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New car affordability improves, Lithia makes large acquisition, retail sales increase in May

Inside Automotive

Nick Latino, Parkway ToyotaWhy dealerships must stop ‘cherry-picking’ their auto technicians — Nick Latino | Parkway Toyota
With inventory and competition back up in the new car market, now might be the time to return the focus to your fixed operations department. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Nick Latino, the Fixed Ops Director of Parkway Toyota, to tell us how things are going on the fixed operations side of his dealership. Watch the full segment here.

Top Stories

To further support affordability, median income experienced a growth of 0.3% during May. Manufacturers also offered increased incentives to entice buyers.In May, the affordability of new vehicles experienced a slight improvement compared to previous months, according to new data from Cox Automotive. This positive trend was primarily driven by solid income growth, which helped offset the impact of slightly higher prices and interest rates. While prices and rates did increase, the rise in the average monthly payment was relatively small. Read More

TrueCar appointed Jantoon Reigersman as its new CEO to turn around the struggling vehicle listings company as part of a restructuring plan.On June 12, the Santa Monica, California-based business said it would eliminate 102 jobs or 24% of its workforce. TrueCar is also appointing COO Jantoon Reigersman as its new CEO to turn around the struggling vehicle listings company as part of a restructuring. COO Reigersman, succeeds CEO Mike Darrow, who also resigned from his board post. In March 2022, Reigersman started working as the COO. But, from January 2021 to February 2023, he also served as CFO. Before that, he served as CFO for the diverse Internet, media, and e-commerce company Leaf Group. Read More

On June 13, Lithia grew its portfolio in a significant way by announcing the purchase of 13 locations from the Priority Automotive Group.On June 13, Lithia and Driveway announced its plans to grow its dealership footprint with the purchase of 13 locations from the Priority Automotive Group in Virginia, which expands its footprint in the strong-performing Mid-Atlantic Region. These stores are projected to generate more than $1.2 billion in annualized revenue. In addition, executives claim these additions will increase Lithia & Driveway’s anticipated annualized revenue acquisition to date to more than $3.2 billion. Read More

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, sales rose 0.3% rise from April to May, driven by stronger retail sales at auto and parts dealers.Despite the challenges posed by persistent inflation and rising borrowing costs, Americans increased their spending at retailers in the month of May. According to the latest U.S. Commerce Department report released on June 15, sales rose 0.3% rise from April to May, driven by stronger retail sales at auto and parts dealers, defying economists’ expectations. While retail sales have been volatile this year, experiencing a surge of nearly 3% in January followed by a decline in February and March, they rebounded in April. Read More

For Dealers

Virtual tours and contactless delivery: how to embrace digital retailing
COVID-19 changed everything, including how we shop. As a result, many industries have had to embrace online shopping. According to the National Library for Medicine, global retail e-commerce grew 26.4% to $4.248 trillion in 2020. It’s estimated that e-commerce accounted for 20.3% of sales in 2022. A 2020 Digitization of End-to-End Retail report by Cox Automotive showed the automotive industry took a similar trajectory. Seventy-four percent of franchise dealers said their customers had used digital retailing tools more since the pandemic. Read More

GM CEO Mary Barra // Image by Julia Nikhinson via Associated Press

Weekly roundup: GM’s new EV battery plant, direct-to-consumer sales banned in Florida, and Lithia acquisition
Earlier this week: General Motors announced that it will follow Ford’s lead and adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard. Florida Governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis signed a state bill protecting dealer franchise laws. Lithia adds 13 more dealerships to its robust portfolio, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news. Read More

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Anna Delvillar
Anna Delvillar
Anna is the editorial and programming coordinator at CBT News. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University. She is an enthusiastic and skilled media professional with high-caliber communication skills, and has five years of experience performing multimedia writing, editing, and publishing for automotive, tech, and small business media.

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