Category: Dealer News

By on November 12, 2018

https://www.flickr.com/photos/autohistorian/25516489743/

Dealership advisory firm Presidio Group has painted a very bleak picture for its clients. With analysts predicting a downturn in auto sales, the company recommends dealers establish a robust 20-year plan that will enable them to perform in the new climate or get out of the business entirely.

Brodie Cobb, founder of Presidio Group, cites a glut of studies claiming dealerships will struggle as manufacturers shift into mobility companies and alternative modes of transportation are more broadly encouraged.

“We’re not particularly pleased that the world is changing the way it is. We would rather have it stay the same, because owning dealerships is a very nice return and profitable business that we enjoy very much,” Cobb told Automotive News in an interview. “So when we talk about this, it hurts us, too. We, too, need to understand the future, form a plan and not just put our head in the sand and hope it goes away.” Read More >

By on November 8, 2018

Remember this saga? Earlier this year we told you about All Pro Nissan, yet another entrant into the “Dealers Behaving Badly” file. At the time, the stores – owned by a couple of ex-NFL linebackers and a veteran of the auto industry – were being examined for all kinds of financial chicanery ranging from floorplan irregularities to missing cars.

At the time, it was reported that All Pro Nissan was open but unable to sell or lease vehicles due to “restructuring.” Now, it appears the lights have been turned off for good.

Read More >

By on November 1, 2018

National Automobile Dealers Association chairman Wes Lutz doesn’t have much time for critics who claim traditional car dealers don’t want to sell you an electric vehicle. As EVs boast fewer moving parts and lower running costs, green car advocates often say dealerships view the vehicles as a threat to a business model that relies heavily on service visits for profit.

Not so, says Lutz. The parts that do move are the ones they profit from. Read More >

By on October 28, 2018

Chevrolet Silverado purchase GM dealer - Image: GM

For the most part, the major benefit of brand loyalty is not getting into an argument with your family members at the dinner table. Grandpa worked for General Motors, Dad buys Chevy exclusively, and you decided not to buck the trend. You even bragged about Aunt Beth helping you get a sweet deal on that new Malibu, while everyone nodded in approval between bites of turkey.

However, there are more tangible rewards for sticking with a singular auto brand. Now that the Western market has surpassed peak growth, manufacturers know that it’s going to be a lot harder to reel in new customers. They’ve decided to shift tactics by offering incentives to existing customers in the hopes that they won’t leave them the next time they need a fresh vehicle.  Read More >

By on October 15, 2018

2018 ford expedition fx4, Image: Ford Motor Co.

A major product shift and looming job cuts have some Ford dealers nervous about the future. Many would like to know what to expect under their showroom lights in the coming years, and this week brings an opportunity for the automaker to ease those worries.

Under Hackett’s leadership, communication often seems to take a backseat to vision, so the annual Ford dealer meet-up in Las Vegas brings with it high expectations of a great game of show and tell. Read More >

By on October 8, 2018

You may recall news from earlier this year of All Pro Nissan and its associated dealers, most of whom starred in Episode #4391 of the seemingly never-ending series titled “Dealers Behaving Badly.”

At the time, the entities – owned in part by a consortium of former NFL players – were being taken to task by the captive finance arms of Nissan and Hyundai over allegations that parts of the dealer group sold hundreds of vehicles, worth more than $10 million, out of trust and also failed to repay floorplan loans.

So what’s the punishment for these alleged misdeeds? Why, another brand new dealership, of course!

Read More >

By on September 29, 2018

Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

We told you about the bargain performance coming out of Ohio’s Lebanon Ford back in 2016. At the time, the dealer offered a base Mustang GT manual fitted with a Roush supercharger, good for a (then) Challenger Hellcat-beating 727 horsepower. Drive it away for $39,995, Ford and Roush warranty in hand, the dealer said. And many did.

The fun hasn’t stopped at Lebanon Ford in the ensuing years. There’s still an available Roush package owners can drop into their existing GTs, and buyers can still tell the dealer to hand over a Roush-ified ‘Stang at new car time. Power now stands at 700 hp. If that’s not enough grunt, a recent addition to the LFP (Lebanon Ford Performance) family is the Hellion —  a Mustang GT that eschews the supercharged lifestyle in favor of a twin-turbo setup capable of generating 800 hp at the crank.

Should owners feel like swapping out the wastegate spring, power levels in the four-figure range become possible. Price? Again, starting at $39,995. Read More >

By on September 27, 2018

Image: Audi

Marketing materials aside, visitors to Audi dealers in the near future won’t see much of the new E-Tron crossover. They’ll have to ask about it first, and, if they’re in luck, there’ll be a demonstrator on hand.

Audi’s proceeding cautiously with its mass-market EV. For now, it’s only taking refundable reservations from customers, hoping that keeping the E-Tron out of the normal vehicle flow will help it turn a profit — a problem facing most EVs. Read More >

By on September 17, 2018

hyundai-sonata-eco-grille logo

Hyundai has a problem to solve. Interest rates are on the rise, car buying is on the decline, and it has a newish luxury division forced to share showrooms with its regular models — most of which are moving out of the bargain bin.

However, rather than continue incentivizing the crap out of its vehicles, the automaker has decided to improve its dealership experience. There’s no official word on the amount of hugs Hyundai plans to dole out to prospective buyers, but the automaker does claim it wants to instill a warm fuzzy feeling in its clientele.* Read More >

By on September 10, 2018

The financial chicanery of a few automotive dealerships continues apace, with a group of Nissan and Hyundai stores finding themselves in several million dollars’ worth of hot water.

Reps for the captive finance arms of those two brands allege that five dealerships owned by auto retail veteran Michael Saporito and former NFL linebackers Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce sold nearly $10.5 million worth of vehicles out of trust. Nearly a hundred machines are allegedly missing, as well.

Read More >

By on September 8, 2018

If you noticed your neighbor adding a glistening new Genesis model (the midsized one or the bigger one) to their driveway in the past month, you’re a member of a very small group.

Genesis, the luxury marque born of Hyundai, didn’t sell many vehicles in August, but that’s all part of the plan. The brand’s executive director claims there’s less than a month’s worth of vehicles currently in the U.S., but once those ships arrive, look out. Actually, a better way of phrasing that is: “prepare yourself for things to occur in a gradual and measured fashion.” Read More >

By on September 4, 2018

Spring might be a time of renewal, but fall is generally when old gives way to new on dealer lots. Not necessarily, though. If the “new” 2017 Fiat 124 Spider I recently spotted against a backdrop of 2018 Ram 1500s on my local FCA lot is any indicator, some brands have a tough time turning over a new leaf, so to speak. (Fiat’s problem is especially grim compared to other brands.)

Bloated inventories, scattered new model introductions, and a fickle buying public have made “new car season” less apparent than ever, and the problem seems to be growing worse. Read More >

By on August 28, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition

The never-ending, weirdly symbiotic, and often counterproductive relationship between OEMs and their dealers wrote another chapter yesterday, as a court in California may force GM to rethink the way it measures and administers sales effectiveness at the dealer level.

Sacramento-area dealer Folsom Chevrolet was deemed by The General as having failed to meet sales expectations and pursued the revocation of its franchise a couple of years ago. Folsom was having none of it, dragging the state’s New Motor Vehicle Board into the fight — an entity which handed down its decision in Folsom’s favor on August 13th. GM remains unhappy.

Remind me again how the dealer model is such a good idea?

Read More >

By on August 23, 2018

https://www.flickr.com/photos/autohistorian/25516489743/

There’s a popular notion that young people are ruining the automotive industry. It probably has something to do with the steady climb of average transaction prices and a median income for millennials that’s comparatively worse than that of their parents at a similar age. Plenty of evidence exists that younger individuals aren’t particularly fond of the car-buying experience.

They don’t seem particularly fond of the car selling experience, either. Millennials account for nearly 60 percent of dealer hires but shops lose over half of them every year, according to a study by the management firm Hireology. That’s an impressively high turnover rate that probably isn’t helping turn around stagnating car sales, as it takes a while to master any profession.  Read More >

By on August 13, 2018

The Reagor Dykes Auto Group was formed in 2006 after Bart Reagor, shown above, teamed up with a business partner to create a company that now eclipses half a billion dollars in annual sales. This is accomplished through a myriad of manufacturer franchises ranging from Ford to Chevy to Toyota, not to mention its dozen or so rooftops dealing solely in used cars.

Now, the company is facing allegations of major financial chicanery. In court documents filed last week, Ford Motor Company accuses Reagor Dykes of running one of the “largest floor-plan financing frauds in the history of the United States.”

Read More >

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