NAIAS Shifts to Fall

September 23, 2020

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced it will move its reimagined indoor and outdoor show, originally planned for summer 2021, to Sept. 28 – Oct. 9, 2021. NAIAS officials say the show is teed up to be a global powerhouse of current product and next-generation mobility combined with immersive brand activations and product engagement for both the international media and the public.

“We have talked with many of our partners, particularly the OEMs, and they are fully on board and excited about the date change,” NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said.

NAIAS will remain a fall show going forward after the inaugural event in September 2021. Show dates have already been secured with TCF Center for the next three years. NAIAS organizers secured dates toward the end of the month, in part, to be mindful of the new IAA in Munich, which is scheduled for the first full week in September.

“Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow,” Alberts said. “September is an excellent time of year for new product, and at the same time, alleviates the challenges a now crowded spring auto show calendar presents for auto show stakeholders.”

“Spreading out major auto shows is a win for everyone, particularly our partners. It gives auto companies an opportunity to give it their best at each and every show, which creates excitement for those who attend, too,” Alberts said.

NAIAS officials also plan to expand the show’s marketing reach, drawing additional show visitors from beyond the region and state. The campaign will emphasize that consumers can preview all of the latest new cars and trucks headed to dealership showrooms while also enjoying Detroit and Michigan in the fall.

“With seasonable autumn temperatures and technology and experiential activations positioned throughout the city, show visitors will be able to enjoy fall in a walkable, vibrant Motor City while embracing the future of the industry right before their eyes,” 2021 NAIAS Chairman Doug North said.

North said the September 2021 show will include the same memorable product experiences that were originally planned for the June show, including dynamic displays and experiential ride-and-drives. The NAIAS campus will include product and technology activations both inside TCF Center and throughout the city.

NAIAS will continue to host seven unique shows in one: Motor Bella, The Gallery, Press Preview, AutoMobili-D, Industry Preview, Charity Preview and Public Show.

Additionally, NAIAS is launching a new virtual thought leadership series, Q’d Up Mobility. The monthly series will provide a glimpse into what the 2021 show has queued up for guests.

EEOC Sues Lexus Dealer

September 22, 2020

Performance of Brentwood, L.P., doing business as Lexus of Cool Springs, violated federal law when it subjected a female service consultant to different terms and conditions of employment than similarly situated male co-workers and then fired her because of her sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed recently.

Performance of Brentwood, L.P. owns and operates two Lexus car dealerships in the greater Nashville area, one of which is Lexus of Cool Springs.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the company’s service director subjected women consultants to different terms and conditions of employment than similarly situated male coworkers. In his first three months on the job, the service director replaced two women service consultants with multiple male consultants. In addition, the EEOC contends, the service director approved five vacation days each for two men he had hired, despite their lack of accumulated leave time. In contrast, the EEOC charges, he fired the last remaining female service consultant, who was the department’s top performer, for “poor attendance” after she tried to use one of her earned sick days.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Performance of Brentwood, L.P., Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-00795) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages, as well as an injunction against future discrimination.

“It is unfortunate that 56 years after passage of the all-important Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers continue to deny women equal employment opportunities in the workplace,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. 

Impact Auto Auctions Ltd., the Canadian business unit of IAA, Inc announces the shift of its online auction platform Impact AuctionNow to a fully digital experience. AuctionNow was developed by IAA as an adaptive platform to allow product enhancement that is both proactive and responsive to their dynamic global market. AuctionNow is the platform used in both the Canadian and U.S. markets.

“This scalable technology allows us to build and enhance features and functionality quickly, providing an unmatched experience for our buyers,” said Maju Abraham, Chief Information Officer for IAA. “Understanding the dynamic nature of our business means we develop technology platforms that can move at the speed of our industry.”

“The foundation of AuctionNow features adaptive technology, so shifting all Impact branch locations from a physical to digital experience was seamless,” said Blair Earle, Managing Director of Impact. “Client feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and our business did not miss a beat.”

The proprietary AuctionNow platform was developed by IAA, Inc., giving the company full autonomy to continuously enhance the global buyer experience based on customer suggestions and recommendations.

 

Manheim expanded its Digital Block sales this month, adding seven more locations. Digital Block sales offer in-lane bidding with a live auctioneer; however, vehicles are only displayed on screens and never travel down physical lanes. The sites are Manheim Nashville and Manheim Central Florida and Manheim Fort Myers, Manheim Pensacola, Manheim Daytona Beach, Manheim Jacksonville and Manheim Lakeland in Florida. They join last week’s addition of four sites in Pennsylvania and two sites in Houston, bringing the total number of Digital Block sale locations to more than 50 nationwide.

“Digital Block sales offer our clients another way to do business safely and on their own terms,” said Alan Lang, Manheim division vice president. “Dealers using Digital Block sales tell us they are saving time by viewing and bidding on cars on the same day. And, consistent with our re-opening plans, we follow strict safety protocols, including adhering to state and local guidelines such as following the 250-person capacity per sale rule at our Pennsylvania-based locations.”


Year to date through August, Manheim saw over two million digital transactions, which is more than 40% higher than the same period last year. In addition, nearly 100,000 dealers are attending Manheim sales each week – whether bidding onsite via Digital Block sales or participating digitally via Simulcast. Last month, the company announced that it will continue to waive Simulcast Success Fees through the end of the year.


Since the pandemic, Manheim’s actions to re-open its operations have included:

  • Allowing clients onsite to view inventory beginning May 1.
  • Providing Manheim’s Lot Vision vehicle tracking system to help clients efficiently locate vehicles, currently in place at 19 locations. 
  • Enabling sellers to rep vehicles on the block starting on June 8. While some sellers took advantage of this option, many others chose to use Manheim’s Remote Seller Tool.
  • Piloting in-lane bidding (Digital Block sales) beginning the week of June 22 with five locations.
  • “Manheim has done a great job adjusting to current challenging times with excellent overall results in our use of Manheim Digital Block sales,” said Frank Enriquez, representative, Nick Alexander BMW Mini in Los Angeles.

 

Cox: CPO Sales Dip

September 16, 2020

Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles decreased 9 percent year over year in August and were down 6 percent month over month compared to July, according to Cox Automotive.

For August, 238,498 CPO units were sold.

CPO sales were on the rise for the past two months, Cox reported. Reflecting huge decreases in March and April and the impact of COVID-19, CPO sales are down 9 percent year to date versus the same time in 2019. In the first eight months of 2020, the CPO market is more than 165,000 units below last year, which finished at 1,553,901 units sold. The revised 2020 Cox Automotive CPO sales forecast, which is subject to change, is 2.6 million units, down from 2.8 million sold in 2019.

For August, Toyota, Honda and Chevy continued to be the biggest players in the CPO market, collectively representing a third of all CPO sales. Those three, plus Ford and Nissan account for 44 percent of CPO sales so far in 2020. Last year, Toyota, Honda and Chevy accounted for 32 percent of the total industry CPO sales reflecting that brands are maintaining consistent CPO sales share this year compared to 2019.

Coming off two strong months, CPO sales in August show impacts of the ongoing pandemic and the Labor Day holiday being included in last year’s monthly sales. According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used-vehicle sales volume was down 4 percent year over year in August. Cox estimates the August used SAAR to be 38.0 million, down from 39.7 million last August and flat compared to July. The August used retail SAAR estimate is 20.3 million, down from 20.7 million last year and slightly down month over month from July’s 20.4 million rate.

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