Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Dealership Buy-Sells Remain Steady, But Few Big Deals

May 7, 2015 — With all the chatter of private equity and names like Warren Buffett getting into the automotive retail space, there have been few large deals completed. Only two transactions for more than eight stores and only six that have been for five or more have been signed since January 2013, according to data compiled… Continue Reading

Audi Rolls Out Latest Car Sharing Initiative

Audi Rolls Out Latest Car Sharing Initiative

May 7, 2015 — Audi is testing different car sharing models throughout various international markets, the latest being piloted in the U.S. The Banks Report first reported on March 26, 2014 that Audi was putting together a pilot program in San Francisco similar to its Audi Select initiative in Berlin that allows people to pay a monthly…

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Big Money at NADA; Soros Rumors and Dinners…

Big Money at NADA; Soros Rumors and Dinners…

January 26, 2015 — Sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for a flight (after missing my morning flight) and going through nearly 50 pages of notes from last week’s NADA convention and related conferences. I’m not a big theme guy, but on the last day of the convention, that seemed to be the question I heard the… Continue Reading

Musk Drops Bombshells in Detroit

Musk Drops Bombshells in Detroit

January 15, 2015 — It’s time for some perspective now that some of the dust has settled from Elon Musk’s explosive appearance in Detroit on Tuesday during which he managed to casually drop at least three bombshells about Tesla. When he first got on stage at the Automotive News World Congress, Tesla’s founder and CEO appeared…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Dealerships Are Key in Cyber Attack Wars

December 27, 2014 — Much of the auto industry’s discussion regarding cyber warfare focuses on the inherent vulnerabilities of the connected vehicle. But one area that receives little scrutiny is the retail side of the automotive industry. This will soon change as dealerships likely will become one of the central battlefields in the cyber wars that will be… Continue Reading

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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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Texas Teachers Invest in Dealerships

November 24, 2014 — Teachers in Texas apparently like the financial prospects of franchised car dealerships. One of the country’s largest pension funds, the Teachers Retirement System of Texas is investing in Capital Automotive, a firm that provides sale-leaseback capital to car dealers, through an investment fund established by Capital’s parent Brookfield Property Partners. Brookfield…

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Cox’s Latest Acquisition — And Another Investment

Cox’s Latest Acquisition — And Another Investment

November 23, 2014 — Cox Automotive  continues to be active in the acquisition space buying the assets of small used car data firm last week, following its $325 million purchase of Xtime two weeks ago. It.has spent approximately $3 billion on both U.S. and international (China and Brazil) acquisitions since 2010. Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based firm…

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