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AutoNation Q1 results, Tesla backlash, March service revenue

Inside Automotive

Bill Feinstein, Honda dealerHow Honda dealers are preparing for the future of automotive retailing – Bill Feinstein
Honda’s U.S. Segment is off to a strong start in 2023, with record breaking EV sales and impressive year-over-year growth for the first quarter. But how do things look for dealers on the ground? On this edition of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Bill Feinstein, president of Planet Honda in New Hampshire, general manager of Planet Honda in New Jersey and the chairman of the Honda National Dealer Advisory Board. Watch full segment here.

Top Stories

AutoNation Q1 Mike Manley

AutoNation, one of the largest dealer groups in the U.S., revealed its business had suffered from “mixed economic signals” during the first quarter, causing profits to fall 20%. The company saw both new and used vehicle sales decline from 2022, even as it continued expanding its market share with new storefronts. Last year, the group’s long-held position as the nation’s best-selling dealer came to an end, as its competitor, Lithia Motors, became the first dealer to outsell AutoNation since 1997. Read More

Tesla Q1 aftermath

Public reactions to Tesla’s quarterly earnings call were quick to arrive, with investors and industry insiders alike critiquing the automaker’s plans. During the call, CEO Elon Musk told shareholders that this year’s frequent price cuts were part of a new strategy, which prioritizes volume over profit margins. The brand’s stock price fell almost 10% the following day, bringing Tesla’s market cap down by roughly $58 billion. Ford chief, Jim Farley, also weighed in, saying that the discounts were the result of aging products and new competition. The automaker is hoping to recoup its losses through software and autonomous driving services. Read More

New Jersey program

New Jersey has become one of several states to suspend electric vehicle incentives, as sales continue to ramp up faster than expected. The Charge Up New Jersey initiative gave buyers $4,000 for their purchase of an EV, costing the state a total of $35 million since its launch in 2020. On Monday, public utility officials said the plan had run out of funding due to high consumer demand, but promised payments would resume in July. The news comes just over a month after Oregon announced it too would temporarily shut down its incentive program for similar reasons. Read More

Xtime, Cox AutomotiveAutomotive service revenue hit an all-time high in March, driven by an increase in work order profit margins. Customers paid more for repair and maintenance, allowing earnings to increase despite a slight decline in overall volume. In its monthly service report, Cox Automotive’s chief economist Jonathan smoke, stated “The march ticket volume was lower than we have seen in previous years, but higher service costs pushed total service revenue per dealership to a record high for any march in the past five years.” Read More

For Dealers

Dealership employees approach a sales conversation with emotional intelligence.Lead the pack: Why emotional intelligence is the key to automotive leadership
Emotional intelligence, also referred to as emotional quotient or simply EQ, is important in any workplace but especially comes in handy at a car dealership—as any job there requires flexibility, effective communication, and stellar sales etiquette. EQ is especially critical for managers because people in leadership roles must also have critical thinking skills that help them solve problems and adapt to the changes happening with their own staff and the auto industry overall. Read More

Is there a disconnect between your service managers and technicians? Here’s how to fix it
Strong connections between service department managers and technicians are vital on two fronts: productivity and customer satisfaction. But sometimes poor communication, lack of training, and other factors impact workflow and the fixed ops bottom line. Let’s explore what causes this friction and how to smooth things over to foster teamwork and camaraderie. While service managers and technicians are on the same team, they really live in two different worlds. This divide comes from distinct job responsibilities. Read More

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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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