The Federal Trade Commission is wrapping up its so-called Operation Ruse Control, which went after car dealers for deceptive advertising and other types of fraud. It resulted in 252 enforcement actions and six cases for the FTC.
The Fact Checker column in the Washington Post takes issue with a key report attacking dealer franchise laws. The paper, written at the Department of Justice in 2009, attempts to justify allowing manufacturers to sell directly to consumers, but because of some bad research, tried to make its case by citing a failed GM direct-sales program that had shut down years earlier.
A Subaru dealer in California is being sued by Subaru of America in US District Court, for allegedly falsifying 224 customer satisfaction surveys last year. The scheme wasn't hard to discover because all of the questionnaires were submitted from the IP address of a showroom owned by the same business.
Nissan is tapping the expertise of its major Mexican dealership groups to break into southern states with large Hispanic populations like Texas and California in a drive to increase its share of the US market.
Despite its best efforts, Cadillac can't seem to move enough of its sedans – like the ATS and CTS – forcing it to offer deep incentives and reduce production. The Escalade SUV, on the other hand, is selling like chromed hotcakes.
After hearing about Detroit-native James Robertson's 21-mile daily walk to work, a local Ford dealer is giving him a fully loaded, red 2015 Taurus as a new ride. Robertson has been making the daily trek to his job for the past 10 years with perfect attendance.
You know that sinking feeling you get in your stomach when you drive your brand-new car off the dealer lot and you know it just lost a huge chunk of value as soon as its tires hit the public roads? Yeah, well that feeling is about to sink even lower into the pit of your stomach.
General Motors is launching new entry-level trims for four of its popular models that slash prices by removing some content but mostly seriously cut into dealer margins. The changes let the brands advertise segment-leading prices to attract potential buyers into showrooms.
Infotainment Influx Taking Toll On Customers and Dealers Alike
You remember Rikk Wilde. The Chevrolet regional manager became an immediate sensation last fall when he stammered through his World Series presentation and invoked the now-famous "technology and stuff" catchphrase to describe the automaker's latest offerings. As it turns out, he's not the only car guy struggling to offer more specifics on the newest automotive technology.
Billionaire investor George Soros and his company Soros Fund Management are seriously investigating following Warren Buffett's lead and buying an auto dealer body. A Soros representative was reportedly trying to sell dealers on the idea during a private dinner, indicating that current management would stay in place, if the company invested.
Four Chrysler dealers shuttered during the automaker's bankruptcy have one less obstacle in their way to reopening following a US appeals court ruling. However, they still have to work things out with FCA.
Hyundai and Kia dealers in Grand Junction, CO, are buying $180,000 in gift cards for local businesses and giving them away to previous customers as part of a new marketing strategy. Not only does the plan get more buyers into the the showrooms than traditional advertising, but it reinvests money back into the community.
Automotive remarketer Alteso is pitching a new way to conduct wholesale car auctions, which currently aren't open to the public. Their idea would give everyday customers a way to visit a dealer's site to see what's being offered at auction, then they could request the dealer buy the car on their behalf and take delivery the next day.
Reuters reports that BMW has agreed to pay its Chinese dealers 5.1 billion yuan ($820 million) to help them overcome huge inventories and poor profits last year. Audi and Daimler have are also subsidizing Chinese dealers with hundreds of millions of dollars as the local auto market slows down.