The California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative just announced a milestone: the 100,000 mark has been crossed..……… Californians are buying about 40% of all the EVs sold in the US. That has a lot to do with automakers launching these cars in California and keeping the supply and marketing very limited in other states. Here are some other ways OEMs and dealers could see EV sales increase outside that state…............ GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
Title washing has become a pervasive problem for dealers, remarketers, and car shoppers buying used vehicles, according to new research from Carfax. ……… Nearly 800,000 used cars are subject to professional con men are creating false vehicle documents to get title brands such as “salvage” or “flood” removed from a car’s title. Every Motor Vehicle Department in the U.S. and Canada reports branded titles to Carfax, and consumers and dealers have solutions available to them............ GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
Ever since Google announced its 100 self-driving test cars in May, the issues of driverless, autonomous vehicles has gone viral on the internet – and in think pieces in major news sources……… Jon LeSage, an Automotive Digest editor, has written a white paper called, “Hands off the Steering Wheel,” that digs into where it all stands in state regulations and strategic plans by automakers and technology suppliers. Automakers have suggested they’ll be bringing driverless cars to the market by 2020, but how soon can you expect to see these self-driving cars on showroom floors?........... GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
Here is a summary of a recent study that will give you the “answer”: • We’re at the cusp of phones mattering more to people than cars.Among adults 35+: 94% say their cars are important vs 82% phones. But for Millennials, it’s 87% cars, 86% phones. • Cars matter more than you might think. Across ages, access to a car (90%) trumps helping others (77%), raising a family (73%), voting (68%), and being wealthy (43%). • Car Ownership isn’t going the way of the Dodo just yet. 96% of surveyed individuals own or lease a vehicle, and 91% think that owning a car is still an important part of their day-to-day. Even 87% of the Millennial population, which is more aware of car-sharing services and other transportation options, agrees that owning a car is essential. This means that auto manufacturers need to keep people happy, because at least 40% of surveyed individuals are likely to use car-sharing services if offered in their communities. • Car-sharing still has a long way to go. Even though Uber ranks above all of the major auto brands when measured against the intersection of innovation and personal connection, it is still a relatively unknown entity. Only 22% of surveyed individuals were familiar with Uber, falling behind Zip Car (33% familiar) and just ahead of Lyft (18% familiar). See complete study.____________________________________________________________________________
The Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) business group just released an economic study on job announcements in clean energy and clean transportation…….. Arizona topped the list of states with all of the solar power company growth in the sunny state. California and Michigan also did well, thanks to Tesla Motors and GM hiring 1,900 workers (500 for Tesla and 1,400 for GM) for manufacturing jobs………… GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
“A very intelligent consumer can walk in the door,” say Cary Donovan, vice president and director of used vehicle operations at Sam Swope Auto Group in Louisville, Ky…….. “Documentation is the new negotiator” for working well with today’s car shoppers, he said. “All we have to do is have our associates document and reiterate what the consumer already knows,” he said. Read how Sam Swope Auto Group uses vehicle history reports to make that work…………GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
We had another week with much news about Tesla Motors…... The Model S package with the 85 kWh battery pack had its drive unit warranty extended to eight years to match the battery pack; the latest on the “Gigafactory”; and more on the Consumer Reports love affair ending and how it’s affected Tesla stock price. For those of you too busy (and annoyed) to read all the Tesla coverage, here's a brief summary............. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
The Situation: As the talk and literature gain more focus about why women do not always gain authority, position, and power in corporations, car companies, and dealerships, respected Carnegie Mellon has come up with a program, two powerful books, & a six two-day modules at the Pittsburgh campus to help women in the auto industry to become more empowered through negotiation skills and just plain “Asking for what they want.” What is the program called & its objectives? The Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy For Women is the first program of its kind to look at critical leadership skills through a negotiation lens — is now offered through Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business Executive Education program in partnership with the H. John Heinz III College. Developing strong female leaders within organizations is the key objective of the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The program, which consists of six two-day modules, is now enrolling students for its fall cohort, which will begin study in September 2014 and complete the program in March 2015. Why automotive management should enroll their women executives: Research has found men are four times more likely than women to initiate negotiations, and those women who do negotiate often experience negative social consequences. Academy participants will gain greater expertise in networking, communications and authority, while improving their ability to recognize negotiable opportunities, develop strategies of influence, create mutually beneficial agreements, navigate power imbalances and optimize group performance through diversity. GET MORE DETAILS __________________________________________________________
General Motors Corp. has been championing the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt that’s scheduled to debut at the Detroit auto show in January. GM is holding back on information – it will be “good value,” but no details have been released. But there aqe bigger questions that need to be answered: How many Volts does GM plan to build and deliver this year and next? How committed is GM and Chevrolet to marketing the Volt through corporate advertising and supporting and encouraging its dealer network?.……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
Automakers, dealers, and fleets are implementing changes to hit two key targets: cost containment and meeting environmental goals. Dealers are becoming LEED-certified, automakers are making plants more energy efficient, and fleets are looking for ways to reduce operating costs along with carbon emissions. Abrams Consulting Group and SOMS Technologies, the manufacturer of the microGreen® Extended Performance Oil Filter, are working together to bring a vehicle maintenance solution to car rental and fleet management.....……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
As dealership management, you have to be quick like a bunny culling through your email for what really matters and then getting back to business -- and there dozens of sources for advice, tips, and How-To’s coming at you in e-blasts, social media feeds, RSS, forums, and e-newsletters. With high demands for your time, you have to decide what, how, and when you read all the “stuff” that keeps coming at you. We highly suggest The Dealer Corner, a monthly e-newsletter from Autobytel that covers dealer management issues like case studies, new applications, and sales resources that you can actually use. Each issue is loaded with resources, ideas, and tips for gaining more leads, using texting to sell more cars, getting more mobility into your sales process, and capitalizing on success stories from the Dealer of Month. It's not advertising --Autobytel's Dealer Corner is one of the best edited, contented, and positioned e-newsletters for dealers. Check out the latest issue here.________________________________________
According to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of auto loans mid-way through 2014 is $902.2 billion, a record high and increase of more than 10% from the same time a year ago. In that same time, the total number of auto loans outstanding is more than 64 million. Read What Dennis Carlson, Equifax’s Deputy Chief Economist says about this. GET DETAILS_________________________________________________
Millennials are putting off getting their drivers licenses and buying cars longer than previous generations, but what does the future look like?Auto analysts say that the car purchase decision is being put off longer, but not for ever. Car- and ridesharing services are taking off for young consumers living in urban environments, but things do change when they’re reaching their mid-20s....……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
The Situation: Last Sunday’s issue of the New York Times, had a front page article about how subprime lenders may be overcharging credit impaired consumer for auto loans. The article continued on two full newspaper pages with photos of beleaguered borrowers with stories of repossessions and misleading lending practices. The ominous title of the article was “Easy Credit, Hard to Repay” and the subhead read “Exorbitant Rates in Subprime Boom for Used Cars” The Significance: Here is a listing of some of the red flagging content in the article:
- * The surge in subprime auto lending & lack of caution resembles the subprime mortgage market of years past.
- * Subprime auto loans have increased 130 % in last five years.
- * Investors are pouring tons of money into the subprime market.
- * Loans are then bundled as bonds & securities for sale to insurance companies and mutual funds.
- * Several loan cases where interest rates exceeded 23%.
- * In spite of warnings, subprime volume was up 15% to $146 B in 1st Qtr.
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. GET MORE DETAILS __________________________________________________
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....……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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.
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...……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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._____________________________________
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.
- * Infiniti Backup Collision Intervention
- * Volvo Pedestrian and Cyclist Detention w/Full Auto Brake
- * Chevrolet MyLink Valet Mode
- * Tesla Supercharger Network
- * Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive
- * Mopar In-Vehicle Wireless Charging for Portable Devices
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..……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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.……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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.……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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……….. GET MORE DETAILS _________________________________________________________
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, 2014Click to read. ______________________________________________________