Amazon’s Automotive Play May Not Be What You Think

Amazon’s Automotive Play May Not Be What You Think

September 20, 2018 — Two years ago, Amazon launched its Amazon Vehicles page setting off a flurry of industry predictions the tech giant was preparing to upend and take over the automotive retail space. Not so fast. Amazon is preparing a huge push into automotive, but it’s not going to be in the sales and…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Audi CEO Arrested

January 18, 2018 — Audi CEO and head of Volkswagen group sales Rupert Stadler was arrested earlier this morning as part of the ongoing diesel scandal that has roiled parent company The Volkswagen Group since 2015. According to various media reports, German officials arrested Stadler at his home early Monday morning on concerns he might… Continue Reading

TBR 2017 Report on Dealership Buy Sell Activity

TBR 2017 Report on Dealership Buy Sell Activity

March 6, 2018 — Despite industry perception that dealership consolidation is on the rise, buy-sell activity of U.S.-based stores declined in 2017 for the second consecutive year, based on data compiled by The Banks Report. Even with the downward trend the last two years, the buy-sell market has been vibrant since 2013 as the industry…

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Review of Online Vehicle Transaction Models

Review of Online Vehicle Transaction Models

January 25, 2018 — The Banks Report research has found 21 companies that offer some type of online vehicle transaction solution. In the last four years, companies offering such solutions have exploded onto the scene attracting more than $1 billion in investment money — more than $200 million since July (Not including Fair’s $1 billion…

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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 West Covina Nissan, Universal… 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