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CBT automotive newscast: February 18, 2022

Inside Automotive:

How Brian Benstock continues to push his business to new heights
Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back the no.1 certified Honda and Acura dealer globally, Brian Benstock, Partner GM and Vice President of Paragon Honda and Acura. Benstock sits down with Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss how his stores are performing today and what their goals are for the future. Watch the complete segment here.


Volkswagen Chairman Herbert Diess said this week that the batteries built into some of the automaker’s electric vehicles will soon be able to provide electricity to homes in Europe. In a thread on Reddit this week, Diess said Volkswagen EVs made with 77-kilowatt-hour batteries will receive an over-the-air update giving them the ability to provide so-called “vehicle to home” electricity. This impacts ID.4 and ID.5 vehicles and will enable bi-directional charging, meaning the vehicles can power homes, or homes can power the vehicles. Diess said he hopes the technology will be rolled out by the end of the year, but analysts say it will heavily depend on whether or not Volkswagen can get the required regulatory approvals by then.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is speaking out against the Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing it of conducting “endless” and “unrelenting” investigations into them. A Tesla lawyer sent a letter to a federal judge this week outlining allegations that the S.E.C. is targeting the automaker due to Musk’s repeated public criticism of the government. Along with continuous investigations into alleged discrimination against workers, the S.E.C. Has also recently subpoenaed Tesla regarding one of Musk’s tweets last year as well as the $40 million settlement that was reached in 2018 after accusations of securities fraud. This week’s letter alleged that continuing investigations are harassment and a violation of Musk’s first amendment rights. The S.E.C. Refused to comment on the matter.

AutoNation outdid Wall Street projections for the fourth quarter, with the auto retailer saying its success was boosted by high consumer demand despite significantly high prices. AutoNation CEO Mike Manley further said that sales were high due to consumers preferring to have their own vehicles as opposed to using public transportation. He added that AutoNation is also relying less on unpredictable used-car auctions and more on trade-ins or purchasing vehicles directly from consumers. Autonation’s total net income for the quarter landed at more than $387 million, and total revenue reached over $6.5 billion.

LMP Automotive Holdings said in a press release this week that it will be terminating its pending purchases of several dealerships and is seeking so-called “strategic alternatives,” which it said could include selling the company. Despite partnering with Bank of America late last year to try to manage its debt, LMP Auto said the abrupt changes come after the board of directors determined it feels the company cannot “secure financial commitments” for its existing agreements. Shares of LMP Auto dropped over 20% after the announcement, hitting a 52-week low.

Celebrating Black History Month:

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 Linda Cash, Vice President of Quality and New Model Launch Programs at Ford Motor Company.

After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering, Cash landed a job with Ford at its Atlanta assembly plant. 36 years later Cash is still with Ford and believes that the company is the best platform for her to represent herself and others.

News & Opinion:

lead response emailThe 3-part lead response email guaranteed to get a reply
Automated email replies always feel dismissive to me. Like my inquiry is not important enough for an actual person to reply. Yet, most dealership CRMs are configured to automatically send generic email responses to online lead inquiries. Why are we doing this Sure, we’ve all been conditioned to respond as quickly as possible. However, being quick should never trump being impressive. I’d much rather wait 30 minutes for a personal response than wait five seconds for what feels like a brush-off. And you can bet I’d rather do business with the former. Read more

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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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