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.
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.
TrueCar, the prolific third-party car shopping site, is changing the way it does business in the hopes of mending dealer relations and reversing the company’s flagging fortunes.
When TrueCar president and CEO Chip Perry took the helm of the site last December, his stated goal was to make amends with ornery partners and bring the company out of a period of turmoil.
Nissan’s product pipeline has all the flow of a crusted-over faucet, and that’s not good for business.
That, automation is insidiously infiltrating cars all around you, Mercedes-Benz goes all in on AMG, Jaguar teases China with something special, and foreigners flee the Russian automotive landscape … after the break!
When an automaker posts its sales figures at the end of the month, how many vehicles actually left the dealer lot?
Not all of them, according to a top BMW executive, who admitted that his company and others “punch” up sales numbers to boost their standing, according to Automotive News.
Punching cars is “not an ideal practice,” but it’s a reality in the industry, BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch said on March 22.
The Internet brings transparency to the car buying process and allows us to search the whole country for our favorite car. While shopping for a WRX a few months ago, I got quotes from dealers as far as 1,500 miles away. I ended up skipping the local dealers and travelling to a dealer 80 miles away in order to get the best price.
Leaving your immediate geographical area can be beneficial in many instances, especially if you can find a more competitive market that’s reasonably close. Unscrupulous dealers have caught on to geographical buyers who are only looking for the lowest price. These dealers combine geography and psychology in order to dupe buyers to come in and often get rewarded for their shameless behavior by making the sale.
There’s not a more uncomfortable phone call for a car dealership’s finance manager to make then asking a customer to come back to have their finance or lease contract rewritten. This is typically caused by sales managers — the people most despised by finance departments — who spot deliver a vehicle based on their wrong guess about the rate or term a lender would approve the deal. Needless to say, the vast majority of these rewrites result in a higher monthly payment for the customer.
A couple of years ago, a finance manager at a Los Angeles Mercedes-Benz dealer told me and a Mercedes-Benz Financial colleague of mine about the day he picked up the phone to fix the opposite situation: the dealership had miscalculated the taxes on a client’s lease on a black ML350 Bluetec SUV and they needed the client to return and sign a new lease agreement reflecting payments of $14 per month lower than the original contract.
He called the customer with the good news only to hear, “No no no! Payment good. Payment good. We OK!”
After he hung up, he thought, “We just got snookered. That ML is probably on a slow boat to China and the factory is going to kill us.” (Read More…)
Volkswagen Group of America has begun the process of buying back cars affected by the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, but you shouldn’t expect to receive a letter or phone call with a buyback offer anytime soon.
VW is going ahead with a buyback program that will see the automaker acquire affected vehicles from dealers’ certified pre-owned (CPO) inventories, a source familiar with the plan told TTAC.
Dealers are shaving thousands off of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI — up to $5,000 at some dealers — and the hatchback is relatively easy to find at rental car counters across the country.
So, is everything going OK with 2015’s North American Car of the Year™?
General Motors will sell highly coveted lease returns and company cars online starting next month through a program called the Factory Pre-owned Collection.
The program, which we’ve covered briefly, will sell lease returns and company cars through an online portal that makes those cars available nationwide. GM said its inventory would be roughly 30,000 cars, which all have fewer than 37,000 miles and be covered by extended warranties from the factory. Potential owners can apply for credit through the online portal and pick up their cars at a nearby dealer.
So … if GM is selling the cars owned by GM and GM Financial (or related bank) from a nationwide database, which can be financed online, and merely picked up at a nearby dealership, isn’t that just a direct sale?