Mazda North American Operations is recalling 57,878 2015-16 Mazda6 vehicles. Debris from the welding process during manufacturing of the front passenger seat frame may damage the occupant classification system (OCS) wiring.
If the wiring becomes damaged, there may be a loss of power steering assist and the deactivation of the passenger air bag, increasing the risk of a crash and the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will attach a protective pad on the seat frame. If the OCS harness is damaged, insulating tape will be applied to the harness. These repairs will be performed free of charge.
The recall is expected to begin Sept. 29. Mazda's number for this recall is 1517H.
CarMax Inc. reported higher net sales and operating revenues for the quarter ended Aug. 31.
Net sales and operating revenues increased 9.7 percent to $4.39 billion.
Used unit sales in comparable stores increased 5.3 percent.
Total used unit sales rose 11.1 percent.
Total wholesale unit sales increased 0.4 percent.
CarMax Auto Finance income increased 12.5 percent to $107.9 million.
Net earnings increased 11.7 percent to $181.4 million.
The National Small Business Association released its 2017 Mid-Year Economic Report where the small-business outlook on the overall economy is at its highest point in seven years despite growing frustration over elected officials’ inability to enact needed reforms.
Among the most positive findings: 45 percent of small businesses say today’s economy is better than six months ago; 83 percent are confident in the future of their business; and the number of small-business owners who said “economic uncertainty” was a significant challenge to the future growth and survival of their business dropped to 36 percent, the lowest this indicator has been since February 2008.
Unfortunately, there were less-positive results as well: there was a drop in the number of small businesses anticipating economic expansion in the next 12 months; slightly fewer businesses reported revenue growth in the past year; and even fewer small-business owners reported hiring in the past 12 months or plans to do so in the coming 12 months.
The 2017 Mid-Year Economic Report was conducted online July 24 through Aug. 14, among 1,134 small-business owners.
The news of the hurricanes in Houston and Florida brought back some bad memories for Oklahoma dealer Roy Sisco.
Sisco, 70, had a Ford dealership in Seminole, Okla., and a couple of other buy-here, pay-here lots when he went through an historic flood. He had only owned the dealership for two years when the disaster struck.
“We’re about 60 miles east of Oklahoma City,” he said, “and we went through this back in July of ’07.
“It had been 50 years since the area had a flood like that,” he said. “The last time it had flooded was in 1954 or ’55.”
Heavy rains caused a local creek to flood and it flowed right into Sisco’s dealership.
“It had flooded the car lot. We had about a foot of water in the showroom,” he said. “So we really had some stuff going on there.”
One big problem for Sisco is he was out of town at the time.
“We were racing at the track, so I was in Tulsa at the time,” he said. “We were starting to come back home when the rain started. We had a living quarters in the race trailer, so we just pulled over and went to sleep.”
Sisco didn’t think it was a big deal, even as it rained all night long.
“Next morning, my phone was ringing and someone said, ‘Roy, you gotta’ get to Seminole, it’s flooded over there.’”
Sisco said when he arrived home, he saw flooding “a quarter-mile-wide all the way down” Oklahoma State Highway 99 and U.S. 377 to his dealership.
“It just looked like a big river,” Sisco said. “It was a kind of a sick feeling. It was a bewildered-type of feeling.
“It’s something you don’t think about and then it’s up on you. It’s just one of those deals.”
The good thing is the in-house finance lots were on higher ground in a different town.
But at the Ford lot, about 250 to 300 vehicles were damaged.
Since it was a Ford dealership, the manufacturer stepped up and took care of its damaged inventory, Sisco said.
“They took every one of their flooded vehicles out of there and crushed them,” he said.
The bad news came when Sisco inquired about his insurance.
“We had been paying for flood insurance and thought we had it,” he said. “I was a country boy and didn’t understand about insurance. But we first got the insurance policy, we had flood insurance, so I thought I was covered.”
Sisco called his local agent and the agent thought there was coverage, too.
His insurance did cover the building and some of the costs of the furniture.
“They didn’t pay a whole lot, but they did pay a little bit,” he said.
The problem was that the used inventory on his lot was not covered.
“About the third day in, my local agent came down and he was just sick. He said, ‘Roy, I hate to tell you. But they will not cover the flood.’”
Sisco said each year he gets a new policy and he signs it for the annual coverage. But at some point, the insurance company stopped carrying flood insurance.
“He pulled my policy book and we looked at it,” Sisco said. “That was about an inch thick. Right toward the end, about three pages from the back, there it was (buried at the end of the paperwork).”
Sisco said he protested the issue all the way up to the state insurance commissioner, but in the end, he was not covered for the used vehicles.
“It was about $750,000,” he said.
Sisco described his mindset when he got the news.
“If you really want to know the truth of it,” he said. “I sat down out there and just thought, ‘Now Lord, you gave me this dealership, so how am I going to get through this? How are you going to work this out so I can survive?’”
The dealership re-opened right away, but it took a while for Sisco and his business partner to get all the way back.
They sat down and made out a plan and just went to work.
On the vehicles they couldn’t collect insurance on or repair, they sold for scrap.
“On the ones that only had a little bit of water damage but didn’t get into the motor, we pulled the carpet and cleaned them,” he said. “I borrowed a lot of money and started working and it took me a long time.
“I think we finally paid it off about two years ago. We finally worked our way out of the hole.”
He understands the struggle that dealers in Houston and Florida will have to go through.
“Ain’t no doubt, they are going to be hurting,” he said. “They’re going to be doing just like we were – trying to work their way out of this.”
They face a worse challenge, Sisco said, because they will be dealing with saltwater from the ocean, as opposed to fresh water.
However, he said even these dealers have the ability to come back from this.
“What I’m saying is, son, don’t give up,” he said.
Today, Sisco still has Seminole Ford, his franchise, and has one Town and Country Auto Inc., a buy-here, pay-here store. He even has a new facility to go with his old building.
Just a month before his 71st birthday, Sisco is still working hard, but he keeps an eye on the creek, too.
“We’re doing pretty good now,” he said. “We still don’t have flood insurance, but when that creek starts rising, we start moving vehicles.”
Auto loan defaults increased to 0.95 percent in August, from 0.86 percent in July.
This is the second consecutive monthly increase.
Overall, the S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian increased to 0.86 percent in August.
The only index to decline was bankcard defaults, which dropped to its lowest level since December 2016.
Three of the five major cities saw their default rates increase.
Average wholesale prices in August were once again up largely on the strength of truck prices, although another factor could be early impacts from Hurricane Harvey, which appeared to drive prices up at the end of the month, particularly in Texas.
According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in August averaged $10,947 – up 0.6 percent compared to July and up 1.9 percent relative to August 2016. Luxury cars had a standout month, with significant average price increases on both a monthly and annual basis.
Price softening was less evident than in previous months when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment.
CarMax Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new store in Langhorne, Pa.
This is the company’s fifth location in the Philadelphia area. The store is located at 1776 E Lincoln Hwy and has the capacity to stock approximately 240 used vehicles. In celebration of the Langhorne store opening, CarMax and The CarMax Foundation awarded $8,000 in donations and grants to the Lower Bucks Family YMCA. Support for this organization came at the recommendation of the Langhorne CarMax associates.
American Honda Motor Co. is recalling 646 2008-12 Accord, 2010 and 2012 Accord Crosstour, 2006-11 Civic, 2007-11 CR-V, 2009-12 Fit and Pilot, and 2010-12 Insight vehicles that received replacement passenger frontal air bag inflators.
One dealership may have incorrectly installed the replacement air bag inflators.
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag module assembly, free of charge.
The recall is expected to begin Oct. 1.
Honda's numbers for this recall are O07, Y0A, N06, G05, M04, Y01, and O09.
More dealers feel market conditions are weakening.
The Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index fell to 45 in the third quarter, which means more dealers felt market conditions were currently weak relative to those who felt market conditions were strong.
Pricing pressure, increasing costs of doing business, declining profits, slow customer traffic and a lack of inventory, especially for independent dealers, are the factors that drive dealers to be less positive about the current market.
Dealers were more positive about the next three months. More dealers expected conditions to be strong in the future, compared to those who think conditions will be weak.
Derived from a quarterly survey that Cox Automotive issues to a representative sample of franchise and independent auto dealers, the index measures dealer perceptions of current retail auto sales and sales expectations for the next three months as “strong,” “average” or “weak.” The survey also asks dealers to rate new car sales and used car sales separately along with a variety of key drivers including consumer traffic.
Responses are used to calculate an index where any number over 50 indicates that more dealers view conditions as strong rather than weak.
CarMax Inc. is hiring to fill 50 positions for a new CarMax store in Colma, Calif., slated to open in November.
Job applicants hired for the Colma location will be the recipients of special compensation incentives and sign-on bonuses – the largest in CarMax history for these positions.
Entry-level associates are eligible for starting pay of up to $25 an hour. Additionally, all Colma associates will receive bonus compensation of $200 on every paycheck to help with cost of living expenses – a total of more than $5,000 every year.
The associates will also receive a new store bonus awarded semi-annually during the first two years of employment totaling $2,000.
Associates will receive the following sign-on bonuses for joining CarMax’s team:
$3,000 - $7,500 for automotive technicians (based on experience level)
$3,000 for sales consultants and service advisors
$1,500 for reconditioning associates