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 automobile know-how advisory business that allows business owners raise revenue and maximize the benefit of their firms.

The information cycle proceeds at a torrid pace this calendar year, and this very last 7 days was no exception. It is unbelievable just how considerably alter is coming to the market. If you blink, you could overlook major news that potentially impacts the franchise dealer product. 

This week I want to recap 3 essential news products that came throughout the wire over the earlier week – news that dealers should largely be focused on checking. 

1. Purchase/Promote action

Initially up, there is NO indicator that physical dealership invest in/provide exercise will sluggish down at any time shortly. 

Lithia Motors has been the most ravenous of the public acquirers, intending to get to 500 rooftops and $50 billion in earnings ahead of they’ve crafted out their planned footprint. Lithia’s aggressive pace of acquisitions has supplied a flooring for valuations in the current market. 

This week, Lithia introduced the acquire of 10 dealerships throughout southern Florida and Nevada, which will insert $950 million pounds in predicted annualized revenue.

So much, the U.S. dealership buy-provide sector is monitoring at a similar pace to a file-breaking 2021 last calendar year was widely viewed as the largest yr for retailer acquisitions in historical past.

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

In parallel, valuations continue on to bounce alongside at an all-time large. 

From my viewpoint, valuations will not likely get a lot larger than they are today. When natural acquirers like Lithia have happy their appetite and crammed out their prepared footprint, valuations will probably regress toward historical levels. 

Significant inflation and gas rates, lower consumer sentiment, mounting curiosity costs, and inventory market declines may well pace us again to much more normalized valuations. 

But for now, these record-substantial valuations are staying utilized to file-large earnings, predominantly attributable to a lack of new-automobile supply. Quite a few sellers are having the option to translate these extra income into getting additional bodily stores. 

Even though the dealer principals I converse with generally concentrate on only beneath-carrying out retailers exactly where they can justify having to pay sky-substantial valuations used to these inflated income. I imagine some buyers in this present-day natural environment will sooner or later come to feel “Buyers Remorse” when valuations inevitably slide again to earth. 

2. Ford finishes lease buyouts for EVs

Future up this week is intriguing information from Ford Motor Corporation, which introduced that they have stopped allowing prospects in most states to invest in their electrical automobiles at the conclude of a lease, a policy they say will support control EV battery recycling.

For instance, Ford Credit score mentioned shoppers who lease an F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, or E-Transit ought to return the auto when the agreement is up and can then renew their lease with a new car or truck if they choose.

Though Ford is communicating that this initiative is to aid reclaim the uncooked inputs into batteries, as rates have skyrocketed above the earlier 12 months, I consider there might be other dynamics at perform. 

We’re going to see a proliferation of new EV products around the future 18 months, and the OEMs will surely not be able to forecast residual values on all of these automobiles precisely. I consider this will permit Ford to manage residual worth chance for new EV styles that may have volatile pricing at the end of the phrase. By managing the applied car or truck source, Ford can intently check and impact the cost of utilized pricing.

Both of those GM (with CarBravo) and Ford (with Blue Advantage) now control their very own on-line utilized car internet websites. By managing the off-lease volume, they can make certain that exclusive, appealing, applied cars are only accessible on their proprietary web sites. 

The Automakers have been observing latest applied vehicle dynamics, which includes that most vehicles are coming back again at the conclusion of lease phrase with countless numbers of pounds of positive equity. Ford will effectively have a phone selection to participate economically in any auto coming back with optimistic equity as an alternative of surrendering that profit to the customer or the vendor. 

It’s also possible that Ford realizes that battery and charging engineering will advance so quickly that they may perhaps want the solution of getting rid of utilized EVs from the highway, which could not complete competitively compared to brand new styles staying sold in the upcoming. 

Blocking the client from being capable to buy the device at the conclude of their phrase does make a lease experience a great deal a lot more like a membership products. 

Let us think about broader implications of this move, anticipating that other OEMs will elect to abide by the same path. It will signify significantly much less off-lease automobiles readily available to the automakers’ franchise vendor networks and independent dealerships.

We’ll be viewing to see which other automakers announce very similar ideas around the coming months. I anticipate we will see several some others stick to 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 greater regulation could be coming to supplier F&I profits. 

This 7 days, the FTC proposed banning finance, insurance protection, and bodily auto increase-ons that estimate-unquote “provide no benefit” and call for expanded disclosure and consent on these types of optional solutions — which include a list of prices on the internet.

The agency is also thinking of cracking down on dealerships’ marketing connected to the charge of the car by itself.

An accompanying news release continuously depicted actual physical additions and F&I products and solutions as “junk costs.” Nevertheless, the four commissioners supporting rules acknowledged in a individual statement that “Not all incorporate-ons provide no benefit.”

The FTC’s proposed restrictions contain:

  • Bans on all products and solutions devoid of gain. 
  • Putting up a listing of all optional add-ons and their rates on-line. 
  • Bans on deceptive pricing advertising.
  •  Disclosure and declining in writing of the “Cash Price tag without the need of Optional Include-ons.” 
  • “Express, Informed Consent” on F&I merchandise and other increase-ons.

Because the CFPB was mostly “de-fanged” throughout the Trump administration, there hasn’t been much threat of regulators squeezing vendor finance and insurance coverage revenue. 

We will be holding a shut eye on this latest progress and if the FTC, or any other federal government entity, starts encroaching on and threatening dealership gain facilities. 

I informed you the news cycle was fast paced this week.

These problems really should be monitored intently by dealerships and have wide implications for the franchise dealership design and ongoing profitability into the upcoming. 

Providers To Enjoy 

Each 7 days we highlight intriguing corporations in the automotive technological know-how place to continue to keep an eye on. If you read through my month to month business Intel Report, I showcase a several corporations just about every month, and we take the option right here on the Friday 5 to share some of individuals companies every week with you.

Now, we have two businesses to watch: WrenchWay and Axion.


For as prolonged as I don’t forget, I have heard from dealerships that they’ve had difficulty recruiting and retaining experts.

WrenchWay is a career-recruitment system for both equally technicians and provider departments. It is shifting that dynamic by providing techs an insider’s see of dealerships’ operations, products, fork out amounts, business tradition and other pertinent facts.

WrenchWay accomplishes this with its Best Shop software. Dealerships spend a $150 monthly payment to be stated as a Prime Shop, but the listing is a great deal much more in-depth than a standard position-board submit. Dealers should incorporate distinct details prior to posts are accepted, including pay out stages for professionals, office features presented (factors like air conditioning and heating), and offered equipment.

In addition, the posting need to incorporate videos displaying what the shop appears to be like like and interviews with professionals and preset ops administration who speak about what it’s like to do the job in their retailers. This exceptional approach markets the dealership and the prospect to extra than just the task-seeker. 

I enjoy this firm mainly because they are attempting to fix one of the most significant pain details for dealers’ FixedOps departments – recruiting and retaining professionals. The company was commenced due to the fact a dealership wanted enable recruiting, and they preferred to carry know-how and approach to make their attempts repeatable and scalable. 

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


Axion is an AI system & predictive digital providing for engineers and QA administration that permits buyers to successfully mine by means of tons of unstructured facts to derive insights to accelerate car or truck enhancement proficiently. 

Axion’s mission is to empower engineering leaders with the most effective determination intelligence platform, to improve selections to provide the most effective success.

Forward-thinking engineering leaders across automotive, aerospace, and defense leverage Axion to speed up product or service advancement, improve program scheduling & collaboration with suppliers, and enhance top quality using Axion’s predictive AI-based digital platform. Shoppers include Boeing and the U.S. Air Drive.

I really like this organization due to the fact they can increase a user’s existing procedure to very immediately and competently mine by means of tons of unstructured knowledge to derive insights. Axion gives very clear visibility into the long run effects of today’s choices and actions. 

Test out Axion at www.AxionRay.com.


So that is your weekly Friday 5, a swift wrap-up of the major bargains in the automotive technological innovation place above the past 7 days.

If you are an early-stage automotive technology entrepreneur looking to increase dollars, or an entrepreneur who is making an attempt to make a decision whether or not and when they ought to elevate money or market their business, I’d appreciate to discuss with you.

Thank you for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Friday Five, and we’ll see you up coming 7 days!

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Jaime E. Love

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