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CBT automotive newscast: April 12, 2021

Featured Interview:

MicrosoftHow Microsoft is creating new opportunities for automotive inventory ads – John Lee
Microsoft Advertising wants to help dealers turn clicks into conversions. The software company announced an open beta for automotive inventory ads in the U.S. Today on CBT News, we’re pleased to welcome John Lee, Head of Evangelism for Microsoft Advertising, to discuss the inventory ads and what this could mean for dealers. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Major automakers are being forced to extend production stoppages caused by the lack of semiconductor chips. General Motors and Ford are temporarily idling or extending downtimes at several North American plants. This week, Ford is shutting down production at plants in Chicago, Kansas City, and Flat rock. While GM is idling production at several plants, the automaker is restarting production of midsize pickups after a two-week shutdown at its plant in Missouri.

This week, Hyundai Motors is preparing to unveil its Santa Cruz pickup model. The automaker’s compact pickup is expected to be the smallest on the market. The first concept of the truck was released in 2015. As the small to midsize truck market continues to grow, Hyundai believes now is the perfect time to enter the market. The Santa Cruz is expected to compete with midsize pickups like the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado.

Fleet sales have struggled to recover from the recent declines. According to Cox Automotive, March fleet sales fell 20% year-over-year. Government units were down 17%, while rental units were down 31%. The lower March numbers brought total fleet sales down 28% in Q1 compared to the same time in 2020.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra continues to come under fire by black-owned media companies. Grammy award-winning artist Sean “Diddy” Combs is the latest industry mogul to call out Barra and GM. Last week, Combs wrote an open letter challenging GM to do better in terms of economic inclusion. The rapper is seeking for GM and other corporations to more fairly distribute their advertising spending to include more black-owned media companies.

News & Opinion:

LithiaCBT News Update: Lithia prepares to finalize transaction to acquire The Suburban Collection
Lithia Motors Inc. is preparing to close a deal to acquire The Suburban Collection. As first reported by CBT News, plans for the transaction were made public on January 30, 2021. The acquisition had been pending board and stakeholder approval since early in the year. The transaction will mark one of the largest dealership acquisitions in the past decade, while expanding Lithia’s footprint in the Midwest. In Automotive News‘ recent annual list of the top 150 dealership groups, Lithia Motors came in at number 1 on the list of top 10 number of dealerships added in the U.S. The group also ended up ranking number 3 overall on the top 150 list. Read more

remoteHow remote work is affecting pay structures and staffing nationwide
Prior to the pandemic economy shutdowns, less than 10% of Americans in the workforce were full-time remote workers. Virtually none of the auto retail positions were performed from home. But in the US, nearly half of workers transitioned to work from home (WFH) and a good portion will likely continue that way of a hybrid of in-office and remote. While most dealership positions don’t have that luxury, it’s becoming apparent that the WFH shift is affecting compensation rates that could affect dealers and their staff. Read more

coachCoach, Consultant, and Mentor: How they differ and why it matters
It seems as though we confuse the differences between coaching, consulting, and mentorship. It’s completely understandable because I often see websites, posts and articles of self-proclaimed “coaches” who offer consulting services. If you call yourself an expert and coach in the same breath, it just means that you need help with some clarification. If we tell someone how to do something, we see that as coaching but it’s not. That’s consulting.  When we show somebody the way through our own past experiences, that’s mentorship, not coaching. Read more


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CBT News
CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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