The US auto dealer industry recently saw a huge shakeup when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment company bought Van Tuyl Group, the country's largest privately owned network of showrooms, for an undisclosed sum. Assuming the deal's regulatory success, it immediately made Buffet one of the nation's largest car retailers. But could the acquisition have come as part of a larger plan to launch a Chinese automaker in the US?
With the new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans out on the market, and the new Levante crossover and Alfieri coupe on their way, Maserati is making serious headway towards revitalizing its lineup. Now all it needs in order to reach its ambitious sales targets is to expand the network of dealers where they're to be sold. And according to Maserati chief Harald Wester in speaking to Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, that's exactly what it has in store.
How to get the best bang for your buck at the dealership
Apprehensive about shopping for a new car? Afraid you'll say the wrong thing to a car dealer that will give him the upper hand in the price battle? Shopping for a new car, or even a used one, doesn't have to be that kind of nerve-jangling roll of the dice that it was many years ago. For starters, the advent of the Internet allows car shoppers to go into battle armed with more information today tha
Lincoln has a scent. But unlike those from Mustang, Lamborghini or even Shark by Tara, you can't buy it and you have to visit a Lincoln dealership to inhale its notes of jasmine hedione, mate tea leaves and tonka beans. Essence of Lincoln - that's what it's called - is being piped through the ventilation systems at some showrooms to help "create an emotional connection between the luxury brand and its customers," and olfactorily promote the idea of "luxury and warmth." Where it's not run through
Every so often, we come across the story of someone trying to "stick it to the man" by paying a parking fine or speeding ticket in pennies or dimes. Never, though, have we heard of a business stooping to such clichéd lengths. Enter Florida.
In the Keystone State, the compromise number between zero and unlimited is five, apparently. Pennsylvania's Senate applied that math in an attempt to resolve the issue of allowing Tesla Motors to operate company-owned stores in the state. The senate this week unanimously voted for a bill that will allow Tesla's operations, but placed a limit on the number of stores at five. The bill will now go to the state's House for approval, according to Automotive News.
Okay America, this has gotten silly. A new study by Edmunds has revealed what we've always kind of known – people don't like going car shopping. What we didn't realize, though, is why, and what they'd rather do (or not do) to avoid a trip to the dealer.
Part of the deal for the federal bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors was that both organizations were required to trim their vast array of dealerships. This move did not sit well with the people that would be losing out on franchises, though, and in Chrysler's case, 148 of the shuttered dealers have fought for money they feel they are entitled to.
Firmly on the comeback trail in the US, Cadillac is still trying to get out of the starting blocks in Europe. At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Cadillac' senior execs revealed plans to grow the brand's presence in a luxury market dominated by the big three German marques, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Nissan thinks it has found a better way to sell cars, and it involves stripping showrooms of everything but the cars and sales team. The brand calls the experiment the Nissan New Retail Concept, and it might get tested in the US in a few years.
National and regional dealership associations have it in for Tesla Motors. For the past few years the organizations have been pushing lawmakers – to whom, it bears mentioning, they have made generous financial contributions – for legislation that would make it difficult for the Californian automaker to continue with its direct-to-consumer, company-store sales model. This is, of course, in addition to laws already on the books which make it illegal for manufacturers engaged with exist
No more having to work through brokers or call your people in Europe when you want to trade up to this year's Koenigsegg, now that the Swedish supercar syndicate has appointed New York's Manhattan Motorcars to be its first US dealer. Putting high priority on the company it keeps, this will put the Agera R in a Gotham classroom alongside pupils from Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce. All the better for it to get called on when it raises its hand for potential buyers.
Here's an idea: instead of getting buyers interested in buying EVs, why not get the sellers keenly interested in selling them. That's the tact that the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is taking with a new promotion called the "Connecticut Revolutionary Dealer Award." It's so simple, it's a wonder no one has proposed it before.
Tesla has a special history with the state of New Jersey, having delivered the 500th Roadster there in 2009. Fast forward to 2014, though, and the electric vehicle company is having a decidedly less-positive experience in the Garden State. In short, Tesla's ongoing dealer fight has turned sour, and thing are potentially going from bad to worse today.
The fight against customer-direct car sales by Tesla Motors continues around the US, and the California-based company can now count dealership groups in Georgia and Ohio among its adversaries. In Ohio, Tesla has opened company-owned stores in Cincinnati and Columbus and is now fighting a state dealership association that's pushing for legislation that explicitly outlaws direct dealer-to-public sales after a lawsuit against Tesla was dismissed last week, Automotive News says.
So you think you know car dealers? Well, maybe you do, but This American Life spent a month at Town and Country Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram in Long Island to give us a behind-the-scenes look (or listen, since it's a radio program) at what it's like to be a car dealer.
If you're fed up with haggling at your local used-car dealership - so much so that you'd rather not talk to anybody when you're buying your next ride - then Carvana could be for you. It's a used-car dealership (more like a used-car vending machine), and the buying process is completed online. Carvana then gives you the choice to pick up the car yourself or have it delivered to your home. No verbal communication required.