Face-To-Face Roadside Help Available to BMW Drivers

First Up 05/12/22

Face-To-Face Roadside Help Available to BMW Drivers

A BMW driver noticed a low-coolant warning light and called the automaker's customer service line. After a few moments, a video chat window opened on the customer's smartphone and they were able to speak on camera with someone at a BMW call center. That representative guided the customer down the aisle of an auto parts store to pick out the correct coolant for their vehicle. Another customer called the service line saying they couldn't connect the charger cord to the port on their hybrid vehicle. By using the video chat function and showing the representative the vehicle's charging port, a small pebble was spotted blocking the charger from locking in. The customer removed it and was able to charge the vehicle. Automotive News reports BMW has partnered with software company Blitzz to bring this new capability to its customers. Blitzz is a live remote video support and inspection system for the customer or a dealership technician working on one of the automaker's vehicles. It works without an app but does require an Apple or Android smartphone. A customer calls an 800 number and speaks with a tech center representative. Click here to learn more.

Educating Customers with Transparent Lead Responses

There’s a lot of talk about the end of the chip crisis, but the truth is no one knows with certainty when dealer lots will be flush with inventory again. The reality of today’s market is slumping retail sales and skyrocketing vehicle orders. Is your dealership dealing with reality or stuck in the past?Are your employees able to explain the lack of inventory with help from lead-response technology solutions? Are they prepared to detail the vehicle ordering process? Can they answer vehicle questions even if vehicles aren’t in the lot? If you want to nurture leads so they become sales, a hard look at the customer experience via phone, chat, text, and email may be in order. It’s time to embrace radical transparency and shift new-car lead responses to cater to today’s current inventory shortages and customer expectations. WardsAuto reports you should ghost shop your own store with a focus on the following: AI-Powered Chat; Live Chat; Texting Skills; and Message Monitoring. Click here for the full story.

3 Ways Car Dealers Can Prepare for Memorial Day Weekend This Year

The unofficial start to summer is Memorial Day weekend, and it tends to be one of the busiest weekends in the US for vehicle sales. Before vacationing begins, prospective buyers seek out an upgrade to haul their family and their toys, and it often coincides with model year-end incentives. But 2022 is different than your typical year, and Memorial Day car sales events dealers are used to putting on aren’t likely to work the same. Vehicle inventory is meager, and mostly empty car lots are still a common sight. New and used car prices are nearly the highest they’ve ever been, and there’s minimal incentive spending coming from the manufacturers. The idea of tire kickers walking the lot to pick out a new car on Memorial Day weekend now seems much more foreign than it did even a year ago. What, then, can dealers do for a unique and memorable event? CBT News shares three ideas could give your store a bump in sales, with or without inventory, and keep your visibility among consumers in your area. Click here to learn all about the three ideas.

Subaru to Spend $1.9 Billion on Battery Capacity, EV Line

Subaru Corp. plans to invest around $1.9 billion on electric-vehicle battery capacity over the next five years and will add an EV production line to its main factory in Gunma prefecture in Japan that should begin producing cars from 2027. “We’ve been getting a lot more questions from retailers in the US about EVs over the past year,” Subaru Chief Executive Officer Tomomi Nakamura said. “It’s crucial to look closely at how consumers’ values are changing.”Bloomberg reports Subaru, which makes almost 70 percent of its sales in the US, aims to have 40 percent of new global car sales be electric by 2030. The automaker has started receiving orders for its Solterra model, its first all-electric SUV developed with Toyota Motor Corp. Nakamura said last year that the company plans to “use the alliance to build up technology and know-how.”Japanese automakers have lagged behind global peers in rolling out electric cars and the country’s EV penetration rate is barely 1 percent. Click here to learn more about Subaru’s plan.

Nissan is Back in the Black, But Still Only at 'Starting Line'

Nissan Motor Co. bounced back into the black in the latest quarter as the recovering automaker clawed through the pandemic and semiconductor crises to post its first full-year profit in three years. The rebound underscored Nissan’s progress in regaining financial health after a period of management upheaval when it slumped to the largest operating loss in the company’s history. Automotive News reports for the just-ended fiscal year, which finished March 31, Nissan erased that red ink as operating profit surged to $2.03 billion. The advance brings Nissan closer to achieving CEO Makoto Uchida’s goal of delivering a sustainable 5 percent operating profit margin. The automaker’s margin finished at 2.9 percent in the 12-month period to March 31, beating Uchida’s target of 2 percent for the fiscal year under his mid-term revival plan. Uchida in 2020 staked his job on a successful turnaround, saying shareholders could remove him if he fails to deliver. Yet returning to profitability is only a job half-done, he said. Click here for the full story.


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Alfa Romeo Exec Confirms Electric Quadrifoglios are on the Way [Motortrend]

2023 Toyota Highlander Gets Turbo Power and More Tech [Carbuzz]

First Look: 2023 Range Rover Sport [The Detroit Bureau]

It is Now Legal in California to Wrap Your License Plate to Your Vehicle [Jalopnik]