CBT automotive newscast: September 22, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

MB dealer Gregory Baranco says ‘manufacturers need to step up’ their diversity efforts
While there are over 18,000 dealers in the country, only 265 dealerships are owned by African Americans. The lack of black representation and the growth of diversity in automotive has hindered the industry generation after generation. Today, we’re joined by Gregory Baranco, President and CEO of Baranco Automotive Group here in Atlanta, who has a rich history in the industry to discuss the state of the industry as well as how the industry is faring with diversity from his perspective.  Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Trevor Milton, executive chairman of Nikola, is voluntarily stepping down from both his position and his spot on the company’s board. The company announced the acceptance of Milton’s resignation on Monday. The electric truck maker noted that Milton’s replacement would be Stephen Girsky, former vice president of General Motors and a member of Nikola’s board. Many are wondering if this change in leadership will mend the damaged reputation of Nikola.

Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iseecars.com, doesn’t believe so. Regarding the change in leadership, Brauer said, “there’s now a perception of Nikola, misleading investors, and business partners, and this perception has overshadowed the value Nikola brings to the GM partnership, at least in the near term. The long-term benefits of alignment between GM and Nikola can still materialize, but until they do it’s a black eye for both companies.”

For the first time in eleven years, Hyundai Motors and its South Korean union have reached a tentative agreement to freeze wages pending a vote on September 25th. The agreement comes as the carmaker struggles to ride out the impact of the coronavirus. According to a company statement, the two sides reached the wage deal without a strike for the second consecutive year.

Fiat Chrysler is rolling out the latest edition of its ‘built to serve’ Ram full-size pickup. The latest model of the 2021 Ram 1500 is aimed to honor the Air Force. The company paid tribute to the Army and Navy with installments that debuted back in June and November of 2019. The truck comes with aeronautical-inspired interior and exterior features, including a United States flag and ‘built to serve’ decal on each of the rear quarter panels and a 20-inch technical grey aluminum wheels and body-color wheel flares.

News Stories & Opinion:

retentionHow F&I can play a part in increasing customer retention
“How do we keep ‘em coming back?” It’s a very important question for anyone working at a dealership. Customer retention is one of the most important priorities throughout dealership operations. Service, parts, and sales all rely on repeat customers and keeping the customers from ‘cradle to grave’ as they say. In a perfect world, you sell them the car, they come back for all of their service and parts needs, and when they need another car, they come back to your store. Read More

onlineMoving marketing to an increasingly online environment
Apple’s fall product launch for the new iPad and Apple Watch moved online in 2020, and Nike launched a line of activewear in September digitally. For far-reaching product launches, global industry leaders have had to adjust their strategies to unveil new products almost exclusively online. Ford did so with the launch of the new Bronco and Mazda has done the same with the new Mazda3. 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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