Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

New Era as Dealers Come Under Increased Attacks for Alleged Non-compliance

January 27, 2014 — Compliance officer sounds so Big Brother-ish or something that dates back to the Soviet era, but it’s quickly becoming a must-have for car dealers – and perhaps even the advertising agencies that service dealers. Here’s why: the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the attorneys general from numerous… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

DealerTrack Acquires Dealer.com — What the Deal Means

Editor’s note: We updated a couple of sections below — the updates are in italics. We stated that Dealer.com was number one in marketshare for websites. The Cobalt Group has an estimated 9,000 franchise dealer websites in North America, Dealer.com has 7,000.  We have several thoughts regarding DealerTrack’s acquisition of Dealer.com which was announced late…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Industry Data Practices Leave Dealers Legally Exposed

December 3, 2013 — Several days ago automotive data analytics firm Dataium announced it had settled with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office over an investigation into how it was tracking the web browsing habits of visitors to automotive dealership websites. New Jersey’s Consmer Affairs Division alleged Dataium engaged in “history sniffing,” in which it…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Volvo — A Brand Stuck in Quicksand?

November 11, 2013 — As part of our Brands in Transition series, we take a look at Volvo this week, a once-storied brand that has never recovered from the downturn of 2009-2010. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. bought the Swedish automaker for $1.8 billion in 2010 from Ford Motor Co. Since then, the brand has…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

CFPB Poses Real Threat to Dealers

NADA convinced Congress three years ago to not place dealers under the purview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It turned out be a hollow victory as the CFPB is using banks and financial institutions to gain control over dealer financing practices. Here is what’s been happening: 1. In March, the bureau provided formal…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Big Change in Cars.com’s Future?

October 2, 2013 — The next several months should be interesting for Cars.com. Sister Company for Sale Its owner, Classified Ventures LLC announced on September 3 that it retained investment banking firm Moelis & Co. to explore strategic alternatives — including a sale — for Apartments.com, Cars.com’s sister site. Also included with Apartmens.com are the… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

TrueCar Files Trademark Lawsuit Against Sonic Automotive

September 4, 2013 — We’re still working on the details but we do know in August TrueCar filed a lawsuit against the SonicAutomotive Group alleging trademark infringement. Sonic has been implementing a one-price, no haggle program for all of its stores. Earlier this year, Sonic came up with True Price as the name for the… Continue Reading