NADA Headlines - 04/20/2017 (Plain Text Version)
Americans pulled back on their spending at auto dealers and restaurants in March, causing retail sales to drop despite signs of a healthy job market. Retail sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said [last week], after a revised 0.3 percent drop in February. But over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 5.2 percent, a sign that that the economy remains on stable footing.
Next month, Bank of America will unveil a direct-to-consumer lending platform that shows dealerships’ inventories to BoA’s customers through the lender’s website. Chase Auto Finance rolled out a similar program last year. The programs will likely give dealerships more leads, but could programs such as these hurt dealerships in the long run?
Import-brand dealerships outpaced their domestic-brand rivals in finance and insurance income as a percentage of total new-vehicle department revenue, a National Automobile Dealers Association report found. And the gap is widening.
Buick is aiming for its fifth consecutive year of record sales for the brand on the back of expected sales gains from the new SUVs and cars it is introducing in the U.S. and China. Buick sold more than 1.44 million vehicles worldwide in 2016 — its third consecutive year of record sales for the brand. China now accounts for more than 82% of Buick's global total sales — or five times as much as its sells in the U.S.
The Justice Department is expected to name a deputy attorney general under former President George W. Bush to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen AG under a plea agreement over its diesel emissions violations, a source briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. Larry Thompson, a lawyer at Finch McCranie who was deputy attorney general from 2001-03, is expected to be tapped to oversee the world's largest automaker for three years.
More than 600,000 electric vehicles are on the road in the U.S. and Canada (including models with gas engines), according to the ChargePoint network. Charging stations are unevenly distributed, with concentrations in California and populous portions of the East Coast. But backcountry electric vehicle drives are getting easier every year with more stations and better batteries.