Today's Automotive Industry News

guy with hand in air

Dealers Being Offered $3.6 Million in Digital Marketing Services

What is the deal? Too good to be true?

Autosoft is inviting their 2,000 dealer customers to leverage the complete Carfolks.com customer loyalty and employee retention marketing solutions program for a trial period at no monthly cost for the service. These digital marketing services are valued at $3.6 million.

Like Facebook, Carfolks provides a free individual page for every automotive sales person in the United States and Canada to build their professional brand and to help differentiate auto dealers from their competitors.

Why this offer to dealers?

To show how powerful the Carfolks.com solution is for auto retailers, Carfolks is giving away $3.6 million of their digital marketing services to 2,000 Autosoft dealership customers. Carfolks, the only automotive retailer and sales professional community providing transparency and customer reviews unfiltered by auto dealers has established an alliance with a leading dealer management system (DMS) provider Autosoft, Inc.

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Bike riding in California

California a Testing Ground for Where Automakers are Heading

Fortune Magazine writer Michal Lev-Ram has a few things in common with high-ranking executives at Ford, Daimler, and BMW.

Each of them see a huge paradigm shift coming up as vehicle manufacturers transform into what Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford calls “personal-mobility companies.” Changing demographics in cities, automakers setting up shop in Silicon Valley, increasing usage in biking and public transportation, and growth in ridesharing services like Uber, are a few trends to watch....………..

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Highway picture

Will lack of Funding of Highway Fund Ultimately Impact Auto Sales?

The Problem:  Congress does not want to pass legislation that would give the Highway Fund a four year span to get our highways repaired and upgraded.

The Significance:  When more bridges start falling down and deep pot holes are on the streets of major cities, consumers are start going after Congress and Interstate Highway Administration.

What happened in Congress this past week?

  • Large-scale package to finance construction &maintenance of transportation projects being punted into next year.
  • Congress approve a 10-month patch, which will be depleted next month.
  • Continued battling over how to fund even a temporary fix
  • Proposal to boost gasoline tax by 12 cents a gallon over the next 2 years  triggered immediate resistance.

See and read what the Wall Street Journal reported last week

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Bill Ford

Bill Ford: Game Is Changing Bigtime for Automakers in Next 20 Years

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Co., just wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal’s 125th anniversary issue.

Ford is in a unique position in the auto industry – being the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who “redefined mobility for average people,” along with articulating bold, forward-thinking ideas on where automakers need to go in the next 20 years. Ford shares his ideas on the transformation of automakers into personal-mobility companies...………..

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Blog-Paint-849x550

Like paint on the walls…how simple and intuitive is your loaner car management system?

By Tom Klaff

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci

When we set out to build a new loaner vehicle management solution we solicited direct input from dealers. We spent a long time figuring out how to simplify and distill the complicated and time consuming tasks surrounding loaner vehicle management so that a dealer’s existing personnel could operate a loaner program without hiring for, or acquiring, special skills. We believed then, as we still do, that successful dealerships build core competencies in selling and servicing vehicles.

Loaner vehicle management shouldn’t be one of them.

Learn Why Not.

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aol technology award logo

AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award — Nominee Finalists Announced

The slate of six finalists for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award have been named, each embodying the latest and greatest developments in automotive fuel economy, connectivity, telematics and active safety.

From midnight on November 19 onward, readers will be given the chance to vote for one of the six innovative technologies to take the top prize. The presentation of the winner will occur in Las Vegas at January’s 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

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Toyota Prius on dealer lot

NADA UCG Report: Hybrids Softening in Used Vehicle Values

Not long ago, the market values of used hybrid electric vehicles, especially the Toyota Prius, were very strong.

More recently, used vehicle values have been softening on hybrids. Other green vehicles are still up in the air, such as plug-in electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles. NADA Used Car Guide has covered these topics in-depth lately..………..

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Audi A3 e-tron

This Week’s Top 10 Stories in Green Auto Market

Workplace electric vehicle charging and the rollout of the Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron are the top stories of the week.

There there’s the one about the US Supreme Court backing off an appellate court ruling on California’s low-carbon fuel standard. And Toyota announced that its fourth generation Prius will be coming out later than expected.………..

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Iraq conflict

What Iraq Conflict Might Mean for Gasoline Prices and Alternative Fuels

Military conflict has returned to Iraq during a period of time the United States has been wrapping up its military presence.

Oil prices have risen to their highest level this year, and analysts expect gasoline prices to rise by as much as 10 cents per gallon due to the military conflict in Iraq. Find out more about it, and what impact gas prices might have on interest in alternative fuels.………..

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Tesla leasing

Swapalease’s Scot Hall On Leasing Tesla Model S And Other EVs

As you well know, off-lease units are getting a lot of attention this year as remarketers watch how used car prices will be affected by leasing.

Automakers are closely watching what happens with Tesla Motors and its business model. Setting up stores outside the franchise law structure has also meant creating its own “buy back” program that’s as close to leasing as Tesla can go for now. Scot Hall, Executive Vice President at Swapalease.com, has been closely watching what’s going on with Tesla’s program and leasing other EVs like the Nissan Leaf………..

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Navy Seals

Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training

These inspirational words are a must read and suitable for framing -- adapted from the commencement address by Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014

Click to read.
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Retail Used Car Stores

How Retailers Are Making Used Car Stores Highly Profitable

Franchised dealers are seeing huge opportunities in used cars – including starting up stores specializing in pre-owned vehicle sales and sometimes under a new retail brand name.

CarMax has been the largest player in the retail used vehicle space and has had about 1% share of the market. That leaves an enormous amount of opportunity for stand-alone used car stores. Here are some of the used car market forces influencing strategic business decisions by dealers………..

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Toyota and Tesla

Toyota Moving Away From Tesla and EVs —
Going Towards Fuel Cell and Hybrids

When Toyota made an agreement in 2010 with Tesla Motors to integrate its electric motor and batteries into the Toyota RAV4 EV, the working relationship looked very promising.

The Toyota and Tesla relationship seemed to sour this month when Toyota announced that it will phase out an agreement from 2012 for Tesla to deliver 2,600 battery packs for Toyota’s electric RAV4 over three years. Read all about Toyota’s changing strategy with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and advanced hybrids..……..

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Seasonal Patterns

Yes, Off-Lease is Coming — but Don’t Forget About Seasonal Patterns

Automotive Digest and several pre-owned vehicle experts have been warning about the impact of off-lease vehicles for several months. But don’t forget about the impact of seasonal patterns.

Check out the latest Guidelines report from NADA Used Car Guide. April finished at 125.8 on the NADA seasonally adjusted used vehicle price index, which tied with March as the highest figure reached..……

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Online-Auto-Auctions

Toyota Selling Off-Lease Inventory to Independent Dealers through Online Auctions

Toyota Financial Services and Lexus Financial Services have been marketing off-lease inventory sales lately through ADESA DealerBlock. There should be a lot of used vehicles for dealers to choose from – Toyota and Lexus new vehicle sales have been about 30% lease transactions lately.

This Toyota program gives independent, non-franchised dealers access to off-lease Toyota and Lexus vehicles; these vehicles previously had only been available to franchised dealers.……..

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Auto Industry Infographic

Must See: Auto Industry Infographic

Bryant Surety Bonds offers a great overview of the optimistic outlook for car dealerships this year with its new Car Dealers Step on the Gas in 2014 infographic.

The main takeaway is that the industry is recovering steadily since its lowest point in 2009. Auto dealers made $41.3 million in sales last year, and 2014 promises to be even better.

The infographic gives you the opportunity to check out the average annual dealership sales by state, the top three U.S. car manufacturing companies, and the best selling cars of 2013.

You’ll also find the total sales of new cars and trucks of the five top-selling states. Spoiler alert: California is the definite leader with $77.5 billion.

See Infographic>

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Warranty

Car Buyers Say Manufacturer Warranties DO Affect Vehicle Purchase

90% of consumers surveyed said they would seek out a dealership that offers warranties, according to a recent study by The EFG Corporation.

The study also states that 62 % of consumers said the manufacturer warranty significantly affects what make & model of vehicle they consider purchasing.


Find Out What this means to dealer sales management.

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Online auctions

KAR and ADESA See Sales Growth with Profit Decline in Changing Wholesale Space

For ADESA’s parent company KAR Auction Services Inc., the first quarter of 2014 was very good for sales volume, but profits saw a decline during that time.

Some of that came through at the corporate level with refinancing of its credit agreement; but some of that seems to be tied into the transitions being experienced overall in the wholesale used vehicle space.……..

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Cord book

Car People Who Love Classic Cars Find Incredible Book on The Cord

Car people love cars, particularly classic cars that seem to never lose popularity, value, and stunning design – that is the Cord.

If you want a coffee table book that will make conversation every time or if you just want to fantasize about owning this incredible car – buy this book before it is out of print.

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Used Car Prices

Wholesale Used Price Drop Taking Longer than Expected to Show Up

Wholesale prices are remaining strong – up for fourth consecutive month in April – even though a big used vehicle price drop has been expected.

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index reached 124.9, a 4.8% increase from a year ago. Strong dealer demand in the competitive wholesale market has been setting a solid platform for prices. Higher transaction prices and flat incentive spending are also strengthening used values.……..

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Dealer Car lot with Shoppers

Leading Analyst Says Used Car Market to Decline in 2015 to 2017

Beginning in 2015, Used Car Prices are expected to decline according to The RVI Group, who predicts UC prices to drop by 5 % by 2017 from current levels.

What are the trends that will impact Dealer planning in next year?

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think LA logo

900 Marketing Powers Briefed at Astounding thinkLA Automotive Breakfast

The amazing conferencing skills of one of the most important marketing forums in LA, if not the country, presented 2.5 hours of an engaging automotive industry briefing a capacity crowd on a Wednesday morning.

Briefing presentations on the impact, accomplishments, and opportunities for technology and marketing in the automotive market were from Kbb.com, Honda, Mazda, AOL Auto, Google, Facebook, Twitter & the Initiative Agency.

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Auction Lane

Used Car Prices Are Softening, but It’s Not Just from Off-Lease

Yes, lower used car prices are just around the corner; and no, it’s not just about off-lease units seeing big volume increases..

Experts like NADA Used Car Guide analyst Larry Dixon and Black Book’s Ricky Beggs see prices decline, with much of it coming from seasonal patterns – and from what happens historically when used car prices skyrocket to abnormal levels. ……..

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Ten

TEN In TEN – WHAT HAPPENED THAT MATTERS LAST WEEK

HERE IS A QUICK DIGESTION OF TEN AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS DEVELOPMENTS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW & EVEN ACT UPON

Speed Read:

See coverage of GM Recalls, Ford Profits, Bernie FI, Uber, Truck Sales, Edmunds Forecast, OEM Sales Contest, & Heartbleed.

Take 10 minutes of less to gain a cogent briefing on the “Significant [SIG] News You Need to Know” from last week.

GET ALL TEN NOW

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car rental lot

Used Vehicles Push Sonic Automotive through Tough First Quarter

While harsh weather had negative effects on dealer network Sonic ’s first quarter earnings, pre-owned, used car sales brought in some sunshine. Weather and expenses that came from Sonic’s pre-owned store initiative affected earnings.

Read all about Sonic’s used vehicle performance and how two other marketing initiatives are starting to see results for the dealer network……..

GET MORE DETAILS

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More Hot News

guy with hand in air

Dealers Being Offered $3.6 Million in Digital Marketing Services

Bike riding in California

California a Testing Ground for Where Automakers are Heading

Highway picture

Will lack of Funding of Highway Fund Ultimately Impact Auto Sales?

Bill Ford

Bill Ford: Game Is Changing Bigtime for Automakers in Next 20 Years

Blog-Paint-849x550

Like paint on the walls…how simple and intuitive is your loaner car management system?

aol technology award logo

AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award — Nominee Finalists Announced

Toyota Prius on dealer lot

NADA UCG Report: Hybrids Softening in Used Vehicle Values

Audi A3 e-tron

This Week’s Top 10 Stories in Green Auto Market

Iraq conflict

What Iraq Conflict Might Mean for Gasoline Prices and Alternative Fuels

Tesla leasing

Swapalease’s Scot Hall On Leasing Tesla Model S And Other EVs

Navy Seals

Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training

Retail Used Car Stores

How Retailers Are Making Used Car Stores Highly Profitable

Toyota and Tesla

Toyota Moving Away From Tesla and EVs — Going Towards Fuel Cell and Hybrids

Seasonal Patterns

Yes, Off-Lease is Coming — but Don’t Forget About Seasonal Patterns

Online-Auto-Auctions

Toyota Selling Off-Lease Inventory to Independent Dealers through Online Auctions

Auto Industry Infographic

Must See: Auto Industry Infographic

Warranty

Car Buyers Say Manufacturer Warranties DO Affect Vehicle Purchase

Online auctions

KAR and ADESA See Sales Growth with Profit Decline in Changing Wholesale Space

Cord book

Car People Who Love Classic Cars Find Incredible Book on The Cord

Used Car Prices

Wholesale Used Price Drop Taking Longer than Expected to Show Up

Dealer Car lot with Shoppers

Leading Analyst Says Used Car Market to Decline in 2015 to 2017

think LA logo

900 Marketing Powers Briefed at Astounding thinkLA Automotive Breakfast

Auction Lane

Used Car Prices Are Softening, but It’s Not Just from Off-Lease

Ten

TEN In TEN – WHAT HAPPENED THAT MATTERS LAST WEEK

car rental lot

Used Vehicles Push Sonic Automotive through Tough First Quarter