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.
Many people absolutely abhor the car-buying process – especially haggling back-and-forth with a salesman to settle on a price. A 2014 study from Edmunds found that 83 percent of respondents would like to cut negotiating from the purchasing experience, and about 20 percent of them would have given up sex for a month to do it. However, Edmunds might have taken advertising that point a little too far recently, as it's had to remove a series of ads for its Price Promise no-haggle service from
"Dealers have to discount those rates to be competitive. The current system saves customers money. Period." – Forrest McConnell
When Warren Buffet makes an investment, people pay attention. That's just one of the perks of being one of the richest men in the world, and his latest move is a big one. Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway investment company is to hopping into the auto business in a huge way by buying Van Tuyl Group, the nation's largest privately owned auto dealer network, for an undisclosed sum.
Tesla has been fighting challenges from dealer groups in several states for years due to the company's decision to sell directly to customers at stores rather than through franchise dealers. The business has won some of these battles like its recent compromise in Pennsylvania, which allows the company to open five stores there. Now, Tesla has another legal struggle ahead of it because the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association is hoping to shut down the brand's boutiques.
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.
A Tesla fan's petition to the White House – asking the federal government to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states" – is gaining official traction. Over the weekend, Tesla Motors sent out an email to supporters asking them to add their name. The petition currently has over 76,000 signatures (up from just 18,500 Thursday) and the deadline is Friday.
Car salesmen have long ranked among the most universally reviled members of society, just south of real estate agents and lawyers. But the past decade has seen the plaid sports jacket and gold chain crowd doing much to bolster their image, with many auto dealers building impressive online reputations by cultivating positive customer feedback.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the very last domestic dealership in the greater San Francisco area closed its doors a little over 10 days ago. Previously, San Francisco Ford, Lincoln, Mercury was the only dealership selling new products with an American badge on the grille in all of the 47.6 square miles of the city (the Chrysler-Jeep dealer shown above went bust in 2008). Ford took over operations at that dealer almost three years ago after the original owners walked away. After talk
The National Automobile Dealers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to revoke a waiver granted in 2009 by the Environmental Protection Agency that permits California, along with 13 other states, to adopt stricter emissions policies than those required by the federal government. The waiver affects greenhouse gas emissions in vehicles manufactured between 2009 through 2016.
Congress is working on reforming financial oversight in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, and if the House and Senate come together on a compromise bill, a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will be created. The House's bill exempted auto dealers from more strict lending scrutiny. As currently written, the Senate's bill includes the 18,000 new car dealers in the United States under its umbrella. There is a non-binding resolution that urges adoption of the House car dealer exe
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.
Like him or loathe him, George W. Bush's clearest, most salient speech came almost a year ago on September 25, 2008 when our Harvard MBA president explained to the nation and the world exactly how bad the economy had gotten and why so much federal money ($700 billion-ish at the time) was being hurled at America's banks. The full speech can be found here, but one little section bears quoting:
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.
GM may have just half the market share it had 30 years ago, but the Detroit-based automaker still seems to have as many dealers as McDonald's has drive-thrus. The General has slashed more than 2,000 dealerships over the past 12 years, but the company will accelerate closings in order to right-size its sales outlets. GM closed 260 stores in 2007 and another 23 in January of this year, but according to Automotive News, the automaker still has a sizable 6,753 member dealer body. That number seems e
It's not a new topic in the automotive industry -- women influence and even directly account for around 80 percent of automotive buying decisions, yet dealers still reportedly look over the woman's shoulders for a husband or father. Despite the industry's best efforts to recruit women salespeople to increase the odds of good communication, almost half of the auto dealerships in the country have no women on staff, and women only make up 8 percent of the sales force, according to the NADA. Dealers
Increased sales, a bigger need for technical knowledge in mechanic jobs, more financing activity and longer hours are all reasons that dealerships across the United States have over 100,000 job openings, which is why dealers have launched a campaign to push dealership-related careers with teens and college students.