October 20, 2006 |
They call him Coach and tend to hang on his every word, as if he's leading them into the biggest game of their lives. Yet, the athletes who work for Rich Abajian have left their playing days behind, their shot at glory either having fizzled or never quite taken hold. Their arena is now paved and stocked with row upon row of shimmering cars a few miles off the Las Vegas Strip.
August 28, 2006 |
Car dealers are typically optimists. They can be counted on to see the glass as half full. So when the chief executive of the country's biggest auto retailer delivers a stern message to the troops, his words carry particularly grim weight. "Rising interest rates are going to pop the bubble in real estate, and that, combined with rising gas prices, is toxic to the consumer," AutoNation Inc. Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson said in an interview last week.
August 16, 2006 |
BMW of San Francisco will pay $4.4 million to about 200 current and former employees under a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board. German Motors, which does business as BMW of San Francisco, "unlawfully implemented new terms and conditions of employment of union-represented employees in 1989," the National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday. The car dealer violated labor laws by invalidly declaring an impasse during contract negotiations, the agency said.
August 15, 2006 |
Ford Motor Co. wants to reduce its dealership network in the United States, particularly in major metropolitan areas such as Southern California, to allow the survivors to improve profits as the company battles to reverse a decade of slumping sales. The plan, outlined to dealers at a meeting in Las Vegas last week, will be "voluntary and collaborative," Ford spokesman Jim Cain said Monday. Details have not been announced. For Dearborn, Mich.
June 21, 2006 |
FIRST, some back story. It's World War II, and U.S. carmakers have shifted to more important products -- jeeps and anything else that would help fill the Army's arsenal. With new cars in short supply, dealers become hungrier sharks, having to work harder to sell vehicles that were past their prime. Enter Madman Muntz, who was so young when he began selling cars back in Illinois that his mother had to sign sales papers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2006 |
A man allegedly associated with Israeli organized crime pleaded guilty to extorting a Beverly Hills Lamborghini dealer, cutting short a trial that had touched on a Tel Aviv bank embezzlement and the gray market in luxury cars. Hai Waknine was listening to testimony Tuesday from his codefendant, Gabriel Harroch, in federal court in Los Angeles when his attorneys sent Assistant U.S. Atty. Thomas P. Sleisenger a note proposing a plea.
June 15, 2006 |
It was a sweet ride turned sour: a $1.7-million Mercedes-Benz roadster that died after cruising 10 blocks. That works out to $170,000 a block -- perhaps the most expensive test drive on record. On Wednesday, a high-end Los Angeles automobile dealer sued Mercedes-Benz and DaimlerChrysler, saying they sold him a silver, two-door lemon. "It's the mother of all lemons," said Mark Johnston, co-owner of Grand Prix Motors.
June 13, 2006 |
Rashida Redd punched in a six-digit code in her Pontiac Grand Prix and got a new lease on life. The 34-year-old Pottstown, Pa., mother of five had to file for bankruptcy protection about a year ago in the face of mounting medical bills from her husband's open-heart surgery. Despite her poor credit history, Redd was able to lease the 3-year-old car from Williams Pre-Owned of Limerick on the condition that it have a starter-interrupt device. "At least I was able to save the house," Redd said.
May 24, 2006 |
At the groundbreaking ceremony last year for Mercedes-Benz of Valencia, co-owner Kevin Malone told the crowd he wanted the dealership to be open by Christmas, prime shopping season for the luxury brand. The next speaker, a Mercedes executive, said an opening before Thanksgiving would be even better. Santa Clarita's city manager then mentioned the Fourth of July. They were kidding, but Malone wasn't.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2006 |
Two Santa Ana council members have asked the Orange County Grand Jury to investigate a $6-million city expenditure last month to help an auto dealership expand. In a Feb. 7 letter, Claudia Alvarez and Lisa Bist asked the grand jury to determine whether city officials had properly negotiated a land deal. They also asked whether the council's 4-2 vote that approved it was ethical. The council changed bylaws to allow the approval with four votes instead of five. At issue is a Jan.