Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

The Problem of Doctored Titles

September 8, 2014 — An industry-wide problem of damaged vehicles with doctored titles seems to be growing. Are there companies that could enter the space and compete with CarFax?     Nearly 800.000 vehicles that are on the road have had their titles “washed” in an attempt to hide significant damage, according to CarFax. The…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Buyers & Sellers Both Hurt by Right of First Refusal

UPDATED — At least ten (updated from eight) cases of manufacturers using the Right of First Refusal since January 2013, including at least three lawsuits, shows dealers wanting to sell their stores and the dealers hoping to acquire need to do their homework up front to know whether it will be an issue. Since we first reported…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Napleton vs. Jaguar – Another Right of First Refusal Lawsuit

Longtime Illinois dealer Ed Napleton is suing Florida attorney and New York dealer Manuel Kadre; Jaguar Land Rover North America; the Long Island Automotive Group, MMS-HM and their owners, the Marubeni America Corp. It’s another lawsuit resulting from a manufacturer’s exercise of the right of first refusal in which they nix one buyer and bring… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Dealers & Tesla – Political Horse Trading in Jersey?

When the New Jersey Assembly voted last week overwhelmingly to allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to consumers it looked like the Jim Appleton led dealer-association had their rear ends handed to them. There had to be more to this story. There is no way New Jersey’s assembly votes 77-0 against the dealers unless Appleton…

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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

The Problems with CFPB’s Approach Toward Dealers

By David Ruggles with Cliff Banks The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created as a part of the sweeping Dodd – Frank Act, recently entered into a “consent agreement” with ALLY Bank. The penalty and restitution levied amounts to $98 million, plus ongoing costs mandated by the CFPB to ensure continued compliance with the “agreement.” According…

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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

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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