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CBT automotive newscast: October 21, 2020

Today’s Featured Interview:

How AutoNation’s DRV PNK initiative continues to drive out cancer
DRV PNKFor five years AutoNation has stepped up, alongside cancer-fighting charities, and made the fight part of their culture with their DRV PNK movement. AutoNation and the DRV PNK initiative has become an inspiration to thousands of other dealers across the country to help fight cancer. We’re joined now by some of AutoNation’s leadership Marc Cannon, executive vice president and chief customer experience officer at AutoNation, David Koehler, eastern region president at AutoNation, and we also have a special guest joining us today, a five-year breast cancer survivor herself, Susan Miller, who is a marketing Specialist at AutoNation. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Sonic Automotive is expanding its EchoPark used-car program into the Volunteer State. On Monday, the retailer announced its plans to open an EchoPark retail store in the city of Nashville. The new store is in line with the company’s goal to expand a network of 140 EchoPark retail stores across the country. The newest retail store in Nashville is a redesigned former Sonic franchised dealership. It is the first EchoPark in the state of Tennessee and the thirteenth overall addition for the company.

With demand high and supply low, buyers are willing to travel hundreds of miles to get the vehicle they are looking for. Consumers are also willing to pay more for a used-vehicle than ever before, especially for used pickup trucks. According to Tom Kontos, chief economist for KAR Global analytics research, the average price for a full-size pickup hit a record high of $21,557 this month. That’s up 31.5% since February. With new vehicle inventory low, people are crossing state lines to find used-vehicles with the features they want. According to CNBC, car buyers are willing to drive as far as 23 hours from home to find the right car to fit their needs.

Tesla is saying goodbye to its one-week return and refund policy. The policy has been a staple of Tesla’s customer service experience for a long time. Tesla buyers could return the vehicle within seven days and receive 100% of their money back. However, the EV maker has now removed the return policy from its website and has replaced it with a redirect link that returns users to Tesla’s homepage. The reason for scrapping the policy is still unknown. According to a report from Electrek, new owners interested in a return will now be funneled to a Tesla service department.

In the first fifteen days of October, wholesale prices continue to grow. According to a mid-month report from Cox Automotive, wholesale used vehicle prices increased 0.9% in the first half of the month compared to September. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 162.7, a 16% percent increase from October of 2019. The report also noted that used supply is starting to stabilize around normal levels, and luxury cars and pickup trucks continue to outperform the overall market.

News Stories & Opinion:

General MotorsMajor announcement Tuesday by General Motors focuses on EV development
On Tuesday, Oct 20, General Motors held a virtual media event to announce a multi-billion-dollar investment into six of their manufacturing facilities. At the heart of the announcement is a transition for the Spring Hill, TN assembly plant to begin manufacturing the electric-powered Cadillac LYRIQ. Read More

marketingTips for effective vehicle merchandising and marketing
You can prepare a steak and potato dinner in two ways. One is to meticulous cook the steak and potato, arrange it beautifully on a plate, and serve it with love and care. The other way is to throw a raw piece of steak and uncooked potato on a table. They have the same nutritional value, but one is more appetizing than the other. It’s all in the presentation. Read More

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