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Automotive News Table of Contents

December 11, 2017

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Genesis aiming for 85 to 90 stores
Author: David Undercoffler

Hyundai Motor America plans to tell dealers by year end which markets it has designated for stand-alone Genesis stores, said Brian Smith, who joined the automaker from Toyota in October.

GM-Lyft relationship? It's complicated
Author: Michael Wayland

General Motors has reaped financial benefits and learnings from its $500 million investment in the ride-hailing company Lyft; however, the long-term parameters of the relationship between the two remain uncertain.

Hybrids are better for autonomy, Ford says
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford countered GM's vision for a large-scale self-driving car deployment in 2019 by detailing plans to launch an autonomous hybrid in 2021 for more diverse commercial uses.

An 'olive branch' for BMW dealers
Author: Amy Wilson

BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt is working to revamp the company's culture and improve its relations with the dealership network.

BMW roasts big dealer in countersuit
Author: Amy Wilson

Megadealer Norman Braman filed a federal lawsuit against BMW in September, arguing that changes to a bonus program illegally modified franchise agreements. Now BMW has issued a scorching response.

On recalls, Honda goes the extra mile
Author: Eric Kulisch

It took a while for Honda to recognize the scope of its problem with bad Takata airbag inflators, but since it did, the company has led the way in finding affected vehicles and getting their owners to come in for repairs.

Parsons, Meyers join Automotive News sales team

Matt Parsons and Mary Meyers have joined Automotive News as regional sales managers.

Dealers' optimism strongest in the South
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Dealers are positive about the next quarter, but that optimism varies widely by region, a Cox Automotive survey found.

Ford will test Internet sales models in China
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford is using the world's largest vehicle market as a test bed for alternatives to traditional dealer showrooms.

GM making big changes to lighten pickups
Author: Michael Wayland

It would be the largest-scale automotive application of carbon fiber, whose long, labor-intensive production process and high cost relative to steel and aluminum have limited its use mostly to luxury vehicles and sports cars.

Marketplace showcases GM's remote update capability
Author: Michael Wayland

Over-the-air updates are seen as a key part of connected and autonomous vehicles, as they allow companies to refine their systems over time and provide real-time updates when needed.

Mini's switch to electrics hinges on 2019 launch
Author: Amy Wilson

The Mini brand is contemplating going all electric, but a decision won't be made until early next decade.

Lamborghini bets on power with Urus SUV
Author: Luca Ciferri

Lamborghini's 650-hp, $237,000 Urus is poised to enter at the top of the ultraluxury SUV segment, which already includes the Bentley Bentayga and Mercedes-Benz G 65 AMG, with Aston Martin, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce poised to enter the fast-growing sector .

New AMG 53 line launching in 2018
Author: Amy Wilson

The Mercedes-AMG CLS53 will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2018, kicking off a new line in the AMG performance stable.

Porsche crossovers may go EV, coupe route
Author: Amy Wilson

Porsche will make a final decision next year whether to build full battery-electric and coupe versions of its Cayenne and Macan crossovers.

Costs sink Sommer, but ZF committed to autonomous
Author: David Sedgwick

Boardroom unease over ongoing acquisitions just brought down ZF's CEO. But the parts giant knows it must press on to be a true global autonomous vehicle competitor.

Nissan dangles factory-to-salesperson incentive
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Nissan is steering cash spiffs to dealership sales personnel this month in a bid to sell off 2017 models.

'Redesigning' series thought provoking

Automotive News' articles regarding the future of our business are extremely thought provoking and challenging.

Cadillac, Lincoln could help dealers

Lots of rules these days from brands that have very little market share. Lexus started out with rules that are no longer required, such as advertising guidelines, that Cadillac and Lincoln still hold dealers to.

Give VW credit for thinking ahead on dealer profitability

Volkswagen Group deserves praise for pre-emptively engaging with its dealers globally to ensure that they are prepared and protected as the industry moves further toward electric vehicles.

Looks like they got it right
Author: Keith Crain

I don't know how successful Lincoln will be in China, where it is starting a huge marketing and product push, but the luxury brand looks to be making the right moves in North America.

More info needed on store valuations

It is important to be open to the other person's point of view. I could not tell if Moshe Stopnitzky was objecting to using a multiple for arriving at an asking price for the dealership or for just arriving at an asking price for the blue sky.

Only Musk can get away with this

Burning through $1 billion per quarter, or $8,000 per minute? Anyone but Elon Musk would be waving a white flag or contemplating leaving the country (planet).

The dealership is not dead - just the way we buy vehicles is
Author: Mike Burgiss

Dealerships need to build bridges that connect the online and in-store experience, says Mike Burgiss, vice president of digital retailing at Cox Automotive.

Bilingual staff just the start to success
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

Spanish advertising, a bilingual staff and a refined sales strategy have helped Downey Nissan lead the brand in new-vehicle sales to Hispanic customers so far in 2017.

A century of forward thinking gave rise to F&I office, products of today
Author: Hannah Lutz

In this special section, Automotive News sheds light on a few of the countless people and companies that helped shape the modern dealership F&I office.

Sloan: Willys-Overland first to fill credit 'vacuum'
Author: Jim Henry

GM wasn't the first car company to figure out its customers and dealers needed a finance source they could rely on and do something about it. That honor goes to Willys-Overland Motor Co.

The birth of a captive finance company
Author: Jim Henry

GMAC, launched in 1919, became the model for the modern captive finance company and helped popularize the idea of mass-market consumer financing.

Credit insurance pioneer still a player
Author: Nancy Dunham

It has long been said that the "I" in F&I refers to credit insurance, arguably the first add-on product sold in dealerships' finance and insurance offices. One of the product's earliest providers, Central States Health & Life Co.

Association keeps F&I pros on their game
Author: Hannah Lutz

In the late 1980s, as the auto retail industry braced for an increase in state and federal scrutiny and regulations, the need for a compliance certification program was clear. So industry leaders formed the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals.

Law firm has become 'major force' for dealers
Author: Jackie Charniga

Hudson Cook could be the largest law firm whose practice focuses on all financial aspects of the automobile business. And co-founder Tom Hudson planned it that way.

Software giant Reynolds big in forms, too
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Reynolds and Reynolds has grown into a dealership software giant that — among other things — is a leading supplier of retail installment sales contracts, consumer lease agreements and other support documents that are federally and state compliant.

How online credit applications took off
Author: Jim Henry

The auto finance industry takes online credit applications for granted today, but Dealertrack and RouteOne helped popularize the technology.

On the menu? Customer satisfaction
Author: Hannah Lutz

The F&I landscape shifted in the 1980s. Gone were the days of chasing the money under any circumstance. Customer satisfaction and compliance had to come first. The F&I menu had a hand in that.

JM&A built F&I process around menu
Author: Hannah Lutz

JM&A Group brought the F&I menu to a large part of the market, even creating its own iterations of it, but the company's real strength was building the F&I process around the menu.

Warranty shift gave JM&A an opening
Author: Hannah Lutz

Thirty years ago, there were few F&I products in the market, but when Toyota shifted its warranty program, JM&A Group identified an opportunity to offer a new product to dealerships and consumers: prepaid maintenance.

From one-man show to industry leader
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Paul Askos, founder of service contract provider Western National Warranty Corp., was the kind of guy who did the right thing, even when it seemed like the wrong thing for business.

GAP's roller coaster ride to an F&I staple
Author: Alex Kwanten

Today, nearly half of U.S. vehicle buyers purchase guaranteed asset protection, making it an F&I office product staple. But it's had its ups and downs since arriving on the national market about 25 years ago.

Making a dent in vehicle service contracts
Author: Anisa Jibrell

After years of partnering with body shops for hail damage repairs, Troy Good came to a realization: Why not incorporate paintless dent repair coverage into a service contract, giving dealership F&I departments a new product to sell?

Future of F&I is all about technology
Author: Hannah Lutz

If a century of forward thinking gave rise to the F&I office and products of today, what might the future bring? We asked F&I industry insiders to weigh in.

DMVs find a way to boost recall repair rates
Author: Eric Kulisch

Recall compliance rates quadrupled this year in Vermont and nearly doubled in the District of Columbia after they started listing unrepaired defects on residents' annual vehicle inspection reports, a study commissioned by American Honda found.

Paralympics bring home Toyota message
Author: Laurence Iliff

Many of the devices and mobility concepts the company is highlighting addresses the challenges of personal mobility, including for the elderly, those recovering from an accident, or the permanently disabled.

Toyota marketing key to multicultural appeal
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Toyota has found a natural home amid the eye-popping styles and eclectic musical acts of Afropunk festivals.

Toyota to use Olympic campaign to explain mobility vision
Author: Laurence Iliff

Heeding a call to action from President Akio Toyoda, Toyota marketers are leveraging an eight-year Olympic sponsorship deal and its first global campaign to lay out its vision of mobility for the world.

Nissan's robotaxi field-test to be challenge to Waymo
Author: Hans Greimel

Nissan steps its challenge to Waymo in the race for self-driving cars with plans to field-test robotaxis in downtown Yokohama early next year.

Tennessee plant may be VW's EV factory
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

By building EVs at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen is hoping to get a better return on its billion-dollar investment in the facility.

GM'S DAN AMMANN: Becoming a leader in emerging tech

Dan Ammann helped General Motors through bankruptcy as a Wall Street banker. As GM's president, he's helping to prepare the automaker for unprecedented technological change.

Subaru doesn't need cars for holiday boost
Author: Jack Walsworth

For the second year in a row, Subaru of America's year-end marketing event doesn't include its vehicles.

Industry right-sizes its stocks
Author: Jesse Snyder

Automakers have worked off a yearlong surplus of inventory and enter the busy December selling season with stocks slightly below normal for this time of year.

Intel-Nvidia rivalry gets chippy
Author: Katie Burke

Trying to figure out who is in the lead takes patience and math skills.

Aston: How will Lagonda shape up?

As if plotting to challenge Ferrari in the midengine supercar arena wasn't difficult enough, Aston Martin also is brainstorming how best to break the stranglehold Rolls-Royce and Bentley have on the ultraluxury sedan market.

The last Oldsmobile heads to auction

The last Oldsmobile to come off the line is headed for the auction lane.

Automotove News honors the 2017 All Stars

Automotive News recognized winners of its 2017 All-Stars awards and honorees from previous years during a dinner at the Detroit Zoo last week.

Lexus still in rearview of luxury crown

Mercedes-Benz will take its third-straight U.S. luxury sales crown in 2017. So why isn't Lexus in the running?