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Analysts Warn about Dangers of Rising Incentives

Additional concerns about rise of leasing, dropping credit scores.

by on Apr.01, 2016

Analysts warn that creeping incentives, increased leasing and lower credit scores for buyers are potential threats to automaker profits.

Car makers are expected to report strong sales again when the numbers for March are posted even as concerns about the industry’s future prospects increase.

In addition, analysts are now predicting that new-vehicle sales will match or surpass those of 2015, when the industry set an all-time sales record

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The concerns, however, revolve around the steady growth of leasing, which is reaching an all-time high, and the declining credit scores of buyers, according to a presentation J.D. Power & Associates presented this week at the National Automobile Dealers Conference in Las Vegas. (more…)

NADA Slams Volkswagen for Horn’s ‘Resignation’

Group says move puts dealers on edge.

by on Mar.14, 2016

Before he resigned, former VW of America chief Michael Horn expressed appreciation to buyers who remained loyal to the brand in October.

The National Auto Dealers Association, the expansive trade association that represents car dealers across the U.S., criticized Volkswagen AG’s decision to push out Volkswagen of America Chief Executive Officer Michael Horn.

NADA, which usually limits its criticism of carmakers to attacking any deviation from the franchise dealer business model, said Horn’s departure in the middle of the emission scandal is bound to make the situation worse not better.

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Horn resigned last week in what was described as a “mutual agreement.” It was effective immediately. (more…)

Dealers Ready to Go to War Over Mandatory Showroom Upgrades

“Where’s the payoff?” asks head of national dealer group.

by on Oct.20, 2011

Cadillac is one of many makers who have laid out detailed showroom redesigns dealers are expected to implement.

When Ford Motor Co. officials began pulling together plans to revive the long-struggling Lincoln brand one of the first moves was to advise dealers they’d need to redesign their showrooms – again.  And Lincoln isn’t unique, from high-line brands like Mercedes-Benz to mainstream marques such as Chevrolet, automakers regularly roll out expansive – and expensive programs intended to reflect brand values with dealer redesigns that can run millions of dollars for even a small, rural showroom.

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Now, however, dealers may be ready to tell manufacturers that without a clear payoff they can take their blueprints and shove ‘em.  The National Automobile Dealers Association, the nation’s largest automotive franchise group, has commissioned a study designed to see whether such projects really pay off or are nothing more than an extension of brand ego.

“We need to get down to rhyme and reason, legitimate facts and figures,” said NADA Chairman Steven Wade, himself a Utah mega-dealer who has been asking for answers every time automakers have demanded he upgrade his various showrooms.