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CBT automotive newscast: December 21, 2020

Today’s Featured Interview:

company cultureHow to build and sustain a strong company culture at your dealership – Alex Casebeer, Capitol Subaru
For the seventh year in a row, Capitol Subaru was named one of the best dealerships to work for by Automotive News. Building the right team and maintaining a strong company culture has been instrumental in the success of capital Subaru. On today’s show, we speak with general manager and partner, Alex Casebeer, about the many ways dealers can build a strong company culture and the tools necessary to sustain it. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

The new auto group Stellantis has found its CEO for American operations. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley will become head of Americas Operations for the company. Manley will assume the role once the merger of FCA and PSA Group is complete at the end of January. He will work alongside PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, and future chairman of Stellantis, John Elkann. However, unlike Tavares and Elkann, and Manley will not have a seat on the board of directors for the newly formed company. Manley will operate out of Detroit, leading both North and South American operations.

New car sales are holding steady through one of the highest surges of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. According to research from Edmunds, automakers are on track to sell 4,036,744 new vehicles in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2020. While this is up 2.8% from sales during Q3, it’s still down 5.7% from Q4 of 2019. Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insight, said that one of the biggest comeback stories of 2020 is without a doubt the recovery of retail vehicle sales, which have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. Despite coming off one of the worst weeks regarding the virus, customer sentiment was up and automotive analysts feel optimistic about the remainder of the year.

The Lehigh Valley Auto Show in Pennsylvania is being postponed to May. The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association announced that the show will be moving from its originally scheduled spot of March 17 – 21, to May 12 – 16. The reason for the move is related to a spike in COVID-19 cases and campus restrictions which have been extended through the month of March. The event is trying to get back on track after the 2020 show was canceled due to the pandemic. The show features 145,000 square feet of the newest cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, vans, and cycles on the market. Masks will be required at the rescheduled event and patrons will be limited at each exhibit.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000 the highest weekly total since September. The resurgence of new cases continues to threaten the economy’s recovery from the shutdowns in March. While new cases continue to rise, the Pfizer vaccine made its timely arrival to the U.S. at the beginning of this week. Before the beginning of the pandemic, weekly jobless claims were averaging around 225,000. Though jobless claims are high, the Federal Reserve signaled this week that the arrival of the vaccine sparks new hope for a strong recovery for the economy in 2021.

News & Opinion:

mergerPSA, Fiat Chrysler merger pushing to wrap up by end of January
The merger between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is forging ahead with the goal of completing the transaction by the end of January, according to Bloomberg reports. The landmark deal is of incredible value to the automakers since operating together as newly-named Stellantis will save approximately $6.1 billion US in costs. A successful merger will establish Stellantis as the fourth-largest carmaker in the world with a valuation of around $38 billion combined. Altogether the group would tally nearly 8 million vehicle sales worldwide with expected operating profits of $11.8 billion. Read More

femaleHow dealers can attract and retain female staff
Hiring and holding onto female employees isn’t just about diversifying a dealership’s staff or appealing to female buyers. Evidence has repeatedly shown that including women at all levels of a business strengthens it, with increased returns on investment, more significant innovation, and more. However, as of 2019, women accounted for less than 25% of US autoworkers. Of that number, only 17.9% worked in dealerships. When surveyed, women typically cite lack of promotion options, work-life balance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion as their top three reasons for wanting to leave once in. Read More

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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