CBT Automotive Newscast: August 20, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

Service Director Manny Escalon on Customer Retention During the Pandemic
Dealership service departments around the nation are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in a post COVID-19 world. But what exactly does this mean? Today we’re talking to Manny Escalon, the Service Director for Beck & Masten Buick GMC South, about changes and some of the best practices you can incorporate in your service department.
Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines: 

Pressure is mounting for General Motors to create an electric vehicle spin-off. Wall Street is pushing GM towards a new electric vehicle business to better position themselves in the market against Tesla. The new company is projected to be valued at a minimum of $15 billion to $20 billion. GM’s total market cap currently sits at $43 billion.

Large dealer groups were slightly better than the overall retail market in the first half. According to Cox Automotive, large dealer groups accounted for roughly 7% of new-vehicle sales and 5% of used-vehicle sales for the first half of 2020. Large dealer groups such as Penske and AutoNation are relying heavily on used-car sales while new car inventories remain low.

Luxury vehicle sales are trying to recover after a heavy hit in the second quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic caused luxury vehicle shoppers to retreat at a record rate. According to Kelley Blue Book, brand watch shopping consideration for luxury vehicles in Q2 dropped to its lowest rate in more than two years. Along with this, U.S. luxury vehicle sales fell 35% in Q2. The numbers were highly impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks at the beginning of the quarter in major luxury markets such as new york city and Los Angeles.

Electrify America is expanding. The charging network is partnering with love’s travel stops to add 28 new fast-charging stations in seven states. Electrify America intends to continue expanding as electric vehicles become more prevalent.

News Stories & Opinion:

Despite AV Hesitancy, The First Self-Driving Corridor is Planned for a Detroit Suburb
The nation’s first autonomous driving corridor has been planned for the state of Michigan, according to a news release from Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Expected to run between Detroit and the university town of Ann Arbor, the massive undertaking is the step that must be taken between initial testing and widespread availability to the public. Carmakers, technology startups, and government are coming together to implement the suburban Detroit AV corridor. Major contributors already announced include Michigan-based Ford Motor Company, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., tech startup Cavnue, and the State of Michigan.
 Read More
Taking Both Forks in the Road: Stop Limiting Your Decision Making
We often use “road” metaphors for the activities of our business and our life — “the path to the sale,” “the road not taken,” “living on easy street,” and so on — because it seems like an accurate description. We spend our early years learning to walk (or drive), we learn skills as we go and pick up friends and loved ones along the way. It’s a great way to visualize our journey through life.
 Read More

Did you enjoy today’s automotive newscast? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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