The resounding successes of the iPhone and iPad have Apple shareholders dancing in the streets, but one area in which Apple hasn't been as successful, however, has been business applications. In fact, until recently, Apple retail stores used Windows-based devices to ring up orders. Now, Mercedes-Benz aims to be among the first companies to change that paradigm by bringing the popular iPad tablet into its showrooms.
This ended about how we predicted. You all no doubt remember McFly, the guy that won a legit eBay auction for a slightly used Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T for $16,125. Problem was that the seller – Glenn Hyundai of Lexington, KY – felt the car was worth more ($19,700) and refused to sell it to McFly. They claim they set a reserve price (even though they didn't) and wouldn't budge. End of story, kind of.
One needn't be an Autoblog regular to be aware of the fact that the car industry has taken quite a drubbing over the past few years. The slump in our nation's economy has slaughtered sales, leading automakers to shutter thousands of dealerships nationwide. Chrysler Group LLC slashed 789 franchises in June of this year. General Motors has said it will cut 2,400 retail locations of its own by next fall.
In 2006, Ford began to shrink its dealership network in order to more efficiently align its distribution network. Three years later, it appears that the hardest hit are the company's stand-alone Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. While there were 619 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships nationwide just a few years ago, the number had dwindled down to just 357 at the beginning of 2009.
One of the more controversial parts of the Chrysler bankruptcy was the decision to cut 789 dealerships by June 9. The move made for a quick, painful end to dealerships that in some cases spanned several generations of family ownership. When General Motors entered bankruptcy, it said it would cut about 1,300 retail stores, but the automaker planned on waiting until October, 2010 to pull the plug.
General Motors Canada has announced that it has begun notifying its dealer body that it will be culling its sales networks by some 42 percent. The massive cut means that GM's 709 dealers will be trimmed by around 245 stores. The cuts will come as the restructuring automaker will elect to not renew its sales and service contracts come October 2010.
Chrysler has just announced that it will 'reject' some 789 of its dealerships by June 9 as it works to downsize through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. That represents a 25% cut in its dealer networks, leaving 2,392 Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge dealers to carry on if the automaker is able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy with its new partner, Fiat.
Ford's dealer development program works to help people become dealer principles who might not otherwise have the chance. The 64 members of the program, most of them black or Hispanic, are set up with stores by Ford and then buy out Ford's interest in the dealership with revenues. To give them a boost and, presumably, free up Ford money, Automotive News is reporting that Ford is offering dealers in the program an offer they'll have a hard time refusing: complete ownership of their stores for $1.
As we reported earlier, Gregory Graham, a third-generation car dealership owner in Ligonier, Pennsylvania tragically died of a heart attack last month while setting fire to the cars on his lot. His company, Graham Colonial Motors, was evidently burdened by more than a million dollars in liens, in addition to the daily woes of doing business in this business climate.
With each passing day bringing more tough news about the state of the car companies and the plight of the autoworker, it's sometimes easy to overlook the effect that all of this economic gulag is having on mom-and-pop dealerships across the country. Bringing that idea into stark focus is news that Gregory Graham, a Pennsylvania car dealer recently died of a heart attack while torching cars at his own ailing dealership.
Like those affected by the overinflated housing market, many auto dealers are experiencing a similar situation with their real estate. During the recent boom times, the thinking was that you needed a big, flashy facility with all sorts of extras and perks to attract customers. Manufacturers helped push the trend by offering extra incentives to dealers for interior and exterior upgrades, or flat-out demanding that some brand outlets conform to a particular standard.
The sun will set on an alarming number of new car dealerships this year, according to The National Automobile Dealers Association, better known as NADA. This has been an ongoing trend, but it's set to accelerate as slowing new car sales and the tough credit market makes it very difficult for dealerships to stay open. After losing about 430 dealerships last year, the total stood at around 20,700 left, of which 700 are expected to close up shop before the end of the year.
Now that the NHTSA has outlined plans which would require the fleet of cars to reach 35.7 miles per gallon on average and light trucks to hit 28.6, we've heard many opinions regarding the regulations. The automakers seem content with the plans, just so long as the regulations are nationwide, not state-by-state. According to the NADA, car dealers will be going along with the notion as well. Andrew Koblenz, NADA vice president for legal and regulatory affairs said in a statement (pasted after the
Two employees at an East Point car dealership were shot dead by the owner for having the audacity to ask for a raise. Sounding like something you'd hear about a drug running syndicate as opposed to a used car lot, shop owner Rolandas Milinavicius apparently snapped and shot both employees in the head following their request for extra pay.
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