Penske Automotive Q2 Net Income Plunges 62% Amid Virus Shutdowns

First Up 07/29/20

Penske Automotive Q2 Net Income Plunges 62% Amid Virus Shutdowns

Penske Automotive Group Inc.'s net income plunged by more than half in the second quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic that shuttered much of its international operations and limited U.S. business for most of the period. But, reports Automotive News, the dealership group said June results in both the U.S. and abroad strongly improved. Net income for the nation's second-largest new-vehicle retailer tumbled 62 percent to $44.8 million for the quarter, Penske reported Wednesday. Revenue slid 37 percent $3.65 billion. "The operating environment in the second quarter was one of the most challenging in memory," Penske CEO Roger Penske said in a statement. "Since the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting operations, our teams took action to protect the safety of employees and customers, control costs, manage vehicle inventory, maximize gross profit and preserve liquidity. "Through these actions, our business experienced sequential improvement from month to month in units retailed, service/parts gross profit and overall profitability." Read more here. 

Schwartz to Leave Cox Automotive for New Role with Parent Company

Automotive News reports that Cox Automotive President Sandy Schwartz is taking on a new role within the Cox Enterprises organization, overseeing the Cox family’s investments as CEO of the Cox Family Office. Steve Rowley, executive vice president of the Cox Business commercial unit, will succeed Schwartz as president of the dealership services giant starting Monday. Schwartz, 67, will continue as CEO of the auto unit until the end of the year as he transitions to work with shareholders and family investments, the company said Tuesday. Cox Automotive includes an array of brands that touch multiple aspects of the dealership process, from vehicle shopping to dealership software to the service drive. It employs about 34,000 people globally across brands, including Autotrader, Manheim, VinSolutions, and Xtime. The company generates annual revenue of more than $7 billion. Read more here. 

Safety Advocates Push for Advanced Tech Mandate to Cut Hot Car Deaths

Safety advocates pushing for new technology that would alert drivers if they leave a child in their vehicle after leaving it say the new devices could lower the cost of sensor technology in current and coming vehicles, reports The Detroit Bureau. rolled out examples of new technology that could be installed in vehicles right now that can determine if a baby or small child has been left in a vehicle and trigger a series of alarms and warnings to prevent that child from dying or being injured due to exposure in an overheated vehicle. The group also promoted the Hot Cars Act that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the recent Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2). It now needs Senate approval and a presidential signature before it mandates technology that issues audio and visual warnings inside and outside the vehicle. “We simply cannot let another summer pass without making the life-saving and desperately needed technology a part of the solution to save the lives of innocent babies. Every day that we delay in advancing these cost-effective detection technologies means children are at risk of needlessly dying.” said Janette Fennell, president of during the webinar. Read more here. 

Aston Martin First-Half Loss Widens in Run-Up to SUV Launch

According to Bloomberg, Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc reported a wider first-half loss as the British carmaker invested in the launch of its debut sport-utility vehicle, which has started to arrive at dealerships. Early signs from China, a key sales market for the all-important DBX SUV, are positive, Aston Martin said Wednesday in a statement, without providing specifics. Covid-19 has meanwhile slowed the company’s efforts to reduce dealer stockpiles of its sports cars. It will put off restarting production at its main plant in Gaydon, England, until the end of August.nThe DBX SUV, which began production during the second quarter, will make a positive contribution during the final six months of 2020, Aston Martin said. The company reported a first-half operating loss of 159.3 million pounds ($206 million) and negative free cash flow of 371 million pounds as it ramped up spending for the launch, while the coronavirus pandemic kept showrooms closed for much of the period. Read more here. 

Auto Industry Braces for Next Wave of COVID-19 Cases

The auto industry is showing signs of concern as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow daily. According to CBT Automotive Network, automakers are in a realm of uncertainty as they try to keep factories running and sales afloat. Many employees are having to miss work, causing extensive problems on the production line. Many dealers are waiting on inventory numbers to rise as production is feeling the exhausting effects of regional hot-beds. U.S. automakers are pushing back during the pandemic, trying to keep plants open and operational. All have unique challenges they’re facing as they brace for the continuously growing wave of new cases. Ford and Fiat Chrysler are in similar positions as they’ve both been forced to hire temporary workers to make up for sick employees or others who are in quarantine from exposure. COVID-19 cases have risen in the state of Missouri causing strains on GM’s production of mid-sized pickup trucks and vans. Read more here. 

The 2020 Federated Challenge® Raises More Than $3 Million for Big Brothers Big Sisters®

The 2020 Federated Challenge® raised a record-breaking $3,087,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters®, during its first-ever virtual gala on Sunday, July 26. Even during this unprecedented time in history, a record 61 prominent businesses and more than 500 attendees logged on to their computers and mobile devices to support youth mentoring in Minnesota and throughout America.

One hundred percent of the money raised will be donated to Minnesota’s three Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America®. A portion of the donations are earmarked for the Federated Challenge Scholarship Program, which provides up to $5,000 per year to qualified Littles or high school Bigs enrolled in a non-four-year program focusing on apprenticeship, certificate, trade school, technical, or community college. Since the program’s inception close to 100 students have benefited from the scholarship fund and are earning job-ready training degrees with little to no debt. Read more here.

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