Latest Online Edition  Read Here

Michigan State Police and the Secretary of the State continue to go after crooked automobile dealers and repair shops with the support of industry groups.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recently updated The Michigan Independent Automobile Dealers Association on the work during an industry event.

He praised the Michigan IADA dealers for being examples of how auto dealerships should operate.

“You’re the good guys,” she said to Michigan IADA members. “You’re the guys who get a bad reputation when you have other people out there cheating and doing fraudulent things.”

Johnson said that issues with washed titles, unlicensed dealers and insurance fraud became too much of a problem so she created thee Office of Investigative Services in 2015. She tapped Darryl Hill, a 26-year veteran from the Michigan State Police, to lead the unit.

“We told him, ‘Go after the bad guys,’” Johnson said. “Because how can good guys ever compete with bad guys?”

Since then, the police have obtained nearly 350 warrants against unlicensed repair shops and fraudulent dealers.

The unit has shut down 62 illegitimate car dealerships and 48 repair shops.

For example, a Genesee County dealer was arrested for allegedly forging a police officer’s signature on vehicle inspection documents. In another case, A Sylvan Lake dealer was arrested on charges of forging more than 300 U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents.

Two Alpena dealerships were suspended for failing to provide records and maintaining properly assigned titles. They also had VIN numbers concealed or removed.

Johnson urged dealers to contact the Secretary of State if they are aware of any fraud going on.

Other issues are on the table as well.

“Fighting back against title fraud is at the top of my list,” Johnson said. “The crime costs $11. 3 billion every year in the United States.”

Johnson said the state is using both technology and legislation to fight back. A new system, called Customer and Automotive Records System (CARS), combines Michigan’s millions of driver and vehicle records into one system.

An electronic lien and title system is also in the works.

“I know how hard it hits people when someone sells a car fraudulently with a washed title,” she said.

Johnson said drivers with no car insurance remain a big problem.

A study showed that 39 percent of drivers in the state are driving without valid insurance. One out of 10 is likely to have fraudulent insurance.

“We had some guy out in the parking lot once with his laptop and a printer,” Johnson said. “People were paying him through the window and he was printing sheets off saying they were insured.

“If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.”

Johnson said the state is fighting back with insurance information it shares with law enforcement and shutting down bogus insurance providers.

“Since 2015, we’ve reviewed 1.3 million policies that were unable to be verified,” she said.

Published in Spotlight
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 23:47

CarMax Expands in Northwest

CarMax Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the company’s third store in the Seattle market.
The store is located at 3751 E. Valley Rd. in Renton and has the capacity to stock approximately 300 used vehicles.
In celebration of the Renton store grand opening, CarMax and The CarMax Foundation awarded $15,000 in donations and grants to the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. Support for this organization came at the recommendation of the Renton CarMax associates.
CarMax will also be donating an Imagination Playground valued at more than $15,000 to the South Park Community Center, through its partnership with Kaboom to make play more accessible to children and families.

Published in News Now
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 23:45

Shoppers Set to Spend on Cars

After a relatively light post-summer dip, total traffic to dealership websites is once again on the rise, growing by 3 percent in October from September.
That is the main finding from’s November Dealer DataView index, which captures year-to-date data through Oct. 31. The index showed that vehicle detail page (VDP) views, a strong indicator of sales intent, also rose by 2 percent last month.
Taken together, these trends suggest a relatively robust selling climate this fall, as dealers gear up for a Black Friday and Cyber Monday jump in activity. However, insights from last year regarding credit application volume – a leading indicator of purchase intent – suggest that dealers have a compelling reason to prioritize Black Friday over the rest of the holiday weekend.
Dealertrack data from 2016 revealed a nearly 40 percent rise in credit applications on Black Friday compared to other Fridays in that month, while Cyber Monday registered only a 2.6 percent growth over other Mondays in November.
The November DataView index confirms that engagement trends remained remarkably consistent with 2017's overall pattern of increased mobile traffic and SUV popularity. Mobile traffic is holding steady month over month, accounting for 57 percent of total visits in October. SUVs remained the most popular body style at 35 percent of all VDP views.
Search advertising cost-per-click (CPC), another bellwether for demand, climbed for the third consecutive month and is now averaging $3.51 nationally, with a fairly wide regional spread. The East South Central region registered the lowest CPC at $2.96, while the Mid-Atlantic region commanded a CPC rate of $3.81. Advertising decision-makers may once again need to adjust their budget to account for this continuing upward trend.

Published in News Now
Monday, 20 November 2017 20:31

Lease Incentives Increase unveiled results of its latest survey on incentives, with dealers saying they’re offering roughly the same incentives on financed vehicles in 2017 compared to last year, but are offering three times as much incentives on lease deals today versus a year ago. presented an online survey to approximately 550 dealers across the U.S. during the end of October asking about what kind of incentives they’re offering on financed and leased deals. 
More than 50 percent of dealers said they averaged $1,500 per vehicle incentives for financed deals in 2016, and that number jumped to 60 percent in 2017. However, 44 percent of dealers polled said they offered an average of $500 per vehicle incentives on leased deals in 2016, whereas 58 percent in 2017 said that number was $1,500 on lease incentives.

Published in Breaking News
Monday, 20 November 2017 20:30

Nissan Recalls Versas for Spring Corrosion

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling 1,117 2012 Versa Hatchback vehicles that were sold or ever registered in the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 
Road salt may corrode the front coil springs; possibly resulting in the coil springs fracturing. 
Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace both front coil springs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Nov. 27. 
This campaign expands recall 15V573.

Published in Breaking News

America’s Car-Mart reported net earnings of $6 million for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from $5 million for prior year quarter.
Revenues were $149 million compared to $150 million for the prior year quarter. The current quarter includes a $1.7 million increase in interest income and same-store revenue increase of 0.6 percent.
Sales volume productivity was flat with 28.4 retail units sold per store per month.
Average retail sales price decreased $73 from the prior year quarter to $10,418.
Gross profit margin percentage increased to 42 percent from 41.4 percent for the prior year quarter.
Collections as a percentage of average finance receivables decreased to 12.2 percent from 12.6 percent for the prior year quarter.  The weighted average contract term increased to 32.5 months from 31.7 from the prior year quarter and decreased from 32.6 for the July 31 quarter.
Net charge-offs as a percent of average finance receivables were 7.5 percent, down from 7.7 percent for prior year quarter.
Accounts over 30 days past due decreased to 4.1 percent from 4.8 percent at Oct. 31, 2016.
Average percentage of finance receivables current was 80 percent, flat from Oct. 31, 2016.
Provision for credit losses was 29.7 percent of sales vs. 29.6 percent for prior year quarter.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were 18.2 percent of sales vs. 17 percent for prior year quarter.

Published in Latest News
Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:44

Cox Salutes Porsche Exec for Charity Work

Cox Automotive presented its 2017 Community Impact Award to Heather Pullen, national remarketing manager, Porsche Cars North America.
This award, sponsored by Manheim, honors remarketing industry leaders for their outstanding contributions to the community and the innovative ways they collaborate with community partners to help further their missions.
Pullen is an avid polo player, and she and her husband, Randy Pullen, formed a charity in 2016 named Pony Up For A Cause. This charity was designed to give back to local charities in the Atlanta area by raising money through an annual polo event produced by Pony Up For A Cause.
Pony Up For A Cause partners with Atlanta Ronald McDonald House (ARMHC) to support its mission in the local community. ARMHC provides temporary housing and support services to families who travel far from home to get treatment for their children facing a medical crisis. Since its inception, Pony Up For A Cause has raised more than $30,000 for ARMHC.
For her leadership and commitment to making a difference through community service, Pullen's charity Pony Up For A Cause will receive a $10,000 donation from Cox Automotive to further its work in the Atlanta area.

Published in Latest News

Indian Motorcycles Co. is recalling 2,096 2017-18 Chief, Chief Classic, Chief Dark Horse, Chief Vintage, Chieftain, Chieftain Classic, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Elite, Chieftain Limited, Springfield, and Springfield Dark Horse motorcycles.
These motorcycles may be equipped with a European-market, not U.S.-market, halogen headlight assembly. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."
Indian will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the motorcycle and replace any incorrect headlight assembly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November.
Indian's number for this recall is I-17-03.

Published in Compliance News
Thursday, 16 November 2017 23:40

Hurricanes Continue to Lift Wholesale Prices

Average wholesale prices in October were down only modestly month-over-month and up year-over-year, bolstered by lingering impacts from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in October averaged $10,977. That is down 0.6 percent compared to September and up 4.2 percent relative to October 2016.  
Prices were flat or down on a month-over-month basis for all model class segments, but were up year-over-year for all but full-size cars.
Prices were up on an annual basis even when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment.

Published in Auctions

 Manufacturers have been increasing incentives all year and next Friday could see them sweetening their deals even more to move vehicles off their dealers’ lots.

And consumers seem ready to respond.

Black Friday is one of the biggest car shopping holidays of the year, accounting for 15 percent of total November car sales, according to Edmunds.

According to a new study, 18 percent of car shoppers said they're more inclined to visit a dealership on Black Friday because they have free time and they consider a fun way to spend the day. But 74 percent of those shoppers said they're more inclined to visit a dealership on Black Friday specifically as a result of special deals and promotions.

“With deals aplenty, shoppers have good reason to go car shopping," said Jennifer Newman,'s editor-in-chief.

"We're seeing solid incentives from a number of different manufacturers. If you are already in the market for a new car, you might want to consider hitting your local dealership lots this Black Friday instead of waiting in long lines at your nearest big-box store. “

Edmunds research shows that Black Friday is one of the biggest car shopping holidays of the year, accounting for 15 percent of total November car sales. 

"Incentives reached near-record levels in October, so we expect automakers to continue to sweeten savings as the year winds down," said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds. "With slower sales of 2017 model year vehicles, automakers and dealers are more likely to leverage fully the Black Friday holiday as an opportunity to thin bloated inventories to make room for 2018 models."

Kia is offering some of the biggest incentives, according to

Kia is offering shoppers $1,500 off the 2018 Optima and $3,000 off the 2017 model. Kia is also offering a $3,000 to $4,000 discount on the 2018s.

Hyundai offers $3,000 off its 2018 Elantra sedans and $1,000 off on the hatchback model, the Elantra GT.

Shoppers can expect to save between $2,150 and $5,000 on certain 2017 Ford vehicles. 

Additional incentives are being offered for buyers who finance their purchases through these manufacturers’ captive finance arm.

Published in Dealers
Page 1 of 33
Incoming NAAA President Praises Flexibility of Auction Industry

Incoming NAAA President Praises Flexibility of Auction Industry

Jerry Hinton, general manager of ADESA Portland, is the incoming president of the National Auto Auction Association. He has been married to Dawn for 33 years. They have two children,...

Copart Launches Annual Contest

Copart Launches Annual Contest

Copart Inc. announced the launch of its third annual Copart Rebuild Challenge. The Annual Copart Rebuild Challenge is a contest designed for car enthusiasts and auto rebuilders to show how...