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Weekly roundup: New car prices fall, hybrid demand rises, Asbury acquisition, UAW labor disputes

Earlier this week: New car prices saw a decline in November, with Tesla being the most affected. Hybrid vehicles are gaining momentum as manufacturers balance the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) with consumer demand and regulatory compliance. Asbury Automotive Group notably expanded its portfolio with a $1.2 billion acquisition of Jim Koons Automotive Companies. Additionally, the number of electric vehicles in dealerships has significantly increased. In labor news, the United Auto Workers union has filed charges against Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen for alleged unfair labor practices. Here’s a closer look at these top stories and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Average new car prices declined in November to 98.3% of MSRP as incentives and discounts rose sharply from last year.1. New car prices drop in November as incentives rise, Tesla hit hardest

New car prices trended lower in November as the economy continued its post-pandemic balancing act, benefiting consumers but challenging dealer and automaker earnings. According to data from Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book, the average new car price was $48,247 in November, rising marginally from October but falling 1.5% year-over-year. Average transaction prices (ATP) lost ground even as the average manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) gained an extra percentage point from last year. As a result, buyers were paying 98.3% of their new vehicle’s MSRP last month. Read More

Several car makers may produce hybrid vehicles to meet demand and comply with federal regulations on fuel economy and emissions.2. Hybrid cars gain traction as automakers navigate EV transition

Several car makers are more closely considering producing hybrid cars and trucks to meet consumers’ growing demand and avoid incurring penalties from federal fuel economy and emissions regulations. Automakers are investing in all-electric vehicles to increase their prevalence on American roads. However, the evolving shift contradicts the industry-wide promotion of EVs encouraged by the Biden administration. Hybrid cars have the potential to assist the auto industry in reducing short-term fuel and emissions while easing consumers into the electrification of their vehicles. These cars mix conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) with EV battery technology. Read More

Asbury completes $1.2 billion acquisition of Jim Koons dealership group.
Koons Woodbridge Buick GMC

3. Asbury completes $1.2 billion acquisition of Jim Koons dealership group

Asbury Automotive Group has now fully acquired Jim Koons Automotive Companies, one of the largest privately-owned dealership groups in the U.S., for $1.2 billion. The sale brings 20 dealerships representing 29 franchises under the Asbury Automotive umbrella, including one of the top-performing U.S. Toyota storefronts and six collision centers. The $1.2 billion price tag was comprised of $740 million in goodwill and $420 million in real estate, leasehold improvements, vehicle and parts inventory and fixed assets. According to its website, Asbury Automotive operates 139 new car storefronts across 14 states alongside seven used car dealerships. The company announced its plans to acquire Jim Koons Automotive this September. Read More

Since 2020, the share of new car dealers selling electric vehicles has risen from 16.5% to 55.1%, defying market headwinds and slow demand.4. Number of new car dealers selling electric vehicles triples from 2020

More than half of all car dealers are selling electric vehicles in 2023, according to automotive data platform iSeeCars. Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, the number of non-Tesla dealers selling new electric vehicles has risen more than 200% while their share of the market has risen 800%. Non-Tesla EV retailers now account for 55.1% of the total dealership population compared to only 16.5% three years ago. Although the pace of adoption remains slower in the preowned market, almost a third of used car dealers are also now selling EVs, up from 17.1% in late 2020. Read More

On Dec 11, the UAW Union filed unfair labor practice charges against Hyundai, Honda, and Volkswagen for interfering with organizing workers.5. UAW files charges against Honda, Hyundai, and VW alleging unfair labor practices

The United Auto Workers Union has filed unfair labor practice charges against Hyundai, Honda, and Volkswagen with the National Labor Relations Board. The charges accuse the automakers of unlawfully interfering with organizing workers.  UAW claims management at three locations engaged in unlawful “union-busting” as workers organize to join the UAW: Honda in Greensburg, Indiana; Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama; and Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The allegations follow the start of an unprecedented organizing campaign at 13 manufacturers earlier this month that covers 150,000 autoworkers. Read More

Karl Brauer joins Inside Automotive to share his insights into the 2023 electric vehicle market and where the segment is headed.6. Why the electric vehicle market is taking forever to grow — Karl Brauer |

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Karl Brauer, executive analyst at Brauer has spent years analyzing the car business and helping industry insiders form their strategies with expert insights into consumer trends. Recently, has reviewed this year’s data to determine where the electric vehicle market stands ahead of the new year and where it may be headed. Now, Brauer discusses this research and how it affects dealers across the country. Watch Here

F&I department | Cory Collins7. How dealers can successfully navigate changes in the F&I department – Cory Collins

A vital role of the F&I department is customer education. However, procedures and training in this domain have undergone substantial changes. On the latest episode of Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Cory Collins, a national F&I trainer for Automotive Reinsurance Concepts and speaker. Collins delves into how much has changed and which factors still impact the F&I department. Watch Here

Joining us on the latest episode of Inside Automotive is Jen Suzuki, sales trainer and the president of eDealer Solutions. 8. Adapting your sales strategies to the current retail automotive market – Jen Suzuki

The retail automotive sales industry has been facing several challenges, including changes in customer behavior and rising interest rates. As the year draws to a close, we are taking a look back at the good, the bad, and everything in between. Joining us on the latest episode of Inside Automotive is Jen Suzuki, sales trainer and the president of eDealer Solutions. Watch Here 

The EV mandate, among other challenges, caught Lusk's attention as a significant initiative that substantially impacted the industry.9. EV mandates, affordability concerns are challenging the auto industry – Cody Lusk | AIADA

As we reflect on the year 2023, we recognize that dealers have been met with a myriad of challenges and successes along the way. Today, our spotlight is on international nameplate dealers adhering to diverse regulatory standards. Joining us on the latest episode of Inside Automotive is Cody Lusk, President and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). Watch Here

Dealer association presidents share their thoughts concerning the Hyundai-Amazon partnership and the White House's electric vehicle push.10. Dealer association presidents react to Hyundai-Amazon partnership and Biden EV push

The last year has been one of the busiest for dealer associations as the industry grapples with a host of unprecedented events, some of which could permanently change the face of the car business. From shifts in government policy, such as the Biden Administration’s efforts to restrict sales of gas-powered models and boost electric vehicle adoption, to moves that may threaten the franchise system, such as Amazon’s plan to sell Hyundai vehicles online in 2024, state dealer organizations have played a critical role as representatives of the retail automotive community.

To learn more about these events from an industry leader’s perspective, CBT News assembled a panel of four dealer association presidents representing the Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) group, which has been heavily involved in the Amazon-Hyundai partnership and the Biden Administration’s electric vehicle policies. Watch Here

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