The number of private dealerships that sold in the U.S. increased 26 percent in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2017, according to a recent report by The Haig Partners.

The number increased to 106.1 from 84. The Ken Garff Automotive Group purchased full ownership of 28 dealerships from an affiliated entity, in one large transaction, that drove much of this increase. 

Excluding this transaction, the number of dealerships sold in the third quarter decreased 7 percent. The number of dealerships sold in the first nine months increased 24 percent from the same period in 2017.  

Acquisition spending in the first three quarters by publicly traded auto retailers decreased 33 percent compared to the same period in 2017. 

Carvana Co. unveiled its newest Car Vending Machine in Indianapolis.

The online auto retailer’s signature all-glass tower stands seven stories high and displays 26 vehicles. Indianapolis is now home to the first Car Vending Machine in the state and joins cities with counterparts in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Located at 8130 Summit Hill Drive, the Indianapolis Car Vending Machine is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vehicle pickup at any of Carvana’s Car Vending Machines is free for all Carvana customers.

For those who live outside of the Indianapolis metro area but would still like to pick up their car at the Vending Machine, Carvana will subsidize $200 in airfare and arrange transportation from the Indianapolis International Airport. Corp. released its 2018 CarMD Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings, with Toyota topping the list.

Published annually since 2011, this Index analyzes check engine repairs and costs to rank the 10 brands and 100 vehicles least likely to have a check engine light on; 10 makes and 100 vehicles with the lowest average repair costs; and top three vehicles by category. CarMD analyzed data from over 5.6 million in-use vehicles, model year 1996 to 2018, reporting check engine health from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept.  30, 2018.

Toyota was the brand least likely to need check engine repairs over the past year, edging out Acura and Hyundai, which rank no. 2 and no. 3 respectively.

Mazda, which ranked second last year, is now the brand with the lowest average repair cost ($286), followed by Kia ($320), Dodge ($326) and Hyundai ($328). Honda and Toyota are the only two brands to rank in the top 10 on both lists.

The 2016 Audi Q5 is the vehicle least likely to need a check engine light-related repair. The 2017 Hyundai Tucson costs the least on average ($67) to repair when the light is on, with a loose gas cap or an improperly installed intake air duct the two most common reasons the Tucson's check engine light illuminates.

Carvana Co. has expanded its presence in California with the launch of its San Francisco and San Jose markets.

Carvana now has a presence in seven California markets. The online retailer has a presence in 83 markets across the country.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling certain 2016-18 Ford Focus vehicles equipped with a 1.0L Fox GTDI engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.

The clutch may fracture, resulting in damage to the transmission assembly and possibly a transmission fluid leak.

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will update vehicles with software that detects and prevents prolonged clutch slip, and will replace the clutch, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Jan. 7.

Ford's number for this recall is 18S07. This recall is an expansion of Recall 18V-169.

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