IndiGO Auto Group, a premier luxury automotive dealer group with 20 franchised dealerships across three states - California, Texas, and Missouri, recently announced the promotion of Kelly Wolf to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Dealer Principal.

Wolf has nearly two decades of high-line automotive sales and management experience and joined indiGo Auto Group in 2010 as general manager where he managed and led Porsche North Houston through a nearly 500 percent increase in sales. He also is credited for helping expand the company's footprint across the United States. After the acquisition of Desert European Motorcars in 2013, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO).  In 2019, Wolf was promoted to President and COO and continued to champion indiGO Auto Group's growth under the leadership of founder Todd Blue, who retired July 1.

In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations of all indiGO's management and locations, spearheading business development opportunities, and maintaining manufacturer relations, Wolf also leads automotive groups sales and the fixed operations teams.

"It's an honor and privilege to be named CEO and dealer principal of indiGO Auto Group, and I'm incredibly proud of everything that the team has accomplished since its inception," said Wolf. "Building on the strong foundation that we have established over the last ten years, and in partnership with Pon Holdings, I look forward to taking all aspects of the company to the next level."

Wolf currently serves as the chairman of the Dealer Advisory Board for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America and has been a board member since 2013.

IndiGO Auto Group is owned by Pon Holdings B.V., a Netherlands - based global business of mobility products, services, and solutions, including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, automotive parts, earthmoving equipment, marine, power generation, and financial services.

Kasasa, a financial technology and marketing provider, has partnered with Open Lending, a provider of lending enablement and risk analytics solutions to financial institutions, to bring a higher level of assurance and reduced risk to the lending process. Together, Kasasa and Open Lending will provide community financial institutions the ability to automatically approve a greater volume of auto loans.

Open Lending works exclusively with automotive lenders by providing loan analytics, risk-based pricing, risk modeling and automated decision technology. Its Lenders Protection program is a unique auto lending enablement platform utilizing proprietary data and advanced decisioning analytics to provide lenders with a powerful and safe way to increase near and non-prime auto loan volumes. Through its partnership with Kasasa, Open Lending customers will have access to the Kasasa Loan, a loan with Take-Backs, which allows borrowers to pay ahead to reduce debt, but take the extra funds back if they need it.

“Our mission at Open Lending is to serve the underserved – it is important that lower credit score borrowers are able to access a loan with manageable rates,” said John Flynn, President and CEO of Open Lending. “With the Kasasa Loan, financial institutions can help a wide range of borrowers better understand their loan and debt options while providing a solution to get out of debt sooner.”

Open Lending’s automated Lenders Protection program integrates with the lender’s loan origination system to render back decisions to the financial institution in seven seconds or less. It enables banks and credit unions to approve a wider array of borrowers in real-time, so that the borrower receives an immediate response to their approval.

Cox Automotive reported sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles increased 9 percent year over year in June and were up 10 percent month over month compared to May. For June, 261,586 CPO units were sold.

CPO sales were on a record-setting pace the first two months of the year before COVID-19, Cox reported. Reflecting huge decreases in March and April, CPO sales are down 11.7 percent for the first half of this year versus the same time in 2019, with 1,238,919 CPO units sold through June. In the first six months of 2020, the CPO market is more than 160,000 units below last year.

For June, Toyota, Honda and Chevy continue 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.

Stronger CPO sales in June were part of a larger recovery of the overall used-vehicle market. According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used-vehicle sales volume was down 12-percent year-over-year in June. In comparison, the new-vehicle market was down by 27 percent. 

For the first half of 2020, the non-luxury segment had 941,352 total CPO sales, a 12.1-percent year-over-year decrease. Ram, with 35,579 CPO sales, performed best with a 1.1 percentage point gain in share compared to last year. Nissan rounded out the segment for 2020 with a decrease of 1.1 percentage points in share year over year.

For the luxury segment, 291,868 CPO sales were made in the first six months of 2020 for a 10.4-percent drop compared to a year ago. Mercedes-Benz outperformed the competition with a 1.2 percentage point gain year over year and 61,272 CPO sales for 2020. Porsche reported record-setting CPO sales in June, selling nearly 3,000 CPO vehicles last month, versus 5,000 new vehicles. Lexus lost 1.6 share within the segment and fell 20.3 percent in CPO sales compared to first half 2019.

A Los Angeles man was arrested on federal charges that allege he conned victims into giving him their high-end and exotic vehicles with bogus promises he would find other people to take over their leases.

Investigators have, so far, identified approximately 115 victims from around the nation. The estimated losses in this case exceed $1 million.

Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, 40, who maintained offices on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, was arrested recently by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations. Hull was arrested pursuant to a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with six counts of wire fraud related to his “lease consignment” program. Hull allegedly marketed himself and the various companies he operated as being able to find people to take over luxury automobile leases from individuals who wanted out of the leases on their Bentleys, Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis and other high-end automobiles. Hull agreed to cover monthly lease payments and promised leaseholders that he would quickly find a “credit-qualified buyer to legally assume the lease through the original finance company,” according to the indictment, which further alleges that Hull used a longtime friend and business associate to vouch for the quality of the program.

Despite assuring victims that his venture was successful, Hull and his companies did not find people to take over these leases, the indictment alleges. Instead, Hull offered the luxury cars for rent and passed little of the rent money onto the original leaseholders, who were still responsible for lease payments. Furthermore, Hull allegedly made few, if any, timely car lease payments.

Hull routinely ignored victims’ requests for the return of their vehicles, prompting some to make stolen car reports to law enforcement agencies, according to court documents. When some victims’ cars were returned after law enforcement seizures, repossession and other means, the cars were often damaged, had incurred toll and parking violations, and had been driven over the allotted mileage.

“Customers and local and federal law enforcement repeatedly told Hull his business was fraudulent, Hull was sued civilly several times for fraud and intentional misrepresentation, he received dozens of demand letters from attorneys, and he was interviewed by the media about his failure to make lease payments as promised,” according to a criminal complaint previously filed in this case.

When victims posted negative reviews online about Hull and his company, Hull would change his company name and resume the scheme, court documents allege.

AutoNation reported second quarter 2020 net income from continuing operations of $280 million, or $3.18 per share, which included a non-cash unrealized gain related to their investment in Vroom of $161 million after-tax, or $1.82 per share. Second quarter 2019 net income from continuing operations was $101 million, or $1.12 per share, which included non-cash franchise rights impairment charges of $7 million after-tax, or $0.08 per share. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures are included in the attached financial tables.

Same-store second quarter 2020 revenue totaled $4.5 billion, a decrease of 14 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Same-store second quarter 2020 gross profit totaled $795 million, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the year-ago period. Same-store new vehicle gross profit per vehicle retailed was $2,194, up $389 or 22 percent compared to the year-ago period. Same-store used vehicle gross profit per vehicle retailed was $1,801, up $338 or 23 percent compared to the year-ago-period. Same-store Customer Financial Services gross profit per vehicle retailed was an all-time record $2,172, up $240 or 12 percent compared to the year-ago period.

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