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THE GOOD FIGHT: Paul John, executive director of the Georgia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, discusses how the association fought against state legislation that would have raised the taxes on used-car purchases.

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Used Car Sales Set to Increase in 2018

Monday, 04 December 2017 18:52 Written by
  The National Automobile Dealers Association predicts a slowdown in new-car sales next year, but an increase in used-car sales for franchise dealers. The NADA expects sales of 16.7 million new cars and light trucks in 2018.   “We expect 2018 to be a robust year,” said NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli, a multi-franchise dealer near Chicago. “NADA’s 2018 auto sales forecast is indicative of a stable, healthy market for new vehicles.   “Every dealer in America, myself included, would be thrilled with a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of above 16 million.” Scarpelli said 2017 sales are on pace for 17.1 million new cars and light trucks, in line with NADA’s original forecast of 17.1 million, which would mark only a slight decline from the back-to-back record setting years of 2015 and 2016. NADA senior economist Patrick Manzi said rising interest rates, ever-increasing loan terms and higher vehicle transaction prices will likely lead to a slower but still strong sales pace in 2018. In addition, NADA forecasts that new-car dealerships will retail 15.3 million used vehicles in 2018, compared to an expected 15.1 million used sales in 2017. The total used-vehicle market will exceed 40 million retail sales in 2018. “The influx of off-lease vehicles returning to dealerships is likely to put pressure on new-vehicle sales,” Manzi said. “However, the mix of these late-model vehicles will favor light-trucks more than past years and should be more in line with present consumer demand.”  

Private Groups Buy More Dealerships

Monday, 04 December 2017 03:34
The auto dealership buy/sell market is poised for its most active year ever, with over 200 transaction closings projected for 2017, according to The Blue Sky Report released by Kerrigan Advisors.There were 149 dealership buy/sell transactions completed in the first nine months of 2017, compared to 172 transactions in the first nine months of 2016. After hitting a plateau in 2015, buy/sell activity declined slightly in the first nine months of 2017, but is still tracking to be one of the most active years on record.Multi-dealership transactions represented one quarter of the completed sales in the first nine months of 2017. Kerrigan Advisors expects at least 51 multi-dealership transactions will close this year.Year to date, domestics’ share of the buy/sell market increased to 49 percent, up 18 percent from 2015.Non-luxury and luxury import franchises’ buy/sell market share declined.Public retailers’ U.S. acquisition spending increased 61 percent in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the first nine months of 2016.Private dealership groups represent the largest share of dealership acquirers. Of the estimated 236 franchises, which changed hands in the first nine months of the year, only 23 were acquired by public companies.Real estate, for most dealers, is their most valuable asset, far exceeding franchise value. Kerrigan Advisors estimates dealership real estate prices rose 3 percent in the first nine months of the year.

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Auto Sales Mixed Across the Country

Friday, 01 December 2017 14:02
Auto sales were mixed but, on balance, steady in the last few months, according to the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve. Dealers in upstate New York reported that demand for new vehicles remained fairly robust in October but not quite on par with September's brisk levels. However, scattered increases were reported in used vehicle sales. Vehicle inventories were said to be a bit on the high side but mostly at satisfactory levels. Retail and wholesale credit conditions have remained favorable, according to dealers.Auto dealers in the Philadelphia district reported slight declines overall in year-over-year sales this period, a retreat from the modest increases during the prior period. Dealers were hopeful for stronger sales at year-end, Dealers reported that manufacturers continued to provide incentives for dealers to sustain sales.  Growth in auto loan volumes was stronger. Year-to-date new motor vehicle sales through September rose 2 percent in the Cleveland district compared to those of a year ago. That said, auto dealers reported that they are starting to see a slowing in demand after seven consecutive years of gains. Indirect auto lending remained relatively strong.Results were mixed in the Richmond district.A South Carolina auto dealer reported robust growth. However, a Virginia auto dealer reported a drop in sales of high-end vehicles.Recent hurricanes impacted sales in a couple of districts.Auto sales in Dallas were still elevated, but the initial post-hurricane surge had begun to recede.Post Hurricane Irma, Atlanta automobile dealers noted an increase in the momentum of auto sales.Demand for auto finance in Chicago edged down, with contacts noting an uptick in delinquencies in auto loan payments. An auto dealer reported that credit had tightened noticeably for buyers with credit scores at the lower end of the subprime category. Credit card volume increased slightly and quality was unchanged.Multiple auto dealers in the St. Louis district reported a decline in sales, which have failed to meet their expectations during 2017. Memphis and Louisville dealers noted a shift in demand away from used vehicles.Demand for auto loans declined in the district for a second straight quarter, though bankers anticipate that auto lending standards could loosen modestly next quarter.Auto sales continued to fall moderately in the Minneapolis district and were well below year-ago levels. Dealer contacts anticipated a moderate pickup in sales for the months ahead.

Underpaying Chinese Technicians Costs Dealership

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 22:49
New Jersey-based Chas. S. Winner, Inc., doing business as Winner Ford of Cherry Hill and Winner Ford, will pay $150,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).The EEOC charged that since 2010, Winner Ford paid its Chinese emergency and accessory installation (EAI) technicians a lower starting wage and hourly wage than non-Chinese EAI technicians at its Cherry Hill location. Winner Ford paid starting Chinese EAI technicians up to $3 less per hour than non-Chinese EAI Technicians, even though they did the same work and some of the non-Chinese technicians had less or no relevant experience. The EEOC said that when a Chinese EAI technician complained about the wage disparity, he was reprimanded, and told that if he sought legal advice, he would be out of a job.The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.In addition to the $150,000 in lost wages and other damages to the class members, the three-year consent decree prohibits Winner Ford from discriminating based on national origin, including in compensation, or engaging in retaliation.  Winner Ford will implement and disseminate an anti-discrimination policy to all employees, applicants and new hires. Winner Ford will also provide training on federal EEO laws to all managers and employees involved in setting wages or handling discrimination complaints. It will also post a notice regarding the settlement.
Independent Dealer Travels Famous Route For Birthday

Independent Dealer Travels Famous Route For Birthday

Some people celebrate their 60th birthday with a cake and a family party. But independent dealer Guy Strohmeier instead went on a month-long hike from...

Kawasaki Recalls Motorcycles for Shock Absorbers

Kawasaki Recalls Motorcycles for Shock Absorbers

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. is recalling 2,383 2017-18 ZR900AH, ZR900BH and ZR900BJ motorcycles. The rear shock absorber tie-rod frame mount holes can become elongated if the rear shock absorber bottoms...

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