Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Buyer Beware – Right of First Refusal on the Rise

A couple of days ago, on April 30, Southern Motors Chevrolet filed a lawsuit against General Motors for blocking its purchase of Fuller Chevrolet, located in Rincon, GA. According to dealers and individuals who broker dealership acquisitions one of the more under-reported dynamics of the dealership buy-sell field is the growing willingness on the part…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

2013 Dealership Acquisition Report

YEAR IN REVIEW The pace of automotive dealership buy/sell activity was moderately brisk in 2013, with 180 dealerships accounting for 260 franchises changing owners in the U.S. January started with a bang when Group 1 Automotive announced the acquisition of one of Brazil’s largest retailers, UAB Motors Participacoes S.A., for $47.4 million cash, 1.45 million…

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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

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

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