California Dealerships Face New Round of COVID-19 Restrictions

First Up 11/18/20

Business Groups Press SBA to Walk Back Small Business Loan Review

Dozens of business groups on Tuesday called on the Trump administration to stop a new effort to scrutinize large businesses that took emergency payroll loans during the pandemic, warning that officials were asking inappropriate questions that appeared biased against borrowers, reports Politico Pro. At issue are "loan necessity" questionnaires that the Small Business Administration quietly circulated in recent weeks to obtain information from businesses that took Paycheck Protection Program loans worth $2 million or more. Eighty groups including AIADA, the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers warned the SBA and the Treasury Department in a letter Tuesday that the questionnaires introduced a "confusing and burdensome" process for borrowers and PPP lenders. Read more here (Source: Politico Pro – subscription required). 

Lithia Acquires Luxury Dealership in Virginia

Lithia Motors Inc. continued its autumn shopping spree with the purchase of a large luxury dealership in Sterling, Va., reports Automotive News. The acquisition of Sterling Motorcars in the Washington suburb was financed using money Lithia raised in the third quarter through equity and debt offerings. The newly acquired business is expected to generate about $225 million in annualized revenue. The latest purchase in the public retailer's buying streak marks Lithia's first entry in the state and the Mid-Atlantic market, CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement. The store was owned by Thomas Moorehead and Joyce Moorehead, said Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors which represented the seller in the transaction and is an AIADA Affinity Partner. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

California Dealerships Face New Round of COVID-19 Restrictions

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has implemented new restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 cases in his state. With coronavirus cases hitting new highs around the country, dealerships in other states could face similar restrictions, reports Automotive News. In California, Newsom on Monday moved 28 counties back into the most restrictive tier, with 41 counties now in the purple tier. The California New Car Dealers Association said in a statement to its members that a majority of California dealerships operate in purple tier counties. The California New Car Dealers Association informed its members on Tuesday that dealerships in purple tier counties are limited to 25 percent indoor capacity; dealerships in less restrictive tiers are subject to a 50 percent limit. The status of restrictions in California counties can be checked here. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 


Honda Unveils Its New Civic on Twitch to Attract Younger Buyers

Honda revealed a new version of its popular Civic compact car Tuesday night. Even as automakers, including Honda, unveil more crossover SUVs and some even drop sedan models altogether, the Civic remains crucial to Honda's success. The Civic, with its affordable price tag, good fuel economy and excellent safety ratings, has been the best-selling passenger car in America for the past four years, excluding corporate fleet sales, and it's on track to be the best seller again this year, according to Kelley Blue Book. The Civic is sold in more than 170 countries but the U.S., alone, accounts for nearly half of its sales, said Gary Robinson, assistant vice president for product planning at American Honda Motor Company, the Japanese automaker's US arm. Read more here (Source: CNN). 

Former UAW VP, GM Director Ashton Gets 30-Month Sentence

Former United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton, who also held a seat on the General Motors Board of Directors, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his part in a scheme that stole $4 million earmarked for training and education of union members employed by the automaker, reports The Detroit Bureau. Judge Bernard Friedman said during a zoom hearing that while Ashton had done a lot of good during his long career, his actions, including steering contracts to preferred vendors and accepting cash kickbacks, betrayed the trust UAW members had placed in him. “Union leaders need to be honorable at all times,” said Friedman, recounting the loyalty and faith members have had in the union throughout the years. As part of the sentence, Ashton also agreed to forfeit $250,000 he received in kickbacks. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Webinar: Maximizing 2021 Profit Through Aggressive Expense Control

Join the next AutoTalk webinar on Tuesday, December 8th at 2 p.m. EST, when Doug Austin, President of StrategicSource, a leader in spend management services for  auto dealerships, will share his expertise in expense categories that can have long-term financial impact.  

He will review in detail: 

  • Best expense planning strategies

  • Identify categories to reduce costs in 2021

  • Several new revenue generating opportunities 

  • Strategies to achieve “Sustainable cost reductions”

To register, click here. 

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