrueCar of “deceptive business practices”, reports Automotive News. The lawsuit claims TrueCar’s advertising, which proclaims transparency in vehicle transaction prices for customers, does not disclose the $299 and $399 dollar fees that are paid by dealers for new and used car […]

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A lawsuit brought forward by a group of 100 auto dealerships are alleging car-buying service TrueCar of “deceptive business practices”, reports Automotive News.

The lawsuit claims TrueCar’s advertising, which proclaims transparency in vehicle transaction prices for customers, does not disclose the $299 and $399 dollar fees that are paid by dealers for new and used car sales brokered by TrueCar.

The meaning of “transparency” for TrueCar has been brought to question at TTAC before, as has TrueCar’s use of personal data collected on buyers by participating dealers who must provide said data to TrueCar as a condition of receiving high-quality leads. This data access was reported to be the main reason for a split between TrueCar and dealer group AutoNation.

The group of dealers who’ve launched this latest lawsuit say failure to disclose the fees violates California law as those fees are typically bundled into the final transaction price of the vehicle and passed on to the customer.

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Don’t Buy a 2015 Buick Regal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/dont-buy-a-2015-buick-regal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/dont-buy-a-2015-buick-regal/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131353 If you are looking for a new midsize car to add to your driveway and the Buick Regal is on your shortlist, you might want to wait a few months. According to a dealer communique sent out by Buick head Duncan Aldred, the Regal will receive a massive price cut for 2016. Even the top-trim […]

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2015BuickRegalGS-6

If you are looking for a new midsize car to add to your driveway and the Buick Regal is on your shortlist, you might want to wait a few months.

According to a dealer communique sent out by Buick head Duncan Aldred, the Regal will receive a massive price cut for 2016. Even the top-trim Regal GS will have its price slashed to make it more competitive as an older offering in a crowded segment.

The letter, sent yesterday, outlines the changes to the Regal as it struggles toward the end of its lifecycle.

The Regal is being simplified and attractively priced to appeal to a broader share of midsize intenders. The 2016 Regal will be available in four trims, with the popular 1SL, 1SP and 1SX all priced dramatically lower than the 2015 trims — with no change in content. Ultimately, we’re giving our customers greater value without sacrificing the features they want.

You’ll find more details in the attached 2016MY Buick Regal Product and Pricing Guide, but a few highlights of the new pricing structure include:

  • Starting price for 2016 Regal GS is $34,990; more than $3,300 lower than the 2015 model
  • 2016 Regal 1SP is priced below the 2015 Regal 1SN (which has been eliminated)
  • 2016 Regal 1SL is now priced below the Nissan Altima SL — yet offers more standard horsepower (+75 hp), more torque (+100 lb-ft) and standard 18-inch wheels

Regal trims will be realigned, eliminating the “Premium I” (1SN) trim and decreasing the “Premium II” (1SP) trim’s price below that of 1SN. GM states there will be no change in equipment. Base price for the Regal will remain unchanged at $27,065 before destination. The biggest cut is to the GS FWD model at $3,320, bringing its price down to $34,065.

In the midsize sedan segment, the Regal only bests the Volkswagen CC and defunct Dodge Avenger in terms of year-to-date sales, having dropped 23.7 percent. June saw sales drop 12.3 percent versus the same month last year.

So, don’t buy a 2015 Buick Regal — unless it’s the base model or a lightly used example traded in by its original owner after less than a year on the road.

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Nissan To Trump-bashing California Dealer Ad: ‘No Bueno’ [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-trump-bashing-california-dealer-ad-no-bueno-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-trump-bashing-california-dealer-ad-no-bueno-video/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1127961 Nissan scolded one of its dealers Tuesday for releasing an ad showing the battering of a piñata resembling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Automotive News is reporting. The ad depicts salesmen repeatedly hitting a Trump-looking piñata and declaring, “At Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.” The ad was made after Trump denounced some undocumented Mexican immigrants […]

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Van Nuys Nissan

Nissan scolded one of its dealers Tuesday for releasing an ad showing the battering of a piñata resembling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Automotive News is reporting.

The ad depicts salesmen repeatedly hitting a Trump-looking piñata and declaring, “At Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.” The ad was made after Trump denounced some undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists” in a June political speech.

“We find these advertisements to be neither responsible or respectful, and we do not condone what they represent,” Nissan said in a statement. “We expect our dealers to establish advertising that is responsible and respectful and represents the best interest of the Nissan brand.”

Commenters have blasted Nissan of Van Nuys for airing the ad.

“I’m Hispanic, and I’m embarrassed for you. I’d never go to your dealership based on your crappy reviews. The idiotic piñata thing is the icing on the cake,” one commenter wrote. “Van Nuys Nissan, get your PR crew together and get rid of that racist manager.”

Nissan said it respected the dealer’s right to free speech.

Of course, this is hardly the first dealer to air a controversial ad. Nor is it the most entertainingly profane (link NSFW, obviously).

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Dodge Doubling Hellcat Production, Taking Orders in August http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/dodge-doubling-hellcat-production-taking-orders-august/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/dodge-doubling-hellcat-production-taking-orders-august/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125697 Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016. Dealers […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016.

Dealers will begin taking new orders for the super-performance cars sometime around Aug. 10 and will only be allowed to order their specific allocation. According to Automotive News, reports surfaced last year of Dodge dealers accepting deposits for many more Challenger and Charger Hellcat models than they were allotted.

Dealers will begin receiving Hellcats in September through February.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis told Automotive News that customers learning Monday that their order has been cancelled “is probably not what they want to hear, but we’re going to do it so that we have a fresh, clean slate going forward with everything that we learned in 2015.” Dodge said they’ll begin today calling customers who won’t receive 2015 models.

Initially, Dodge anticipated building 1,200 Hellcat-powered models last year. Initial orders topped 4,000 and eventually reached 5,000.

Dealers who don’t sell their allotment of Challenger or Charger Hellcat models right away — if they’ve raised the price far beyond the MSRP, for example — may have future allotments of the model restricted, the automaker said.

Dodge has not yet announced pricing for the 2016 Charger and Challenger Hellcat models.

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Nissan Halts Sales on Some Maximas for Quality Issues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-halts-sales-maximas-quality-issues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-halts-sales-maximas-quality-issues/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1124145 Nissan has told its dealers to stop selling specific models of the Maxima due to unspecified quality issue, Automotive News is reporting. The issue involves Maximas with a specific VIN, not a model type. It’s unclear if those cars have been delivered to dealers or customers. According to Automotive News, Nissan hasn’t identified how many models […]

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2016 Nissan Maxima (18 of 23)

Nissan has told its dealers to stop selling specific models of the Maxima due to unspecified quality issue, Automotive News is reporting.

The issue involves Maximas with a specific VIN, not a model type. It’s unclear if those cars have been delivered to dealers or customers. According to Automotive News, Nissan hasn’t identified how many models would be affected by the stop-sale, nor how many of the models may have already been sold.

Nissan hasn’t made available details about the VIN number or how to identify the held cars.

A Denver-area Nissan dealer said he wasn’t aware of the stop-sale at all.

A Nissan spokesman told Automotive News that the company would investigate the issue further before making any public statements.

“Nissan is committed to a high level of customer service and satisfaction,” the company said in a statement to Automotive News. “This commitment requires Nissan to periodically place certain specific vehicles on a temporary Quality Assurance Hold to assure that these vehicles, as delivered to our customers, meet our exacting standards and our customers’ expectations.”

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Buick Offering 24-Hour Test Drives To Build Brand, Not Sell Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buick-offering-24-hour-test-drives-to-build-brand-not-sell-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buick-offering-24-hour-test-drives-to-build-brand-not-sell-cars/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119745 Buick is tossing the keys to prospective customers for sleepovers in their driveways as part of a brand-building exercise the automaker says isn’t meant to sell cars immediately. According to Automotive News, the program — dubbed “24 Hours of Happiness” — gives customers the chance to live with a Buick vehicle for 24 hours starting […]

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Buick is tossing the keys to prospective customers for sleepovers in their driveways as part of a brand-building exercise the automaker says isn’t meant to sell cars immediately.

According to Automotive News, the program — dubbed “24 Hours of Happiness” — gives customers the chance to live with a Buick vehicle for 24 hours starting this coming Wednesday.

“Customers thought it showed that we have a real confidence in our vehicles,” Duncan Aldred, Buick brand chief, told AN.

“It’s more of an image builder,” he continued. “Some people can’t believe that Buick has the confidence to send them out in a car without a salesperson sitting next to them to tell them how great the car is.”

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Tesla Dead Last in Dealer Experience, First in PR http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1110609 We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors […]

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Tesla Store

We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is truly a marketing and public relations genius.

Given that, it is fascinating when a negative story surfaces about Tesla’s way of doing business and the slobbering media is strangely silent. 

A customer study conducted by research firm Pied Piper Management Company revealed that Tesla dealers are dead last in converting prospects into buyers. Labeling Tesla sales representatives as “museum curators,” PPMC calls Tesla out for not asking questions about prospects’ driving habits and how they plan to use their new vehicle, as well as their inability to ask for the sale. PPMC noted that the fact that many Tesla outlets are not able to offer test drives, which also contributed to the poor ranking.

2015 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index

Said PPMC chief Fran O’Hagan:

“Dealerships that sell proactively — think of them as doing everything they can to be helpful to a car-shopper — not only end up selling a lot more vehicles, they also end up with happy shoppers and customers. On the other hand, customers don’t usually mind the ‘museum curator’ dealerships, with courteous salespeople who answer questions but do nothing to proactively sell. The difference is that the ‘museum curator’ dealerships end up much less successful; selling fewer vehicles … “

Say what you want about the current franchised dealer system, but what is wrong with showing interest in the customer, offering a demo drive and asking for the sale? It is not happening at Tesla outlets.

Mercedes-Benz backed up their up recent winning of the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index award by topping the PPMC survey. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Mercedes-Benz has tirelessly worked the past four years to change the culture of their dealerships’ sales operations and the top ranking shows their efforts are paying off.

The PPMC survey supports what we wrote in 2013: If Tesla wants to succeed in America they need to drop their direct sales strategy and join the traditional franchised dealer network by partnering with an established brand. If not, and their government subsidies dry up, Tesla will be a goner.

(As an aside, it is nice to see PPMC emerge as a potential competitor to long-time customer satisfaction surveying firm J.D. Power and Associates, a company despised by automakers. They complain that J.D. Power is a monopoly and that they charge outrageous fees to advertise winning an award. The sheer number of J.D. Power surveys about the automobile buying and ownership experience is so high that I expect to see this headline someday, “Jeep Wins J.D. Power Award For Customer Satisfaction For Windshield Wiper Stalk Operation During The First 47 Days Of Ownership.”)

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Report: TrueCar Drew Hard Line with AutoNation Over Data http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-truecar-drew-hard-line-autonation-data/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-truecar-drew-hard-line-autonation-data/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1114737 Automotive News has interesting insight into the tenuous, and now soon-to-end, relationship between TrueCar and car dealer-giant AutoNation. The report details a May lunch between TrueCar CEO Scott Painter, President John Krafcik and Senior Vice President of Dealer Development Mike Timmons, and AutoNation COO Bill Berman and Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon. At the lunch, TrueCar executives reportedly […]

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AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson

Automotive News has interesting insight into the tenuous, and now soon-to-end, relationship between TrueCar and car dealer-giant AutoNation.

The report details a May lunch between TrueCar CEO Scott Painter, President John Krafcik and Senior Vice President of Dealer Development Mike Timmons, and AutoNation COO Bill Berman and Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon. At the lunch, TrueCar executives reportedly said they would require data from all AutoNation sales — regardless if they were generated by TrueCar — for the two companies to continue doing business.

“Over my dead body,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said later, according to Automotive News.

Last week, when Jackson announced the split between AutoNation and TrueCar he laid most of the blame at TrueCar’s “unconscionable and unprecedented” demand for more than 40 data points for each car sold at AutoNation. AutoNation sells more than 550,000 annually at its 240 dealerships across the United States.

The dealer said roughly 3 percent of its sales can be attributed to TrueCar leads, which it charges $299 and $399 per new- and used-car purchase. AutoNation said it pays TrueCar around $550 per sale, for which TrueCar unjustifiably takes credit. TrueCar said internal auditing revealed that they were responsible for nearly 7 percent of AutoNation’s sales.

“We know exactly the degree to which AutoNation underreported,” Painter said. “It’s massive.”

“Customers go many places before and after a TrueCar visit, and just because they were momentarily on the TrueCar site doesn’t mean I should have to pay them $300. So there’s a big disagreement there,” Jackson said.

In a May 23 letter to Berman and Cannon, TrueCar specifically outlined the customer data it was seeking and said it was already “firing” dealers who failed to comply.

“In the trailing 12 months, TrueCar suspended over 300 dealers who did not meet marketplace or customer requirements. We are prepared to take similar action here should AutoNation elect not to follow our marketplace requirements,” the letter states.

TrueCar’s request for data included customer’s names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses in addition to data on the newly purchased car.

Dealers have said turning over such extensive data could lead to privacy concerns and enable TrueCar to steal customers in the future.

AutoNation said it would start up its own portal for customers similar to TrueCar, and would back away from third-party vendors in the future.

 

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Obama’s New Overtime Rules May Hit Dealers Particularly Hard http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/obamas-new-overtime-rules-may-hit-dealers-particularly-hard/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/obamas-new-overtime-rules-may-hit-dealers-particularly-hard/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113673 Car dealerships may be forced to pay some of their employees more under new overtime rules proposed by President Barack Obama, Automotive News is reporting. The proposed overhaul for employees who make less than $50,000 a year could impact dealers who make a significant portion of their earnings from salary, rather than commission. The suggested overtime rules […]

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Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

Car dealerships may be forced to pay some of their employees more under new overtime rules proposed by President Barack Obama, Automotive News is reporting.

The proposed overhaul for employees who make less than $50,000 a year could impact dealers who make a significant portion of their earnings from salary, rather than commission.

The suggested overtime rules would apply to roughly 40 percent of the American workforce, rather than the 8 percent the current rules apply to now. The Department of Labor estimates more than 5 million workers would be covered by the new rules.

Douglas Greenhaus, an attorney for the National Automobile Dealers Association, told Automotive News that the new rules would apply to mostly support workers in dealerships. Mechanics, service managers or sales staff likely wouldn’t be effected.

“This would impact those who get the majority of their pay from salary,” Greenhaus said.

The changes would raise the overtime threshold from $23,660 annually to $50,440. The federal poverty line for a family of four is $24,008.

Dealers may cut pay for workers who fall under the new guidelines, Greenhaus said. The NADA would analyze the new rules and lobby the administration based on what dealers may want.

“The important thing is to maintain as much as possible the flexibility for the employer and employee on how to compensate,” Greenhaus said.

The public comment period for the new overtime rules ends Sept. 4.

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Details of AutoNation, TrueCar Split Coming into View http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/details-autonation-truecar-split-coming-view/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/details-autonation-truecar-split-coming-view/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113017 Details between the AutoNation and TrueCar split are becoming clear, Automotive News is reporting. After yesterday’s announcement that the web service and nationwide dealership chain were splitting up — in which AutoNation laid most of the blame on unreasonable demands by TrueCar during contract negotiations — the company’s respective CEOs have been getting nasty. “Our partnership with AutoNation just […]

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Details between the AutoNation and TrueCar split are becoming clear, Automotive News is reporting.

After yesterday’s announcement that the web service and nationwide dealership chain were splitting up — in which AutoNation laid most of the blame on unreasonable demands by TrueCar during contract negotiations — the company’s respective CEOs have been getting nasty.

“Our partnership with AutoNation just turned into, in a very real sense, a choice for the consumer,” TrueCar CEO Scott Painter told Automotive News. “It really makes them our competition.”

Automotive News details the dust-up between AutoNation and TrueCar as a war fought over customer data. Roughly 3 percent of AutoNation’s sales could be directly attributed to TrueCar leads, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told Automotive News. TrueCar asked for data on all of AutoNation’s 550,000 annual car sales.

“It’s none of their business,” Jackson said.

TrueCar may have asked AutoNation to comply with rules it enforces with other dealers.

“This isn’t AutoNation dropping TrueCar,” Painter told Automotive News. “This is a very deliberate step on our part. We went to them and said, ‘You must comply with the rules.’”

The added layers of intrigue come from the quickly intersecting business models by AutoNation and TrueCar. TrueCar is rapidly developing dealer-esque services, and AutoNation announced last year they’d move away from third-party vendors like TrueCar to develop their own web-based lead generation.

TrueCar has been beset with several setbacks in recent years, and its customer data collection has come under fire, as well.

 

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AutoNation Dumping TrueCar at End of July http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/autonation-dumping-truecar-end-july/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/autonation-dumping-truecar-end-july/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:05:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112377 The nation’s largest auto dealer will stop using TrueCar’s lead generation at the end of this month, Automotive News is reporting. The split is largely focused on the use of customer information and contract demands. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson didn’t mince words. “TrueCar has made some onerous demands in its new contract negotiations with us […]

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AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson

The nation’s largest auto dealer will stop using TrueCar’s lead generation at the end of this month, Automotive News is reporting.

The split is largely focused on the use of customer information and contract demands. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson didn’t mince words.

“TrueCar has made some onerous demands in its new contract negotiations with us that are unprecedented in my 45 years in business and are unconscionable and unacceptable. We cannot agree to them,” Jackson told Automotive News.

AutoNation has said they would back away from lead-generation services such as Cars.com and AutoTrader, but the dealer giant hasn’t yet moved away from those services.

AutoNation uses TrueCar at 226 of its 240 dealers nationwide.

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