February 10, 1992 |
From the clinking glasses, lavish spreads and dinner dances at the annual National Automobile Dealers Assn.'s meeting here, you might not guess that America's 24,000 car dealers have just clambered out of one of their worst years ever and are heading into another with dismal prospects. But under the outward cheer--almost a requisite character trait for car salesmen--are signs that something is amiss.
November 29, 1993 |
You did your homework, pored over Consumer Reports and Car & Driver, yet you still managed to pay $800 too much for that Ford Taurus or Olds Cutlass. Kevin King can sympathize. Until a few years ago, he might have been the sales guy who took you to the cleaners. A former car sales and leasing agent, King now runs 1-900-Autofax Inc., which sells computer software listing the prices dealers pay for cars and various options.
May 8, 1997 |
American Honda Motor Co., mounting a new challenge to billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga's drive to become the nation's dominant car dealer, filed a potentially far-reaching lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block Huizenga's Republic Industries from buying more Honda dealerships.
April 4, 1988
Latino and Asian car dealers are outnumbered almost 2-to-1 by black dealers, according to the National Assn. of Minority Automobile Dealers, and the gap seems to be widening. Ford, for example, has the car industry's most aggressive minority dealer development program, with 187 black dealers now and a target of 320 by the end of next year. Yet it has just 28 Latino-owned dealerships and six owned by Asians. Only three of Ford's 40 dealer trainees are Latino and none are Asian.
April 4, 1988 |
Mike A. Hernandez Sr., a car dealer for 18 years, still remembers the tough competition from imports in the early 1980s, so last fall he set out to get an import dealership himself. "To stay in business for the next 10 years, you can't be a single-line franchise," he said. "The small dealerships are going to be eaten alive. If you don't have a domestic and import franchise, you won't survive." But Hernandez remains chagrined by what he found when he went looking for an import franchise.
October 4, 1991 |
The new 1992 cars have just arrived in the parking lots of anxious dealerships, where salesmen are trying to crowd out memories of bleak sales with hopes for brighter futures. Rebates are higher, warranties are longer and safety features have increased--all weapons in the battle for the buyer. But car dealers are having a tough sell, a fact that was not lost on Los Angeles stockbroker Steve Stovall.
August 22, 1988 |
A fragile truce reached two months ago between long-feuding new car dealers and independent automobile brokers over the lucrative California motor vehicle market has collapsed and threatens to sink compromise legislation both sides once praised as good for the consumer. The delicately balanced agreement vanished 10 days ago when some major dealers shifted their position on the bill from neutral to opposed and hired two high-powered lobbyists to try to kill it.
February 14, 1992 |
Throughout the 1980s, while the auto industry concentrated on learning how to design and build better cars, the retail end of the business remained virtually unchanged. But the advances of the last decade have led to sharply increased competition in the marketing sphere that is forcing car dealers and the manufacturers themselves to fundamentally rethink the way cars are bought and sold. One dealer fired his sales staff and put fixed sticker prices on all his cars.
February 11, 1993 |
Many car buyers would rather gargle castor oil than negotiate with auto dealers. "Twenty-five years ago most people who bought new cars were geared toward price negotiations, a horse-trading approach," says Rick Popely, senior auto editor for Consumer Guide Magazine. "Most consumers today are not inclined to do that. They feel intimidated by the dealership."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 1985 |
That hallowed axiom of salesmen, "whatever the traffic will bear," has lost some of its luster among the automobile dealers of Thousand Oaks. Lately, the traffic has been bearing down heavily on Westlake Auto Center, the city's upscale auto row. And the dealers want the city to pass a law to stop it.