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Found 73 results

  1. Earlier this year, Smart announced that it would be ending sales of the gas models and switch over to selling electric only models. This announcement has many Smart dealers running for the exit. According to Automotive News, dealers had until the end June to make a decision whether to keep selling Smarts or move to a service-only operation. Out of the 85 dealers in the U.S., 58 (about two-thirds) would move to the service-only operation. Smart spokeswoman Donna Boland said these numbers are preliminary. Dealers that opt out of selling Smart will transition to service once they sell out of inventory. The 'vast majority' are expected to transition by the end of this year. The remaining 27 dealers are in areas with zero-emission vehicle mandates that will give the brand "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Such areas include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. As Automotive News points out, Smart's 27 dealers will make it one of the smallest dealership networks in the U.S. The likes of Lamborghini and Lotus have larger dealer networks at 31 and 41 respectively. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  2. Smart's Dealer Network Will Shrink By Two-Thirds

    Earlier this year, Smart announced that it would be ending sales of the gas models and switch over to selling electric only models. This announcement has many Smart dealers running for the exit. According to Automotive News, dealers had until the end June to make a decision whether to keep selling Smarts or move to a service-only operation. Out of the 85 dealers in the U.S., 58 (about two-thirds) would move to the service-only operation. Smart spokeswoman Donna Boland said these numbers are preliminary. Dealers that opt out of selling Smart will transition to service once they sell out of inventory. The 'vast majority' are expected to transition by the end of this year. The remaining 27 dealers are in areas with zero-emission vehicle mandates that will give the brand "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Such areas include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. As Automotive News points out, Smart's 27 dealers will make it one of the smallest dealership networks in the U.S. The likes of Lamborghini and Lotus have larger dealer networks at 31 and 41 respectively. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Dodge's Creative Way Of Reducing Demon Markups

    It goes without saying that whenever a hotly awaited vehicle comes out, some dealers will mark them up to make a bit of cash. Recently, a picture was floating around of a Honda Civic Type R with $25,000 markup. The upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is another model that is prime for a markup. But the brand is taking steps to prevent this. Today, the brand announced their plans on dealers ordering a Challenger Demon. To be eligible for ordering a demon, a dealer must have sold more than one Hellcat in the last year. From there, Dodge will calculate a dealer's allocation based on sales performance - 60 percent SRT Hellcat and 40 percent Charger and Challenger sales. Dealers will only be allowed to order as many Demons as they are allocated, which will disappoint some dealers as they have been taking deposits on the Demon. If a dealer is considering marking up their allotment of Demons, their orders will be pushed to back of the line. Those who sell at MSRP or lower will get priority scheduling, meaning the buyer could end up with a lower build number. “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge. Source: Dodge Press Release is on Page 2 Dodge Announces U.S. Dealer Allocation Plan for 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Demon allocation process designed to build the Dodge brand halo; prioritizes orders that are at or below Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) New Dodge Challenger SRT Demon starts at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination); Demon crate unleashes full power for $1 Demons sold at or below MSRP will receive priority scheduling resulting in lower serial numbers; Demons sold at a price that exceeds MSRP will be produced after priority production is completed Dealers can only order as many Demons as they are allocated New Demon Concierge hotline and website to provide direct communication for customers and dealers to track their order U.S. dealers can start placing orders for the Demon on Wednesday, June 21 Production of limited-edition, serialized, single model-year (3,000 United States/300 Canada) Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer; deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers to begin this fall June 20, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The limited-production, 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – the fastest quarter-mile production car ever – is due to start arriving in dealerships this fall. Today, Dodge is announcing just how it will allocate these rare beasts to its dealer body. “We learned a lot when we launched the wildly popular SRT Hellcats,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT—FCA North America. “We’ve taken that information and created an allocation plan that is clear and concise, builds on Demon’s position as the Dodge//SRT halo and makes it easy for our customers to understand how they can put a Demon into their garage and, ultimately, out on the drag strip.” The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever production car to do a front-wheel lift, as certified by Guinness World Records, and it’s the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds at 140 miles per hour (mph), as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). It also registers the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car. “The 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon represents the best of what Dodge//SRT stands for – performance capabilities that are second to none, iconic styling and a heritage built on pushing the boundaries of what is possible at a price that is attainable,” Kuniskis added. “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.” The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon allocation plan is consistent with that philosophy. Here is how Demon will be allocated to dealers: To be eligible to order a Challenger SRT Demon, dealers must have sold more than one SRT Hellcat in the last 12 months Dealer allocation will be based on 60 percent SRT Hellcat and 40 percent Charger and Challenger sales performance Dealers can only order as many Demons as they are allocated Demons sold at or below MSRP will receive priority scheduling resulting in lower serial numbers Demons sold for a price that exceeds MSRP will be produced after priority production is completed Dodge is also creating a new Demon Concierge hotline (800-998-1110) to provide direct communication for customers and dealers. A new website will also allow them to track their orders at www.dodge.com. To qualify as a verified sold order, an acknowledgement document must be completed and signed by the customer, the dealer and be notarized. The document must be received by the Demon Concierge before the vehicle will be slated for production. This important document serves two purposes: Provides a detailed list of safety considerations, technical specifications and features on the vehicle; and Helps determine priority production based on customer-facing contract price Dealers can start placing orders for the Demon on Wednesday, June 21. Production of the limited-edition, serialized, single model-year (3,000 United States/300 Canada) Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer; deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers to begin this fall.
  4. It goes without saying that whenever a hotly awaited vehicle comes out, some dealers will mark them up to make a bit of cash. Recently, a picture was floating around of a Honda Civic Type R with $25,000 markup. The upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is another model that is prime for a markup. But the brand is taking steps to prevent this. Today, the brand announced their plans on dealers ordering a Challenger Demon. To be eligible for ordering a demon, a dealer must have sold more than one Hellcat in the last year. From there, Dodge will calculate a dealer's allocation based on sales performance - 60 percent SRT Hellcat and 40 percent Charger and Challenger sales. Dealers will only be allowed to order as many Demons as they are allocated, which will disappoint some dealers as they have been taking deposits on the Demon. If a dealer is considering marking up their allotment of Demons, their orders will be pushed to back of the line. Those who sell at MSRP or lower will get priority scheduling, meaning the buyer could end up with a lower build number. “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge. Source: Dodge Press Release is on Page 2 Dodge Announces U.S. Dealer Allocation Plan for 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Demon allocation process designed to build the Dodge brand halo; prioritizes orders that are at or below Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) New Dodge Challenger SRT Demon starts at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination); Demon crate unleashes full power for $1 Demons sold at or below MSRP will receive priority scheduling resulting in lower serial numbers; Demons sold at a price that exceeds MSRP will be produced after priority production is completed Dealers can only order as many Demons as they are allocated New Demon Concierge hotline and website to provide direct communication for customers and dealers to track their order U.S. dealers can start placing orders for the Demon on Wednesday, June 21 Production of limited-edition, serialized, single model-year (3,000 United States/300 Canada) Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer; deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers to begin this fall June 20, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The limited-production, 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – the fastest quarter-mile production car ever – is due to start arriving in dealerships this fall. Today, Dodge is announcing just how it will allocate these rare beasts to its dealer body. “We learned a lot when we launched the wildly popular SRT Hellcats,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT—FCA North America. “We’ve taken that information and created an allocation plan that is clear and concise, builds on Demon’s position as the Dodge//SRT halo and makes it easy for our customers to understand how they can put a Demon into their garage and, ultimately, out on the drag strip.” The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever production car to do a front-wheel lift, as certified by Guinness World Records, and it’s the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds at 140 miles per hour (mph), as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). It also registers the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car. “The 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon represents the best of what Dodge//SRT stands for – performance capabilities that are second to none, iconic styling and a heritage built on pushing the boundaries of what is possible at a price that is attainable,” Kuniskis added. “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.” The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon allocation plan is consistent with that philosophy. Here is how Demon will be allocated to dealers: To be eligible to order a Challenger SRT Demon, dealers must have sold more than one SRT Hellcat in the last 12 months Dealer allocation will be based on 60 percent SRT Hellcat and 40 percent Charger and Challenger sales performance Dealers can only order as many Demons as they are allocated Demons sold at or below MSRP will receive priority scheduling resulting in lower serial numbers Demons sold for a price that exceeds MSRP will be produced after priority production is completed Dodge is also creating a new Demon Concierge hotline (800-998-1110) to provide direct communication for customers and dealers. A new website will also allow them to track their orders at www.dodge.com. To qualify as a verified sold order, an acknowledgement document must be completed and signed by the customer, the dealer and be notarized. The document must be received by the Demon Concierge before the vehicle will be slated for production. This important document serves two purposes: Provides a detailed list of safety considerations, technical specifications and features on the vehicle; and Helps determine priority production based on customer-facing contract price Dealers can start placing orders for the Demon on Wednesday, June 21. Production of the limited-edition, serialized, single model-year (3,000 United States/300 Canada) Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer; deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers to begin this fall. View full article
  5. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is generating a lot of excitement and some Dodge dealers are beginning to take deposits for it. One issue though, dealers don't have information on pricing or instructions on how to order one which could mean that you might not end up with one. "Technically, no one should be taking any deposits. They can't physically take an order, and they shouldn't be taking any deposits," said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Roadshow. The reason why? Kuniskis says "we haven't given the dealers the allocation methodology, the allocation numbers or opened up the order banks yet." There is also precedent for Kuniskis' warning. When Dodge was readying to launch the Challenger Hellcar, many dealers took deposits on the model without knowing how many they would receive. The end result was some people not getting a Hellcat. "They're much more careful because of what we went through on Hellcat. Because we had dealers take deposits on Hellcats, they would take 10, 15, 20 deposits, and then they would only ultimately get allocated 5 cars. And then they would have upset customers. So they're being much more -- or at least it appears -- that they're being much more careful this time." Dodge plans on pricing and ordering information out to dealers by next month. Source: Roadshow View full article
  6. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is generating a lot of excitement and some Dodge dealers are beginning to take deposits for it. One issue though, dealers don't have information on pricing or instructions on how to order one which could mean that you might not end up with one. "Technically, no one should be taking any deposits. They can't physically take an order, and they shouldn't be taking any deposits," said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Roadshow. The reason why? Kuniskis says "we haven't given the dealers the allocation methodology, the allocation numbers or opened up the order banks yet." There is also precedent for Kuniskis' warning. When Dodge was readying to launch the Challenger Hellcar, many dealers took deposits on the model without knowing how many they would receive. The end result was some people not getting a Hellcat. "They're much more careful because of what we went through on Hellcat. Because we had dealers take deposits on Hellcats, they would take 10, 15, 20 deposits, and then they would only ultimately get allocated 5 cars. And then they would have upset customers. So they're being much more -- or at least it appears -- that they're being much more careful this time." Dodge plans on pricing and ordering information out to dealers by next month. Source: Roadshow
  7. From the 'how does this make sense' file, Fiat Chrysler Automobile is planning to expand its dealer network in the U.S. by adding around 380 new dealers. This news first came to light last week as Automotive News learned from two dealers and a source at FCA about the plans. The goal of this expansion is to try and expand market share. But there are a number of issues. For one, FCA has been seeing its sales and market share drop in the past few months due to a thinner product lineup. Second, some of the locations that FCA is planning to put new stores are within a few miles of existing stores. For example, two dealers in Louisana have filed protests with Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission for a proposed dealer in Kenner, LA. One of the dealers notes in their protest that the location is less than five miles from where they are. As they say in their protest, "will either be closer to Bergeron or, worse, must drive by Bergeron, if they are going to do business with the new point." A number of dealers in Texas have also filed complaints on new dealerships in their respective areas. Finally, an internal FCA source tells Automotive News that the company's dealership location consultant, Urban Science doesn't agree with the expansion plans. The data from the consultant "does not support these additional points." Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Urban Sciences were unable to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
  8. From the 'how does this make sense' file, Fiat Chrysler Automobile is planning to expand its dealer network in the U.S. by adding around 380 new dealers. This news first came to light last week as Automotive News learned from two dealers and a source at FCA about the plans. The goal of this expansion is to try and expand market share. But there are a number of issues. For one, FCA has been seeing its sales and market share drop in the past few months due to a thinner product lineup. Second, some of the locations that FCA is planning to put new stores are within a few miles of existing stores. For example, two dealers in Louisana have filed protests with Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission for a proposed dealer in Kenner, LA. One of the dealers notes in their protest that the location is less than five miles from where they are. As they say in their protest, "will either be closer to Bergeron or, worse, must drive by Bergeron, if they are going to do business with the new point." A number of dealers in Texas have also filed complaints on new dealerships in their respective areas. Finally, an internal FCA source tells Automotive News that the company's dealership location consultant, Urban Science doesn't agree with the expansion plans. The data from the consultant "does not support these additional points." Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Urban Sciences were unable to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2 View full article
  9. Since President Donald Trump was elected, automakers have been pushing for him to relax the stricter fuel economy and emission regulations coming into effect by 2025. Now there is another group calling for this. At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual conference, dealers voiced support for the new president ease the upcoming regulations. "You inflate the price of the vehicle and a car that was maybe within reach of being affordable now may not be," said NADA's new chairman, Mark Scarpelli to Reuters. Scarpelli argues that the tech needed to improve fuel economy adds $1,500 to $3,000 to the price of a vehicle. He also says that a "different phase-in period" for the regulations would be welcomed. The big argument dealers are using is the regulations would cause automakers to build vehicles that buyers aren't interested in. "They've got to make regulation more in line with consumer demand so (the automakers) can build what people want and not what the government’s telling them they have to build," said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of Group 1 Automotive Inc. Source: Reuters
  10. Since President Donald Trump was elected, automakers have been pushing for him to relax the stricter fuel economy and emission regulations coming into effect by 2025. Now there is another group calling for this. At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual conference, dealers voiced support for the new president ease the upcoming regulations. "You inflate the price of the vehicle and a car that was maybe within reach of being affordable now may not be," said NADA's new chairman, Mark Scarpelli to Reuters. Scarpelli argues that the tech needed to improve fuel economy adds $1,500 to $3,000 to the price of a vehicle. He also says that a "different phase-in period" for the regulations would be welcomed. The big argument dealers are using is the regulations would cause automakers to build vehicles that buyers aren't interested in. "They've got to make regulation more in line with consumer demand so (the automakers) can build what people want and not what the government’s telling them they have to build," said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of Group 1 Automotive Inc. Source: Reuters View full article
  11. Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle. Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program. “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen. de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  12. Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle. Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program. “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen. de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. Volkswagen and their U.S. dealers have had a tense relationship since the diesel emission scandal broke. From the departure of Michael Horn to dealer meetings where tough questions were being asked to Volkswagen executives. But it seems some progress is being made on repairing it. In a statement released today, Volkswagen announced they have reached an “agreement in principle” with its dealers over compensation for losses due to the diesel emission scandal. According to Automotive News, the preliminary agreement will see dealers get a cash payout within 18 months from a settlement fund. The payout for each dealer will be determined by a formula that is currently being worked out. Volkswagen has also agreed to purchase "“unfixable, used” diesel vehicles from dealer inventory under the same terms as buyback offers for consumers". This settlement comes after a group of Volkswagen dealers filed a lawsuit against the German automaker back in April. The settlement is still being finalized and will need to get the approval of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco before anything else can happen. Volkswagen says they hope to have everything finalized by September. “We believe this agreement in principle with Volkswagen dealers is a very important step in our commitment to making things right for all our stakeholders in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen and VW-Branded Franchise Dealers in the U.S. Reach Agreement in Principle to Resolve Diesel Litigation Herndon, VA - August 25, 2016 - Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“Volkswagen”) today announced it has reached an agreement in principle to resolve the claims of VW-branded franchise dealers in the United States relating to TDI vehicles affected by the diesel matter and other matters asserted concerning the value of the franchise. Volkswagen has agreed to make cash payments and provide additional benefits to the dealers to resolve alleged past, current and future claims of losses in franchise value. Volkswagen and the dealers’ counsel will now work to finalize details of the proposed settlement, including how to apportion payments to dealers in the appropriate manner. Details of the agreement in principle are still under discussion and are expected to be finalized at the end of September. Any proposed agreement will become effective only after approval by the Court, and the parties have agreed to keep further terms confidential as they work to finalize the agreement. Under the agreement, Volkswagen will consent to the certification – for settlement purposes only – of a class of VW-branded franchise dealers in the United States as of an agreed date. “We believe this agreement in principle with Volkswagen dealers is a very important step in our commitment to making things right for all our stakeholders in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “Our dealers are our partners and we value their ongoing loyalty and passion for the Volkswagen brand. This agreement, when finalized, will strengthen the foundation for our future together and further emphasize our commitment both to our partners and the U.S. market.” Steve Berman, Managing Partner of the dealers’ counsel Hagens Berman, said, “Our clients recognized the best solution would be one that not only allows them to recoup lost franchise value and continue to employ thousands of American workers, but one that also charts a strong course for the recovery of the Volkswagen brand in the United States.” Berman added, “Now that there is a path forward for dealers, they can continue to work proactively to take great care of their customers, who are also VW customers.” The plaintiffs filed the initial complaint against Volkswagen on April 6, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The litigation was subsequently transferred to the multidistrict proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
  14. Volkswagen and their U.S. dealers have had a tense relationship since the diesel emission scandal broke. From the departure of Michael Horn to dealer meetings where tough questions were being asked to Volkswagen executives. But it seems some progress is being made on repairing it. In a statement released today, Volkswagen announced they have reached an “agreement in principle” with its dealers over compensation for losses due to the diesel emission scandal. According to Automotive News, the preliminary agreement will see dealers get a cash payout within 18 months from a settlement fund. The payout for each dealer will be determined by a formula that is currently being worked out. Volkswagen has also agreed to purchase "“unfixable, used” diesel vehicles from dealer inventory under the same terms as buyback offers for consumers". This settlement comes after a group of Volkswagen dealers filed a lawsuit against the German automaker back in April. The settlement is still being finalized and will need to get the approval of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco before anything else can happen. Volkswagen says they hope to have everything finalized by September. “We believe this agreement in principle with Volkswagen dealers is a very important step in our commitment to making things right for all our stakeholders in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen and VW-Branded Franchise Dealers in the U.S. Reach Agreement in Principle to Resolve Diesel Litigation Herndon, VA - August 25, 2016 - Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“Volkswagen”) today announced it has reached an agreement in principle to resolve the claims of VW-branded franchise dealers in the United States relating to TDI vehicles affected by the diesel matter and other matters asserted concerning the value of the franchise. Volkswagen has agreed to make cash payments and provide additional benefits to the dealers to resolve alleged past, current and future claims of losses in franchise value. Volkswagen and the dealers’ counsel will now work to finalize details of the proposed settlement, including how to apportion payments to dealers in the appropriate manner. Details of the agreement in principle are still under discussion and are expected to be finalized at the end of September. Any proposed agreement will become effective only after approval by the Court, and the parties have agreed to keep further terms confidential as they work to finalize the agreement. Under the agreement, Volkswagen will consent to the certification – for settlement purposes only – of a class of VW-branded franchise dealers in the United States as of an agreed date. “We believe this agreement in principle with Volkswagen dealers is a very important step in our commitment to making things right for all our stakeholders in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “Our dealers are our partners and we value their ongoing loyalty and passion for the Volkswagen brand. This agreement, when finalized, will strengthen the foundation for our future together and further emphasize our commitment both to our partners and the U.S. market.” Steve Berman, Managing Partner of the dealers’ counsel Hagens Berman, said, “Our clients recognized the best solution would be one that not only allows them to recoup lost franchise value and continue to employ thousands of American workers, but one that also charts a strong course for the recovery of the Volkswagen brand in the United States.” Berman added, “Now that there is a path forward for dealers, they can continue to work proactively to take great care of their customers, who are also VW customers.” The plaintiffs filed the initial complaint against Volkswagen on April 6, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The litigation was subsequently transferred to the multidistrict proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. View full article
  15. What is the best way to sell a vehicle? Is it through a dealership or a factory store? For Karma Automotive - the reincarnation of Fisker - plans to do both. Automotive News reports that by the end of this year, 10 franchised dealerships in key markets around the U.S. and Canada will begin selling the Revero. The dealers picked already sell brands like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and Porsche. "These guys really understand this customer. They get that it's not moving metal and pushing volume like the mass-market guys have to," said Jim Taylor, Karma's chief marketing officer. Alongside the dealers, Karma will have a few brand experience centers" (aka factory stores) in states allow this type of retail experience. Taylor said the stores would allow Karma to control its brand message, and provide reassurance to the dealers that "it's living up to the same standards it expects of them." "When you control your own store, you live it every day, so you have to walk the walk, So I think in a good way it puts a lot of pressure on yourself to deliver the same level of performance," said Taylor. Karma plans on showing the Revero next month. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. How far would you go to be the best selling automaker in a given class? If you're BMW, you employ a tactic that involves loaner vehicles and dealers to retain your crown as being the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S. Bloomberg is reporting that BMW paid its dealers as much as $1,750 in December to buy BMW vehicles to be used in loaner fleets - vehicles that would be offered to customers who drop off their current vehicle for service. The program worked as BMW edged out Lexus by 1,400 vehicles. Now it should be noted that many automakers have programs like this. But according to folks who spoke with Bloomberg, BMW was very forceful with this program. “Auto companies do things like this all the time to set sales records or make claims that they are the best in show. BMW can beat their chest this year. But you can question whether they did it on the same terms as their competitors,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto consultant in Stamford, Connecticut. BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks told Bloomberg in an email that the loaner program is "an important part of BMW’s customer-satisfaction and marketing plan,” and the company does periodically give dealers incentives to put new cars in their fleets. Sparks declined to say how much this program helped in terms of sales. But there is a danger with BMW trying to be number one in the luxury car segment. Eric Lyman, senior analyst with TrueCar says BMW's resale value has been slipping. According to TrueCar data, a three-year BMW vehicle retains 48.4 percent of its new car value. Other luxury brands retain 49.8 percent. “The luxury market is only so big.Do they think that if they have more BMWs out there that people will want to buy them even more? There are consequences for this,” said Keller. Source: Bloomberg Click here to view the article
  17. How far would you go to be the best selling automaker in a given class? If you're BMW, you employ a tactic that involves loaner vehicles and dealers to retain your crown as being the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S. Bloomberg is reporting that BMW paid its dealers as much as $1,750 in December to buy BMW vehicles to be used in loaner fleets - vehicles that would be offered to customers who drop off their current vehicle for service. The program worked as BMW edged out Lexus by 1,400 vehicles. Now it should be noted that many automakers have programs like this. But according to folks who spoke with Bloomberg, BMW was very forceful with this program. “Auto companies do things like this all the time to set sales records or make claims that they are the best in show. BMW can beat their chest this year. But you can question whether they did it on the same terms as their competitors,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto consultant in Stamford, Connecticut. BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks told Bloomberg in an email that the loaner program is "an important part of BMW’s customer-satisfaction and marketing plan,” and the company does periodically give dealers incentives to put new cars in their fleets. Sparks declined to say how much this program helped in terms of sales. But there is a danger with BMW trying to be number one in the luxury car segment. Eric Lyman, senior analyst with TrueCar says BMW's resale value has been slipping. According to TrueCar data, a three-year BMW vehicle retains 48.4 percent of its new car value. Other luxury brands retain 49.8 percent. “The luxury market is only so big.Do they think that if they have more BMWs out there that people will want to buy them even more? There are consequences for this,” said Keller. Source: Bloomberg
  18. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles knows Jeep is one of the hottest selling brands in the U.S. and they have been thinking about ways to exploit that further. According to Automotive News, one possible way the company is thinking about is to allow dealers to open satellite centers for the Jeep brand. According to a source, this move mirrors an effort by FCA where they encourage dealers in truck-heavy marketplaces to open up satellite stores for their Ram Trucks brand. This allows dealers to create a storefront that can cater to truck buyers with a lot filled with a number of trims and configurations of trucks, and truck specialists to help buyers. By doing this for Jeep, it could help differentiate the brand from the other brands. This is a key point as Jeep is readying to launch a $100,000+ Grand Wagoneer in 2019 according to a source. Al Gardner, FCA's head of network development said in a intervicew that satellite centers for Jeep has been disscused and are under consideration. "Would I consider doing Jeep as a stand-alone, same structure, same business unit, same entity? Maybe. By the way, I think a whole bunch of dealers would consider it too," Gardner said. "But it doesn't mean that we're going to go out and do it, and it sure as hell doesn't mean that we're going to go out and add Jeep stores." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Click here to view the article
  19. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles knows Jeep is one of the hottest selling brands in the U.S. and they have been thinking about ways to exploit that further. According to Automotive News, one possible way the company is thinking about is to allow dealers to open satellite centers for the Jeep brand. According to a source, this move mirrors an effort by FCA where they encourage dealers in truck-heavy marketplaces to open up satellite stores for their Ram Trucks brand. This allows dealers to create a storefront that can cater to truck buyers with a lot filled with a number of trims and configurations of trucks, and truck specialists to help buyers. By doing this for Jeep, it could help differentiate the brand from the other brands. This is a key point as Jeep is readying to launch a $100,000+ Grand Wagoneer in 2019 according to a source. Al Gardner, FCA's head of network development said in a intervicew that satellite centers for Jeep has been disscused and are under consideration. "Would I consider doing Jeep as a stand-alone, same structure, same business unit, same entity? Maybe. By the way, I think a whole bunch of dealers would consider it too," Gardner said. "But it doesn't mean that we're going to go out and do it, and it sure as hell doesn't mean that we're going to go out and add Jeep stores." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  20. Volkswagen's dealers find themselves wondering what's next and if the diesel scandal would end. Dealers seemed hopeful when the initial fallout came as Volkswagen seemed to understand what could happen. The German automaker offered emergency aid to its dealers which earned Volkswagen of America's CEO Michael Horn a standing ovation at Volkswagen's national meeting. But three months on and a scandal that seems to go in a new direction every day, dealers are becoming worried and frustrated. "This thing isn't getting better with time. We don't have a fix. We don't have a timeline," said Alan Brown, chairman of VW's dealer council. The unknown, he added, is "what makes the anxiety of this even worse." Part of worrying feelings that dealers are the confusing signals coming out at Volkswagen. The internal probe hasn't revealed any details about who was involved or how it began. Not helping is the constant changes in Volkswagen's executives. Meanwhile in the U.S., Volkswagen is currently waiting on the EPA and CARB to approve their fix for the 2.0L TDI engine. Not helping is the uncertainty in the values of affected Volkswagen diesel models. Competing brands won't accept used TDIs on trade, and Volkswagen dealers feel pressure to take in TDI models at lower prices to reflect there more than 15 percent drop in price at auctions. Customers who are trying to trade in their TDIs are seeing offers that leave them discouraged. Volkswagen's offer to buy up used TDIs sitting on dealers lot turned out to be a one-time program that ended on October 22nd. Also giving Volkswagen dealers a bit of a headache is the low inventories of gas vehicles. Steve Kalafer, owner of a Volkswagen dealer in New Jersey says he has fewer than 50 saleable Volkswagens in stock, causing him to say his sales prospects in December are bleak. "We would be hopeful that Volkswagen would ship these cars on overtime," Kalafer said, but during the holiday season, "the auto business from the manufacturer side basically shuts down." There is also the question of incentives. One of the reasons for Volkswagen's 25 percent drop in sales in November was the decrease in incentives. In October, VW offered $2,000 for returning owners. In November, that amount was reduced to $1,000 to $1,500 dependent on the model. Brown says Horn should be demanding money from Volkswagen to offer the best new car deals in the industry to keep and attract customers. "We cannot be arrogant and higher priced," said Brown. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Click here to view the article
  21. Volkswagen's dealers find themselves wondering what's next and if the diesel scandal would end. Dealers seemed hopeful when the initial fallout came as Volkswagen seemed to understand what could happen. The German automaker offered emergency aid to its dealers which earned Volkswagen of America's CEO Michael Horn a standing ovation at Volkswagen's national meeting. But three months on and a scandal that seems to go in a new direction every day, dealers are becoming worried and frustrated. "This thing isn't getting better with time. We don't have a fix. We don't have a timeline," said Alan Brown, chairman of VW's dealer council. The unknown, he added, is "what makes the anxiety of this even worse." Part of worrying feelings that dealers are the confusing signals coming out at Volkswagen. The internal probe hasn't revealed any details about who was involved or how it began. Not helping is the constant changes in Volkswagen's executives. Meanwhile in the U.S., Volkswagen is currently waiting on the EPA and CARB to approve their fix for the 2.0L TDI engine. Not helping is the uncertainty in the values of affected Volkswagen diesel models. Competing brands won't accept used TDIs on trade, and Volkswagen dealers feel pressure to take in TDI models at lower prices to reflect there more than 15 percent drop in price at auctions. Customers who are trying to trade in their TDIs are seeing offers that leave them discouraged. Volkswagen's offer to buy up used TDIs sitting on dealers lot turned out to be a one-time program that ended on October 22nd. Also giving Volkswagen dealers a bit of a headache is the low inventories of gas vehicles. Steve Kalafer, owner of a Volkswagen dealer in New Jersey says he has fewer than 50 saleable Volkswagens in stock, causing him to say his sales prospects in December are bleak. "We would be hopeful that Volkswagen would ship these cars on overtime," Kalafer said, but during the holiday season, "the auto business from the manufacturer side basically shuts down." There is also the question of incentives. One of the reasons for Volkswagen's 25 percent drop in sales in November was the decrease in incentives. In October, VW offered $2,000 for returning owners. In November, that amount was reduced to $1,000 to $1,500 dependent on the model. Brown says Horn should be demanding money from Volkswagen to offer the best new car deals in the industry to keep and attract customers. "We cannot be arrogant and higher priced," said Brown. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. Volkswagen is looking to limit the damage that has been caused by the diesel emission scandal. According to Automotive News, part of this comes from buying some used TDI model on U.S. dealer lots at pre-crisis prices. Speaking with dealers briefed on the plan, Volkswagen will guarantee the value of used models equipped with 2.0 TDI containing the illegal software sitting on dealer lots. If the vehicles aren't sold within 60 days, Volkswagen will buy them back. In a memo from Volkswagen of America COO Mark McNabb, the program will take three phases. The first phase will have Volkswagen making an inventory of the TDI models to help the company figure out which ones are eligible for the program. Volkswagen expects this phase to finish by the middle of November. Further details of the other two phases will take place later in the month. Volkswagen hopes this plan will stop the freefall prices in light of the scandal. According to Kelly Blue Book, the average price of a Volkswagen TDI model dropped 16 percent after the scandal was brought to light. The plan will also hopefully prevent a pileup of diesel vehicles sitting on dealer lots. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Click here to view the article
  23. Volkswagen is looking to limit the damage that has been caused by the diesel emission scandal. According to Automotive News, part of this comes from buying some used TDI model on U.S. dealer lots at pre-crisis prices. Speaking with dealers briefed on the plan, Volkswagen will guarantee the value of used models equipped with 2.0 TDI containing the illegal software sitting on dealer lots. If the vehicles aren't sold within 60 days, Volkswagen will buy them back. In a memo from Volkswagen of America COO Mark McNabb, the program will take three phases. The first phase will have Volkswagen making an inventory of the TDI models to help the company figure out which ones are eligible for the program. Volkswagen expects this phase to finish by the middle of November. Further details of the other two phases will take place later in the month. Volkswagen hopes this plan will stop the freefall prices in light of the scandal. According to Kelly Blue Book, the average price of a Volkswagen TDI model dropped 16 percent after the scandal was brought to light. The plan will also hopefully prevent a pileup of diesel vehicles sitting on dealer lots. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  24. Cadillac Works On Dealer Incentives

    Cadillac's boss Johan de Nysschen has a plan to rehabilitate Cadillac's image. Part of this plan deals with the dealers with tightening inventory and end the sell-at-any-cost mentality. But as Automotive News reports, there is a slight problem as Cadillac's dealer incentive programs promote the opposite. One incentive attaches $700 in dealer bonus money to every Cadillac vehicle they order from the factory, while another has cash payouts for growing sales. “The business model has been structured more for the bigger brands inside General Motors, rather than the small Cadillac brand,” said de Nysschen. “The luxury business is different.” de Nysschen instead wants to give incentives to dealers “in terms of the overall support to the brand.” This could mean meeting certain marks in customer satisfaction scores or new requirements to have an adequate recruiting process. At the moment, Cadillac is in talks with their national dealer council “to develop the next generation of what these programs should look like for Cadillac.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  25. Imagine you are a dealer sitting in a meeting and the head of the brand that you sell tells everyone that sales will get worse before they get better. Well that was what Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's president told dealers last summer. Now dealers are getting a first look at 'worse' looks like. Automotive News that a number of dealers have lost on incentive cash in the first quarter because they missed sales targets set by GM. Discounts and lease offers have also dried up as well. Previously, Cadillac offered deals on the ATS and CTS to help remove the massive stock sitting on dealer lots. This is reflected in Cadillac's sales. ATS dropped 23 percent, while the CTS saw a 47 percent drop. Cadillac's marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus said in a interview last month that April would be "the first month where we see the natural demand for ATS and CTS." Now the slump in sales is part of de Nysschen's plan to get Cadillac on the right footing with a smaller supply of vehicle and incentives that are modest. The plan also includes better marketing and new products through 2020. Dealers support de Nysschen's plan, but they are worried about how long the plan will take and whether it actually works. "The dealer council has a lot of faith in Johan's long-term plan. But the sales decline is a bit of a tough pill to swallow with the industry rocking right now," said Keith Harvey, a member of Cadillac's National Dealer Council. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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