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CBT automotive newscast: February 17, 2022

Inside Automotive:

Carter Myers Automotive Pres. Liza Borches shares her vision for 2022 and beyond
Dealers across the country have ushered in new goals and intentions for their operations in this new year. Carter Myers Automotive has continued to evolve and expand across Virginia since 1902 and this year seems to be no different. On today’s show we’re pleased to welcome Liza Borches, Carter Myers Automotive President and CEO, to give us some insight into Carter Myers agenda in this new year and we’ll also follow up on their deep dive into the customer experience. Watch the complete segment here.


General Motors spokesman Dan Flores said this week that production of the Chevrolet Bolt will resume in Michigan during the week of April 4. 2017 through 2019 models of the Chevy Bolt had been recalled twice due to reports of fires, but the latest recall in August affected all Bolt vehicles after reports that a 2020 model had also caught on fire. GM ultimately discovered the fires were caused by defective LG Chem cells built into the Bolt’s battery packs, which had been installed in over 140,000 Bolt vehicles. In October, GM said LG Electronics will be compensating the automaker for the costs of the recall, which could total around $2 billion.

Autonomous vehicle software company Waymo is planning on working with transportation service company C.H. Robinson Worldwide to carry out trials of self-driving long-haul trucks. The tests will be conducted in Texas, and the vehicles will have humans in the drivers’ seats in case of any issues. The companies hope that making autonomous semi-trucks will be easier than passenger vehicles due to them mostly using the highway and having pre-planned, mapped-out routes. Waymo is also working with Daimler and UPS to create self-driving semi-trucks and hopes they can be on the road in the near future.

Asbury Automotive Group announced this week it had reached record net income, operating margins, adjusted earnings-per-share, and revenue throughout the fourth quarter. Net income for Q4 totaled $141 million before taxes, which is a 63% increase compared to Q4 of 2020. Revenue increased 19% year-over-year, gross profit rose 46%, and adjusted EPS was up 68%. For 2021 as a whole, adjusted net income totaled $549 million, increasing adjusted EPS by over 100% year-over-year. Asbury’s CEO David Hult said the significant growth was due to lucrative nationwide acquisitions and his team’s ability to continue managing the ongoing supply-demand disparity.

Sonic Automotive also announced this week that it had reached all-time highs for Q4 and 2021 as a whole. On Wednesday, the company’s earnings report showed that Q4 income before taxes totaled over $122 million, and adjusted EPS ended up at $2.66. Revenue for Q4 increased almost 14% year-over-year, ending up at $3.2 billion, and the company said it is expecting a significant increase in revenue this year due to its acquisition of RFJ Auto Partners in December. As a whole, 2021 revenue totaled $12.4 billion, and Sonic Auto now operates over 150 dealerships throughout 23 states. Sonic Auto President Jeff Dyke said the growth was due to the success of its EchoPark division and ongoing customer-centric service.

Celebrating Black History Month:

Archives via Getty Images

This February, in honor of Black History Month, we want to celebrate and recognize the achievements of black retail automotive professionals past, present, and future. Today, we’d like to highlight Wendell Oliver Scott, the first African-American NASCAR driver.

After serving in the army as a motor pool mechanic during World War II, Scott opened up his own auto mechanic shop and began racing stock cars on the dixie circuit. His impressive skills were noticed by NASCAR and Scott soon convinced the organization to grant him a license to compete. He would go on to win the Jacksonville 200 and compete in 495 grand national races.

News & Opinion:

Great ResignationThe Great Resignation: How your car dealership can avoid losing staff
Whether you get your news online or on the five o’clock news, you’ve likely heard of “The Great Resignation.” Last year, nearly 47 million people quit their jobs, which almost amounts to an average of four million people resigning each month. Have you seen this phenomenon at your dealership? You aren’t alone, as employers across various industries have to manage the large numbers of workers leaving their companies. What is leading these people to resign, and what can you do to keep these individuals on your dealership team? Read More

MSRPCustomers pay over MSRP for most purchases in January, report finds
In a seller’s market, holding firm on price is expected. For four out of every five car buyers in January, the dealership where they purchased a vehicle didn’t just hold at MSRP – they commanded a price above the price on the factory’s window sticker. Edmunds shopping experts discovered that 82.2% of new car deals in January were over MSRP with an average markup of $728. Jessica Caldwell is the executive director of insights at Edmunds. She said in the press release, “The fact that an overwhelming majority of consumers are paying above sticker price would have been unthinkable even just a year ago. Read more

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