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CBT automotive newscast: February 19, 2021

Featured Interview:

What are dealers' true-pete macinnisWhat are dealers’ true opinions about digital retailing? – Pete MacInnis, eLend Solutions
Today on CBT News, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Pete MacInnis, Founder and CEO of eLend Solutions. The pandemic has brought forth many challenges and dealers are weighing in with eLEND Solutions’ latest dealer survey. The report titled, “The Pandemic Drove a Great Leap Forward in Digital Retailing Adoption,” showcases the thoughts and concerns dealers faced during the pandemic and how it will impact the industry moving into 2021. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

The American International Automobile Dealers Association has named Steve Gates as its 2021 Chairman. Gates is a third-generation dealer of Gates Auto Family based out of Richmond, Kentucky. He was announced as the new Chairman during the association’s virtual meeting. Gates succeeds 2020 Chairman Jason Courter, who serves as CEO of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue and Honda of Kirkland in Washington.

Several dealerships throughout Texas have been forced to halt business due to the winter storms that have hit the state. Sonic Automotive has been forced to close all of its franchised dealerships and EchoPark stores in Texas due to a lack of power and water. Group 1 Automotive also had to shut down nearly all of its 54 locations in the state. Company officials say the dealerships will remain closed until the power returns.

Daimler AG reported strong profits for 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic. Profits for the German auto company increased by 48% to $4.8 billion. According to company officials, Daimler boosted earnings by 53% due to cost-cutting measures implemented company-wide.

Tesla announced that it has cut the price of various models. The price cuts were applied to the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y SUV. The Model 3 standard range plus has been lowered to $36,900 from $37,990. Tesla has been slowly making various models in its lineup more affordable as legacy automakers continue to enter the EV market.

News & Opinion:

ToyotaToyota investing $210 million in West Virginia engine production
On Thursday, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) announced plans to upgrade the Buffalo facility to expand upon engines produced for their vehicles. An additional $210 million US has been committed to the project, and 100 new jobs are expected to result from the expansion. The upgrade in the facility puts the total investment into the Buffalo plant at $1.8 billion and in excess of 2,000 people will be employed at the facility. The most recent investment will provide new equipment for the six-cylinder engine line while the added jobs will be to boost production for RAV4 four-cylinder engines. 100 new positions are being slated for a third shift on the four-cylinder line due to demand for the compact SUV, bumping output my 70,000 engines per year. Read more

serviceHow to get customers back for first service
It’s easy to think that a manufacturer’s free maintenance plan is enough to bring someone in for the first service if you just had one to offer. If you don’t have that option, how could you get your buyer in for their first service? Let’s look at some ways to get them back and keep them coming back to an essential part of your dealership. Do you have a process in place? What is your plan when a person buys a car? Do they get a service department welcome kit? Having a process that’s written down, implemented and consistently reviewed for effectiveness, is your first step. Without a plan, you’re going to have to chase the customer later and that gets expensive. It can cost five times as much money to acquire a new customer than retain a current one. Customer retention at the time of sale will save you a tremendous amount of money later. 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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