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CBT Automotive Newscast: August 28, 2020

Today’s Featured Interview:

Jenell Ross on Creating More Opportunities for African-Americans in the Retail Auto Industry
In the midst of racial injustice and surfacing throughout the United States, businesses are turning their focus toward diversity and inclusion. Several retail automotive groups are taking a stand and amplifying their voices to spark change. Jenell Ross, President of Bob Ross Auto Group joined us to talk about her unique position as the only African-American woman to own a Mercedes-Benz and Buick GMC dealership. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

On Thursday morning, Louisiana auto dealers woke up to the destruction caused by hurricane Laura. The hurricane made landfall graded as a category four, the highest-graded storm to hit the Louisiana coast since 1965. Many dealers in the state moved inventory, blocked windows, and closed early to prepare for the hurricane. The Lake Charles community suffered substantial damage to both residential and commercial properties from 150-mile per hour winds.

In the aftermath of hurricane Laura, the National Auto Auction Association is taking proactive measures to provide resources and support to members impacted by the storm. The NAAA has an auction employee relief fund ready to deploy to provide assistance to those in need. Auctions are encouraged to assess how many employees need assistance and email NAAA CEO Frank Hackett and executive vice president Mike Browning to coordinate relief efforts.

A Kenosha car dealership suffered tremendous damage during riots in the Wisconsin city. The owner of Car Source in Kenosha told local Fox affiliates that the business suffered $500,000 in property damage plus $900,000 to $1 million in inventory damage. More than 50 cars were reported to have been damaged by fire. The riots sparked following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man.

Park Place dealerships founder Ken Schnitzer is turning the page to his next chapter. After selling the majority of Park Place dealerships to Asbury Automotive Group, Schnitzer and two former Park Place executives are forming a new company called the Avondale Group. The new auto group retains a number of luxury dealerships in the Dallas market that were not included in the Asbury acquisition. Avondale also manages the Avondale Collision Center and Avondale Select, a subscription for luxury vehicles.

News Stories & Opinion:

dealersHow Dealers Can Drive Leads When Inventory Slows Down
Dealerships across the nation have run low on cars to sell amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Motor vehicle and parts dealers’ sales dropped to a year-over-year low of 52.5% in April 2020. While these numbers are bouncing up again and are on track with 2019 as of August 2020, dealers should expect the unexpected to happen again — eventually. But, the savviest business owners have a plan for when the unexpected happens. Read More

digital retailingHow to Maintain Brand Consistency with Digital Retailing
Digital retailing has quickly advanced in automotive markets due to the limitations from COVID-19. With sudden integration for many dealerships over a short time frame, a few key principles can easily be overlooked. In his personal vehicle search, automotiveMastermind’s Director of Business Development Steve DeWitt has experienced firsthand opportunities for improvement in how digital retailing is done. 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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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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