Today’s Featured Interview:

How CDK Global’s performance 20 Groups allows dealers to share best practices and navigate obstacles
CDK 20 groups has been very popular among dealers for many years, as the platform has allowed dealers to learn from one another and make necessary improvements in their business. Today, we speak with Fred Fordin, VP of consulting services for CDK Global, about the importance of the performance 20 groups and how it is being utilized today. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

With manufacturing plants nearly back to full production, the month of November saw strong growth in inventory. According to data collected by Cox Automotive, new vehicle inventory jumped to 2.87 million as the month of December began, up from 2.67 at the beginning of November. This brought the national days’ supply up to an industry average of 75 days. Cox Automotive also found that despite rising inventories and softening sales, vehicle list prices continue to climb. The average list price at the end of November was $39,953, up 5.6% from the same time a year ago. Automotive analysts believe this trend will continue, as most fully anticipate the national average to rise above $40,000 by the end of the year.

CarGurus is making a move to acquire a majority stake in the instant trade platform, CarOffer. The online automotive marketplace announced the acquisition in a press release on Thursday, allowing the company to add wholesale capabilities to CarGurus’ portfolio of dealer offerings. The move to expand into wholesale will be a key in the company’s overall platform strategy, which currently includes a robust digital retail offering for both dealers and consumers. The company said that the combination of CarGurus’ dealer network and CarOffer’s instant trade technology creates a very powerful selling platform.

The Ford Maverick is making a comeback. The nameplate is expected to return as a small pickup, using underpinnings from the Bronco Sport. It’s still uncertain whether or not Ford will launch the new Maverick in time for the 2022 model year as the automaker continues to suffer setbacks obtaining parts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maverick is the latest of many iconic nameplates that Ford has brought back recently including the Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup.

There have been major moves happening in the autonomous driving space this week. Aurora, Google’s autonomous driving technology company, is buying Uber’s self-driving unit in a $400 million transaction. Aurora announced the transaction in a blog post on its website. Aurora said it will continue to work with Uber on AVs after the deal is completed. Meanwhile, Aurora’s competitor Cruise has begun testing its fully self-driving fleet on the streets of San Francisco. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the testing represents another milestone towards the commercialization of driverless vehicles.

News & Opinion:

managementHow to sell change to upper management
Change is never easy, but businesses must evolve to stay relevant. Bob Iger, ex-CEO of Disney mentioned this in his autobiography; Ride of a Lifetime, “Now more than ever, innovate or die. There can be no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new.” Innovation was a consistent topic at the recent Automotive Analytics and Attribution Summit where over 800 attendees watched experts from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and others share where they see technology and customer experience moving. Read More

CruiseCruise takes to the streets in San Francisco with driverless vehicles
The self-driving car division of General Motors has begun testing services in San Francisco without a human in the driver’s seat. Cruise LLC started their real-world tests on Wednesday and, while there’s no occupant in the driver’s seat, someone is in the front passenger seat as a safeguard. It’s a landmark moment as they are the first to begin tests without a driver’s seat occupant. Read More

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