Six in Sixty: Today’s News in Context — Tuesday, January 7

Following are Automotive Industry News Developments that you DDD editors believe can and will have an impact on the management of retail automotive dealerships as we go into the first week of January 2014:

Online Showrooms & Digital Dealerships Changing How Consumers Buy — Financial Times

  • Big TV screens controlled by touchpads on the floor instead of cars
  • Audi and others think this is the future of auto retailing
  • Will change the way dealership teams interact with customers
  • Nearly 25% of U.S. car sales projected to be sold this way by 2020
  • No more trekking from dealership to dealership all weekend
  • Buying cars directly from the manufacturers is coming
  • Old style dealership not sustainable any more

Intangible Consumer Confidence Reflected in Index Drop — Wall Street Journal

  • Economic & financial stats always seem to be on shaky ground
  • Consumer Confidence Index fell to 7 month low in November
  • Unemployment rate is best in five years
  • Confidence indexes tend to follow the markets
  • Insight into future asset values is the key to cause and effect
  • Impact on car sales will show up in first quarter

2014 Sales of 16.4 M to Be Driven by Product not Spiffs and Ifs — Automotive News

  • Over 16M in New Car Sales predicted for 2014; the most since 2007
  • Analysts are saying sales success is driven by product, not incentives
  • 3% increase in annual new car sales in 2014
  • Manufacturers plagued in past by over production & blowout sales
  • OEMs may need to build capacity to meet 2014 demand
  • Over 4,000 dealers disappeared since 2007
  • The are now 17,540 dealers, total

Mobile Apps Struggle to Find Revenue Stream & Content — New York Times

  • Niche media & providers searching for ways to gain money from apps
  • Now seeking to charge subscription price from 99cts to $50
  • Apps were once a good deal, but content costs money to produce
  • Mobile apps offer logical way to deliver content & services
  • Building an audience and upgrading app cost providers money
  • Content must be of value, so requires change of business model

Battery Storage Could Bring Electric Car Owners Profit — Los Angeles Times

  • Storing renewable energy now a possibility for electric car owners
  • Could change the way people look at electric cars & utilities
  • Can now send power back to the Grid
  • California to promote vehicle-to-grid technology
  • Technology could solve how to store energy affordably
  • May encourage people to buy electrics & deal with cost factor
  • Average car battery is used one hour per day

Fiat Finally Gains Control of Chrysler — Wall Street Journal 

  • Gets full control of Chrysler Group LLC in a $4.35 billion deal
  • Helps clear the way for consolidation of the two automakers
  • Has freedom needed to further consolidate engineering & manufacturing operations
  • Fiat pay the United Auto Workers health-care trust $3.65 billion for its 41.5%
  • Deal puts an end to year-long dispute over value of Chrysler’s shares
  • Marchionne repeatedly has said he wants to own Chrysler outright
  • Unified ownership structure allows Fiat to fully execute vision of a global OEM


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