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Jamie LaReau

Retail / Finance & Insurance reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207-2997 Detroit, Mich.
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Phone: 313-446-1637
E-Mail: jlareau@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Public retailers push toward online sales

Most public auto retailers are slowly moving toward allowing consumers to complete a full vehicle purchase online.

Mazda, dealers work to improve stores' profitability

For Mazda to sell 450,000 new vehicles annually in three years, the bulk of its dealers need to improve profitability, the dealer council chair said.

Unorthodox dealer expands empire

New England dealer David Rosenberg will now lead one of the largest groups in the nation after the combination of Prime Motor and stores owned by GPB Capital.

Performance packages get a push in F&I, service

For some customers, 440 to 500 hp just isn't enough. So Manhattan Motorcars owner Brian Miller offers them a boost while helping his F&I managers and service advisers, too.

Penske taps F&I to boost used-car service

Penske Automotive Group promotes service on used vehicles through sales of wraparound maintenance programs.

Sonic shifts its focus to used-vehicle operations

Sonic Automotive will focus on its EchoPark used-only retail stores this year, while putting an initiative aimed at speeding up the sales process on the back burner.

Lithia turns up heat on Group 1 in rankings

Lithia Motors, the fourth-largest dealership group based in the United States, may climb in Automotive News' rankings in part because of acquisitions.

Lithia buys New Jersey stores from Prestige

Lithia Motors bought six stores from Prestige Family of Fine Cars group in New Jersey, further expanding its East Coast presence and adding $900 million in revenue.

Lithia buys more stores near Pittsburgh

UPDATED: 2/27/18 3:06 pm ET - adds details

Lithia Motors expanded its presence in Pittsburgh with the purchase of Day Automotive Group. Day is estimated to generate $340 million in annual revenue.

Sonic's Q4 net income jumps on tax changes

Sonic Automotive's fourth-quarter net soared on gains related to corporate tax changes. Same-store gross profit grew in all operations except used vehicles.

Dealership's ex-controller pleads guilty to stealing $1.1 million

A former controller faces 20 years in jail and a $2.3 million fine for embezzling more than $1 million from a Connecticut dealership.

Tax changes boost public dealerships

UPDATED: 2/15/18 11:14 am ET - corrected

Publicly traded dealership groups turned in generally good results in the fourth quarter. Then U.S. corporate tax cuts pumped up those earnings -- often by a lot.

Teaming up to tackle dealers' problems

Two dealership service powerhouses have formed a joint venture to research problems and identify solutions for dealers in the evolving retail landscape.

Hendrick Group sued over commissions

Hendrick Automotive is being sued by 33 former sales associates who allege its Chevrolet of Naples store manipulated profit margins to pay smaller commissions.

Penske sets next markets for used-only stores

Penske Automotive Group plans to expand its CarSense used-only operation by building and opening stores in three U.S. markets within 12 to 18 months.

Penske's Q4 net jumps on tax benefits

Penske Automotive's net jumped on a one-time boost from U.S. tax changes, while gross profit rose in all areas of the dealership group's business.

GM cuts bonuses for dealership sales staff

GM has slashed the maximum amount dealership salespeople can earn from the automaker in supplemental bonuses and changed the criteria for getting that money.

Penske ponders the costs of F&I managers

Penske Automotive Group's used-only stores generate $300 to $400 more gross profit per vehicle than the group's franchised stores. One reason: no F&I managers.

Penske will look 'at every store we have'

Roger Penske will scrutinize Penske Automotive Group's entire portfolio of dealerships this year and either fix poor performers or sell them.

'18 may bring dealership buy-sell bonanza

Buy-sell advisers expect a booming year as some smaller-dealership owners realize they can't grow fast enough to compete and opt to sell, while larger players buy.

Strong 2018 sales expected

Rising interest rates and tightening credit are reasons for concern, but shouldn't cause new-vehicle sales to tumble, speakers at the Automotive News World Congress said.

PETA auto show protest, aimed at FCA, is misdirected

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to protest FCA at the Detroit auto show for something one of its dealers is doing: sponsoring a long-time dog-sled race in Alaska.

Cox sees strong 2018 auto sales, but with potholes

Cox Automotive's chief economist sees strong 2018 auto sales, despite rising interest rates, but a shift toward used cars amid a torrent of off-lease vehicles.

NADA names Stanton as its new COO

The National Automobile Dealers Association has named J.D. Power's Mike Stanton as its new COO.

Subaru store shifts pay plan to spur F&I sales

Patriot Subaru in Saco, Maine, reworked F&I officers' pay plans, compensating them on product sales rather than finance reserve. The result? Improved F&I sales, revenue per vehicle and take-home pay.

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