CBT Automotive Newscast: August 27, 2020

Today’s Featured Interview:

WardsAuto Editor Steve Finlay on Digital Retailing, Inventory Struggles, and More
Joining us today to give a full recap on retail automotive trends and what dealers need to know is Steve Finlay, senior editor at WardsAuto. For a number of years, automotive digital retailing has been a topic of conversation, but the COVID-19 pandemic kicked it into high gear. Steve wonders if the surge of online transactions and home delivery will stick, or if many dealers will revert back to their usual practices. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

AutoNation is lending a helping hand to teachers across the country. The auto retailer announced that it will offer teachers free vehicle sanitization every Tuesday through September 29th. Teachers are encouraged to stop by any AutoNation store with their teaching ID or badge for a free Clorox T360 sanitization treatment to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

GM salaried employees could be working from home a little longer. While GM’s factories have been up and running since June, many of the 40,000 salaried employees might not be coming back to the office until 2021. According to a memo from Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, some employees could be called back as early as October 1st if it’s both necessary and safe to do so. Others may be on track to continue working remotely through the end of the year and into 2021.

Some analysts believe that car sales will continue to recover slowly. ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar estimates total new vehicle sales will hit 1.3 million units in August, down 15% from a year ago. ALG chief industry analyst Eric Lyman says that the momentum that new car sales picked up in July will continue through August as the industry climbs back to pre-pandemic levels.

The Volkswagen Atlas tops the list of best family cars. The list compiled their list based on comfort, safety, value, and versatility. The Atlas topped the list with plenty of room for car seats and highly advanced safety features. Three-row SUVs dominated the list with the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Ford Expedition all gaining positive consideration.

News Stories & Opinion:

The Biggest Profit Killer Dealers Still Won’t Talk About
It’s no secret, the automotive business has been struggling for years with low-profit margins and employee turnover now hitting an all-time high of 46%. However, dealers are often hesitant to talk about the actual root cause of the issue. Cox Automotive’s 2019 Dealership Staffing Study found, “with an average cost of $10,000 per new hire and an annual turnover rate as high as 67% for sales positions, a dealership with 100 salespeople can lose $670,000 a year…not to mention the knowledge and customer relationships that walk out the door with that employee.” Read More

Volvo Car USA Encouraging Tech Careers with Free Tools
Technicians have been a rare commodity for years, spurring companies like Manheim to begin developing apprentice technicians in new and creative ways. However, entrants into the industry can soon discover that tool startup costs are prohibitive compared to starting wages. Volvo Car USA has developed a program that can alleviate financial stress for new techs. Read More

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

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