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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