CBT automotive newscast: September 21, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

marketCBT News Market Update: Doug Wilson, Wilson Auto Group & Mark Conner, LotLinx
Welcome to another edition of the CBT News Market Update. To quickly recap this week’s numbers, new car sales came out to a retail SAAR of 12.13 this week, a 14.8% dip from 13.38 in the previous year. Inventory stock levels among all new vehicles were down 18.4% from 2019, while used car levels were up 7.8%. New-vehicle sales hit 261,746 this week, a 19.3% drop from last year when the inventory sold was 324,184. Used-vehicle sales sat at 181,446, a 5.9% increase from the year prior’s total of 171,323. 

Here to break down these sales results and how these numbers reflect larger industry trends is Mark Conner, Chief Retail Strategy Officer at LotLinx alongside Doug Wilson, CEO of the Wilson Auto Group. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, doubled down on GM’s deal with Nikola even after the company was accused of fraud. Barra said that GM has done its “appropriate diligence” when forming the partnership. While many have thought that this deal would go up in flames for GM, David Whiston, market analyst from Morningstar, believes GM isn’t taking a financial risk with its investment in Nikola. Whiston told Detroit Free Press, “even though there isn’t much financial risk right now because the deal is initially cashless for gm, it still looks really bad optics-wise should Nikola be charged with criminal fraud or go bankrupt. But as a GM analyst, I’d rather have that risk than GM actually waste billions of dollars buying Nikola stock.”

Former chairman of NADA, Dale Willey, passed away last week. Willey started his career working for his father’s dealership in 1961. He purchased his first store in 1970, when he bought a Pontiac-Cadillac dealership in Lawrence, Kansas. Willey once served as president of the Kansas Automobile Dealers Association and served as chairman of NADA in 2007. Willey was 79 years old.

Cadillac dealers are going to have to make a sizeable investment to sell electric vehicles on their lots. Rory Harvey, Cadillac’s vice president of sales told Automotive News that the company will require dealers to make a $200,000 investment into their facilities if they plan on selling electric Cadillacs. Dealers who choose not to make the investment will have to part ways with General Motors’ luxury division.

A Washington car dealership found a way to make something positive come out of a costly accident. Four cars on the Country Chevrolet Buick lot in Colville, Washington were damaged late last week after a log truck rolled over onto the vehicles. The cost of the damages amounted to around $140,000 according to the owner. However, instead of getting down about the accident, owner Corey Fitzgerald used the accident to connect with potential customers over social media. The dealership posted pictures of the damaged vehicles on Facebook for a caption contest. Participants could post their captions for a chance to win a cash prize. One of the entries read, “this would be a perfect family car!” and another said, “cars so eco friendly even the trees love ‘em.”

News Stories & Opinion:

serviceHow your service department can improve the trade-in process
The vehicle trade-in process has evolved a lot over time. One of the biggest changes is that there used to be a lot more room for error.  In the past, an under-informed buyer was more likely to fall for a low-ball figure, and if reconditioning got too high, there was usually a sucker who would pay more than the car is worth to help bail you out. Read More

dealerHow an unsafe vehicle traced to Georgia independent dealer serves as warning
Channel 2 Action News published a story on Thursday of a vehicle sold to a retail customer that had been improperly repaired after a collision. The 2015 Toyota 4Runner had been purchased from an independent dealership in 2018 and, after discovering the SUV had not been fitted with replacement side impact airbags after a collision, the owner returned the vehicle to the dealer. 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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