Today’s Featured Interview:

Lexus of Lehigh ValleyLexus of Lehigh Valley CEO Peter Cooper on the important friction point that all dealers will face post-COVID
Digital retailing has been a critical tool for dealers who have dealt with in-store restrictions throughout 2020. Many wonder if its impact has staying power or if the industry will shift back to traditional retailing once the pandemic subsides. We spoke with Peter Cooper, who runs the very successful Lexus of Lehigh Valley, about the impact of digital retailing and what it could mean for the industry moving forward. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

FCA is expanding the marketing reach of the Jeep nameplate with a little help from Amazon. FCA and Amazon have reached an agreement to sell Jeep-branded merchandise on the world’s largest retailing platform. The auto brand now has its own storefront within the online retailer, helping the brand reach new heights. Marissa Hunter, FCA’s head of marketing said the Jeep store gives fans and followers the opportunity to embrace the Jeep lifestyle by offering hundreds of officially licensed merchandise. The move comes at a pivotal time, as Amazon expects high volume traffic today for Cyber Monday shoppers.

Bill Ford has been named Automotive News’ industry leader of the year. Ford was awarded the honor for his tremendous effort and leadership during the pandemic. Back in March, Ford was instrumental in unifying Detroit’s three major auto groups by organizing a conference call to strategize how to navigate the pandemic. Throughout the year, Ford has remained engaged by hosting weekly town halls through video from his home. He has worked tirelessly to ensure communication stays intact for his company, allowing Q&A sessions with employees on a frequent basis. Ford said that his work is focused on long term implications as he works to ensure a bright future for his children and grandchildren.

Last week, Carvana opened its 27th car vending machine in the city of Atlanta. The new location is the auto retailer’s tallest location in the United States, standing 12 stories high with a 43-vehicle capacity. Customers can shop more than 20,000 vehicles, finance, purchase, trade-in, and schedule next-day pickup at the new Atlanta location. Carvana now operates car vending machines across 15 states and offers as-soon-as-next-day delivery to customers in 263 U.S. cities.

On Friday, the Ford Mustang Mach-E gave fans a tease from four of the most iconic sports figures in the world. Football legend Peyton Manning, champion golfer Phil Mickelson, NBA hall of famer Charles Barkley, and NBA all-star Steph Curry all arrived for their special broadcast golf tournament in the new Mach-E. While none of the sports icons actually own the electric SUV, Ford confirmed that the vehicles were ‘near-production’ models that were part of an unsold fleet. Ford was a premier sponsor of the charity event called, ‘the match: champions for change.’ The sponsorship came at a perfect time for Ford as the automaker plans to begin delivery to consumers in December.

News Stories & Opinion:

AIThe coming importance of AI in automotive retail
Have world events changed the automotive funnel and purchase experience forever? Recent trends would indeed seem to point to a disruption in the process. At best, you’ll have to change how you interact with your customers to provide them what they want. Right now, it seems that they want to work with artificial intelligence, and AI may be one of the paths you’ll take towards better CSI scores and better profit. It won’t be long until one of your customers says the following: “Alexa, schedule my 10,000-mile service and set up a test drive for the newest SUV EV with Jon’s AutoPlaza.” Love it or hate it, Amazon has spawned copycats, brought improvements to competitors in every industry, and changed many of the ways we choose to interact with shopping. Read More

communityHow dealers can drive community involvement into the holiday season
Having come through one of the most peculiar Thanksgiving holidays in history as the US continues to battle COVID-19 outbreaks, the automotive industry remains surprisingly strong. TrueCar and ALG are forecasting that retail sales through November 2020 will be higher than a year ago by 2.9% when adjusted for selling days – a remarkable feat by any means. Despite the resurgence in auto sales, many community members are still suffering as job losses and economic uncertainty have taken a toll. Read more

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

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.