April 20, 2024


General Inside You

3 crucial automotive industry developments that car dealers need to monitor


Welcome to this episode of The Friday 5 with Steve Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an car technological innovation advisory agency that helps business owners elevate funds and maximize the price of their corporations.

The news cycle carries on at a torrid rate this calendar year, and this very last week was no exception. It’s amazing just how considerably modify is coming to the field. If you blink, you might miss out on major information that likely impacts the franchise dealer model. 

This 7 days I want to recap 3 important news goods that arrived throughout the wire about the previous 7 days – information that dealers must primarily be targeted on checking. 

1. Get/Market exercise

Initially up, there is NO indicator that bodily dealership acquire/offer activity will slow down at any time shortly. 

Lithia Motors has been the most ravenous of the general public acquirers, intending to get to 500 rooftops and $50 billion in earnings just before they’ve crafted out their prepared footprint. Lithia’s intense tempo of acquisitions has supplied a floor for valuations in the industry. 

This 7 days, Lithia introduced the buy of 10 dealerships throughout southern Florida and Nevada, which will include $950 million bucks in predicted annualized earnings.

So much, the U.S. dealership acquire-sell sector is tracking at a identical speed to a document-breaking 2021 very last yr was greatly regarded the most significant 12 months for retail store acquisitions in historical past.

The variety of dealerships that altered palms in the 1st quarter of 2022 was similar to that of the 1st quarter of 2021.

In parallel, valuations continue on to bounce together at an all-time substantial. 

From my perspective, valuations will not possible get significantly higher than they are nowadays. When pure acquirers like Lithia have glad their appetite and crammed out their planned footprint, valuations will possible regress in direction of historic ranges. 

Large inflation and gas rates, very low buyer sentiment, soaring fascination fees, and inventory market place declines could speed us back to extra normalized valuations. 

But for now, these history-higher valuations are being applied to file-higher earnings, mostly attributable to a lack of new-car offer. Lots of sellers are using the opportunity to translate these excess gains into attaining extra physical outlets. 

When the supplier principals I converse with generally concentrate on only less than-doing merchants wherever they can justify having to pay sky-large valuations used to these inflated revenue. I visualize some buyers in this present ecosystem will eventually feel “Buyers Remorse” when valuations inevitably fall back again to earth. 

2. Ford finishes lease buyouts for EVs

Subsequent up this week is attention-grabbing news from Ford Motor Company, which announced that they have stopped making it possible for prospects in most states to buy their electric motor vehicles at the conclude of a lease, a policy they say will support regulate EV battery recycling.

For instance, Ford Credit rating mentioned shoppers who lease an F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, or E-Transit need to return the vehicle when the deal is up and can then renew their lease with a new vehicle if they pick out.

While Ford is speaking that this initiative is to assistance reclaim the uncooked inputs into batteries, as rates have skyrocketed above the earlier year, I feel there might be other dynamics at engage in. 

We’re going to see a proliferation of new EV models about the following 18 months, and the OEMs will definitely not be in a position to forecast residual values on all of these vehicles accurately. I consider this will enable Ford to management residual price danger for new EV designs that might have volatile pricing at the close of the expression. By managing the made use of auto offer, Ford can carefully keep track of and impact the price of utilized pricing.

Both equally GM (with CarBravo) and Ford (with Blue Gain) now handle their personal on the web used car or truck internet websites. By managing the off-lease volume, they can be certain that exclusive, attractive, utilised vehicles are only obtainable on their proprietary web sites. 

The Automakers have been observing the latest utilised motor vehicle dynamics, including that most vehicles are coming again at the finish of lease time period with countless numbers of bucks of favourable equity. Ford will primarily have a connect with option to participate economically in any vehicle coming back again with optimistic equity in its place of surrendering that earnings to the customer or the supplier. 

It is also likely that Ford realizes that battery and charging technological innovation will progress so swiftly that they may want the choice of eradicating applied EVs from the road, which may possibly not complete competitively compared to model new versions currently being sold in the foreseeable future. 

Stopping the buyer from currently being in a position to purchase the unit at the finish of their expression does make a lease truly feel a ton more like a membership product. 

Let’s believe about broader implications of this shift, anticipating that other OEMs will elect to stick to the very same path. It will indicate considerably fewer off-lease cars accessible to the automakers’ franchise vendor networks and unbiased dealerships.

We’ll be watching to see which other automakers announce equivalent designs over the coming months. I count on we will see quite a few others follow Ford’s guide. 

3. FTC cracks down on F&I departments

Very last but not the very least this week, The Federal Trade Commission has signaled that enhanced regulation could be coming to vendor F&I profits. 

This week, the FTC proposed banning finance, insurance plan protection, and bodily car incorporate-ons that quotation-unquote “provide no benefit” and need expanded disclosure and consent on these kinds of optional solutions — including a list of price ranges on the internet.

The agency is also thinking about cracking down on dealerships’ advertising similar to the value of the vehicle alone.

An accompanying news launch consistently depicted bodily additions and F&I merchandise as “junk costs.” However, the 4 commissioners supporting restrictions acknowledged in a different assertion that “Not all insert-ons deliver no price.”

The FTC’s proposed laws involve:

  • Bans on all items with no gain. 
  • Submitting a listing of all optional insert-ons and their charges on-line. 
  • Bans on misleading pricing promoting.
  •  Disclosure and declining in producing of the “Cash Rate without Optional Add-ons.” 
  • “Express, Educated Consent” on F&I items and other insert-ons.

Due to the fact the CFPB was largely “de-fanged” during the Trump administration, there has not been considerably menace of regulators squeezing dealer finance and insurance policy income. 

We will be holding a shut eye on this most recent growth and if the FTC, or any other federal government entity, starts encroaching on and threatening dealership gain centers. 

I instructed you the news cycle was fast paced this 7 days.

These troubles need to be monitored carefully by dealerships and have wide implications for the franchise dealership product and ongoing profitability into the upcoming. 

Companies To Look at 

Just about every 7 days we highlight appealing companies in the automotive technology room to retain an eye on. If you browse my month-to-month market Intel Report, I showcase a several corporations just about every thirty day period, and we choose the chance listed here on the Friday Five to share some of those providers every single 7 days with you.

These days, we have two firms to observe: WrenchWay and Axion.


For as very long as I don’t forget, I have heard from dealerships that they’ve had issue recruiting and retaining technicians.

WrenchWay is a career-recruitment system for each professionals and provider departments. It is transforming that dynamic by offering techs an insider’s view of dealerships’ functions, gear, shell out levels, organization culture and other pertinent info.

WrenchWay accomplishes this with its Leading Store program. Dealerships pay out a $150 month-to-month rate to be mentioned as a Major Shop, but the listing is a great deal much more in-depth than a regular career-board publish. Sellers ought to contain distinct information and facts right before posts are acknowledged, together with pay back stages for specialists, workplace amenities offered (things like air conditioning and heating), and readily available tools.

In addition, the publishing have to include video clips exhibiting what the store seems to be like and interviews with professionals and set ops management who discuss about what it is like to get the job done in their stores. This distinctive solution marketplaces the dealership and the possibility to more than just the occupation-seeker. 

I love this business for the reason that they are trying to address 1 of the most major suffering points for dealers’ FixedOps departments – recruiting and retaining technicians. The business was started off mainly because a dealership needed assist recruiting, and they required to bring technologies and method to make their initiatives repeatable and scalable. 

You can examine out WrenchWay at www.WrenchWay.com.


Axion is an AI system & predictive electronic presenting for engineers and QA administration that lets users to successfully mine by way of tons of unstructured knowledge to derive insights to accelerate car or truck advancement effectively. 

Axion’s mission is to empower engineering leaders with the very best final decision intelligence platform, to improve selections to supply the most effective benefits.

Ahead-imagining engineering leaders throughout automotive, aerospace, and defense leverage Axion to speed up solution progress, greatly enhance plan planning & collaboration with suppliers, and enhance top quality applying Axion’s predictive AI-dependent electronic system. Consumers involve Boeing and the U.S. Air Power.

I adore this enterprise mainly because they can augment a user’s current process to very rapidly and competently mine through tons of unstructured facts to derive insights. Axion gives obvious visibility into the long run outcomes of today’s decisions and steps. 

Test out Axion at www.AxionRay.com.


So which is your weekly Friday 5, a speedy wrap-up of the major discounts in the automotive technological innovation house above the earlier week.

If you’re an early-stage automotive know-how entrepreneur seeking to increase money, or an entrepreneur who is making an attempt to come to a decision no matter whether and when they must elevate cash or provide their business enterprise, I’d enjoy to speak with you.

Thank you for tuning into CBT Information for this week’s Friday 5, and we’ll see you subsequent week!

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