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CBT automotive newscast: April 16, 2021

Featured Interview:

David HorsagerWhy building trust can be a car dealer’s strongest tool for problem-solving – David Horsager, Best-selling author
Every great relationship is rooted in trust. If a customer does not trust you or your business they will most likely take their money elsewhere. On today’s show, we welcome David Horsager, Trust Expert and CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute.  Horsager is also a best-selling author of his latest book titled, Trusted Leader: 8 Pillars That Drive Results. David’s work has been featured in prominent publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. Horsager joins CBT News to discuss how important it is for car dealers to build trust and how it impacts leadership development. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

This week, Ford Motor Company announced that it will extend downtime at key assembly plants. The automaker said that it will be cutting output of its top-selling F-150 pickups for at least two more weeks. According to Autoforecast Solutions, the extended shutdowns could lead to lost production of 91,300 vehicles.

Ford also recently introduced its Bluecruise hands-free driving technology, and CEO Jim Farley wasted no time using its introduction to take a jab at Tesla. On Wednesday, Jim Farley tweeted out, “Bluecruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to.” Many spectators implied that the tweet was a shot at Tesla for testing its autopilot system on its customers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk jabbed right back at Farley, tweeting that he had found “footage” of the Ford test drive, posting a clip from the 1995 film Tommy Boy. In the video, actors Chris Farley (the late cousin of Jim Farley) and David Spade are behind the wheel of a vehicle completely out of control on the highway. While some thought the tweet was humorous, others criticized Musk for associating Farley’s late family member and making fun of reckless driving after his company was recently cited for “lax safety practices” by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Vehicle affordability improved in the month of March. According to research conducted by Cox Automotive, data shows that new vehicles have become relatively more affordable since October 2020, when the affordability index reached 35.3 weeks, the highest mark of the year.

Sonic Automotive continues to expand its EchoPark used-car franchise. The new store moves Sonic one step closer to reaching its goal of opening 25 new used-vehicle-only locations by the end of the year. As the used retailer looks to continue expanding its reach, EchoPark plans to increase its brand visibility by sponsoring a NASCAR race next month. The event will be called the EchoPark Grand Prix, scheduled for May 23 at the Circuit of the Americas Raceway in Austin, Texas.

News & Opinion:

pricesAverage new car prices remain steady above $40,000
American consumers can expect to shell out more than $40,000 for a new vehicle, on average. Kelley Blue Book research estimates that the average transaction price per new vehicle in the US for March 2021 to be $40,472. That represents an increase of 4.3% from 12 months previous, or a dollar-figure increase of $1,660. However, the pace at which new car transaction prices have been climbing may have tapered off. From February to March, the average transaction price actually declined by about 1.5%, or $608. Read more

distractedDistracted driving remains an entrenched bad habit
We are all told not to text and drive, and we should definitely wait to pick up whatever we dropped on the floors of our cars while we’re driving, but how many of us actually follow these rules? Not many, according to a survey conducted by Selective Insurance Group. In fact, almost 90% of respondents reported that they had engaged in distracted driving within the last 90 days, which is a staggering statistic. Read more

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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