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CBT automotive newscast: April 29, 2021

Featured Interview:

Will the dealership acquisition market remain hot for the rest of 2021? Erin Kerrigan, Kerrigan Advisors
The automotive buy/sell market has been busier than ever. Today on CBT News, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director at Kerrigan Advisors. She joins the show to provide the latest update on the Kerrigan Index and discuss the latest trends and activity in the dealership acquisition market.  Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Toyota’s global sales rose 44% last month, as the automaker was able to keep producing vehicles amid the industry-wide chip shortage. In a statement yesterday, Toyota said its global sales in March rose to 982,912 units, the most ever sold in a single month for the company. The automaker plans to continue monitoring its supply chain and stockpiling chips to meet rising demand.

After one of the largest acquisitions in retail automotive history, Lithia Motors isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. The company announced that it has acquired Planet Honda of Union in New Jersey, a deal that is expected to add $240 million in annualized revenue. The Honda dealership is Lithia’s 247th store and first acquisition since it purchased the Suburban Collection. CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement that the acquisition of one of the highest performing Honda stores will help strengthen Lithia’s ability to serve communities throughout New York and New Jersey.

This week, Ford announced plans to invest $185 million into a new battery lab. The new lab will move the automaker one step closer to manufacturing its own battery cells for electric vehicles. The funds will be used towards constructing Ford Ion Park, a 200,000-square-foot production facility. The lab is expected to open in Metro Detroit by the end of 2022.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, an organization representing more than 1,000 vehicle suppliers, says that it opposes setting a firm date to end the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars. The group told a senate commerce subcommittee that the biden administration should continue to set regulatory requirements that ensure suppliers keep working to improve internal combustion engines. The association’s senior vice president of government affairs, Ann Wilson, warned that a quick transition to a fully electric fleet could leave more than 560,000 American auto manufacturing employees without a job.

Hot new-vehicle sales from March have carried on throughout the month of April. According to Cox Automotive, the April sales pace forecast reached 16.5 million, up dramatically from the historic low of 8.7 million in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. auto sales forecast improved 2.3% from 2019 levels, suggesting sales are starting to normalize.

News & Opinion:

Recall repairs stand out as an opportunity for auto dealers
According to data from CARFAX, the number of vehicles on the road with open recalls declined by 5% in 2020. However, more than 53 million vehicles continue to operate on American roads with a recall campaign that has not yet been completed. By their estimates, that accounts for approximately one in every five vehicles that can have potentially serious safety issues. Read More

Aspects of an excellent customer experience
One of a dealership’s biggest challenges is tailoring its operations to fit customer needs. In January, JD Power’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Development, Tim Copacia, facilitated a meeting between auto marketing leaders at the 2021 JD Power Auto Summit. After analyzing all of their interactions, he was able to generate the following eight “pillars to a successful and differentiated customer experience,” which are all critical to marketing tactics and can be used by dealerships nationwide. Read More


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CBT News
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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