January 19, 2015
ON THE WEB: ’Vettes Hold Value
NADA Used Car Guide analysts detailed the one-year performance of all new, or heavily redesigned, mainstream car and truck models and the 2014 Corvette dominated other models by retaining 84.7 percent of its typically equipped manufacturer suggested retail price.
New Law Expands Salvage Buyers
A new law repeals the requirement for a state-issued bidding license for the purchase of salvage vehicles at salvage auctions in Ohio.
Honda Pays for Failing To Report Problems
Honda will pay two $35 million civil penalties, for a total of $70 million, for failing to report deaths, injuries, and certain warranty claims to the federal government.
Ally Announces Stock Sale by U.S Treasury
Ally Financial Inc. announced the U.S. Treasury has sold its remaining 54.9 million shares of the company’s stock.
Rush - Dated Material
Lower Gas Prices Hurt Electric Cars By Ted Craig
DETROIT – The dramatic drop in gas prices benefits the residuals of some vehicles and hurts others. At a recent Cox Automotive event, Eric Ibarra, Kelley Blue Book’s director of residuals, said trucks currently have the highest 60-month residual values. Electric vehicles are at the other end of the spectrum. Used electric vehicles already prove a hard sale, since tax and other credits can make a new version cheaper. “It’s not organic demand,” said Alec Gutierrez, Kelley’s senior market analyst. It’s hard enough to move electric and other alternative fuel vehicles without the credits and other perks, such as the ability to drive in the high-occupancy vehicle lane. Doing it when gas is below $2.50 is especially challenging. Manufacturers have started offering large incentives on their alternative fuel vehicles to move them. That’s less possible in the used market. More off-lease alternative
vehicles have started coming back to the market this year, adding to the price pressure. The situation will only grow worse in the next few years as the off-lease volume doubles, Ibarra said. The question now is how long will gas prices stay this low and what effect will there be on consumer behavior when they start to rise. The answer seems “little effect,” unless prices skyrocket. Surveys on KBB.com showed fuel efficiency declining as a major concern early last year when gas prices were still closer to $4 than to $2. Vehicles today are much more fuel efficient than they were 10 years ago, said Karl Brauer, another senior analyst at Kelley. Consumers start to focus more on function than fuel at a certain point, he said. “Once you get to 30 miles per gallon, most consumers said, ‘Good enough,’” Brauer said. This higher fuel efficiency has come mostly through improvements to vehicles with gasoline engines.
Photo by Ted Craig OUTLOOK: Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Alec Gutierrez describes the current state of new-car incentives during a recent event.
Consumers trust these vehicles more and there is no need for a new infrastructure to provide fuel. The vehicle benefiting the most from the current environment is the compact crossover, Gutierrez said. Consumers are considering these vehicles along with midsize and compact
cars, the two best-selling segments. The market for these three segments is so competitive that it’s seeing higher incentives. Overall, incentives remain lower as a percentage of average transaction prices than they were before the recession, Gutierrez said.
Automotive Industry Hinges on Credit, Capacity, Competition By Ted Craig
DETROIT – The recovery of the auto industry in the past few years has been nearly miraclous. The question now is how much longer it can last. Ravi Shanker, lead auto analyst for Morgan Stanley, focused on three areas to watch in coming months during a talk at the Society of Automotive Analysts’ outlook conference. The biggest factor remains credit availability. “The banks run the auto industry,” Shanker said.
The second factor Shanker said to keep an eye on was capacity. The manufacturers today are matching production and demand. That could change in the near future, causing a return to the days of pushing inventory on dealers and moving them with incentives. The third factor is competition. Shanker said that could heat up in the next few years due to the weaker yen. This means the Japanese manufacturers make more of a profit on each vehicle they sell and then reinvest in their products. “In a way, the industry looks like it did in 2006,” Shanker said.
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State Uses Dodd-Frank to Shut Down Auto Creditor A state regulator became the first to use the DoddFrank Act as the basis for action against an auto finance company. The New York Department of Financial Services settled a lawsuit against Condor Capital Corp. and its sole share-
ner that ensures appropriate consumer protections, Condor will surrender its licenses in all states. What made this case special was that it went through the federal court system, rather than state court. Dodd-Frank gives
warranted,” said Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services. Attorney Tom Hudson said what it demonstrates to auto finance companies is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is “not the only
“This case demonstrates that the Dodd-Frank Act provides a powerful new tool for state regulators to pursue wrongdoing and obtain restitution for consumers who were abused. We hope other regulators across the country will consider taking similar actions when warranted.” Benjamin M. Lawsky holder, Stephen Baron, that claimed the Long Islandbased creditor deceptively retained millions of dollars owed to customers and overcharged them for interest. Condor and Baron will make full restitution plus 9 percent interest to all aggrieved customers nationwide (an estimated $8-9 million), pay a $3 million penalty, and admit violations of New York and federal law. Following a sale of its remaining loans in a man-
state regulators the ability to bring civil actions in federal court for violations of the Act’s consumer protection requirements. “This case demonstrates that the Dodd-Frank Act provides a powerful new tool for state regulators to pursue wrongdoing and obtain restitution for consumers who were abused. We hope other regulators across the country will consider taking similar actions when
policeman on the beat” when it comes to Dodd-Frank. Hudson said this and earlier actions by the CFPB indicate that credit reporting and privacy are high-priority interests of the regulators. Condor concealed from its customers and the Financial Services Department that it owed these consumers money as a result of an overpayment to their accounts. Condor retained these
positive credit balances for itself and maintained a policy of failing to refund positive credit balances except when expressly requested by a customer. Condor did not notify its customers when positive credit balances remained in their accounts at the conclusion of their loans. Furthermore, Condor programmed its website to terminate customers’ access to their account information once their loans were terminated, even if the customers had positive credit balances in their accounts. In addition, Condor told the New York State Comptroller that it had no unclaimed property when in fact the company was required to report its customers’ positive credit balances. Condor also violated the Truth in Lending Act by calculating the interest it charged its customers based on a 360-day year and applying the resulting daily interest rate to its customers’ loan accounts each of the 365 days during the year.
This practice resulted in a difference in its customers’ APR in excess of the oneeighth of 1 percent tolerance permitted under the Truth in Lending Act. Condor attempted to add an additional one-eighth of one percent interest back to customers’ accounts on multiple occasions even after being informed by regulators that this practice violated TILA. Condor also endangered the security of its customers’ personal information. Among other information security lapses, Condor left stacks of hard-copy customer loan files lying openly around the common areas of Condor’s offices. Condor also failed to adopt basic policies, procedures, and controls to ensure that its information technology systems were secure despite repeated directives from regulators. “Finance companies ought to take note that most of the violations alleged by the regulator involved servicing and back office issues,” Hudson said.
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Â Ă›Ă›Ă?Ă›Ă›January 19, 2015
USED CAR NEWS
NEWS BRIEFS NIADA Announces Partnerships
40,000 square feet, will be the first would make their diagnostic codes share 27 separate pieces of vehicle, The National Independent Auto- CarMax store in Minnesota and is and repair data available in a com- sales and customer information bemon format by the 2018 model year, tween both systems. mobile Dealers Association recently scheduled to open in March. as the Massachusetts law requires. These instant updates reduce the announced a pair of partnerships. In return, lobbying groups for repair need for data entry and streamline U-Save Car & Truck Rental has Right to Repair Goes National For more than a decade, indepen- shops and parts retailers would re- the sales process. teamed up with NIADA to offer Through this new integration, dent car repair chains such as Jiffy frain from pursuing state-by-state franchise opportunities to existing dealers can immediately send buyer, Lube and parts retailers such as Au- legislation. used-car dealers. co-buyer, and co-signer information NIADA and EFG Companies also toZone have been lobbying for laws DMS Firm Teams with CRM Provider from DealerSocket CRM directly to that would give them standardized announced a new strategic partAutoStar Fusion DMS. The integraaccess to the diagnostic tools that Dealership technology provider nership to drive greater F&I profit opportunities for independent deal- automakers give their franchised AutoStar Solutions has announced tion also sends any completed residealers. the integration of its AutoStar Fu- dence and employer information for erships nationwide. Automakers have resisted, citsion dealer management system each contact into the system. EFG serves the indepenEvery night, AutoStar automatiing the cost of software changes with DealerSocketâ€™s customer reladent dealer as a single-source cally syncs inventory and sales inprovider for F&I products, required to make the information tionship management. AutoStarâ€™s latest two-way integra- formation from its Fusion DMS to services and administration. more accessible. But when Massachusetts legislators passed a law tion allows dealers to automatically DealerSocket CRM. last year that automakers saw as a decent compromise, they decided to GWC Unveils Headquarters Published By General Media LLC GWC Warranty announced the ex- cut their losses. Recently, two trade groups repreUSED CAR NEWS (ISSN 1555-7413) is published at pansion of its headquarters. 24114 Harper, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080 GWCâ€™s facility has been expanded senting automakers â€“ the Alliance to almost 20,000 square feet. The of Automobile Manufacturers and Phone: 586-772-5200 or 800-794-0760 Fax: 586-772-9400 new space was built adjacent to the the Association of Global Automakwww.usedcarnews.com existing area in Coal Street Park in ers â€“ announced an agreement with independent garages and retailers to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Charles M. Thomas Officially unveiled Dec. 17, make Massachusettsâ€™ law a national Founder (1947-2002) the new 3,000-square-foot standard. Under the deal, all auto companies area features numerous workLynda R. Thomas, Publisher stations and private offices. Colleen Fitzgerald, General Manager C R O S S WO R D
CarMax Hires for New Store
CarMax Inc. is hiring more than 75 positions for the companyâ€™s new store in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The new store, which is more than
by Myles Mellor
Editorial: Ted Craig, Managing Editor Jeffrey Bellant, Staff Writer Contributing Writers: Ed Fitzgerald, Jenny King, Sheila McGrath Columnist: Tony Moorby Advertising: Shannon Colby, Account Manager Megan Frump, Account Manager Marie Hingst, Account Manager Circulation: Helen Thomas Production: Josie Godlewski, Media Manager Tim Montie, Graphic Designer â€”â€”â€”
Used Car News is published the first and third Monday of each month. Subscribers: We print advertisements as sent to us by auctions and other advertisers. It is not possible to verify the correctness of listed vehicles in auction ads. Most lists are partial and all lists are subject to last minute changes by auto auctions, so before travelling a long distance for a particular auto auction event, contact the auction by telephone for a fax of vehicles in the sale. Used Car News assumes no guarantees or liabilities concerning the accuracy of any advertisements. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the written consent of the publisher. É&#x; É&#x; É&#x; Please submit clear, legible copy. Payments from first time advertisers must accompany the insertion order. Distribution is guaranteed by U.S. Postal Carriers. The advertising reservation deadline is 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10 days prior to the issue date. Camera ready ads must be received by noon on Monday prior to the issue date.
Join the Conversation! Visit Used Car News online at www.usedcarnews.com or scan this QR code with your smartphone to be taken directly to the website.
1/12/15 4:45 PM
Self-Driving Cars Near TROY, Mich. â€“ According to survey results released by Boston Consulting Group, a significant number of consumers will turn some or all of their driving responsibilities over to upcoming partially-automated and fully-automated vehicles. The possible good news for dealers and consumers is the liability for the sophisticated content of these vehicles is likely to shift from owners to suppliers. Early estimates of the cost of the added technology in a fully-
loaded autonomous vehicle is around $10,000, said BCG North American leader in automotive practice Xavier Bosquet. Of the 1,500 North American consumers who were recently active or plan to be active in the market, a large percentage said they could imagine spending an additional $4,000-$5,000 for the added technology. Partially autonomous vehicles are primed to enter the market. Continued on page 10
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Certified pre-owned sales broke all records to end the year. Dealers sold 200,671 CPO units in December, according to AutoData Corp., a new record for the month. CPO sales also set records for the quarter (596,178 units sold) and the year (2,340,752 units sold). Kia, Land Rover and Lexus had their best month ever, a reflection of the wide adoption of these programs. Toyota was the leader for December and for the year. Toyota dealers sold 28,664 CPO units in December and 355,998 in all of 2014. Chevrolet came in second with 24.067 certified sales in December and 285,036 for the year. Cars.com chief analyst Jesse Toprak said certified sales have taken off because they benefit all parties involved – the manufacturers, the dealers and the consumers. Manufacturers like certified programs because dealers pay higher than average wholesale prices for the units and this maintains residual values. Dealers are willing to pay more because CPO units have a higher margin and provide ongoing revenue through warranty work.
Consumers pay more for certified vehicles because they get peace of mind. They also get numerous perks, including a warranty, better finance rates and added enticements like six months of free satellite radio. The downside of CPO units is they can have a negative effect on noncertified used-car prices and they can eat into new-car sales. Toprak said that on the used car side, it’s a question of stocking the right vehicles so they avoid competition with the certified units. “Inventory management has always been key,” Toprak said. “It’s just a little more complicated. It’s more of a science.” Toprak said certified sales could be a threat to new-car sales because they often make more sense than buying a new car. But there remain many consumers who only buy new cars. Certified sales could make up 30 percent of used-car sales for franchise dealers, Toprak said, based on availability of certifiable units. Given the increase in off-lease vehicles coming this year, it’s likely 2014’s records will prove shortlived. (For a full listing of CPO sales, visit http://usedcarnews.com/data-center/cpo.)
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VOLKSWAGEN, FORD TAKE TOP HONORS FOR CAR, TRUCK AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW Fifty-seven automotive journalists from Canada and the United States have voted the Volkswagen Golf as the 2015 North American Car of the Year. The Ford F-150 was picked as the 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year. The winners were revealed at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show. The awards – now in their 22nd year – are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet they are awarded by an independent group of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The three car finalists were the Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Golf. The Golf had 256 points, the Mustang 204 and the Genesis 110. “The Volkswagen Golf provides the consumer with a unique German alternative in the small car segment.,” said AutoTrader.com senior
analyst Michelle Krebs. “Personally, I found it fun to drive. It comes in multiple variations including a diesel option and a zippy GTI version. This is a big win for the brand and I’m looking forward to seeing them do well in 2015 with this excellent car. It was the second win for Volkswagen. The New Beetle won in 1999. The Golf was a finalist in 2010 but lost to the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The three truck finalists were the Chevrolet Colorado, the Ford F-150 and the
Lincoln MKC. The F-150 had 297 points, the Colorado 205 and the MKC 68. It is the 8th truck win for Ford and the fourth time the F-150 has won. “Ford F-150 is an American icon that Ford not only freshened but gave a big injection of innovation,” said AutoTrader.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs. “We may well look back at the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 as a turning point in how trucks are constructed. Other truck makers may not follow Ford’s formula pre-
cisely but undoubtedly other automakers will look at how they can use various materials to lightweight their trucks while retaining their durability and capability.” Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray while the North American Truck/Utility of the Year was the Chevrolet Silverado. In the last 22 years domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year 12 times and foreign automakers have won 10 times. Japanese automakers have
three wins. European automakers have five wins. Korean automakers (Hyundai) have two wins. Domestics have won the truck competition 15 times. Foreign automakers have won seven times. Of the seven wins, Japanese automakers have won four times and Europeans have won three times. See usedcarnews.com for an interview with incoming NADA Chairman Bill Fox.
NEXT ISSUE: PAYMENT ASSURANCE TECHNOLOGY 08_UCN.indd 1
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Self-Driving – from page 5
Forty-four percent of consumers who responded to a late-2014 survey said they would be likely or very likely to buy a fully automated car by around 2025. Fifty-five percent said they were likely to consider buying a partially autonomous vehicle. The BCG survey reported consumers honed in on potential lower insurance and fuel costs, perceived increased safety and the opportunity to multi-task or enjoy entertainment while the automated vehicle was attending to business. BCG’s Thomas Dauner and Mos-
quet emphasized the importance of the auto industry investing in a future 20 years hence that could include automated vehicles representing 25 percent of sales. Mosquet suggested consumers might be willing to forfeit some comfort and convenience features to make up the difference with selfdriving technology. In today’s market, the MSRP of a fully automated vehicle might keep many out of the market. Mosquet said he thought costs will decrease with economies of scale.
1/12/15 9:58 AM
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Chase ADESA Boston February 13, 20, 27 508-626-7000
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Manheim Pennsylvania February 5, 6, 19, 20 800-777-2053 Manheim Phoenix February 5, 12, 19, 26 623-907-7000 Manheim Pittsburgh February 11 724-452-5555 Manheim Riverside February 10, 12 909-689-6000 Manheim Seattle February 4 206-762-1600
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Mazda Capital Services ADESA Boston February 13, 27 508-626-7000
Manheim Detroit February 5, 19 734-654-7100
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ADESA Kansas City February 3 816-525-1100
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Manheim Seattle February 4 206-762-1600
Manheim Dallas February 25 877-860-1651
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Manheim Southern CA February 19 909-822-2261
Manheim Denver February 11 800-822-1177
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Southern AA February 11 860-292-7500
Manheim Pennsylvania February 20 800-777-2053
*The tradename “Subaru Motors Finance” and the Subaru logo are owned / licensed by Subaru of America, Inc. and are licensed to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”). Retail / Loan and lease accounts are owned by Chase. *The Jaguar word mark, the Jaguar logo, and Jaguar Financial Group are trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited and any use by Chase is under license. The Land Rover word mark, the Land Rover and Oval logo, and Land Rover Financial Group are trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited and any use by Chase is under license. Retail / Loan and lease accounts are owned by Chase. *The tradename "Mazda Capital Services" as well as the Mazda and Mazda Capital Services logos are owned by Mazda Motor Corporation or its affiliates and are licensed to Chase. Retail / Loan and lease accounts are owned by Chase. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC ©2014 JPMorgan Chase & Co. (14-723) 10/14
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Dealers Go to Washington )6(&%*4$06/54
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The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association got a jump on 2015 at its National Leadership Conference held in Washington, D.C. late last year. NIADA leaders and dealers from across the country poured into the nationâ€™s capital to meet with lawmakers and lobby officials on behalf of Jl]n]Ă› the industry. Agj\Yf â€œWe accomplished what we wanted to,â€? NIADA Executive Vice President Steve Jordan said. â€œWe brought 132 dealers and association leaders to get real-time updates from regulators like the CFPB, FTC, NHTSA and others. â€œ Jordan, a former car dealer who also worked in politics, said the NIADAâ€™s 2014 effort was different than the groupâ€™s first leadership conference in 2013, which was more of a reintroduction of NIADA to Congress. This time, NIADA came with a specific agenda.
â€œWe had meetings with 36 U.S. Senate and Representative offices to lobby for HB 5403 â€“ the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act and against S.2609 â€“ the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act.â€? HB 5403 had 120 co-sponsors and NIADA was instrumental in helping to find additional co-sponsors, Jordan said. â€œWhat that bill tried to do is redefine the regulatory scope of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,â€? Jordan said, â€œand, more specifically, unwind the CFPBâ€™s March 2014 disparate impact guidance document.â€? The goal is to create limitations to CFPBâ€™s regulatory scope as it relates to the auto industry, Jordan said. It was one of several bills addressing the CFPBâ€™s role. Jordan said the other big issue for 2015 is recalls. He said NIADA is reshaping its position on the issue, with a focus on disclosure and repair. Automakers and franchise dealers historically control the recall data â€“ not used-car dealers. But with an online tool through NHTSAâ€™s new website that allows anyone to get recall info via the Continued on page 18
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NADA Used Car Guide
Setback Rule Hurts Stores By Sheila McGrath
Independent car dealers in Lexington, N.C., are hoping a new city restriction on their lots doesn’t cost them sales. But for some of the city’s smallest dealers, losses might be hard to avoid. In December, the city put a new set of rules in place to govern the appearance of car lots. Most of the ordinance revisions apply only to new businesses. But one of the changes involves both new and existing car dealerships: All dealers will need to keep their display cars set back at least 5 feet from the curb. It’s a rule the smaller dealers say will decrease their visibility, force them to reduce their inventory and make it hard for their customers to park. Todd Hunt, owner of the familyowned Jerry Hunt Auto Sales, attended a meeting where the city council discussed the changes. He said he understands them wanting to beautify the city, but he doesn’t understand why they’re requiring dealers to reduce the number of cars on their lots. Fewer cars sold means less tax revenue , he said. “The more inventory you have, the more revenue you’re going to generate,” he said. “They’re the ones getting taxes off the sales. It looks to
me like they’re shooting themselves in the foot.” According to a report by city planner Joshua Monk, the changes came in response to residents complaining about the overcrowded appearance of car lots and the lack of landscaping. After reviewing ordinances from other communities, and examining the city’s existing car lots and available properties, the city’s planning board came up with several new requirements in addition to the 5-foot setback rule: Any car lot opening up in the city will have to be at least a half-acre in size, with a maximum density of one car per 350 square feet of display area. Trees will be required for landscaping, and a 4-foot natural area with grass or other vegetation will be required along the street except for driveway curb cuts. Customer parking and display areas must be paved – gravel, mulch and dirt will not be permitted. Hunt said that as one of the larger independent dealers in the city, he won’t be affected as much as some of his smaller competiors. “It’s the smaller dealerships in the city, some of which are on lots of only a quarter-acre in size, that will suffer most, he said.
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A Queens, N.Y., man and his Israeli brother were charged in indictments unsealed in federal courts in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, N.Y., with offenses related to a long-running odometer tampering and money laundering scheme. Chaim Gali aka Mike Gali and John Triculy, of Queens Village, New York, and Shmuel Gali aka Sam Gali, 42, of Israel, are charged in a 15-count indictment in Philadelphia with conspiracy, securities fraud and false odometer statements. The Galis are also charged in a related two-count indictment in New York with mail and wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted of the charges in the Philadelphia indictment, the defendants face a statutory maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge; a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison for each securities fraud charge and up to three years in prison for each false odometer statement charge. If convicted of the charges in the New York indictment, they face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the charges. The indictments allege that the Galis devised a scheme to defraud buyers by misrepresenting the mileage of approximately 690 vehicles
they sold beginning as early as 2006 and through at least 2011. The indictments charge that the Galis used fictitious dealer names to purchase high-mileage, used motor vehicles from a national vehicle leasing company. The defendants are charged with conspiring to alter the odometers in these vehicles, which they purchased in Florida, Maryland, Missouri and elsewhere, to reflect false lower mileages. The indictments allege that the Galis then fraudulently altered the motor vehicle titles to reflect the false lower mileages and as a result, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles reflecting the altered mileages. The defendants subsequently sold the vehicles at wholesale automobile auctions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey using various dealerships, including Chase Auto Center and Conestoga City Autos. At the auctions, the Galis provided the buyers with Pennsylvania vehicle titles bearing the false lower mileages. The defendants deposited the proceeds of the sales of the rolled-back vehicles into various bank accounts, mainly in Brooklyn and then used this money to purchase additional used vehicles.
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DC â€“ continued from page 12 VIN, the NIADA is moving toward a position focused on supporting disclosure. Jordan said the system is still cumbersome and if they could improve the system it would be â€œhugely helpful.â€? If the system was easier to use for dealers, the NIADA would be more likely to support disclosure, â€œbut weâ€™re not quite there yet,â€? Jordan said. NIADAâ€™s meetings included House and Senate leadership, specifically the offices of Mitch Mc-
Connell (R-Ky.), Harry Reid (DNev.), Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), John Boehner (R-Ohio) and many others. The group also lobbied specific committees that have jurisdiction over the industry. â€œNow we have key legislators that are a lot more sympathetic to small business and the automotive industry,â€? Jordan said. â€œSo an ongoing part of our legislative strategy is to continue to build those relationships. In all it was a great collective effort to continue expanding our footprint in Washington, D.C.â€?
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RETAIL MARKETS SOUTH CAROLINA
Luke Godwin, co-owner, Godwin Motors Inc., Columbia, S.C.: “We had one of the best October and November runs that we’ve ever had. December was up from December 2013, but not as good as I wanted it to be. “We’re carrying about 70 cars. Mostly we get our vehicles from auctions.” “For the year, we’ll average (units sales) of about 30 per month. But February we’ll probably sell 50 to 60 and March about 40 to 50 (for tax season). “I think we’re doing well. Last tax season was good, but it was still off compared to previous years. Part of it was my fault. I think I didn’t have the right inventory. “About 85 percent of our business is buy-here, payhere. We do a few subprime deals. Not a ton of it. “We’ve been able to stay in the $1,700 to $1,800 level for the average down payment for buy-here, pay-here (sales). We try to keep our term lengths at 36 months, though some have ticked
up to 39. Ten years ago, we were doing everything at 24 months. “Cars are lasting so much longer, though. You can sell someone a car with 100,000 miles and know it’s going to last. “The average car is a 2008 to 2009 model, with 80,000 to 90,000 miles. “The average retail price is between $10,000 to $11,000. That may have gone down a little bit from last year. “(Inventory) is probably 60 percent domestic and 40 percent import. “I carry very few trucks. Our inventory is probably 70 percent cars and 30 percent sport utility vehicles. “Reconditioning, on average, is probably $600 to $700 per car. “We have our own service facility. We service our own customers and do outside business. We’re new to doing outside service. We’re only about two years in, so it’s a slow process of building a customer base. “For advertising, we have our website. We do social media – Facebook
Compiled by Jeffrey Bellant posts, YouTube – and we use Craigslist. We also do a little bit of network television. We do 30 to 40 spots a month. “I recently sold a 2010 Nissan Altima with 90,000 miles. I got $11,995.
Trey Crouch, president, Trey Crouch’s Wheels on Credit, McAllen, Texas: “I’ve been in business since 1998. I have one location. “The lot has about 75 (vehicles). We’re a little short at this time of year. “It just seems like we have to travel further to get the type of product that we want. Then the car is not in very good shape when we get it. So it’s very labor intensive to recondition it to a level that we feel confident in selling to someone. “Average reconditioning per car is about $800, which is up. “Since we can’t sell (the vehicle) for additional money, it’s just putting pressure on our model. “We’re 100 percent buy-
here, pay-here. “Most of (our inventory) comes from Manheim and ADESA auctions. “We’re selling about 65 cars a month. “Honestly, I don’t look at the buy-here, pay-here market as a tax season. For me, we have 12 seasons – or months – a year. “It hasn’t always been this way. But I really prefer to have it consistent throughout the year. “If you (limit it to a few months of tax season) it puts pressure on a lot of aspects of your business model. I know it may be counter to my peers, but it’s what I have evolved into. “I try to keep everything on my lot under $10,000. We feel that our customers can only afford so much on a monthly, so that’s how we underwrite our business. “What I’m looking for is a four-door, American-made family car. That’s 85 to 90 percent of my inventory. The average model year is about 2005, with 100,000 miles, give or take.
“Customers seem willing to drive a higher-mileage car, as long as it’s in decent shape. We try to stay away from cars that are high maintenance. “Most of my cars are American cars. Our customers are aware of the costs of owning an import. A transmission for a Nissan Altima compared to a Chevrolet Impala is double. “We want cars that are easy to maintain for our benefit and for our customers’ benefit. “We do reconditioning ourselves. We have a 10,000-square-foot service shop. “We take in outside service work, but we don’t aggressively go after it. We keep busy taking care of our own customers. “The average down payment is very consistent, about $800. It’s rare that I would do a (retail sales contract) longer than 36 months. “I recently sold a 2007 Chevy Impala, with about 130,000 miles. It was around $10,000.”
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WHOLESALE MARKETS all over, really. “Coming through the Mark Cooley, partner/ holidays is always tough general manager Nebrasfor dealers. Business (usuka Auto Auction, Lincoln, ally) slows down. But the Neb.: market never fell off in De“We’ve been in business cember (for a lot of people). six and a half years. “We have three lanes and Any nice car that looks the part and has decent miles is we’re running all three. bringing crazy money. “On volume, we’ve been “Some of the stores did redancing between 300 and ally well in December. We 400 (units). have a Honda store that runs “Volumes are pretty much every week with us and it the same as this time last sold 80-some cars between year. Christmas and New Year’s. “Sales percentages, this That’s insane. They’re a time of the year, have been high percentage seller here, right at 50 to 60 percent. too. He usually puts them “Our volumes are (almost) on a one-way ride here. 100 percent dealer consign“All of the new-car stores ment. that run here are in the 80“Right now, the average to 100-percent sales rate. price across the block is Then we have the repo acright at $5,000. Actually, count for SAC Federal Credthat’s up from this time last it Union – Nebraska’s largyear. The reason is we’ve est (auto lender). Those will got more new-car stores sell 80 percent. That excites running here. It’s just grow- the buyers. Even if they are ing pains, which are good. on an ‘if,’ they’ll come back “We’re online through and say, ‘sell them all.’ Auction Pipeline. That’s “We don’t appraise cars, been growing. We’re start- we sell them. ing to sell quite a few more “But we’ve have steady cars nationwide. We’ve got growth since we first tpc_1Q 2015-CAC-UCN 1 1/9/15 quite a few guys logging Jan.pdf in opened. So if9:09 theAM pattern from New York, California – continues, I think we’ll end
Compiled by Jeffrey Bellant up running 350 to 400 consistently this year. A lot of the dealers talk and we have a pretty strong auction (and reputation). Plus, we’re beating the pavement to get business.”
Bob McConkey, president, McConkey Auction Group, Spokane, Wash.: “DAA Northwest has been in business 22 years. It has eight lanes. “Last year was a really good year. It was a healthy market with increased volume. “Our sale on Jan. 8 was strong. We had good volume coming off the new year. We ran 1,250 and sold 800. It was a strong market and everything was up across all product lines. Dealers were optimistic. They’re looking at a new year and most of our dealers had relatively good Decembers and good finishes to 2014. They were light on inventory. They were here to buy. “We had 505 dealers in the lanes and another 200 online.
“The majority of our business is regional, so when buyers come in, they come in aggressively to buy. We get a lot of bang out of our buck from our buyers. “The third-party online platforms have been growing. It was up 40 percent last year. Most weeks, we’re selling 15 percent of our overall consignment on simulcast and some weeks it’s over 20 percent. “We’ve been (providing condition reports) on 100 percent of our dealer consignment inventory for several years. So we actually sell more dealer cars than fleet cars online. “About 65 percent of what we sell online is dealer consignment. But we do run more dealer cars than fleet cars. “We ended up at almost 30 percent fleet volume and 70 percent dealer volume last year. “We know the fleet volume is going to rise in 2015, Our goal is to see that dealer volume rises with it. We have Toyota Financial Services here and 2014 was our inaugural run with them.
We had monthly sales for them. That’s big volume for us. “We also have a Harley Davidson Financial account. We run once a month for them. We do a lot of trades for Harley dealers. We have a metric motorcycle section and Harley represents about 40 percent of that volume. “We do a RV sale once a month. It’s not huge volume. It’s primarily our bank customers. But we are developing the RV dealer consignment. The sales percentage is pretty good. It’s a very active market. “Once a month we’ll have two-day event sales that run Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday afternoon we’ll run a Toyota Financial and a Ford Motor Co. sale. We’ll also run our large fleet and rental car volume on Wednesday. Then Thursday we’ll run the dealer consignment and mix some fleet. On those promo weeks, we’ll run over 2,000. “Our overall average price for 2014 was $11,200. We‘re looking at 12 to 15 percent growth this year.”
1/12/15 3:53 PM
Disconnected Jottings From Tony Moorby... The weather may have given an inauspicious start to the New Year. Even here in the South, itâ€™s been as cold as charity. Thankfully we havenâ€™t had any snow yet â€“ the romance of an even, white blanket
the equivalent of a foot in Nashua and schools are closed at the mere hint of its appearance. But the truth is that school buses are as slippery as curling kettles on the back roads where no sun has yet risen
Ć€É&#x; Ĺ´Ĺ°Ć?3,É&#x;0.,(É&#x;) É&#x;."É&#x;#(/-.,3 Ć€É&#x; ,-#(.É&#x; ,)'É&#x;ĹąĹšĹšĹˇĆ‘Ĺ˛Ĺ°Ĺ°Ĺ°É&#x;) É&#x;É&#x;É&#x; É&#x; /.)').#0 Ć€É&#x; ,0É&#x;-É&#x;Ć‰-É&#x;2/.#0É&#x;0#É&#x;É&#x; É&#x; *,-#(.É&#x;) É&#x;-&-É&#x;(É&#x;',%.#(! Ć€É&#x; )),3É&#x;Ć É&#x;--)#.-É&#x;Ĺ˛Ĺ°Ĺ°ĹśĆ‘*,-(. Ć€É&#x; 1,É&#x;."É&#x;#(!É&#x;) É&#x;)(),É&#x;3É&#x;É&#x; É&#x; Ć€É&#x; É&#x;&&É&#x;) É&#x;',
lasts about as long as it takes to turn to an all-pervading gray slush that freezes at night and causes all kinds of havoc. The only thing worse is freezing rain. Iâ€™m a fairly accomplished driver, but a thin glaze of small drops, instantly freezing into halfround globules, renders me as inadequate as a chocolate fire screen. Of course, a half-inch of snow in Nashville is
high enough to make them safe. The economy seems to be off to a better start. The Dow at record levels, unemployment figures showing an improvement (although holiday hires may have had an influence), oil prices easing to the point that I donâ€™t have to call the bank manager to fill the car up with gas. Some say this is not such a good thing, long term. Oil wells are being shuttered because itâ€™s not profitable
to run them at anything less than $50 a barrel, but I prefer to believe that our own economic growth will get a head start. Speaking of oil, the House OKâ€™d the Keystone XL pipeline, but the president may well veto its progress and it would take a two-thirds majority of both houses to circumvent his action. I know there are all kinds of arguments pro and con, environmental considerations above all, but transporting vast amounts of oil by railroad cars seems even riskier to me. Make no mistake â€“ Canada will extract the sands oil, regardless. Their alternative plan is to pipe it to St. Johns in New Brunswick of the Maritime States, build a massive tanker terminal, enabling the cheapest oil transport to places like India and beyond. While inflation hasnâ€™t been a major consideration for a few years, especially with government pegging interest rates, one has to wonder when wage restraint wears
C R O S S WO R D
thin and we have pressure on increasing payrolls. Right now, while employment may be on the rise, payrolls have diminished. Technological efficiencies have kept hiring to a minimum and broadened corporate profits, but sooner or later the working stiff is going to want to share. Perhaps the U.S. will become a major world industrial producer again if we stay a competitive low-cost provider with superior technology to go with it. But technology itself is leveling the global playing field. It seems to me that being involved in the raw materials supply line is a sensible posture. GMâ€™s boss, Mary Barra, is bullish about the new car
businessâ€™s future at the same time as dealing with all the recall mess. Sheâ€™s predicting the new car market to be somewhere between 16.3 and 16.7 million units. The used-car industry will enjoy the downstream effects eventually, pumping fresh inventory into a market that many consider to be over-priced, especially for late-model short supply. This yearâ€™s NADA Convention should carry an air of optimism for the first time in some years. I wish I was going but will have to keep up with all the latest in other ways. San Francisco has always been one of my favorite venues to sate two of my favorite appetites â€“ cars and food.
To see past columns from Tony Moorby, visit www.usedcarnews.com/ columnists/tony-moorby
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Down 1. _____ Z06 19. Automotive engineerâ€™s society, for short
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2. BMW Series 4. Dodge Challenger _____ (2 words)
22. Sorento maker
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8. Towed vehicles
31. Exchanged 32. ___meter
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36. Huge 38. Son of a son
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G H A
N M A
U I R
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I M G
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