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CBT automotive newscast: January 28, 2022

Inside Automotive:

Former CEO Todd Skelton reflects on his career at Prime Automotive after Group 1 acquisition
In the final quarter of 2021, Group 1 Automotive closed a deal to acquire nearly all of Prime Automotive’s assets. As we ushered in a new year and former executives and employees have now moved on, we’re checking in with the former CEO of Prime Automotive Group, now known as Ira Motor Group, Todd Skelton. Today, we get his perspective on the sale, the impact, and we’ll also get into the current state of automotive from his perspective. Watch the complete segment here.


Tesla held its Q4 earnings call on Wednesday to reveal a gross margin of over 27% and that its revenue had jumped 65%. In 2021 as a whole, Tesla reported it produced over 930,000 vehicles and delivered over 936,000. Tesla’s earnings report indicated the automaker is still seeking annual growth of 50% for deliveries but noted that even though tesla has “sufficient liquidity,” reaching this goal will depend on capacity, efficiency, and supply chain operations. CEO Elon Musk cited ongoing constraints and said the company will not be selling its cybertruck in 2022 and will also not be developing a $25,000 EV or any other new models this year.

On Wednesday, the White House hosted a meeting with various automakers and other firms involved in the industry to discuss his ‘Build Back Better’ bill and the implications his plans have on climate change and the automakers’ businesses. Attendees included General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who emphasized the importance of an efficient public-private collaboration, which she said would include uncapping EV tax credits to heighten demand. She also said it is critical to passing a $52 billion bill that would fund the manufacturing of much-needed semiconductor chips. Ford CEO Jim Farley did not get a chance to speak on the record, but has previously stated he supports extra incentives for unionized U.S.-based automakers, which is a strongly contested provision within the bill.

Automotive software developer Reynolds and Reynolds has announced Chris Walsh will be its new President and Willie Daughters will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. Both Walsh and Daughters have been with the firm for at least 30 years and were most recently serving as executive vice presidents of different sectors. Outgoing President Tommy Barras said Walsh is a leader dedicated to the company’s growth, and Daughters has the experience needed to continue the company’s strong customer satisfaction. Barras will remain CEO and Chairman, and added that the leadership changes will allow the business to continue thriving.

Luxury car dealers are reporting an uptick in customers interested in paying for vehicles with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. While many dealers are hesitant to accept crypto payments due to their unfamiliarity, dealers such as Florida-based Marino Performance Motors are partnering with firms such as California-based Digital Asset Investment Management to conduct these transactions in a seamless and reliable manner. Digital Investment Management firms say dealers normally receive cash within an hour and then can decide how much liquidity they need right away, with many choosing to leave some of the cash in digital assets. Cryptocurrencies have often been viewed as risky and confusing, but consumers are now looking to use them more as payment for all kinds of goods and services.

News & Opinion:

transactionsDealership M&A transactions continue into the new year
After arguably the busiest year in dealership M&A activity ever, the transactions are continuing as the first quarter of 2022 just gets underway. Gee Automotive Companies has acquired the dealership assets in Dick’s Auto Group in the Pacific Northwest, and SuperStore Auto Group has purchased three Delray stores in Delray Beach, FL. Both transactions were represented by DCG Acquisitions and continue to consolidate dealerships across the nation. Terms of either deal were not disclosed. Read More

5 simple ways to improve customer retention and satisfaction
If your clients aren’t happy with your services, you won’t be able to keep up with the other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are essential for your service center’s success and profitability. Consider customer satisfaction the foundation on which everything else should be built. With these simple ways to improve client retention and satisfaction, you can keep customers happy while focusing on other growth tactics. According to Harris Interactive, 89% of customers have previously switched to doing business with a competitor after a bad customer experience. One small mistake with the way you deal with your clients can lead to them jumping ship and visiting a new service center. Read more

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CBT News
CBT News
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