Kia Expands AI Shopping Tool With New Chatbot

Kia Expands AI Shopping Tool With New Chatbot

November 21, 2017 —  Kia Motors introduced “Kian” this week, an extension of its chatbot NiroBot, which launched last year during the Super Bowl. Kian is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant designed to help shoppers wade through the data stacks of information in the car buying process – from pricing, payments, special offers, vehicle images, competition,… Continue Reading

Lutz Predicts End of Automotive in 20 Years, Do the Math, It Ain’t Happening

Lutz Predicts End of Automotive in 20 Years, Do the Math, It Ain’t Happening

November 6th, 2017 — “The era of the human-driven automobile, its repair facilities, its dealerships, the media surrounding it — all will be gone in 20 years.” So wrote automotive extraordinaire Bob Lutz yesterday for Automotive News as part of its Redesigning the Industry series. Lutz, who is in his mid-eighties, has a rich history… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Sage Sells Four Dealerships in Southern CA

UPDATED — October, 21, 2017 — Last month, the Trophy Automotive Group completed the purchase of four dealerships that were part of the eight-store Sage Automotive Group in the Los Angeles, CA area. Trophy, which was started by Nasser Watar in 2014 with the acquisition of Mercedes Benz of Encino, acquired Glendale Nissan, Universal City… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Hyundai Launches New Shopper Assurance Program

October 13, 2017 — Hyundai Motor America last week unveiled its Shopper Assurance program – what the company calls an industry-first nationwide program that streamlines and modernizes the car-buying experience. The key elements of Shopper Assurance are intended to align with auto consumers’ major pain points: transparent pricing; flexible test drives; streamlined purchases; and a three-day… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Top Dealer Files Explosive Lawsuits Against BMW, Audi

September 7, 2017 —  Several dealerships owned by the Braman Automotive Group filed three lawsuits this week against Audi and BMW in federal court alleging their business practices drive down dealership profit margins while coercing them to give up control of their businesses. Two of the lawsuits also include Terry Rhodes, Florida’s Executive Director of…

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Stunning Downfall of a Manhattan Automotive Empire

Stunning Downfall of a Manhattan Automotive Empire

August 7, 2017 — Less than a year ago, Gary Flom was building an automotive empire consisting of eight dealerships in the heart of New York City with plans to sell more than $600 million worth of vehicles this year. Today, that empire is in tatters, due to a frenetic growth pace railroaded by a bitter…

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CDK’s Acquisition of AutoMate – Bold Move for Investors; for Dealers, Jury is Still Out

CDK’s Acquisition of AutoMate – Bold Move for Investors; for Dealers, Jury is Still Out

June 4, 2017 — CDK Global’s pending acquisition of competitor Auto/Mate is a brilliant deal that should make investors happy. With only 1,300 or so dealerships in play and a price tag that won’t dent the bottom line (although Auto/Mate will get a nice multiple) it isn’t that big of a deal on the surface.…

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Toyota’s Vision of How Blockchain Will Change the Auto Industry

Toyota’s Vision of How Blockchain Will Change the Auto Industry

May 22, 2017 — Imagine a world where automotive vehicles are no longer depreciating assets, but are profit generating machines. That world may be here much sooner than we think. Automakers are beginning to explore blockchain, a new and disruptive technology that may prove to be critical to the creation of a mobile ecosystem where autonomous… Continue Reading