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Found 106 results

  1. Since becoming the CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett, and his management staff has had a difficult time of convincing folks about the ambitious restructuring plan that will see the lineup become more dependent on crossover and trucks, and job cuts. One group that has been quite worried about the plan are dealers. "There's been a lot less exposure to senior management. There's just not enough information flowing down to dealers about where the company's headed," said Jack Madden, owner of Jack Madden Ford to Automotive News. Ford is hoping to ease dealers later this week at the company's national dealer meeting in Las Vegas. Aside from seeing a number of new products, including the next-generation Escape and Explorer, Hackett and his team will be taking questions from dealers about the future direction of the company. "It's the right medicine at the right time," Rhett Ricart, CEO of Ricart Automotive Group in Groveport, Ohio. "I think it will be a huge jolt for dealers' attitudes." Dealers aren't the only group who are wanting more information. Ford's 70,000 salaried workers around the world have been told that the $11 billion restructuring plan will include job cuts, but not providing any specifics on numbers or how or when the cuts will take place. The cuts were announced in a video message sent to employees. "In Ford's history, we have streamlined organizations but we rarely removed work, causing each team member to have to do more with less," Hackett said in the video, according to a transcript Ford provided to AN. Employees were told the upcoming changes would be made using "a cascading process that will involve many of you" and that they will work to eliminate "low-value" tasks. "While redesigning the organization is important and it's necessary work, it's not going to be easy. But it is fundamental to us becoming the business we need to be," said Hackett. Ford say the message wasn't about job cuts and "said employees have appreciated the way it is handling the news." But AN reports that some employees became confused with the message being provided. Some experts say giving employees information about impending job cuts early on allows for more preparation and gives more time to look for another job. But some point out the way Ford announced the move could actually damage morale. "In an absence of any information, it's stressful. People are going to be looking for more direction from the company," explained Carol Olsby, a human-resources consultant and author. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  2. William Maley

    Ford Hopes To Sooth Dealers This Week

    Since becoming the CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett, and his management staff has had a difficult time of convincing folks about the ambitious restructuring plan that will see the lineup become more dependent on crossover and trucks, and job cuts. One group that has been quite worried about the plan are dealers. "There's been a lot less exposure to senior management. There's just not enough information flowing down to dealers about where the company's headed," said Jack Madden, owner of Jack Madden Ford to Automotive News. Ford is hoping to ease dealers later this week at the company's national dealer meeting in Las Vegas. Aside from seeing a number of new products, including the next-generation Escape and Explorer, Hackett and his team will be taking questions from dealers about the future direction of the company. "It's the right medicine at the right time," Rhett Ricart, CEO of Ricart Automotive Group in Groveport, Ohio. "I think it will be a huge jolt for dealers' attitudes." Dealers aren't the only group who are wanting more information. Ford's 70,000 salaried workers around the world have been told that the $11 billion restructuring plan will include job cuts, but not providing any specifics on numbers or how or when the cuts will take place. The cuts were announced in a video message sent to employees. "In Ford's history, we have streamlined organizations but we rarely removed work, causing each team member to have to do more with less," Hackett said in the video, according to a transcript Ford provided to AN. Employees were told the upcoming changes would be made using "a cascading process that will involve many of you" and that they will work to eliminate "low-value" tasks. "While redesigning the organization is important and it's necessary work, it's not going to be easy. But it is fundamental to us becoming the business we need to be," said Hackett. Ford say the message wasn't about job cuts and "said employees have appreciated the way it is handling the news." But AN reports that some employees became confused with the message being provided. Some experts say giving employees information about impending job cuts early on allows for more preparation and gives more time to look for another job. But some point out the way Ford announced the move could actually damage morale. "In an absence of any information, it's stressful. People are going to be looking for more direction from the company," explained Carol Olsby, a human-resources consultant and author. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Since 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne proclaimed that Jeep needed a three-row luxury SUV to better compete with the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. But this SUV, known as the Grand Wagoneer hasn't materialized. Numerous delays and debates about the design has caused the launch to be pushed time and time again. These delays have a number of dealers concerned that Jeep may miss its opportunity with this new model. "I think our window of opportunity is closing. We could have killed with [the Grand Wagoneer] if it had been available when they first told us about it, but it's a much tougher sell with interest rates and gas prices going up," said an unnamed FCA dealer to Automotive News. John Murphy, research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last week at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association that the "Goldilocks" era in auto retailing was coming to a close. Murphy said the next five years would be tough on auto sales due to a number of factors, especially for those trying to sell high-end models. Higher interest rates Increasing gas prices Raw materials becoming more expensive Increasing competition in the light-truck sector The current plan is to launch the Grand Wagoneer in 2019, but production could be pushed back till late in the year or even into 2020. This is due to FCA's plan to keep building the current Ram 1500 at their Warren Truck Plant until the end of year. But depending on demand, this could extend production into 2019, pushing back the time needed to retool the plant for the Grand Wagoneer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  4. Since 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne proclaimed that Jeep needed a three-row luxury SUV to better compete with the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. But this SUV, known as the Grand Wagoneer hasn't materialized. Numerous delays and debates about the design has caused the launch to be pushed time and time again. These delays have a number of dealers concerned that Jeep may miss its opportunity with this new model. "I think our window of opportunity is closing. We could have killed with [the Grand Wagoneer] if it had been available when they first told us about it, but it's a much tougher sell with interest rates and gas prices going up," said an unnamed FCA dealer to Automotive News. John Murphy, research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last week at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association that the "Goldilocks" era in auto retailing was coming to a close. Murphy said the next five years would be tough on auto sales due to a number of factors, especially for those trying to sell high-end models. Higher interest rates Increasing gas prices Raw materials becoming more expensive Increasing competition in the light-truck sector The current plan is to launch the Grand Wagoneer in 2019, but production could be pushed back till late in the year or even into 2020. This is due to FCA's plan to keep building the current Ram 1500 at their Warren Truck Plant until the end of year. But depending on demand, this could extend production into 2019, pushing back the time needed to retool the plant for the Grand Wagoneer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. PSA Group's decade-long plan of possibly returning to the U.S. continues forward and they are facing their next roadblock, setting up a dealer network. Trying to convince dealers to sell brands that haven't been sold since the early nineties. But the French automaker believes they have a solution, using a tech-centric approach that will be affordable. "We see the high cost of doing this business; we see the challenges that exist in profitability for dealers and OEMs. We believe with the new tools, the new technology, the new customer expectations, there are leaner, more agile ways to do this," said PSA North America chief Larry Dominique to Automotive News. "We need to find a way to reduce our fixed costs. We want people to make a profit selling a new car." A possible strategy could look similar to Hyundai's Shopper Assurance where a customer can do a number of tasks at home such as scheduling a test drive, apply for financing, and complete paperwork. There are things that will benefit from a physical presence such as service and vehicle delivery. Dominique said that he will not be asking those who decide to sell whatever brand PSA Group has in mind to go crazy with building a facility. The bit about making a profit with selling a new vehicle is important here. Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association reveals that new vehicle losses for dealers rose $22 per car in 2015 to $421 in 2017. Used cars got hit worse with dealers losing $2 per car in 2017, from making $132 only three years ago. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  6. PSA Group's decade-long plan of possibly returning to the U.S. continues forward and they are facing their next roadblock, setting up a dealer network. Trying to convince dealers to sell brands that haven't been sold since the early nineties. But the French automaker believes they have a solution, using a tech-centric approach that will be affordable. "We see the high cost of doing this business; we see the challenges that exist in profitability for dealers and OEMs. We believe with the new tools, the new technology, the new customer expectations, there are leaner, more agile ways to do this," said PSA North America chief Larry Dominique to Automotive News. "We need to find a way to reduce our fixed costs. We want people to make a profit selling a new car." A possible strategy could look similar to Hyundai's Shopper Assurance where a customer can do a number of tasks at home such as scheduling a test drive, apply for financing, and complete paperwork. There are things that will benefit from a physical presence such as service and vehicle delivery. Dominique said that he will not be asking those who decide to sell whatever brand PSA Group has in mind to go crazy with building a facility. The bit about making a profit with selling a new vehicle is important here. Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association reveals that new vehicle losses for dealers rose $22 per car in 2015 to $421 in 2017. Used cars got hit worse with dealers losing $2 per car in 2017, from making $132 only three years ago. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  7. Genesis can't seem to make up its mind of what it wants to do with their dealer network. Back in January, the brand announced that it would be cutting back on the number of dealers eligible to sell Genesis models from 350 to 100. The 100 dealers would be located in 48 markets including Chicago and LA. The move unsurprisingly left a number of Hyundai dealers upset as they had spent a fair amount of money to make their showrooms and service areas ready for Genesis models. Automotive News reports that Genesis has made some changes to their dealer plans. According to a brief provided by an unnamed dealer, all Hyundai dealers will be eligible to apply to sell and service Genesis models. Those who apply will need to have separate facilities for Genesis models and will only be allowed to sell 2019 model year vehicles. The current 350 Genesis dealers can continue to sell model or take the settlement money that was part of the company's original plan announced earlier this year. "By having more nationwide distribution, you're going to allay consumer fears that they'll be traveling and not be able to get service on their vehicle," said the unnamed dealer. A Genesis spokesman told Automotive News that it's possible that there could be more than 100 Genesis dealers. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  8. Genesis can't seem to make up its mind of what it wants to do with their dealer network. Back in January, the brand announced that it would be cutting back on the number of dealers eligible to sell Genesis models from 350 to 100. The 100 dealers would be located in 48 markets including Chicago and LA. The move unsurprisingly left a number of Hyundai dealers upset as they had spent a fair amount of money to make their showrooms and service areas ready for Genesis models. Automotive News reports that Genesis has made some changes to their dealer plans. According to a brief provided by an unnamed dealer, all Hyundai dealers will be eligible to apply to sell and service Genesis models. Those who apply will need to have separate facilities for Genesis models and will only be allowed to sell 2019 model year vehicles. The current 350 Genesis dealers can continue to sell model or take the settlement money that was part of the company's original plan announced earlier this year. "By having more nationwide distribution, you're going to allay consumer fears that they'll be traveling and not be able to get service on their vehicle," said the unnamed dealer. A Genesis spokesman told Automotive News that it's possible that there could be more than 100 Genesis dealers. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  9. About three to four years ago, Mini set out an ambitious goal of selling an annual volume of 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. But this goal would never come to fruition. Sales of Mini models have been in decline for the past few years partly due to buyers going towards light trucks and crossovers. BMW executives have since stepped back from this goal is considering whether or not to make Mini vehicles electric-only in the U.S. For dealers, the mixed messages has them concerned. Jason Willis, member of the Mini National Dealer Council expressed these concerns in a interview with Automotive News. "I don't think the dealers have a very clear vision of where the car line is going long term. There is a lot of pride on being a small-car performance company, so my guess is we will continue to be a small-car company. But as far as electric and how we fit in, we're still waiting to hear that plan," said Willis. "Our biggest goal is to get a clear vision from Mini and the BMW Group of where the car line is going — whether we're going to continue to be a small-car brand. Are we going to go fully electric? What is the game plan over the next three, four, five years?" Next month, Mini dealers will meet with BMW's leaders in Las Vegas. Willis hopes they get some answers, especially with electric vehicles. "We're in the wait-and-see pattern on what electric vehicle demand really is going to be. Here in the Midwest, there's a lot of talk about electric cars but very little demand. Dealers just want to have a plan for the future. To be an electric-only car company, I'm not sure that is the goal that the dealers have. But to have some electric vehicle options to differentiate us in the market is a want," Willis also hopes BMW can give Mini more support in marketing in their products, along possibly offering a mainstream product. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  10. William Maley

    Dealers to Mini: Do You Have A Vision?

    About three to four years ago, Mini set out an ambitious goal of selling an annual volume of 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. But this goal would never come to fruition. Sales of Mini models have been in decline for the past few years partly due to buyers going towards light trucks and crossovers. BMW executives have since stepped back from this goal is considering whether or not to make Mini vehicles electric-only in the U.S. For dealers, the mixed messages has them concerned. Jason Willis, member of the Mini National Dealer Council expressed these concerns in a interview with Automotive News. "I don't think the dealers have a very clear vision of where the car line is going long term. There is a lot of pride on being a small-car performance company, so my guess is we will continue to be a small-car company. But as far as electric and how we fit in, we're still waiting to hear that plan," said Willis. "Our biggest goal is to get a clear vision from Mini and the BMW Group of where the car line is going — whether we're going to continue to be a small-car brand. Are we going to go fully electric? What is the game plan over the next three, four, five years?" Next month, Mini dealers will meet with BMW's leaders in Las Vegas. Willis hopes they get some answers, especially with electric vehicles. "We're in the wait-and-see pattern on what electric vehicle demand really is going to be. Here in the Midwest, there's a lot of talk about electric cars but very little demand. Dealers just want to have a plan for the future. To be an electric-only car company, I'm not sure that is the goal that the dealers have. But to have some electric vehicle options to differentiate us in the market is a want," Willis also hopes BMW can give Mini more support in marketing in their products, along possibly offering a mainstream product. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. William Maley

    Genesis Plans A Stand-Alone Dealer Network

    Genesis is wanting to distance itself from its Hyundai stablemate by its own dealer network. Currently, if you want to buy or service a Genesis model, you'll need to visit a Hyundai dealership with a discrete Genesis showroom. According to Automotive News, Genesis is planning to cut down from the 350 dealers eligible to sell Genesis vehicles to just 100 across the U.S. "The distribution network model where we're selling luxury cars through 840 Hyundai dealerships that are mainstream dealerships just doesn't work. Luxury customers are looking for a different experience. That's really the driving force," said Erwin Raphael, Genesis general manager. The 100 dealerships will be in 48 markets across the U.S. including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. Dealers in these markets will have the first chance to apply for a franchise. If chosen, dealers will need to have facilities ready by Jan 1, 2021. Dealers who don't apply or not chosen will get a compensation package to reimburse various costs for training, equipment, and inventory. "Some of these dealers have spent hard costs in the last year. We would reimburse them those costs. If they request us to buy the vehicles back for whatever, we'll buy those back and make them whole. Same with parts and accessories, special tools. We're not going to leave the dealers with any baggage," said Raphael. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  12. Genesis is wanting to distance itself from its Hyundai stablemate by its own dealer network. Currently, if you want to buy or service a Genesis model, you'll need to visit a Hyundai dealership with a discrete Genesis showroom. According to Automotive News, Genesis is planning to cut down from the 350 dealers eligible to sell Genesis vehicles to just 100 across the U.S. "The distribution network model where we're selling luxury cars through 840 Hyundai dealerships that are mainstream dealerships just doesn't work. Luxury customers are looking for a different experience. That's really the driving force," said Erwin Raphael, Genesis general manager. The 100 dealerships will be in 48 markets across the U.S. including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. Dealers in these markets will have the first chance to apply for a franchise. If chosen, dealers will need to have facilities ready by Jan 1, 2021. Dealers who don't apply or not chosen will get a compensation package to reimburse various costs for training, equipment, and inventory. "Some of these dealers have spent hard costs in the last year. We would reimburse them those costs. If they request us to buy the vehicles back for whatever, we'll buy those back and make them whole. Same with parts and accessories, special tools. We're not going to leave the dealers with any baggage," said Raphael. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. 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
  14. William Maley

    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)
  15. William Maley

    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.
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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)
  25. 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.

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