New Car Sales Expected to Stall

First Up 03/08/19

Erin Kerrigan to Brief Dealers at AIADA's Tariff Fly-In
Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors, will join the lineup of speakers during AIADA’s Tariff Fly-In, April 9-10 in Washington, D.C. Kerrigan’s presentation, titled “2019’s Buy/Sell Market – Driven by Disruption and Value,” will provide dealers with the latest insight into the dealership marketplace. Kerrigan oversees Kerrigan Advisors, an AIADA Affinity Partner and the leading sell-side advisor to auto dealers in the U.S. since 2015. Prior to founding Kerrigan Advisors, Kerrigan headed Presidio Automotive. Prior to Presidio, she was a Senior Vice President at AutoStar, a subsidiary of iStar Financial (NYSE: SFI), where she led transaction origination. Early in her career, she was dealer operator of her family’s dealership, which she sold in 2006. She began her post-graduate career as an investment banker for Piper Jaffray. In addition to Kerrigan, dealers attending AIADA’s Tarrif Fly-In next month will also hear from the Honorable Newt Gingrich, as well as Google’s Kelly McNearney. For more information on the Fly-In, and to register, click here or call 1-800-GO-AIADA. 

Europe-U.S. Trade Deal Could Narrow Focus to Autos
The European Union will not support a comprehensive trade deal with the U.S. that includes agriculture, the EU's top trade negotiator said on Thursday, so she is working toward a narrower deal focused on industrial goods and automobiles. Automotive News reports that the European Union's trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said at a Georgetown Law School event that an industrial goods agreement could be achieved more quickly and could rebuild trust between the two largest trading blocs that had been eroded by U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. The EU and the United States spent three years trying to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but the talks failed to bridge gaps on allowing more U.S. access to Europe for agricultural products, including genetically modified crops, wine and cheese. "A full, comprehensive trade agreement - TTIP-style: there is no support for that in the European Union right now. That’s the truth," Malmstrom said. Read more here. 

New Car Sales Expected to Stall
New vehicles are piling up on U.S. car dealer lots, creating concern just as sales are expected to sputter, reports The Detroit Free Press. The inventory of unsold new cars on dealer lots rose 2.1 percent last month, setting an all-time February high, a top industry analyst said in a research note this week. That total of 4 million new vehicles in U.S. stock is a 21-month high, Morgan Stanley's equity analyst Adam Jonas wrote. In dollar terms, it's about $140 billion in inventory, Jonas wrote. That and other economic concerns have analysts worried the second half of this year won't be as good for carmakers as had been hoped. The slowing sales and high inventory will affect General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in different ways. Jonas said GM exhibits likely the strongest in a first- to second-half earnings growth, with minus 15 percent earnings per share shifting to plus 14 percent. Read more here. 

You Can Kiss $2 Gas Goodbye: Here's Why Pump Prices are Creeping Higher
Sub-$2 gasoline is evaporating. The number of stations selling fuel for less than $2 a gallon is shrinking as spring price spikes take effect, reports USA Today. The national average price of gas has jumped 17 cents in the last month to $2.45, according to AAA. That figure is likely to increase by another 15 to 25 cents in the coming weeks, says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at fuel-tracking app GasBuddy. Could the U.S. come close to an average of $3 a gallon as the summer travel season approaches? Last year, prices topped out at $2.98 on May 25, according to GasBuddy. In recent weeks, national increases have occurred as fuel refineries begin annual maintenance projects typically timed for the spring. As the refineries shift to costlier summer blends of gasoline, prices usually increase. Read more here. 

Wild and Weird Cars (or Whatevers) at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show
The Geneva Motor Show's kaleidoscope of vehicular curiosities never fails to amuse. But with stalwarts like Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volvo sitting this year out, there was even more floor space for automotive outliers to make their appeals to Geneva’s showgoers, who are among some of the planet's wealthiest clientele. MSN Autos is featuring a look at some of the edgiest and wackiest rides to grace Geneva's 89th annual automotive party, and even more can be found in its gallery here. Read more here. 

Subscription: Creating Customers for Life
Understand how subscription can turn customers from one-time buyers to recurring sources of business. AutoTalk welcomes Clutch Technologies Senior Vice President Alan Powell, on Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 pm EDT. 

Learn how subscription can help your dealership: 

  • Grow sales per customer 

  • Alleviate margin pressure 

  • Build recurring relationships

 To register, click here.

Around the Web

Acura to Reveal Its Sportiest Sedan Yet at 2019 Pebble Beach [Car and Driver]

The VW Dune Buggy is Back, But This Time It's an All-Electric [CNBC]

Subaru Winter Experience Review [Autoblog]

Where's My Flying Car? Coming in for a Landing Soon [Forbes]