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.
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.
Given the less-than-sterling reputation that car salesmen have among many consumers, it should be no surprise that they also have their own insider jargon. Much of the lingo is now finally coming to light in one place thanks to an Ohio lawyer specializing in 'lemon law' cases who keeps a dictionary of the terms on his website.
Our friends at Engadget, tech-obsessed sister site of Autoblog, have taken an in-depth look at the reason why it's so difficult for Tesla to sell its cars directly to consumers, the same way that Apple, for instance, can sell you an iPad at an Apple Store. As you're probably aware, the whole sordid affair can be traced back to dealer franchise laws, which vary dramatically state to state, all with the stated goal of protecting your local neighborhood car dealers from unfair competition.
Fascination with Tesla Motors' role in the luxury electric vehicle market continues, even among the competition. Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America recently told Bloomberg that, Tesla is "cool" and "the talk of the town," and that, "what the industry as a whole can learn from them is continue to push innovation, continue to have the challenger spirit."
The owner of a car dealership in Charleston, W. Va., sued the federal government over a mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act requiring employers offer the Plan B pill, only to realize his insurance policy already covered the emergency contraception. His lawyers just missed it.
Used vehicle prices have been on a tear for over a year now, as slow new vehicle sales during the financial meltdown of 2009 have created a dearth of available used models today. Yet the sluggish economy means demand for used vehicles is high, so dealers are going to ever-increasing lengths to acquire inventory.
Automotive News is reporting that Spike TV is planning to roll out a new reality TV show that orbits around struggling car dealerships. The premise has the show's two hosts, Tom Stuker and Roe Hubbard, swooping in with just five days to turn lackluster sales into a success story.
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