Auto Alert Patent Dispute Has Big Implications

Auto Alert Patent Dispute Has Big Implications

December 11, 2014 — Recent developments in patent law playing out in an expensive two year dispute involving Auto Alert, DealerSocket and Dominion Dealer Services portend a world in which defending patents that are for business based processes becomes significantly more difficult. How will the dispute affect the data mining equity world in automotive retail space? And…

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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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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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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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