CBT Automotive Newscast: July 31, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

NADA’s Peter Welch Addresses the Lack of Black Representation in Auto Retail
Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, injustices against the black community have been brought back into the spotlight. The Black Lives Matter movement has spearheaded a call to action to address the inequities black people continue to suffer in our country. Like many industries, automotive retail is not immune to the pervasive existence of inequality. Dealer Groups, OEMs, and Association leaders must be willing to recognize that black lives do indeed matter. Collectively, the industry has to be held accountable to past missteps and pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive future. Here to help us address the current state of the auto industry on this very important issue is Peter Welch, President of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Watch the full interview here.

Top Headlines: 

We begin our show with dealers doing good in their community. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association announced that 300,000 dollars in grants will be given to eight nonprofit organizations providing services to children and youth in southeast Michigan. The DADA’s charitable foundation fund was created in 1998 with over 6.7 million dollars given to more than 160 organizations.
Source: WXYZ Detroit

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, digital initiatives have continued expanding. Cox Automotive is eliminating 1,600 positions in North America in a reorganizing effort. The cut comes in the midst of leadership realignment as long-time CEO Sandy Schwartz will take on a new role within Cox Enterprises and Steve Rowley is scheduled to step in as president of Cox Automotive beginning Monday.

July sales are predicted to look weak, when the numbers release next week, as the nation experiences another rise in COVID-19 cases. Cox senior economist Charlie Chesbrough is expecting auto sales volume to be down 19 percent versus last year’s levels. Chesbrough also believes numbers could improve from June as lockdown restrictions continue to loosen.
Source: The Detriot Bureau

Sonic Automotive reported growth in 2nd quarter ESP numbers. The company reported that earnings per diluted share were 71 cents for Q2, a jump from 62 cents this time last year. CEO David Smith said the momentum Sonic picked up in June has carried on throughout July to date.

News Stories & Opinion:

APEAL studyJ.D. Power APEAL Study Reveals What Drives Customer Satisfaction
Regardless of which make or model a car shopper is interested in, quality in manufacturing remains the qualifier. A well-laid-out interior, performance that meets or exceeds expectations, and the standards by which a vehicle is assembled are all either conscious or subconscious benchmarks that a vehicle must pass. The 2020 J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution, And Layout (APEAL) Study discovers which models customers are most satisfied with. For 2020, the U.S. APEAL study took findings into consideration from 87,282 car owners of current model-year vehicles. They were asked 37 questions related to their level of excitement and emotional attachment after the first 90 days they owned the vehicle. Read More

digitalHow Digital Tools are Empowering Dealers to Keep Calm and Carry On
Any time that the automotive industry is faced with turmoil, the pressure is instantly applied for dealers to remain top of mind for consumers. During the 2008 recession, and now even more amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a strong marketing message and understanding of the variations in every consumers’ purchase journey is proving to be what will ultimately prevent dealers from falling behind in sales and loyalty. Data helps fuel this understanding, and when paired with the right tools and consumer industry insights from both the past and present, the opportunities for dealerships are endless. Read More


Did you enjoy today’s automotive newscast? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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