Dealerships

Tesla awaits OK from governor to sell directly in Maryland

12:45 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2015

Tesla will be granted up to four licenses in Maryland if the governor signs a bill supported by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association....
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Toyota's Costa Rica retailer expands in U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Costa Rica's distributor of Toyota Group vehicles wants to own five to seven Toyota dealerships and "a couple" of Lexus stores in the U.S. within three years, its CEO said. Purdy Motor Group is not quite halfway to that goal....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Dealers featured this week include the Elhart family of Elhart GMC in Holland, Mich.; Gene Giacchino, co-owner of Honda Cars of Boston in Everett, Mass.; Mark Snethkamp, owner of Snethkamp Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Redford, Mich.; and the Gagne family of Gagne Ford in Princeton, Wis....
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Ford says aluminum repair smooth so far

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

It's early, but Ford says it's so far so good on repairing damaged 2015 F-150 pickups with aluminum bodies. Ford has not heard of any dealers or independent body shops having problems obtaining parts, installing parts or dealing with insurance companies about the time it takes to repair the new pickup, said Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt....
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Buffett extends a hand to dealers -- 'If we shake hands, we've got a deal'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

With the deeper pockets of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now backing it, the former Van Tuyl Group intends to add dealerships going forward. "In the next couple of years, we're likely to make a number of acquisitions," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said last week....
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Oil boom slows; techs return

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Oil drillers are cutting production in response to lower crude prices, meaning fewer oil jobs. Some dealers in oil-laden states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota and California say some of the service technicians who had fled for the rich-paying oil-industry jobs a few years ago are trickling back....
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RICHARD TRUETT

The new sticker shock: High costs to fix high-tech

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

We all know about showroom sticker shock. But here's another side of the affordability problem: the hefty repair costs for minor accidents. At least two factors are driving up the cost to fix vehicles: safety electronics and the way cars are built today....
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NEAL E. BOUDETTE

BLOG: Why Honda's Mendel doesn't care about Nissan

12:20 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2015

Nissan has outsold Honda in each of the last three months, but Honda's John Mendel isn't bothered by it. “I don't give a damn about Nissan,” the executive vice president of American Honda told reporters at a roundtable discussion after Honda unveiled a Civic coupe concept at the auto show here....
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Ally touts dealership camaraderie in new ad campaign

2:44 pm U.S. ET | March 31, 2015

Ally Financial is touting the camaraderie it has with dealerships in a new ad campaign that puts an emphasis on storytelling....
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Ex-dealership staffers face prison

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Several former sales staffers at a Birmingham, Ala., Nissan store face federal prison time as part of a federal crackdown on fraudulent practices in car dealerships....
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BEST PRACTICES

'Apple way' inspires Seattle dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Brad Miller, who owns Honda and Toyota stores in booming downtown Seattle, knows the traditional way of selling cars. And he knows he doesn't like it. So last year, the 60-year-old dealer, along with COO Babak Mohammadi, decided to do everything differently....
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Sonic to expand initiative piece by piece

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Sonic Automotive Inc.'s rollout of its customer experience initiative to stores in the Charlotte, N.C., area came slower than expected, in part due to a malfunctioning website. But One Sonic-One Experience is now live at all five Sonic stores in that pilot market, and market share against local same-brand dealerships is rising at three of them....
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POP GOES THE BIMMER

BMW tries to win shoppers' time back from third parties

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

BMW’s quiet opening of a neon-lit pop-up store in a California mall would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But today, BMW faces new competition....
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Giant Miller group reshuffles for the buy-sell bonanza

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

A drastic restructuring at the nation's fourth largest private dealership group is the latest sign of changing times in the auto retail business. Eager to expand, the giant Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. last week positioned itself for a new era in which private equity and other nontraditional buyers are coming on fast....
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A long drive: 100-year-old still selling Chevys

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Derrell Alexander has lived a century, and for most of that time, he's been on the showroom floor. The Wyoming car salesman celebrated his 100th birthday on March 17. Despite his age, "like clockwork," he reports for work at White's Mountain Motors in Casper at 8 a.m. sharp and leaves at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday....
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Porsche dealers' profits keep piling up

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The reason Porsche dealers are generally happy? They make a lot of money, and that only improved last year. Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev von Platen said Porsche's U.S. dealerships posted an average net profit margin of 3.9 percent in 2014, up from 3.6 percent the year prior....
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Toronto dealers recruit staff by listing jobs, cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

Attacking a problem that plagues all dealerships, new-vehicle dealers in Ontario have launched a multipronged campaign to get more high school and college students to consider careers in auto retailing. Their latest effort: a website that combines the dealers' inventory listings with job listings....
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Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller resigns

5:51 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Greg Miller, CEO of Utah's Larry H. Miller Group, is stepping down as the nation's 11th largest dealership group restructures. Miller, 48, is leaving to pursue personal interests, the company said. He has served as CEO for seven years....
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Upheaval hits dealership group rankings

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Consolidation is shaking up Automotive News' ranking of the largest dealership groups. After staying fairly stable for several years, the top 10 spots underwent several changes in the latest list, and 2015 promises more turmoil....
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Buy-sell deals, blue sky soar

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Buy-sell transactions surged last year, sending dealership values higher, especially for luxury brands....
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Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Dealers featured this week include the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association and Larry Spradley and Carol Spradley of Spradley Chevrolet in Pueblo, Colo....
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BEST PRACTICES

BMW store sponsors, hosts Pinewood Derby

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Early this month, Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., took a dozen cars out of its large showroom to make room for a huge aluminum track and hundreds of enthusiastic Boy Scouts and parents. The daylong event was paid for entirely by the dealership and included BMW hats, stickers and other gifts for each Scout participant, as well as food and appearances by celebrity racing guests. Dealer Patrick Womack is doing what he can to fan the passion of fast cars in a new generation....
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DEALERSHIP CENSUS

Lexus leaps in sales per franchise

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

It's great to be a Lexus dealer these days. Last year, the luxury brand bumped mass-market Honda out of the No. 2 spot for U.S. light-vehicle sales per franchise....
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Lithia refocuses on customer-pay work

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

A surge of warranty business largely accounted for Lithia Motors Inc.'s gain in service and parts revenue last year. That's prompting the group to urge store managers to emphasize winning more customer-pay work....
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High-rise parts bins ease space crunch

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Electronic parts storage machines that allow small parts to be stacked vertically and retrieved automatically at the touch of a button or scan of a bar code are gaining acceptance at some dealerships, where square footage is at a premium....
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Special Report
Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.' Mon., April 13
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