CBT automotive newscast: September 18, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

Photo cred: Ownum

Bernie Moreno returns to auto retail with new digital technology
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many obstacles for auto dealers, some have found ways to create opportunities in the midst of adversity. After taking a step back from the auto industry, Bernie Moreno came back to the business in a big way when he saw an opportunity to transform the retailing experience. Moreno joined us to discuss his journey back into automotive. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Dealers along the Alabama gulf coast and Florida panhandle experienced the impact of Hurricane Sally as the storm made landfall early Wednesday. Sally hit Gulf Shores, Alabama registered as a category two hurricane with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. Gulf Shores and Pensacola, Florida experienced mass power outages and substantial flooding. Besides slight cosmetic damage, no dealer has reported severe damages or injuries at this point. Sally hits the gulf just three weeks after Hurricane Laura made landfall on the Louisiana coast.

One of the most profitable trucks on the market is experiencing historically low levels of supply. Supplies of GMC Sierra pickups on dealer lots are at 20 days or less compared to a typical supply of 75 days to 90 days according to Duncan Aldred, head of the GMC truck brand. GMC truck plants in the U.S. and Mexico were shut down for nearly two months earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic brought the second stop in production in less than a year when the 40-day UAW strike ended last October.

Wholesale prices are starting to cool this month. According to data collected by Cox Automotive, wholesale prices decreased 0.9% through the first 15 days of September. This brought the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a 16% increase from September of last year.

A Washington D.C.-based auto repair shop is bringing big smiles and a big boost to small businesses. Blair Brylawski, and his company Revit Auto are starting a movement titled, “fix it forward” to provide kind acts to small business owners in need. Brylawski’s first mission was to help a couple who had started a grocery shopping and laundry business, called Honey Doers, right before the beginning of the pandemic. The couple said they were struggling and were close to giving up when Brylawski surprised them with a new work car, complete with the Honey Doers name and phone number on the side and rear windows. The couple was overwhelmed with joy by the gesture and soon started receiving calls from potential customers not long after they started driving their new ride.

News Stories & Opinion:

automationWhy automation is a crucial tool in today’s auto industry
In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect personalized communication that speaks to their specific needs and grabs their attention. This expectation increases the number of meaningful touches needed between a customer and a sales representative. With a smaller team, how can you keep up with all the text messages, emails, Facebook messenger chats, phone calls? The answer is automation. Read More

wholesaleWholesale prices begin to normalize on usual inventory levels
Dealers may start to notice the wholesale prices at auction slip back into more familiar territory. According to Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index mid-month report for September, wholesale used vehicle prices have decreased by 0.9% in the first two weeks of the month, signaling a turnaround in the pre-owned marketplace. 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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