CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2010 |
A Downey used-car dealer who allegedly used voodoo-like dolls targeting the prosecutor and investigators was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for a multimillion-dollar house-buying fraud scheme. Ruben Hernandez was accused in 2008 in a series of house purchases using fake Social Security numbers and fake bank statements that defrauded banks of about $4 million. The U.S. Marshals Service took Hernandez into custody in February 2009 after he became involved in a high-speed chase.
May 25, 2010 |
Reporting from Washington As Congress formally began the process of merging Senate and House versions of massive financial regulatory overhaul legislation, the Senate on Monday voted to instruct its negotiators to largely exempt auto dealers from oversight by a new government agency designed to protect consumers from shady lending. The House included such an exemption in its version passed in December. But auto dealers and their supporters were not able to get a vote on such an exemption in the Senate.
May 16, 2010
As the Senate debates a bill to overhaul financial regulations, its backers have fended off a series of attacks on one of its centerpiece reforms: a new consumer protection agency. Still, opponents of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency keep trying to narrow its reach, contending that it threatens to make vital forms of credit less available and more expensive. A critical test for the new agency is expected this week, when the Senate takes up a proposal by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.
February 25, 2010 |
The service departments of auto dealers are headed for tough times. That's the conclusion of a report issued Wednesday by consumer research company J.D. Power & Associates, which also released its annual rankings of consumer satisfaction with dealer service departments. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand received the highest marks for dealer service among the luxury nameplates. Buick scored highest among non-luxury brands, after factoring out the Hummer and Saturn lines General Motors Co. is shutting down.
November 28, 2009 |
Gary Grossinger was showing a visiting Toyota executive around his cavernous new $37-million "autoplex" this year when, somewhere between the first-floor manicurist and the 100,000-square-foot rooftop parking lot, the slack-jawed executive shot off a question. "You know the economy just blew up, don't you?" the executive asked. Grossinger laughed. "Aren't you supposed to be encouraging me?" he replied. These days, Grossinger needs all the encouragement he can get. On Aug. 31, amid a crippling auto industry crisis, the 43-year-old, third-generation auto salesman opened the doors on one of the biggest dealerships in the Midwest.
August 3, 2009 |
Auto dealers found themselves in an unusual situation over the weekend: crowds of anxious buyers and a dwindling supply of cars. The overwhelmingly popular $1-billion federal effort to stimulate auto sales gave dealers another busy weekend, capping nine days of activity they hadn't seen in a long time. And the "cash for clunkers" program will continue for at least two more days.
July 31, 2009 |
With surprising swiftness, the government's "cash for clunkers" program has burned through its $1-billion budget in less than a week as car buyers swarmed dealerships, and federal officials were scrambling late Thursday night to find more money to keep it going.
July 16, 2009 |
Hundreds of car dealers marched on Washington this week, hoping to build public support for a bill to block General Motors and Chrysler from closing about 3,300 dealerships. These were family businesses, they said, mom-and-pop stores employing hundreds of thousands of Americans. And they were being asked to shoulder more than their share of pain in the restructuring of the auto industry. An honest political observer would acknowledge that the bill has almost no chance of becoming law.
July 3, 2009 |
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker, is advancing money to U.S. dealers so they can immediately take advantage of a "cash for clunkers" program. The payments cover new-vehicle credits for consumers until the federal government completes rules for the program and begins paying dealers, Hyundai spokesman Chris Hosford said Thursday. Hyundai is the first manufacturer to extend such advances, he said.
May 30, 2009 |
In the shadow of a big blue inflated gorilla perched on the roof, bright yellow signs shouted "Ultimate Liquidation Event." Deep price cuts, painted in bold neon letters, adorned the windshield of nearly every car on the Garden Grove dealership lot. Janice and Yao Huang arrived on a hot afternoon looking for a bargain. "We're here for the sale," Yao told Danny Covin as he approached, squinting in the sun. "We heard you are closing down. Do you have things on sale?"