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 auto know-how advisory company that allows business owners raise money and improve the benefit of their organizations.

The information cycle proceeds at a torrid pace this yr, and this previous 7 days was no exception. It is incredible just how significantly alter is coming to the market. If you blink, you may well pass up huge news that most likely impacts the franchise supplier model. 

This week I want to recap a few vital information things that arrived throughout the wire in excess of the past 7 days – news that sellers should really mostly be centered on checking. 

1. Get/Promote exercise

Very first up, there is NO indicator that bodily dealership acquire/sell action will slow down anytime shortly. 

Lithia Motors has been the most ravenous of the public acquirers, intending to get to 500 rooftops and $50 billion in revenue prior to they’ve designed out their prepared footprint. Lithia’s aggressive tempo of acquisitions has delivered a flooring for valuations in the industry. 

This week, Lithia announced the acquire of 10 dealerships across southern Florida and Nevada, which will increase $950 million bucks in expected annualized profits.

So far, the U.S. dealership acquire-offer current market is monitoring at a very similar rate to a document-breaking 2021 final 12 months was commonly considered the major yr for shop acquisitions in history.

The range of dealerships that changed fingers in the 1st quarter of 2022 was very similar to that of the 1st quarter of 2021.

In parallel, valuations keep on to bounce along at an all-time large. 

From my viewpoint, valuations will not very likely get a lot better than they are currently. When natural acquirers like Lithia have contented their appetite and crammed out their prepared footprint, valuations will most likely regress towards historic ranges. 

Superior inflation and fuel price ranges, lower consumer sentiment, soaring fascination fees, and inventory market place declines may perhaps velocity us again to additional normalized valuations. 

But for now, these report-higher valuations are getting utilized to history-substantial revenue, generally attributable to a lack of new-car supply. Lots of sellers are using the chance to translate these extra revenue into acquiring additional physical suppliers. 

Though the seller principals I speak with normally concentrate on only below-performing shops wherever they can justify paying out sky-superior valuations utilized to these inflated revenue. I envision some consumers in this latest ecosystem will finally sense “Buyers Remorse” when valuations inevitably drop back to earth. 

2. Ford finishes lease buyouts for EVs

Next up this week is exciting information from Ford Motor Organization, which declared that they have stopped permitting consumers in most states to obtain their electrical motor vehicles at the close of a lease, a coverage they say will enable handle EV battery recycling.

For illustration, Ford Credit rating said clients who lease an F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, or E-Transit will have to return the car when the contract is up and can then renew their lease with a new vehicle if they pick.

Though Ford is communicating that this initiative is to help reclaim the uncooked inputs into batteries, as price ranges have skyrocketed over the past yr, I assume there may be other dynamics at participate in. 

We’re heading to see a proliferation of new EV designs more than the following 18 months, and the OEMs will absolutely not be capable to predict residual values on all of these vehicles properly. I consider this will enable Ford to management residual price possibility for new EV models that could possibly have risky pricing at the conclusion of the phrase. By controlling the applied motor vehicle source, Ford can closely keep track of and influence the cost of utilised pricing.

Each GM (with CarBravo) and Ford (with Blue Benefit) now regulate their very own on the net applied car web sites. By managing the off-lease volume, they can guarantee that unique, eye-catching, employed vehicles are only obtainable on their proprietary web sites. 

The Automakers have been observing modern utilized vehicle dynamics, which includes that most automobiles are coming back at the end of lease term with thousands of dollars of optimistic equity. Ford will essentially have a contact selection to take part economically in any motor vehicle coming back again with constructive fairness rather of surrendering that income to the customer or the seller. 

It is also possible that Ford realizes that battery and charging technologies will advance so speedily that they might want the option of getting rid of made use of EVs from the street, which may not perform competitively vs . brand new styles becoming offered in the potential. 

Protecting against the buyer from currently being equipped to acquire the device at the stop of their expression does make a lease sense a large amount much more like a membership solution. 

Let’s believe about broader implications of this move, anticipating that other OEMs will elect to stick to the exact same route. It will suggest significantly much less off-lease vehicles offered to the automakers’ franchise dealer networks and independent dealerships.

We’ll be looking at to see which other automakers announce equivalent designs more than the coming months. I hope we will see numerous other people stick to Ford’s direct. 

3. FTC cracks down on F&I departments

Previous but not least this week, The Federal Trade Commission has signaled that improved regulation may be coming to vendor F&I revenue. 

This 7 days, the FTC proposed banning finance, insurance policies protection, and bodily vehicle incorporate-ons that estimate-unquote “provide no benefit” and have to have expanded disclosure and consent on these optional products and solutions — including a checklist of rates on the web.

The agency is also contemplating cracking down on dealerships’ marketing connected to the price tag of the automobile itself.

An accompanying news launch frequently depicted actual physical additions and F&I goods as “junk charges.” Nonetheless, the 4 commissioners supporting rules acknowledged in a independent statement that “Not all insert-ons provide no benefit.”

The FTC’s proposed rules include:

  • Bans on all products and solutions without having profit. 
  • Publishing a checklist of all optional include-ons and their prices online. 
  • Bans on deceptive pricing advertising and marketing.
  •  Disclosure and declining in producing of the “Cash Price with no Optional Incorporate-ons.” 
  • “Express, Informed Consent” on F&I products and other incorporate-ons.

Given that the CFPB was largely “de-fanged” for the duration of the Trump administration, there hasn’t been substantially risk of regulators squeezing seller finance and insurance policy gains. 

We will be keeping a shut eye on this latest development and if the FTC, or any other government entity, starts off encroaching on and threatening dealership income centers. 

I explained to you the news cycle was occupied this week.

These issues ought to be monitored closely by dealerships and have broad implications for the franchise dealership design and ongoing profitability into the future. 

Businesses To Enjoy 

Every single week we spotlight attention-grabbing companies in the automotive engineering space to retain an eye on. If you browse my monthly sector Intel Report, I showcase a several businesses every single month, and we choose the prospect listed here on the Friday 5 to share some of those people companies each individual week with you.

Today, we have two organizations to enjoy: WrenchWay and Axion.


For as long as I bear in mind, I have listened to from dealerships that they’ve experienced issue recruiting and retaining technicians.

WrenchWay is a task-recruitment system for equally professionals and services departments. It is modifying that dynamic by supplying techs an insider’s see of dealerships’ operations, products, shell out amounts, firm society and other pertinent information and facts.

WrenchWay accomplishes this with its Leading Shop software. Dealerships shell out a $150 every month cost to be listed as a Leading Shop, but the listing is a lot additional in-depth than a regular career-board publish. Dealers have to consist of distinct details ahead of posts are acknowledged, which include pay back levels for experts, workplace amenities provided (matters like air conditioning and heating), and out there equipment.

In addition, the publishing ought to include video clips showing what the shop seems like and interviews with experts and set ops management who discuss about what it’s like to operate in their stores. This special strategy marketplaces the dealership and the prospect to far more than just the career-seeker. 

I like this business because they are trying to resolve a person of the most considerable agony factors for dealers’ FixedOps departments – recruiting and retaining specialists. The corporation was started for the reason that a dealership needed support recruiting, and they desired to bring technological innovation and procedure to make their endeavours repeatable and scalable. 

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


Axion is an AI system & predictive electronic providing for engineers and QA administration that enables consumers to successfully mine by means of tons of unstructured details to derive insights to speed up vehicle progress efficiently. 

Axion’s mission is to empower engineering leaders with the very best final decision intelligence platform, to strengthen decisions to supply the finest effects.

Ahead-wondering engineering leaders across automotive, aerospace, and protection leverage Axion to speed up solution advancement, boost program arranging & collaboration with suppliers, and strengthen top quality utilizing Axion’s predictive AI-based mostly digital system. Shoppers consist of Boeing and the U.S. Air Drive.

I appreciate this business since they can augment a user’s current approach to pretty immediately and effectively mine by means of tons of unstructured details to derive insights. Axion presents clear visibility into the upcoming benefits of today’s conclusions and steps. 

Check out Axion at www.AxionRay.com.


So which is your weekly Friday 5, a fast wrap-up of the major deals in the automotive technological know-how house about the previous 7 days.

If you’re an early-stage automotive know-how entrepreneur seeking to increase cash, or an entrepreneur who is seeking to determine whether and when they really should elevate income or market their business enterprise, I’d adore to discuss with you.

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

Did you delight in this episode of the Friday 5? Please share your feelings, responses, or thoughts relating to this subject matter by publishing a letter to the editor here, or hook up with us at [email protected].

Be absolutely sure to observe us on Fb, LinkedIn, and TikTok to stay up to date.

Whilst you’re below, never ignore to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the most up-to-date vehicle market information from CBT Information.