Category: High Finance

By on January 6, 2016

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson

The CEO of the largest car dealer in the U.S. told Reuters on Wednesday that automakers shouldn’t base incentives on volume, which could jeopardize cutting profits.

“We really have to watch the quality of volume,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told Reuters. “We have to find the right balance between price and volume.”

Jackson said he doesn’t anticipate auto sales to waver far from 2015’s record year, but he does foresee “entering a new chapter” with weaker demand for cars.  Read More >

By on January 4, 2016

Mary-Barra-Chevrolet-Cruze

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the automaker’s first female chairwoman of their board of directors, the automaker said Monday.

Barra takes over for Tim Solso, who will remain on the board.

Barra took over as CEO two years ago and is GM’s first female CEO. When Barra took over as CEO in January 2014, the automaker split the role of CEO and chairman following Dan Akerson’s departure.

Read More >

By on January 4, 2016

General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-f

General Motors announced Monday that it would invest $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft to help boost the automaker’s business in car-sharing companies and perhaps rental cars.

The automaker announced that the investment — roughly half of Lyft’s latest round of fundraising — would buy the automaker seat on the ride-sharing company’s board of directors. Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, is valued around $4.5 billion, which is significantly less than the $62 billion valuation for rival Uber, according to the New York Times.

GM said the companies would partner on rentals for the car-sharing company, connectivity and autonomous technology.

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By on January 3, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

Business Insider transportation editor Matthew DeBord (formerly of Jalopnik too) said Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s stock show both companies’ susceptibility to market volatility and that each automaker could be in dire situations if a mild recession were to rear its head again.

(Although he does note that the best return on an investment this time last year would have been a few hundred bucks into FCA’s stock.)

Tesla may have more in common with FCA than it likes in terms of market unpredictability, which could raise the specter of a merger if its Model 3 isn’t on time or if the economy takes a dive, DeBord writes. As long as Musk doesn’t talk openly about hugging Mary Barra, he may have a decent shot.

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By on December 30, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (4 of 8)

Volkswagen in Canada rolled out the same “goodwill” package for Canadian customers that they did for U.S. customers last month, according to Green Car Reports (via Autoblog).

Diesel buyers north of the border — up to 100,000 of them — will get the same $500 Visa gift card, $500 dealer gift card and three years of roadside assistance that U.S. owners received in November.

Volkswagen diesel owners can register their cars via Volkswagen Canada’s diesel emissions site.

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By on December 30, 2015

PepBoysLogo_PressRelease
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before:

Billionaire investor, activist and horse racing enthusiast Carl Icahn bid to buy Pep Boys on Tuesday for just over $1 billion, outpricing Japanese tire giant Bridgestone for the franchise, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

Bridgestone’s refusal to tender a competing offer after its final bid of $947 million for the 800 Pep Boys stores seemingly means that Icahn is the winner — although we’ve been here before.

Icahn offered up to $18.50 per share of the company, of which he already owns 12 percent, which is slightly higher than the company’s stock during trading Wednesday.

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By on December 28, 2015

PepBoysLogo_PressRelease

Bridgestone will buy Pep Boys for $947 million, shunning a competing bid from investor Carl Icahn, to complete its purchase of the auto parts chain, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

The bidding between Icahn and Bridgestone began in October when the auto parts chain shunned a $800 million price from Icahn to agree to an $835 million bid from the Japanese tire giant. Icahn raised his bid first to $863 million, then up to up to $1 billion for the chain, but Pep Boys ultimately decided the $947 million offer from Bridgestone was a better deal.

The last-minute bid for the chain would create the world’s largest chain of 3,000 stores, including Bridgestone’s Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works stores.   Read More >

By on December 28, 2015

2016 Mazda CX-3 GT (18 of 25)

Newly promoted, high-priced executives at Mazda seem to think there’s something to this crossover fad.

That, Hyundai’s landed a Benjamin Button to lead Genesis and I wish I would have known how cheap I could have purchased an F1 team … after the break.

Read More >

By on December 28, 2015

Carmax

Earlier this week I wrote about how CarMax is heavily constrained by a market that has flip-flopped between six years worth of heavy car sales and about 18 months of resurgent truck and SUV demand. Long story short, CarMax’s acquisition costs for trucks, SUVs and crossovers has gone up considerably, and the supply of this inventory has cratered due to new car dealers keeping the bulk of this inventory for themselves.

Not everybody liked what I wrote. Case in point.

Read More >

By on December 26, 2015

1973-Porsche-Carrera-2_7-RS-sm

Looking for a place to park that retirement cash? Find a Porsche crest.

Last year, the average sale price for 1974-1977 Porsches increased by 154 percent, according to Bloomberg — and the prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, according to the report.

“European sports cars in general have been on a real rise in the last couple of years,” Gord Duff, from RM Sotheby’s, told Bloomberg. “Ferraris lead the way and then you go to the next greatest European sports cars, which are Mercedes, and then you get to Porsches. If we are saying Mercedes have peaked, Porsches are the next best thing.” Read More >

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