Mercedes to Put More Ad Dollars in Dealer Hands

First Up 11/16/20

Chairman's Blog: The More Things Change...

Every four years, this country votes for a president, a new House of Representatives, and 2/3 of the Senate. And every four years, Washington, D.C., comes to a complete halt, followed by several months of managed chaos. But in the rest of the country? Life goes on. The true impact of this month’s election may not be fully understood until the Senate is decided in January. But in the meantime, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing, writes AIADA Chairman Jason Courter. Even as AIADA looks to the future, and what’s around the corner for our members, we want you to know that we still have your back when it comes to operating your stores under the threat of a global pandemic. With that in mind, AIADA is offering a daily sanitation checklist based on CDC recommendations that you can share with your staff. Click here to download and print it. As always, Courter says he is proud to be an international nameplate dealer, and a member of AIADA. Whatever happens in D.C., small business owners like us will continue to be the backbone of this nation. Read more here. 

Mercedes to Put More Ad Dollars in Dealer Hands

Mercedes-Benz is giving its U.S. retailers greater control over how they manage regional marketing funds and how they execute their digital sales efforts, reports Automotive News. The luxury automaker will jettison its Tier 2 marketing program next year, unwinding established industry advertising practices to instead let dealers spend as they see fit. The move marks a bold step by Mercedes-Benz USA's marketing chief, Drew Slaven, who is filling in as the automaker's interim CEO until the end of the year. The plan also signals that the U.S. industry's long-standing practices on second-tier marketing funds are facing some disruption. Tier 2 marketing refers to regional dealer association programs that straddle the line between factory-funded national advertising and dealer-funded local advertising. Its purpose is to generate greater brand consideration among regional customers and drive foot traffic to area dealerships. Mercedes is now breaking with tradition. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Worsening Pandemic Hammers Auto Industry as GM Cuts Ops at Texas Plant

General Motors has scrubbed all overtime at its truck plant in Arlington, Texas due to a shortage of parts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Detroit Bureau. The move comes just days after GM had to temporarily idle its Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and it is raising concerns that, with COVID-19 infections soaring to record levels across the U.S., the auto industry could be particularly hard hit. “We’re going to see other plants hit by this,” said Carla Bailo, the CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Production of the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe at GM’s Arlington Assembly plant is going to be slowed by the elimination of overtime. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Good Sign for Nissan on Dealer Perception

Nissan recorded an uptick in the latest National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Attitude Survey — an industry insider's measure of how auto retailers confidentially feel about their franchise. According to Automotive News, it was a modest gain. But it may be significant to the Nissan brand. The company is in the midst of a reboot, with changing executives, new policies, updated products and a corporate campaign to improve factory-dealer relations. Nissan's dealers ranked the brand 25 out of 31 brands in the NADA summer survey, according to a copy of the report card obtained by Automotive News. While Nissan is still near the bottom, the survey shows improvement from its 28th spot in the previous survey, which was done in early 2020. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Volkswagen Accelerates Investment in Electric Cars as It Races to Overtake Tesla

Volkswagen AG plans to invest around $86 billion in the development of electric vehicles and other new technologies over the next five years, as the world’s largest auto maker races to overtake Tesla Inc. as the leading maker of electric cars, reports The Wall Street Journal. With the shift to electric cars, connected vehicles and an increasingly digital manufacturing process, the auto industry is amid its biggest transformation in a century. Volkswagen said Friday that it would allocate around half of a planned $177 billion in R&D and capital expenditure to accelerate development of technologies such as digital factories, automotive software and self-driving cars. The German company, which sold around 11 million vehicles in 2019, updates its five-year investment plans every November. This year’s revised plan underscores its efforts to build on its already vast investment in electric vehicles and digital technology. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal).  

Around the Web

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Spied [Car and Driver]

Daimler Will Shrink with Shift to Electric and Autonomous Cars [Autoblog]

New Track-Focused Lamborghini Huracan Coming Nov. 18 [MotorAuthority]

China's Thirst for Luxury Keeps Eastern Europe Cranking Out Cars [Bloomberg]

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