Awards

IHS Markit names GM top manufacturer for loyalty

DETROIT - 

General Motors Co. recently received the IHS Markit Loyalty Awards program's top distinction at Automotive News World Congress.

The annual awards are now in their 22nd year and recognize winners in more than 30 categories for loyalty leadership.

With a loyalty rate of 69.1 percent, the American manufacturer took home the evening’s top award – Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer.

Meanwhile, the Ford brand received an IHS Markit award for Overall Loyalty to Make.

“Our Automotive Loyalty Awards program continues to demonstrate the focus automakers, brands and their dealer networks place on winning back and conquesting customers during a strong sales year that’s become even more competitive,” IHS Markit, automotive senior vice president Joe LaFeir said in a news release. “We are honored to recognize those industry leaders that are working to improve their loyalty efforts year over year.”

Both manufacturers and brands were recognized for superior customer retention and conquest efforts made during the 2017 model year, which includes October 2016 through September 2017.

Additionally, IHS Markit said it found that there were approximately 17.5 million new-vehicle registrations during the 2017 model year.

According to the company, 53.6 percent of customers returned to market to purchase or lease another new vehicle from the same make they already owned, which is up 0.8 percentage points from last year. 

“As the market plateaus, insight from advanced analytics will enable OEMs and their dealers to engage with consumers more efficiently and effectively, through a better understanding of consumer buying behavior,” said Steve Had, vice president, sales and product marketing solutions for IHS Markit.

Other IHS Markit loyalty award winners from this year include Jeep for highest conquest percentage for the 2017 model year; Toyota for highest ethnic loyalty; Buick for most improved loyalty to make and Jaguar for most improved conquest percentage.


KBB names Toyota, Porsche Best Resale Value Award brand winners

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Kelley Blue Book announced Tuesday that the Toyota and Porsche brands are the 2018 model-year brand winners of the annual Best Resale Value Awards.

Its Porsche's second consecutive luxury brand Best Resale Value award, and Toyota takes it’s third-ever win, following recognition for top brand in 2014 as well as last year. 

The awards are in their 16th year and are based on projections from the Kelley Blue Book Residual Value Guide.

Recognized vehicles are awarded for their projected retained value following the initial five-year ownership period.

“Once again, Toyota and Porsche earn tops honors in the brand and luxury brand categories, respectively, with the highest average projected resale value among their full model lineups,” KBB director of residual values Eric Ibara said in a news release.

“You can be confident a vehicle will retain its value well if you pick from Kelley Blue Book's list of Best Resale Value Award winners,” he said.

While a 2018 model-year vehicle only will retain about 35.1 percent of its original value, each vehicle named in Kelley Blue Book's Top 10 for Best Resale Value is projected to retain more than 46 percent of their MSRP.

After five years, the Toyota Tacoma, which is named this year’s top Best Resale Value vehicle in the mid-size pickup truck category, is expected to bring 61 percent of its MSRP, according to KBB.

“The Top 10 vehicle winners are predominantly trucks, which reflects the high demand that exists for these models. Despite the higher incentives available on trucks today, used-car buyers are willing to pay more for trucks, relative to the initial MSRP, than they are for sedans. Without the prospect of higher gas prices, this trend doesn't appear to be slowing,” Ibara explained.

The list of the top 2018 Best Resale Value vehicles includes the following models:

  1. Chevrolet Colorado
  2. Jeep Wrangler
  3. Chevrolet Silverado
  4. Subaru WRX
  5. Ford F-Series
  6. Toyota 4Runner
  7. GMC Sierra
  8. Toyota Tacoma
  9. Honda Ridgeline
  10. Toyota Tundra

Residual values used for award calculations are based on the 2018 model-year vehicles featured in the January/February 2018 KBB Residual Value Guide.

The automotive analysts who establish KBB Residual Values review output from statistical models built upon millions of transactions, according to the company.

Additionally, low-volume vehicles are excluded from award consideration unless there are being evaluated within in the electric, luxury, sports car and high-performance categories.

Residual values demonstrate the projected auction values of vehicles with 75,000 miles after a five-year lease or ownership period, according to KBB.


RMS receives Car Remarketing Award at Fleet Europe Remarketing Forum

ATLANTA - 

RMS Automotive recently announced it took home the inaugural Car Remarketing Award at the in Estoril, Portugal.

Senior director of RMS Automotive European sales and marketing Sebastian Fuchs accepted the prize during the awards ceremony at the end of the forum organized by Nexus Communications.

The company was recognized for “the innovative character of the company, the added value for the customer, the good Return of Investment (ROI) and because it is a future-proof company,” RMS Automotive said in an email.

The global enterprise software provider currently holds operations or contracts in 29 countries, and service is available in 29 languages and 42 currencies, according to the RMS Automotive website.

The 2017 Car Remarketing Award jury included Marcel de Rycker, managing director of International Warranty Solutions; David Baudeweyns, sales and business development at Nexus Communication; Frank Jacobs, editor at the Fleet Europe; and Luc De Moor, managing director at Educam Group.

In addition to RMS Automotive, this year’s award contestants included ALD Automotive, Aston Barclay, AutoBid, Autorola, DAT Consulting, GT Motive and Reezocar.


AuSM founder Ron Smith to retire Jan. 1

CARY, N.C. - 

Ron Smith, the founder of AuSM and its parent company, S&A Cherokee, has announced his retirement, which will be effective on Jan. 1.

Smith, who will remain a part-owner of S&A Cherokee in retirement, has gradually delegated day-to-day operational duties to fellow owners/principals Bill Zadeits and Chuck Norman over the past year.

“Ron is an incredible businessman, mentor, boss and partner, and an even better husband and father,” said Zadeits, who is the publisher of AuSM. “We hope to continue his legacy of providing excellent service and communications with the highest ethical standards to our clients and constituents.”

“I can’t say enough about what Ron has done for me professionally and personally,” said Norman. “It’s truly been an honor working with him, and after decades of hard work and sacrifice, he’s earned a rewarding retirement. We know he’s just a phone call or email away, but everyone on our staff wishes him their best.”

Smith will remain part of the S&A Cherokee management team, which includes Norman, Smith, Zadeits, Amanda Dunlap and Michael Colborn.

Smith founded public relations firm Smith and Associates in 1982, before starting Cherokee Publishing Company eight years later.  The activities of the PR firm and publishing company were then established as one business entity, as the company was rebranded S&A Cherokee in 2005.

The company now includes two divisions: S&A Communications, a PR and marketing firm; and AuSM, a publishing company that produces such publications as AuSM, SubPrime Auto Finance News, BHPH Report and AuSM Canada.

CMG also produces digital publications and organizes/operates automotive trade conferences, including Used Car Week.  

Lifetime achievement award

It was at this year’s Used Car Week conference where Smith was the recipient of the AuSM Lifetime Achievement Award.

AuSM correspondent Arlena Sawyers was on hand for the award presentation, and provided this recap below:

But before becoming a publisher and an entrepreneur, Smith was a journalist. He started the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s Used Car Dealer Magazine while working for the association.

After NIADA took the publication in-house in 1990 Smith shunned naysayers who said the industry didn’t need a publication dedicated to the used-car business. AuSM was born.

Smith recognized that the used-car industry was growing and evolving and he wanted to be a part of it.

“The manufacturers, the auction association, the independent dealers, the franchise dealers, all of those people,” have all been instrumental in that growth, Smith said. “We’ve been fortunate to see it grow dramatically.”

Smith said his staff is “outstanding” and that support of his wife Donna, helped his dreams become reality.

The AuSM Lifetime Achievement Award has been renamed the Ron Smith Lifetime Achievement Award.

Smith on AuSM Podcast 

Prior to Used Car Week, we recorded an intervew with Smith for the AuSM Podcast. 

Check out our conversation, recorded earlier this fall, below.


Ally nominates 47 for TIME Dealer of Year

DETROIT - 

Ally Financial announced Monday that it has chosen 47 U.S. dealers as nominees for the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Each year, the award recognizes several successful dealers who show a strong commitment to community service.

In addition to a $1,000 contribution from Ally for each dealer's charity of choice,  will be formally honored during a ceremony at the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2018 NADA Show on March 23 in Las Vegas where Meredith Long, TIME news, luxury and style senior vice president and general manager, will introduce this year's nominees.

“Only a small fraction of the roughly 16,500 franchise dealers across the country are nominated for this award each year, putting the nominees into an elite group of automotive leaders,” Ally auto finance president Tim Russi said in a news release.

“This year's nominees have proven they understand, care and 'do it right' for their communities by giving in ways that make a difference to those in need. We are honored to celebrate their incredible stories and hope their examples motivate others to give,” Russi continued.

As the exclusive sponsor of the award program for the past seven years, Ally has contributed nearly $600,000 to the TIME Dealer of the Year program, according to the company.

Additionally, this year’s nominees will also be featured on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which promotes the philanthropic contributions and achievements of the award honorees.

Past award winners include Swope Toyota, Van Bortel Motorcars, AutoFair Honda, Teague Auto Group, Michael Alford and Mike Shaw Automotive Group.


U.S. News names best brands in 4 segments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 

U.S. News & World Report announced Tuesday this year’s winners of its Best Vehicle Brand awards, which recognize brand-wide excellence in the four major segments: cars, SUVs, trucks and luxury vehicles.

The automotive channel of U.S. News & World Report  —  score of brand’s new models in each segment to determine award class winners, according to the company.

The overall scores are based on the consensus of the automotive press, safety scores and reliability data, which drive all of U.S. News Best Cars rankings, such as its annual Best Cars awards: , and .

“Deciding where to start looking for a new car, truck or SUV can be one of the most overwhelming parts of buying a car,” U.S. News Best Cars managing editor Jamie Page Deaton said in a news release. “The Best Vehicle Brands provides consumers with the greatest possible starting point, no matter what type of vehicle they’re shopping for.”

The 2018 Best Vehicle Brand award winners in four segments include:

  • Best Car Brand: Mazda
  • Best SUV Brand: Honda
  • Best Truck Brand: Ford
  • Best Luxury Brand: Porsche

Land Rover, Subaru continue residual value win streaks

SANTA MONICA, Calif.  - 

Land Rover is taking home ALG’s premium brand Residual Value Award for the fourth straight year, while Subaru achieved top honors among mainstream brands for the third straight time.

ALG, which is the analytics subsidiary of TrueCar, announced its 2018 Residual Value Awards on Monday morning, and will present them at this week’s Automobility LA.

In addition to the brand winners, the awards recognize the 2018 model-year vehicles in 26 segments that are forecasted to retain the highest percentage of original MSRP after three years.

Subaru earned top honors in five segments and Land Rover was tops in four.

“Strong residual values are the bedrock of successful brands. A vehicle’s ability to retain its value over time is an important consideration for consumers looking to purchase or lease a vehicle,” ALG president Jim Nguyen said in a news release.

“With vehicle leasing at near-record levels and headwinds for used-vehicle values on the horizon, consumers can have confidence in their choice of a Residual Value Award winner for their next vehicle,” he said.

The full list of winners is below:

Overall
Premium: Land Rover
Mainstream: Subaru

Segment Awards

Mainstream Cars
Alt-Fuel: Kia Niro
Subcompact: Honda FIT
Compact: Subaru Impreza
Midsize: Honda Accord
Fullsize: Dodge Charger
Sportscar: Subaru WRX

Mainstream Utility
Subcompact Utility: Subaru Crosstrek
Compact Utility: Subaru Forester
Midsize Utility 2nd Row Seating: Subaru Outback
Midsize Utility 3rd Row Seating: Toyota Highlander
Fullsize Utility: Toyota Sequioa
Off-Road Utility: Jeep Wrangler

Trucks
Fullsize Pickup: Toyota Tundra
Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Premium Cars
Premium Compact: Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
Premium Midsize: Audi Allroad
Premium Fullsize: Genesis G80
Premium Executive: Lexus LS
Premium Sportscar: Porsche 718 Cayman

Premium Utility
Premium Compact Utility Land Rover Discovery Sport
Premium Midsize Utility 2nd Row Seating: Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Premium Midsize Utility 3rd Row Seating: Land Rover Discovery
Premium Fullsize Utility: Land Rover Range Rover

Vans
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Midsize Commercial: Mercedes-Benz Metris
Fullsize Commercial: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter


Roundup: Clauss takes over NAAA presidency; Charleston named auction of year

LA QUINTA, Calif. - 

ADESA Buffalo general manager Warren Clauss officially  took over as National Auto Auction Association president at the organization's 69th annual convention in La Quinta, Calif. last week, held in conjunction with the National Remarketing Conference during Used Car Week.

Serving with Clauss on the executive board for the 2017-2018 term is president-elect Chad Bailey and vice president Laura Taylor.

Clauss has served in executive leadership positions at NAAA for more than a decade.

Prior to his election as vice president in 2015, he served as president of the Eastern Chapter from 2004 to 2005, sat on the association's board of directors between 2006 to 2008 and again from 2013 to 2014.

“It's been extremely rewarding to serve the NAAA in those positions, building relationships and working together for the mutual benefit of our members and the industry,” Clauss said in a news release. “I thank the members for their trust and support and look forward to serving them as their president.”

Clauss joined the ADESA Buffalo team as controller in 1992. In 1994, he took on the role of assistant general manager and became the general manager just two years later.

He is the longest-running general manager at any of ADESA's 77 auctions, according to NAAA.

Angelicchio inducted into NAAA Hall of Fame

Retired Pittsburgh Independent Auto Auction chairman and chief executive officer Dave Angelicchio was also inducted into the NAAA Hall of Fame at this year's convention.

Angelicchio is recognized for his service in various executive positions at NAAA, including president, chairman of the board and treasurer, earned him the honor.

In addition to encouraging the establishment of standards for arbitration, wholesale certification and electronic condition reports, Angelicchio's initiatives centered on streamlining operations, forging strategic partnerships and creating standards.

Accomplishments of Angelicchio include overseeing the first joint NAAA/CAR Conference, spearheading the agreement to combine NAAA's annual convention with the National Remarketing Conference, and the major restructuring of the association's four autonomous zones into chapters, according to NAAA.

Angelicchio became chairman and chief executive of Pittsburgh Independent Auto Auction in 1996. He continued to work in that position until the family business was bought by ADESA in March 2015.

Brasher receives 'industry pioneer' distinction

In addition to Angelicchio, the NAAA honored former owner and chief executive officer of West Coast Auto Auctions Larry F. Brasher with its Industry Pioneer Award for his achievements and contributions to the remarketing profession at NAAA's 69th annual convention.

Brasher is notably the first son of a former NAAA president and Hall of Fame member to hold the same office.

Brasher was elected president in 1989 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. His father served as president from 1973 to 1974 and entered the NAAA Hall of Fame in 1987.

NAAA’s Industry Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have innovated or enhanced methods of improving services to remarketers through NAAA member auctions.

“During his more than a quarter-century in the wholesale vehicle remarketing industry, Brasher oversaw such advancements as expanded video sales, developing the Auction Viewmaster System in 1995 that allowed all vehicles — regardless of size or location — to go on the block, including boats and RVs, NAAA said in a news release.

In 1987, Brasher was one of the founders of the ServNet Auction Group which created a network of independent auto auctions strategically located throughout the country that work together to provide the latest in services and technologies.

Before earning a business management degree from the University of Utah in 1972, Brasher grew up working at, Salt Lake City Auto Auction, which his father founded in their in 1949.

Brasher made the decision to join his father full-time after graduating from law school in 1975.

Following the acquisition of Sacramento Auto Auction in 1978, Brasher and his wife Anne relocated to California and he became sole owner of that auction in 1987.

West Coast Auto Auctions was formed following acquisitions in Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico.

Brasher served as CEO of the parent organization until 2003, before serving on its board of directors.

This April, ADESA completed the acquisition of the eight West Coast Auto Auctions owned by the Brasher family.

Auto Auction of the Year & more

In other auction news, Charleston Auto Auction was named the NAAA's 2017 Auto Auction of the Year for Excellence in Community Service for supporting a local high school principal's dream creating of a residence for homeless students.

The Charleston County School District nominated the auction for its efforts to help support 21 homeless students at R.B. Stall High School.

After seeing a news story on TV about Project H.O.M.E., a proposed project to house several homeless high schoolers with surrogate parents who would provide stability and consistency, Charleston Auto Auction assistant general manager Jason Moritz wanted to help, according to NAAA.

Along with a large crystal loving cup, the award includes a $20,000 check payable to a charity of the auction's choice and a feature in both NAAA's On The Block magazine and 2018 membership directory.

Earlier this year, as one of four regional finalists to receive the NAAA Chapter Auction of the Year Award, Charleston Auto Auction had previously won a $5,000 check for charity.

Additionally, the Midwest Chapter earned the NAAA PAC Cup Award, Melinda Dykstra earned the Distinguished Service Award and Dean Fusami was recognized as the Bernie Hart Auctioneer of the Year. 


Porsche’s Heather Pullen receives Cox Automotive Community Impact Award at Used Car Week

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.  - 

On Thursday, Cox Automotive presented its 2017 Community Impact Award to Heather Pullen, national remarketing manager at Porsche Cars North America.

The award — sponsored by Cox Automotive brand, Manheim — was presented by Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, during an awards luncheon at Used Car Week.

The honor is given to a remarketing industry leader “for their outstanding contributions to the community and the innovative ways they collaborate with community partners to help further their missions,” according to a Cox Automotive press release.

Huang had the following to say about this year’s recipient:

"Heather's enthusiasm and passion for community service exemplifies the spirit of the Cox Automotive Community Impact Award," said Huang. "Community service is a guiding value for how Cox Automotive operates its businesses, and we congratulate Heather on her inspirational work."

Pullen has been with Porsche for more than six years. And although she is passionate about performance cars, “her real passion starts with horses,” according to the press release from Cox Automotive. She is an avid polo player. In fact, she and her husband, Randy Pullen, formed a charity in 2016 named . The charity is designed to give back to local charities in the Atlanta area by raising money through an annual polo event produced by Pony Up For A Cause.

The charity partners with Atlanta Ronald McDonald House (ARMHC) to support its mission in the local community. Since its inception, Pony Up For A Cause has raised more than $30,000 for ARMHC. 

Along with the award, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to “making a difference through community service,” Pullen’s charity will receive a $10,000 donation from Cox Automotive to further its work in the Atlanta area.

"Giving back to the community is simply part of the culture at Cox Automotive," said Pullen. "It is a sincere honor to be recognized, and I am humbled by the generosity of Cox Automotive."


KBB names the 2018 Honda Accord America's 'best buy'

IRVINE, Calif. - 

After narrowing down its list to a few dozen Best Buy Award contenders in 12 major vehicle categories, Kelley Blue Book announced Thursday that it has named the 2018 Honda Accord this year’s overall Best Buy Award winner.

In addition to selling for far less than the average new car, the 2018 Honda Accord provides more features, better fuel economy and a greater reputation for quality and reliability than its competitors, according to KBB.

“The mid-size sedan segment has long been a sweet spot of needs, wants and value, and the totally redesigned 2018 Honda Accord is the most appealing car in the category. The Accord's storied refinement and resale value advantages remain, but the new model now outclasses the competition in almost every meaningful measure,” KBB said in a news release. “Value without compromise is as rare as it is desirable, and it's why the all-new Honda Accord is our Overall Best Buy for 2018.”

KBB’s and testing includes more than 300 new-car models available in the U.S.

The analysis of each model focuses on an examination of vehicle pricing/transaction prices, along with 5-Year Cost to Own data related to depreciation; insurance; maintenance; financing; fuel, fees; taxes; consumer reviews and ratings, and vehicle sales/retail sales information, according to KBB.

“Kelley Blue Book takes great pride in providing a significant consumer service by identifying the new vehicles our experts believe to be the absolute best-value choices for new-car shoppers,” KBB executive publisher Karl Brauer said. “This year's Best Buy Award winners can help shoppers narrow the consideration list of new models across every major vehicle category, providing car buyers with confidence in their next new-car purchase.”

The 2018 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award 12 category winners include the following models:

  • Small Car: 2018 Honda Civic
  • Mid-Size Car: 2018 Honda Accord
  • Full-Size Car: 2018 Chevrolet Impala
  • Luxury Car: 2018 Audi A5 Sportback
  • Performance Car: 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster
  • Electric/Hybrid Car: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
  • Small SUV/Crossover: 2018 Honda CR-V
  • Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2018 Honda Pilot
  • Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2018 Ford Expedition
  • Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2018 Audi Q5
  • Truck: 2018 Ford F-150
  • Minivan: 2018 Honda Odyssey

Additionally, in a recent study, 64 percent of consumers said their vehicle opinion was influenced when a model earned a Kelley Blue Book award, outpacing the influence of an award offered by the next closest third-party automotive resource by nearly 20 percentage points, according to KBB.


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