The National Automobile Dealers Association announced that president and CEO Peter Welch will be retiring at the end of 2020.

Welch, 67, was appointed by the NADA Board of Directors in January 2013 to head the organization. Under Welch’s stewardship, NADA achieved a series of legislative and regulatory victories in a number of areas, including auto finance, tax reform, vehicle safety and international trade issues. Welch also led NADA through the sale of its used-vehicle valuation guidebook and its retirement planning business, oversaw an organization-wide rebranding initiative, led the planning of NADA’s year-long centennial celebration in 2017, and orchestrated the organization’s move to a new state-of-the-art office facility in 2018.

“I’ve had the distinct privilege of serving associations comprised of franchised new-car and truck dealers for 30 years, and it’s time for me to get ready for my proverbial ride into the sunset,” Welch said.

His retirement announcement triggers NADA’s succession plan, which includes the appointment of a NADA Director-led search committee. NADA has also selected international search firm Spencer Stuart to oversee the transition process. Spencer Stuart oversaw NADA’s CEO selection process in 2012.

 

APCO Holding LLC, a provider and administrator of automotive F&I products, will continue to provide COVID-19 assistance by joining the F&I Providers Relief Fund for F&I Managers as a founding partner.

With the auto industry facing unprecedented losses, dealers are confronting slow business and serious challenges. For some, that means temporarily closing their doors or making the difficult decision to lay off staff, enact furloughs, or make pay cuts. Founded in April, the F&I Providers Relief Fund has brought more than 40 providers together and raised over $500,000 to provide grants to F&I professionals who are confronting financial setbacks as a result of this crisis. Contributing members include a variety of F&I administrators, underwriters, roadside companies, technology platforms, and others who are involved with dealers and their employees on a day-to-day basis.

“As we continue to see the fallout from this pandemic, it is essential to come together and collaborate on what we can do as an industry,” says Fin O’Neill, Chairman & CEO of APCO Holdings. “If our responses are going to be effective and sustainable, they have to be built from a wide range of experiences. The F&I Providers Relief Fund has brought us together with one goal in mind—to help the people we do business with every day who are now impacted by this crisis. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this effort.”

 

John Lee, president of APCO’s EasyCare and GWC Warranty, holds a seat on the seven-member Relief Fund board of directors tasked with raising awareness about the need within the industry and reviewing applications to award financial assistance grants.

Porsche Finder is the name of the German automaker’s new pre-owned and Certified Pre-Owned vehicle search platform.

With the launch of the new platform, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) is streamlining and enhancing the customer’s ability to connect from home with one of the 192 U.S. Porsche dealerships and quickly find precisely the vehicle they’re looking for.

The new platform includes optimized search filters for model and generation, vehicle equipment and packages, pricing options, dealer inventory search without zip code, in addition to an expanded selection of interior and exterior vehicle colors (including cabriolet roof colors). Porsche Finder was developed in cooperation between PCNA and Porsche Digital.

 

Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles decreased 46 percent year over year in April, according to Cox Automotive.

CPO sales were on a record-setting pace for the year before COVID-19 and ended down 20 percent month over month compared to March. For April, only 127,068 CPO units were sold, Cox Automotive reported.

The 46 percent drop in CPO volume was larger than both the estimated 34 percent drop in used-vehicle retail volume and the 41 percent drop in new-vehicle sales. Cox analysts said this suggests consumers in market during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely looking for low prices and value and steered away from CPO. While CPO are excellent used vehicles, with full warranties and benefitting from factory-backed inspections, they are often priced higher than a traditional used vehicle. At the same time, new-vehicle retail sales in April benefitted from high retail incentives and 0 percent financing deals, improving the value proposition. CPO units, stuck in the middle, suffered, Cox reported.

This year, CPO sales are down 18.7 percent versus 2019, with 739,838 CPO units sold through April.

Cox stated 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 45 percent of CPO sales so far in 2020.

Ituran Location and Control Ltd. saw subscribers grow in as it announced its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2020.

Highlights of the first quarter of 2020 included revenue of $68.4 million; EBITDA of $15.3 million; $10.7 million in quarterly operating cash flow; a net increase in aftermarket subscribers of 17,000 and total subscribers reached 1,794,000 at the end of the quarter.

“We are pleased with Ituran's first quarter performance with revenues and operating income ahead of those of the prior quarter, driven by continued subscriber growth in the aftermarket business,” said Eyal Sheratzky, Co-CEO of Ituran. “This is despite the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and some currency headwinds. Due to the pandemic, in the second quarter we have seen a halt in new car sales globally, and therefore in new subscribers.”

The subscriber base amounted to 1,794,000 as of March 31, 2020. This represents an increase of 13,000 over that of the end of the prior quarter. During the quarter, Ituran added 17,000 aftermarket subscribers, while the OEM subscriber base declined by 4,000.

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