New York City car dealer Bronx Honda and its general manager, Carlo Fittanto, will pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges they discriminated against black and Hispanic car buyers and engaged in numerous other illegal business practices.

Bronx Honda dealership to pay $1.5M
Bronx Honda dealership to pay $1.5M in fines.

According to the FTC complaint, the defendants told salespeople to charge higher financing markups and fees to black and Hispanic customers. The defendants told employees that these groups should be targeted due to their limited education, and not to attempt the same practices with non-Hispanic white consumers. The complaint alleges that black consumers were charged about $163 more in interest than similarly situated non-Hispanic white consumers, while Hispanic consumers were charged about $211 more in interest.

In addition to alleged racial discrimination, the defendants are charged with numerous illegal practices in the advertising and sales process that caused consumers to pay substantially more than they expect. The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In addition to the $1.5 million payment that will be used to provide redress to consumers, the settlements also prohibit Bronx Honda and Fittanto from misrepresenting the cost or terms to buy, lease, or finance a car, or whether a fee or charge is optional. They will also be required to establish a fair lending program that will, among other components, cap the amount of additional interest markup they can charge consumers.

Edmunds is forecasting that May U.S. new car and truck sales will hit 1,074,542,  an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 11.8 million. This reflects a 32.5 percent decrease in sales from May 2019, but a 50.5 percent increase from April 2020.

“We can safely say that April was the bottom for auto sales during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. “There's still a long road to recovery ahead, but May auto sales are a really encouraging sign for the industry.”

Edmunds experts note that automakers have already begun to dial back some of the more generous financing incentives made available at the start of the crisis; consumer demand continues to grow and inventory could begin to dwindle as auto manufacturers work on getting their factories safely and consistently up and running.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 10.2 million vehicles in May 2020, with fleet transactions accounting for 13.5 percent of total sales.

DigitalMotors announced a strategic partnership with digital financing innovator eLend Solutions to facilitate an integrated auto buying and financing experience.

The integration ensures that auto dealers get precise information about each customer’s credit qualifications and, therefore, can transact on the quoted vehicle payments. This actively moves customers down the sales funnel, transitioning them from shoppers into buyers – all from the convenience and safety of their homes. Through this integration, buyers of new or used vehicles configure purchases directly from the dealership’s website and instantly apply for leasing or financing online. 

Car buyers spend 59% of their time online researching
Car buyers spend 59% of their time online researching.

Digital Motors provides state-of-the-art online stores for car dealerships as an extension to their existing websites. Car buyers are presented with transactable lease and finance offers on VIN-specific vehicles in inventory. With the help of eLEND Solutions, consumers can instantly apply for credit online and get access to the same lease and finance options presented at the dealership.

Digital Motors provides state-of-the-art online stores for car dealerships as an extension to their existing websites. Car buyers are presented with transactable lease and finance offers on VIN-specific vehicles in inventory. With the help of eLEND Solutions, consumers can instantly apply for credit online and get access to the same lease and finance options presented at the dealership.

Pete MacInnis, CEO of eLEND Solutions, said the company offers the retail auto industry a certified secured platform that enables consumers and dealers to exchange PII information such as credit application, credit report and compliance data.

 

Manheim announced that “increased sales activity” and “early signs of economic recovery” have in part led it to recall 300 workers just weeks after furloughing 9,000 U.S. employees.

In a May 27 release, Manheim President Grace Huang said a boost in reconditioning requests led to the return of the 300 workers.

Manheim President Grace Huang
Manheim President Grace Huang

“As business conditions continue to improve, we plan to recall even more furloughed employees,” Huang stated.

She reported that with lots at full capacity, two-thirds of locations are participating with expanded viewing days and times. Manheim also has wireless tracking technology at 13 locations, with plans to double that total for year’s end, Huang reported.

Huang said Manheim is accelerating its investments in condition reports and imaging, as it is still limited to an all-digital format. The company promises key enhancements in the coming months, while continuing to comply with CDC guidelines.

Manheim continues to waive simulcast fees for buyers and sellers and waive the Manheim express sell fee for self-listed vehicles. The company also offers daily MMR retention values to help with valuations. It’s also waiving fees for vehicles sold without a title or title absent, as well as other assistance.

 

Autotrader has picked Hyundai and Lexus as the best CPO programs for 2020 in both the non-luxury and luxury categories. 

“We selected Hyundai and Lexus CPO programs due to their outstanding model availability, incentives offered, long powertrain warranty, good bumper-to-bumper coverage and a few other ownership perks,” said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader.

2018 Lexus RX 450h
2018 Lexus RX 450h

Autotrader selected the Lexus CPO program as the best among luxury carmakers. Among luxury brands, L/Certified checks nearly all the boxes of what a CPO program should offer, according to Autotrader. To the remaining balance of the original four-year or 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new-car warranty (which includes powertrain coverage), the CPO warranty adds two years and unlimited mileage. Other programs have unlimited mileage but the time cap is usually around two years. Lexus doesn't require a deductible for covered repairs and provides a complimentary loaner car during those repairs estimated to take more than eight hours.

 

Hyundai’s CPO program advantage is built upon its 10-year/100,000 mile new-vehicle powertrain warranty. Hyundai's CPO program reinstates the full term of the original powertrain warranty. Hybrid and electric CPO cars also qualify for a 10-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty. Whatever remains of the original five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited new-car warranty also transfers to the CPO vehicle. Other CPO benefits include full transferability if the original owner sells the CPO car to a private buyer, a $35 per day rental-car allowance during covered repairs, complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance and trip-interruption benefits when covered repairs are required more than 150 miles from home.

 

Trending News

LeasePlan Partners with YourMechanic

LeasePlan Partners with YourMechanic

Jun 04, 2020 Rate: 0.00

Kia Tops 45,817 in May

Kia Tops 45,817 in May

Jun 04, 2020 Rate: 5.00

Mazda CPO Sales Rise

Mazda CPO Sales Rise

Jun 04, 2020 Rate: 0.00