Rosses: Influential Dealer Family Pays It Forward

First Up 11/21/22

Private Buyers Drive Dealership Buy-Sell Activities in First Half of '22

Matt McGovern went on a dealership acquisition spree to start 2022. With the exception of April, McGovern bought one franchised dealership each month from January through June, bolstering McGovern Automotive Group's presence in Massachusetts with five more stores. McGovern's acquisition activity is a microcosm of the buy-sell market for the first half of the year: Private groups — not the publicly traded auto retailers — collectively were the most active buyers, often completing deals for just one or two dealerships at a time. Automotive News, which last year for the first time rigorously documented dealership acquisitions, tracked 178 buy-sell transactions in the first half of 2022, involving 253 U.S. franchised dealerships trading hands. The transaction count rose 19 percent from 150 in the first half of 2021, while the number of acquired dealerships slipped slightly from 261 in the year-earlier period. "The activity was really driven by the private sector because the publics significantly reduced their acquisition spending in the first half" of 2022, Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, told Automotive News. Click here for the full story.

Toyota Launching Extreme Trailhunter Off-Road Truck Lineup

Toyota's trucks are going on the hunt. The automaker has announced the launch of a new line of Trailhunter trucks that have been designed for overlanding adventures. The new trim will be offered on several models, which will be upgraded with new parts and accessories to make them more suitable for long-duration off-road trips. The activity has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many custom truck outfits offering modifications on a variety of models. Fox News reports Toyotas will be offered from the factory fully tested and with warranty coverage. The brand showcased what to expect at the recent SEMA Auto Show with a Tundra Trailhunter concept. Full technical information has not been released, but the pickup had an increased ride height, metal bumpers, rock rails and improved underbody protection. It was also equipped with unique suspension system that featured the Trailhunter's compass logo, which is also found in several other locations on the vehicle. A raised roof rack with a tent was added over the bed and the truck outfitted with another rack over the cabin with lights, a refrigerator and camping gear. Click here to learn more about the Trailhunter.

Rosses: Influential Dealer Family Pays It Forward

Jenell Ross, president of Bob Ross Auto Group in Centerville, Ohio, is a trailblazer and influential dealer in her own right. The second-generation retailer became the first Black dealer to chair AIADA in 2013 and she chaired the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cincinnati branch. She also sits on other boards of companies such as, even as she advocates for the development of more women and minorities as both dealers and employees in retail automotive. But it was her parents, Bob and Norma Ross, who first trod the career path that Jenell has traveled. Automotive News reports Bob started in the retail auto industry in 1962 selling cars at Shannon Buick in Dayton, Ohio, and was in the first class of dealer hopefuls enrolled in General Motors' Minority Dealer Academy, in 1972, according to Ross. Norma was an elementary school teacher and a curriculum consultant in the Dayton Public School system. In 1974, Bob's dream became reality when he acquired Vivian Buick, Opal and International Harvester Trucks in the couple's hometown of Richmond, Ind. Click here for the full story.

North America’s EV Future Hinges on a North Carolina Turtle Pond

In Kings Mountain, North Carolina, there’s a tree-filled park that provides urbanites from nearby Charlotte some respite in nature. At its center is a tranquil pond, featuring turtles, fish, and other wildlife. The sparkling waters, which plunge some 150 feet deep, are the result of decades of accumulated rainfall in a defunct lithium mine. Albemarle Corp., the world’s largest producer of the silvery white metal, is on a quest to restart operations. Bloomberg reports the project is a crucial component of a plan by automakers to create the U.S.’s first complete supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, to reduce their dependence on China. In EV batteries, there’s no substitute for lithium. If the Kings Mountain mine can proceed, Albemarle envisions processing the lithium it produces at a facility the company would open in the U.S. Southeast. And carmakers including General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have committed to investing in new domestic plants to make EV battery cells. “The industry is looking for a localized supply chain,” says Albemarle Chief Executive Officer Kent Masters. “We’re trying to build the first building blocks for that with lithium.” Click here for the full story.

Macron Hosts European CEOs to Counter U.S. Move Temptation

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday will host a dinner with a number of European chief executives to convince them not to move production to the United States, where lower energy prices and the Inflation Reduction Act is proving a lure. European leaders have been alarmed by massive anti-inflation measures passed by Joe Biden's administration, which make tax breaks conditional on U.S-manufactured content and which EU industries say make investment in Europe less competitive. "We're having difficulties with companies which are starting to consider offshoring their production or making future investment outside Europe," a French official said, listing high energy costs and the U.S. legislation as reasons. At the Elysee palace, Macron will seek to convince executives from companies including chemical groups Solvay and Air Liquide, carmakers Volvo and BMW, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, and telecom groups Ericsson, and Orange to stay in Europe and choose France for their future investments, reports Reuters. Macron, who has called on the European Union to launch its own 'European Buy Act' to subsidies European production, has encountered resistance from the more anti-protectionist members of the bloc. Click here for the full story.

Around the Web

10 Genius Features That Only Some Cars Have [Carscooops]

Analyst: Used-Car Market in a ‘Weird' Spot [Automotive News]

New W214 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Leaked Inside and Out [Carbuzz]

Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 Echoes Polestar's Past [Car and Driver]