Tag: Dealers

By on February 11, 2014
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Duncan Aldred, Brian Sweeney and Don Johnson.

As inventories of unsold cars surge past 100 days’ supply, GM has shuffled its sales and marketing organizations in an attempt to move some of that bloated inventory. Last week, GM moved Buick-GMC sales chief Brian Sweeney, 46, to the top sales post at Chevrolet, taking over for the retiring Don Johnson. Sweeney’s replacement will be Duncan Aldred, 43, who most recently has been running GM’s British brand, Vauxhall. Both executives will will report to new U.S. sales chief Steve Hill, 53.

Automotive News is reporting that the continued changes in personnel at GM’s sales and marketing divisions has been a source of frustration for dealers and ad agency executives in recent years. Some dealers feel that what they see as GM’s strongest product lineup in generations is being compromised by chaos in the marketing team responsible for promoting those new products. (Read More…)

By on February 11, 2014

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Inventories of unsold cars and light trucks have swollen to their highest levels since the recession while sales growth in the U.S. market has slowed significantly in the past five months. That combination could mean larger discounts and incentives and lower profit margins in 2014. According to Automotive News, all three domestic automakers started February with more than a 100-day supply of unsold vehicles. Industry-wide automakers had 88 days’ worth of vehicles at the start of February, the highest February inventories have been since 2009, when the industry was at its nadir.

(Read More…)

By on February 6, 2014

Suckers at the Stock Photo Dealership with a Credit Card

Though many a dealer knows lengthy long-term financing is a bad deal for all involved, Automotive News reports that attendees at the recent American Financial Services Association’s Vehicle Finance Conference in New Orleans acknowledged that such financing is necessary to do business.

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2013

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Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s executive VP for North America, said that the company will revamp its dealer network as it aims to increase U.S. sales by a third over the next two years.  Automotive News reports that underperforming dealers will be culled and dealers in poor locations will be encouraged to open up new stores in more promising places. The company has identified 35 key metropolitan markets where it will focus its sales and marketing efforts. Mazda is highly dependent on North American sales with almost a third of its global sales taking place here.

Mazda currently has 637 franchised dealers in the United States. (Read More…)

By on October 4, 2013

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One week after we mused that electric carmaker Tesla would never be able to defeat current state laws prohibiting factory direct automobile sales and thus must join the franchised dealer model, the company proved us wrong thanks to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

(Read More…)

By on July 24, 2013

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Despite planning to sell 486,000 units in America this year, Volkswagen has trimmed its sales targets to 440,000 units, after shedding market share in the first half of 2013.

(Read More…)

By on May 13, 2013

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Despite sales of the Fiat 500 picking up, Fiat dealers are getting antsy for new product, with some showrooms struggling to turn a profit based on sales of the subcompact alone.

(Read More…)

By on February 6, 2013

Opel sales chief Matthias Seidl

The rebellion of German Opel dealers against a new, complicated and  – in the dealers’ views – disastrous distribution system was victorious.  Opel’s sales chief Matthias Seidl withdrew  the discredited and disdained design. “Dealers succeeded with their demands for a simpler system,” writes Automobilwoche [sub]. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2013

Opel’s new CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann isn’t officially CEO yet, and he already is facing a rebellion of his troops. Opel dealers threaten to discontinue the brand if Opel won’t withdraw a new distribution system. The dealers say the system comes from where Neumann and Opel’s sales chief Matthias Seidl come from: From Volkswagen. (Read More…)

By on November 14, 2012

Being a Suzuki dealer is surely one of America’s least enviable jobs; franchise holders must choose whether to accept a cash settlement and a contract to provide parts and service in exchange for their franchises, or whether they want to fight the matter in court.

(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2012

The Mitsubishi dealership in Easley, South Carolina is aiming for new business by offering a free gun with the purchase of any new or used vehicle, according to Columbia’s Channel 10. (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2012

Long-time TTAC readers know of my sentimental fondness for Crain Communication’s Jamie LaReau. Now the first lady of automotive journalism has uncovered some interesting news about Lincoln’s continuing attempts to, like, do crazy stuff, man.

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2012

Chrysler dealers who were terminated and then re-instated have been left out in the cold, after a federal judge ruled that the Federal Appropriations Act, a 2010 law that opened the door for dealers to regain their franchises via arbitration, did not overrule state dealer laws that deal with dealer markets.

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2012

In 1992, the Ritz-Carlton chain won the Baldrige Quality Award for its excellence in customer service. Their idea was to write all customer preferences down, to feed them in a database and to henceforth deliver as expected.

Twenty years ago, I pointed this out to Volkswagen. I was VW’s customer service guru at the time and thought it was a swell idea. Volkswagen enthusiastically adopted the program. It was a failure, what do you expect from a company that retains me as a guru. Also, VW did not want to spend the money on a database. Instead, the Ritz-Carlton ended up running the hotel at Volkswagen’s Autostadt, and giving the occasional seminar to car dealers who still roll their eyes over the “gottverdammte Unsinn.”

Twenty years later, “Ford draws on luxury hotel experience for Lincoln overhaul,” writes Reuters, reporting that “in the plan to overhaul its luxury Lincoln brand, Ford Motor Co is embarking on a new approach, leaving behind the routine ideas of the auto industry and instead taking cues from the likes of high-end boutique hotels.”

Before that happens, Ford is reducing its dealer network to boutique size.  (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2012

Some car dealers are missing the bad old times when Detroit was preoccupied with problems at home. Carmakers again have the bandwidth to look at “the channel,” and some don’t like what they see. Suddenly, dealers find themselves at the receiving end of harsh criticism. Both Chrysler and GM dealers are receiving  a derriere chewing. (Read More…)

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