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May 3, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Auto Makers Report Steep Sales Declines in April
VW Group First-Quarter Profit Jumps 40% on Cost Cuts
GM to Take $100M Hit for Losing Venezuelan Plant
AutoNationís Jackson: New Tech Could Hurt Used Cars
May 3 Webinar: Five Ways to Create Traffic-Worthy Content
Two New Driven Guides Now Available at NADA University Online
Top Stories
Auto Makers Report Steep Sales Declines in April

Auto makers signaled their hot streak in the U.S. is rapidly cooling, as demand last month turned surprisingly sluggish for the trucks and SUVs that have fueled record profits for domestic players.

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor on Tuesday reported declines in April of 5.8% and 7.1%, respectively, compared with the same month last year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported a 7% decline, as sales at its Jeep brand continued to tumble.

Another troubling sign: It is taking dealers far longer to sell off inventory, resulting in a glut of unsold cars and trucks. GM, the No. 1 U.S. auto maker, has nearly 1 million vehicles sitting on dealer lots. Overall, auto makers sold 1.43 million vehicles in the U.S. in April, down 4.7% from a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp.

Detroit is hoping its traditionally strong summer sales season will get it out of the rut. Car makers plan to offer plenty of discounts, and rely on low gasoline prices and broad economic strength.
Source: WSJ

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VW Group First-Quarter Profit Jumps 40% on Cost Cuts

Volkswagen Group said first-quarter operating profit rose 40 percent even as its vehicle sales declined, a sign that cost cuts are materializing as the automaker pushes to overcome its emissions scandal. Quarterly group operating profit increased to 4.37 billion euros ($4.77 billion) from 3.13 billion a year ago, VW said on Wednesday.

Results were helped by improving cost savings at VW's troubled core division, the carmaker said, sticking with expectations for the full-year group operating margin to come in between 6 percent and 7 percent after 6.7 percent in 2016.
Source: Automotive News

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GM to Take $100M Hit for Losing Venezuelan Plant

General Motors said it will take a $100-million charge against its profits after losing control of its assembly plant in Venezuela.

The automaker's plant was seized last month by government officials and is no longer under the company's control. While the  company has said it plans to fight the seizure, it is unlikely it will regain control of the plant anytime soon. For that reason, the automaker said Tuesday that it plans to "deconsolidate" operations from its accounting books, essentially wiping out the value of the plant and the company's assets.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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AutoNationís Jackson: New Tech Could Hurt Used Cars

A scheduled conference call to report AutoNation’s first-quarter results led to a memorable exchange between the company’s chief executive and a Morgan Stanley analyst. Mike Jackson, who serves as chairman and CEO for the nation’s largest auto retailer, engaged with Adam Jonas, the lead author of a recent Morgan Stanley report that warned used-car values could fall by as much as 50% within the next five years.

Jonas said. “I understand this is a bit theoretical, but do you see any scope for any link between tech moving in an unprecedented way and used-car values moving incrementally … towards an obsolete or uninsurable value?”

“So, listen, I don't think it's a theoretical question at all, and I think it's a very profound question,” he said. “The industry is going to have to come to grips with it.”

When car buyers visit a dealership after being out of the new-car market for several years, they are “absolutely, positively amazed” at the new safety technology, Jackson added, and they have demonstrated a willingness to pay for it. But he believes they will remain “sensitive” to price, and proliferation of improvements to the technology will be incremental.
Source: F&I and Showroom

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May 3 Webinar: Five Ways to Create Traffic-Worthy Content

Michael Cirillo from FlexDealer will discuss strategies that produce top content to attract, engage and convert high-quality leads. He will also highlight new tools and processes to generate business and increase customer satisfaction.

Date:
  Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Time:
  12 p.m. ET
Duration:
  30 minutes
Source: NADA Dealership Operations

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Two New Driven Guides Now Available at NADA University Online

Driven guides are one of the most valuable complimentary benefits of NADA membership. These 100-plus publications discuss crucial aspects of dealership operations, as well as up-to-date legal compliance requirements. Two new guides have just been added to NADA University Online. Click the links below to access them.

Credit and Collection Checklists
(BM7)

How’s your bottom line? These checklists were designed to help dealers protect their dealerships’ financial health. They list sound practices to follow to get a grip on cash, checks, credit, billing and collection.

A Dealer Guide to Maintenance Menus
(SP15)

Using maintenance menus benefits dealerships and customers alike. Menus can make the service advisor’s job easier, increase revenues in the service department, and help customers become more informed about their vehicles. This guide covers printed and electronic menus, and the on-board diagnostics (OBD) system that service staff can use to access to provide customers with maintenance schedules specific to their vehicles.
Source: NADA Dealership Operations

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Quotable
“When car buyers visit a dealership after being out of the new-car market for several years, they are absolutely, positively amazed at the new safety technology. And they have demonstrated a willingness to pay for it.” 

    -- Mike Jackson, AutoNation, Chairman and CEO, F&I and Showroom, May 2
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