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North Carolina dealership wants to get 140 of remaining 2017 Dodge Vipers

Soon, Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge brand will be ending the production of the Dodge Viper. So practically, the 2017 Dodge Viper will be the last Viper up for grabs.

Gerry Wood Dodge, a dealership in Salisbury, North Carolina, is taking advantage of the situation to ensure that those interested in acquiring these American supercars have their own. But, they better hurry, as Gerry Wood Dodge ordered only 135 to 140 units of the remaining 2017 Dodge Viper. So, if you want one, call or visit this dealership as soon as you can.

Boasting of being purely American-made, the 2017 Dodge Viper hand-built supercar is powered by a high-output naturally aspirated engine mated to a manual transmission.

Read the entire article North Carolina dealership wants to get 140 of remaining 2017 Dodge Vipers

McLaren Automotive opens four new retailers in the US

McLaren Automotive disclosed that it has launched four new locations in the U.S. This opening marks the company’s goal of increasing its retail footprint and follows the release of its latest Sports Series model line which went to different showrooms just a few weeks back.

The four McLaren retailers are located in Boston, Massachusetts; Houston, Texas; Palm Beach, Florida; and Bergen Country, New Jersey. These four retailers are expected to finish their advanced retail facilities which will showcase the McLaren brand.

They will also be offering both sales and aftersales services. In addition, they are anticipated to give the best retail experience in addition to providing a more personal approach and top-of-the-market customer service.

Read the entire article McLaren Automotive opens four new retailers in the US

2 dealers accuse Fiat Chrysler of faking sales reports, ‘civil racketeering’ suit has been filed

FCA US is facing a civil racketeering suit filed by two Fiat Chrysler dealerships that are part of the Napleton Automotive Group. The plaintiffs – Napleton's Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram stores in Arlington Heights, Ill., and its Northlake Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram store in Lake Park, Fla. – allege that the carmaker was in conspiracy with some dealers to bloat its monthly US sales reports.

Since emerging from its bankruptcy, FCA managed to report 69 straight monthly year-over-year sales increases. In fact, FCA officials, including chief executive Sergio Marchionne, flaunted the carmaker's streak at the 2016 Detroit auto show. It should be noted that it was the longest current streak of any carmaker.

According to the plaintiffs, FCA paid dealers to report the false sales on the last day of the sales month. The next business day, the dealer will then “back out” or unwind the sales before the factory warranty on the vehicles could be processed and start to run.

Read the entire article 2 dealers accuse Fiat Chrysler of faking sales reports, ‘civil racketeering’ suit has been filed

Mercedes-Benz US dealers will add space, service capacity

Talks will start later this year between Mercedes-Benz USA and its dealerships over plans to handle the new vehicles that will be coming within the next several years. CEO Steve Cannon said that the brand is on its way to selling 400,000 vehicles in the U.S. in the upcoming years and so, around 25% of its stores will have to add showroom and vehicle storage space as well as service capacity.

He said that plans are expected to be made in 2016 and that construction will be from 2017 to 2018. He added that the automaker expects significant growth to happen, especially with the segments that are being added. He estimates that it will take about two years to reach 400,000 cars. When that figure is reached, there will be a dealer network shortage.

He explained that the dealerships have to take care of the volume of buyers. They may do so in various ways. They can add bays, widen the size of the service area, or add a second shift. Cannon revealed that a second service shift may be introduced at the brand’s Manhattan dealership, the only one that’s owned by the company in the U.S. He said that this isn’t a very common method to expand the service but it’s a “great way to sweat your assets."

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz US dealers will add space, service capacity

Dealerships of Hyundai Motor America and Volkswagen of America, until December 2014, only had CDK Global Digital Marketing group as their exclusive certified Web site provider. Not anymore, as these carmakers have open doors for other providers to offer service to their retailers. Dealers for Hyundai – numbering 830 in the United States -- could now choose between the services of CDK Global and Dealer.com, disclosed David Tourtlotte, Hyundai's senior group manager of retail marketing.

CDK Global had been the only authorized Web site vendor for Hyundai dealers for the past four years. Tourtlotte remarked that as an authorized vendor, CDK Global and the factory has full integration to provide Hyundai dealers with inventory feeds, incentives, analytics and, importantly, leads generated from the Hyundai factory Web sites.

These features will now be available to dealers with Dealer.com Web sites. He quipped that the South Korean carmaker had chosen to have one vendor for its dealers to capture consistent inventory and performance data. He, however, said that having two technologies will allow Hyundai to better aggregate and analyze data coming from disparate software.

Read the entire article Hyundai and Volkswagen get alternate Web site provides for US dealers

Volkswagen’s dealers in the United States had been pressed by the way the German carmaker try to achieve its goal of selling 800,000 vehicles annually in the country by 2018. Volkswagen remains committed with that sales goal and its dealers are now feeling more positive about reaching that target, no matter how ambitious that sounds.

Well, Volkswagen has been showing signs that dealers alone won’t have to carry the burden of hitting the sales target. In fact, the German carmaker has told its retailers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in January that increasing dealership profitability would be more important than achieving the 2018 sales target.

Missing the current crossover boom, VW vowed in January to introduced two new North America-built crossovers to dealerships in 2017, and at least a third crossover is on the drawing board. The German carmaker is planning to 100 dealerships to its US network by 2019, in markets without any VW retailers. Most of these new dealerships will be open after the new crossovers arrive.

Read the entire article Volkswagen dealers in the US now see a brighter future

Volkswagen Group has agreed with its dealers in China, vowing to continue setting reasonable sales goals to make sure that its distribution network remains financially sound. The China Association of Automobile Dealers announced Jan. 23 that VW and its retailers had found ways to "actively cope” with tough market conditions in the country.

VW is one of the carmakers that local dealers have approached to request financial support and lower sales targets. These dealers have found their profits hurt by rapid expansion of sales networks as well as tightening car ownership restrictions set by Chinese cities.

Earlier this month, a dealer criticized Renault for setting high sales targets and forcing retailers to buy more cars than they could sell – leading to price cuts and heavy losses.

Read the entire article VW Group reaches an agreement with dealers in China over sales target

A dealer in China has accused Dongfeng Renault Automotive Co. – a joint venture between Renault and Dongfeng Motors – of setting very high sales and forcing local retailers to acquire more vehicles than they could dispose. The accusations were made in a letter posted in the Web site of official newspaper People's Daily.

According to the dealers, Renault’s moves led to price cuts and heavy losses among dealers. It said that around 90 percent of the Renault local dealer network suffered financial losses in 2014 and called for a united front against the brand to force it to set realistic sales targets.

The letter came ahead of a dealers' conference set later this month, during which Renault is expected to set 2015 sales targets for its Chinese retailers. In an e-mailed statement to Reuters, Renault said that sales at it’s the joint venture surged 26 percent in 2014, noting that its dealers were at "the front line in the battle for China market share."

Read the entire article Renault accused by China dealer of setting unrealistic targets

Volkswagen of America is planning to boost its 650-dealer strong retail network in the United States by around 100 new dealerships through 2018 as part of a larger plan to revive its growth in the country. Volkswagen of America chief executive Michael Horn remarked at the Detroit auto show that the carmaker wants to add dealerships in open points where the brand currently lacks a presence.

VW is trying to expand its network at a time it is preparing for product offensive aimed at reversing its two-year sales decline in the US. VW will be introducing a new midsize crossover in the first quarter of 2017 and a redesigned, long-wheelbase Tiguan compact crossover in the second quarter of the same year.

According to Horn, VW will also roll out a redesigned Jetta compact car in late-2017 and a redesigned Passat in 2018. Horn noted that BMW’s growth strategy starts with the product and continues with the dealer network. He remarked that since BMW’s volume is lower, its dealerships are also fewer. He noted that now the SUVs are confirmed, the carmaker could start expanding its dealer network.

Read the entire article Volkswagen of America to add 100 new dealers in the US

Up to 10 percent of dealers for FAW-Toyota Motor Sales Co. group could be backing out from the network as they are not generating enough income from selling the vehicles they are supposed to sell. According to Song Tao, a deputy secretary of the China Automobile Dealers, 95 percent of 523 dealers serving the joint venture between Toyota and FAW are bleeding financially and some of them may have to stop selling the JV’s products.

This comes as China Automobile Dealers sent FAW-Toyota a letter asking the JV to provide CHY2.2 billion ($353 million) in subsidies to help dealers meet costs brought by excess inventory, according to a copy sent to Bloomberg News. Data from the association says unsold vehicles on lots are on their highest level in December since August 2013.

Due to lower sales, FAW-Toyota lowered its sales target in September by 6 percent to 620,000 vehicles for the full year 2014. With the current situation, dealers in the FAW-Toyota network is asking the joint venture to set a 2015 sales target that is not higher than the total deliveries in 2014.

Read the entire article Up to 10% of FAW-Toyota dealers may quit from network

Ford Motor Co. has commenced building the aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup, vowing to fully stock its dealers with the vehicle in the second quarter of 2015, according to chief executive Mark Fields. Ford will start shipping the first stock F-150s to dealerships in next month and the retail orders in February.

The carmaker had to spend 10 weeks to install new equipment in its Dearborn truck plant in Michigan to prepare for the production of the new F-150, which requires different assembly techniques from its predecessor, including riveting, adhesive bonding and laser welds.

Once Ford’s Dearborn site reaches full production speed, Ford start revamping its Claycomo assembly plant in Missouri in January to enable it to build aluminum bodied F-150. The launch of F-150 production at the Dearborn site was presided by Fields and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Read the entire article CEO Mark Fields says Ford dealers should be fully stocked with F-150s in Q2 of 2015

Ford Motor Co. has launched a bonus program that offers its dealers a cash bounty for meeting sales targets. Ford’s Volume Growth Bonus Program offers dealers payments of between $100 and $600 per car sold, covering the C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Escape models, according to a Nov. 1 Ford memo to dealers obtained by Bloomberg News.

The bonus program will have Ford pay dealers more cash per model as soon as they meet sales targets. These bonus payments could prompt dealers to sell their stocks at much lower prices and even offer generous trade-ins – mainly because the cash they could get from the program could be more than enough to cover any deductions.

The program, however, has its cons despite allowing Ford to cut any loss in market share. Aside from being costly, also lower resale values on models sold on discounts. Likewise, such programs could customers who miss out on a generous deal. “It cheapens the product and it’s just a doggone shame,” dealer Jack Kain told Bloomberg.

Read the entire article Ford is offering bonuses to dealers topping sales targets

Nissan Motor Corp. gave a special treatment to the global launch of the redesigned Murano to make sure that the crossover gets the much-needed attention and demand. But, it seems like the resulting demand for the Murano might be too much for Nissan to handle.

With dealers in the United States asking the entire production for the crossover, retailers in other markets may not have a single Murano to sell when its rollout starts on the second week of December. However, Nissan’s assembly line in Mississippi is built to handle production of the Murano for 118 markets, including Europe and Japan.

John Martin, Nissan's North America senior vice president for manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing, remarked that while they are tasked to produce 94,000 Muranos, the carmaker’s American dealers are asking for “every last one we can make.”

Read the entire article Dealers demand more 2015 Nissan Murano SUVs even before December launch

The chief executive of Maserati, Harald Wester, plans to have 20 more dealerships in the United States by end of 2014 to 120 retailers. It had 79 retailers at end of 2013. Wester told Automotive News at the Paris auto show that the US is the brand’s "most important market" to achieve its global sales goals.

The Italian luxury carmaker is aiming to hike its global sales almost fivefold from 15,400 in 2013 to 75,000 in 2018. He said the globally, Maserati had around 230 dealers in 2012, and now had around 355 retailers. To achieve the sales goal, the brand requires around 450 dealers globally by end of next year.

Wester told Automotive News that in the US, there are “some nice spots in the middle” where Maserati is not yet properly represented. In November, Maserati tapped the chief of Chrysler's dealer network, Peter Grady, as president and CEO of Maserati North America, giving him the job of adding Maserati stores in the US.

Read the entire article Maserati aims to have 120 US retailers by the end of 2014

Dealers recently attended an annual yet private with Cadillac in Las Vegas amidst a current slump in sales. But their attendance were not all in vain as they found a new light to their pressing concerns, as supported by the top guys at Cadillac’s parent, General Motors. After all, dealers were wanting to hear what is next in line for them at the luxury brand, both in the short term and the long term.

The seven-hour meeting saw Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's new global chief, opened his remarks by announcing a buy-one-get-one-free sale on 2014 sedans, which acknowledges the fact dealership were laden with unsold ATS, CTS and XTS sedans. The meeting was also attended by no other than GM’s chief executive Mary Barra, as well as President Dan Ammann.

A number of dealers saw their attendees as an indication that GM has given de Nysschen a broad mandate to reshape Cadillac. Carl Sewell, owner of Sewell Automotive Cos. of Dallas, told Automotive News that both Barra and Ammann essentially said that tey are putting their entire credibility on the line to support Cadillac.

Read the entire article Cadillac dealers get assured at recent annual meeting amidst a current slump in sales

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is available to order and it seems that Chrysler aims to change its normal allocation methods for its dealers. How? Well, it’s quite simple! The Challenger SRT Hellcat allocation is now based on the number of Dodge vehicles sold by a dealer in the previous 180 days.

These words came from Tim Kuniskis a.k.a. Dodge chief, who also added that in December the company will make a second allocation calculation based on the sales in the previous 90 days.

According to Kuniskis, if dealers sell lots of Darts, Durangos or Journeys, they will get the rights to sell the Challenger SRT Hellcat too as this is the halo car of the brand. Dodge will also measure the number of days that Challenger SRT Hellcat models sit on dealer’s lot in order to determine how many units the dealer gets.

Read the entire article Challenger SRT Hellcat allocation based on the total of Dodge vehicles sold by a dealer

Volvo's dealerships in the United States are bound to get a third of the 80,000 XC90 units produced annually. According to Volvo Cars chief executive Hakan Samuelsson, the carmaker will start selling the 2016 XC90 in the US in April, with shipments to dealers there being prioritized. He remarked that that the vehicle is very important for the US since it is the market for a big seven-seater.

The new XC90 underscores Volvo's target to move upscale in status and pricing -- offering new styling, ample room for seven people, new safety technologies, more fuel-efficient engines and a more premium interior. The midsize crossover also marks the first vehicle developed by Volvo under the wings of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Samuelsson is expecting the XC90 to boost Volvo’s sales performance in the US to 100,000 units. Volvo just sold 61,233 vehicles in the US in 2013 and has dropped 11 percent in the first seven months of 2014 to 34,224 units. The decline in the sales of the current XC90 in the US has been attributed to its age – it is considered as one of the oldest models in the crossover segment.

Read the entire article US Volvo dealers to get third of total XC90 annual production

General Motors is seeing its transformation in Europe getting completed on a good pace, as most of its dealers who used to carry Chevrolet vehicles are now selling only Opel-branded units. GM pulled out Chevrolet in Europe in 2014 to focus on building up its Opel/Vauxhall units.

The decision was lauded as it brought to an end a rivalry between two brands that had cannibalized each other’s sales while rendering them less profitable. Michael Lohscheller, Opel’s chief financial officer, remarked that the dealer transition from Chevrolet to Opel is working well, with 85 percent have converted to selling only Opel.

He said that in the past, a customer visits a dealership looking for an Opel but buying with a Chevrolet. He added that Opel will be developing a range of models aimed at former customers of Chevrolet.

Read the entire article GM says most Chevy dealers in Europe now selling only Opels

American Honda Motors is asking hundreds of its dealers to add service bays or working hours -- or even both -- by 2018 as it expects surging sales during the period. While dealers are not required to heed Honda's requests, some of them are feel the pressure to go with the flow.

In May, Honda recalculated its so-called Minimum Requirements for Facilities, which anticipates future sales and the possible on-the-road lifespan of in each market. Honda remarked previous requirements only factored in potential sales.

The new calculations mean several Honda and Acura dealers will be requested to modify their service operations to adjust to increasing sales by 2018. Jenny Gilger, American Honda's senior manager for service operations, said that the carmaker Honda also wants it dealers to fare competitively against independent service shops.

Read the entire article Honda wants some US dealers to modify operations

Things are not working quite well for General Motors as the American carmaker recalled millions of vehicles in order to fix a defective ignition switch. And the bad news continue to come because General Motors has just told its dealers to halt sales of some Cadillac models, most used cars.

The reason is that the company doesn’t yet have a fix in place for the defective ignition switch. GM issued an urgent order on July 8 when it stopped delivery of 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans fitted with a standard key ignition. The models using the new push-button start system have no problem.

In the notice that became public after NHTSA posted the document as part of its continuing investigation of GM vehicle recalls, the American company also told its dealers not to sell 2003-2013 CTS models but also 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX models.

Read the entire article GM tells its dealers to stop delivery of 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans
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