Autobytel’s Uncertain Future

Autobytel’s Uncertain Future

October 29, 2014 — Autobytel’s next earnings call with analysts, slated for November 5th, could get interesting. A scathing letter last week from activist investor Ancora Advisors LLC reveals intense dissatisfaction with the current management team and likely will force a sale of Autobytel. The question is, who would buy it? The last month has…

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Cadillac’s Plan – New Home & New Vehicles; Fewer Stores?

Cadillac’s Plan – New Home & New Vehicles; Fewer Stores?

October 29, 2014 — Dealers in the market for a Cadillac franchise may want to tread carefully. A month ago we wrote about what we believe will be a painful forecast for many of Cadillac’s 924 dealers. The brand has a new home in New York and as many as 10 new products coming in…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Activist Investor Targets CDK

October 28, 2014 — CDK’s share prices jump as Wall Street welcomes the news of a new investor in the dealership technology vendor. Only trading on NASDAQ just under a month following its spinoff from ADP, dealer technology provider CDK Global already is being targeted by an activist investment group seeking to discuss with management how to…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Buffett Bounce Over?

Whatever bounce the automotive retail stocks received from Berkshire Hathaway’s announcement 12 days ago that it was entering the car sales space disappeared quickly on Monday as several firms watched their shares plummet led by Lithia Motor’s drop of more than 20% — from more than $80 to under $64 in less than a day. Lithia’s…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Cox Automotive Invests in AutoMD

October 9, 2014 — Cox Automotive’s investment in AutoMD is continued indication that interest in the dealership service repair sector is growing and represents huge potential for vendors over the next 10 years. Cox Automotive and Federal-Mogul Motorparts announced last night they have made a minority investment in AutoMD, Inc., previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Auto Parts Network,…

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Lawsuit Shows BMW Punches Sales

Lawsuit Shows BMW Punches Sales

October 8, 2014 — A federal judge in New Jersey Monday approved the settlement of a class action lawsuit resulting from BMW’s long standing practice of forcing dealers to help inflate its monthly sales numbers in what is commonly known as “punching” sales. The lawsuit alleged BMW cheated customers by reducing the length of its four-year Ultimate…

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Virtual Test Drives in the Dealership?

Virtual Test Drives in the Dealership?

October 7, 2014 — Lexus has built a virtual test drive simulator that will be in place at upcoming auto shows and customer events over the next several months, beginning with the Orange County International Auto Show, which was held last week. In March, we wrote a piece called The Coming Changes to Automotive Retail, in which we… Continue Reading

Mr. Buffett Doesn’t Want to Change Automotive Retail, He Likes the Model Too Much

Mr. Buffett Doesn’t Want to Change Automotive Retail, He Likes the Model Too Much

Our analysis of yesterday’s stunning announcement from Warren Buffett that he is acquiring the Van Tuyl Group: Welcome to the Industry, Mr. Buffett. I’ve had several conversations and have read numerous blogs that speculate Buffett will usher in a new world for automotive retail — improving the shopping and buying processes both online and offline. Some of… Continue Reading