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David Muller

Retail Reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207-2997 Detroit, MI
Phone: 313-446-6090
E-Mail: dmuller@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Cars.com plans to restructure sales operations, cut staff amid investor pressure

UPDATED: 12/12/18 4:16 pm ET - adds stock close

Cars.com, one of the auto industry's largest online shopping sites, is restructuring its sales operations and eliminating more than 100 positions amid pressure from an activist investment group.

Vroom collects $146 million in latest funding, eyes expansion with new hires

Upstart online used-car retailer Vroom said it raised $146 million in its latest round of funding, including a previously reported $50 million from AutoNation Inc.

November numbers reflect surprisingly good sales year

Heading into 2018, U.S. auto sales appeared headed for a second-straight annual decline. But it hasn't played out as expected: Sales have remained steady even as incentives were disciplined and prices rose further.

'Crazy Ivan' strategy gets shoppers' attention

What does a 2014 Jeep Compass Sport have in common with a Soviet submarine?

Ethics and F&I compliance go hand in hand

The relationship between compliance and ethics is especially acute in the F&I department.

As more cars disappear, affordability challenge grows

As new-vehicle prices and interest rates continue to rise, affordable cars continue to disappear from the American landscape.

HONDA: Accord, Acura RDX gains not enough to offset 3rd straight dip

The Acura RDX continued to post record sales results for American Honda in November, but it was not enough to offset declines for higher-volume vehicles such as the Honda Civic and Pilot.

November U.S. sales expected to dip as market cools

A forecasted 2 percent drop in U.S. sales would keep the SAAR above 17 million. As the headwinds get stronger, transaction prices continue to rise and incentive spending remains disciplined.

KAR agrees to buy European online auction service for $176 million

KAR Auction Services said it agreed to buy Belgium-based online auction company CarsOnTheWeb for about $176 million.

Cox Automotive picks outsider for new chief sales officer position

Sid Nair, from IT services company DXC Technology, will take over the responsibilities of the departing Raj Sundaram, executive vice president and chief client success officer.

3 things to watch in November sales

Black Friday hasn't just taken over Thanksgiving weekend: Big sales run all month, especially in automakers' and dealers' marketing efforts. For many Americans, buying big-ticket items in November now goes hand in hand with stuffing themselves full of turkey and gravy and, well, stuffing.

CPOS sell better than non-certified vehicles

Certified pre-owned vehicles are selling quicker and with better margins, according to J.D. Power.

Used-vehicle space ripe for innovation

The need for traditional dealers to get innovative in the pre-owned space was apparent at the 2018 Used Car Week annual event in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Online auctions key to wholesalers' future

Online auctions and the digital tools that accompany them are key to vehicle wholesalers' futures.

Data helps solve pre-owned sales puzzle

Margin compression in the used-vehicle market has made knowing the intricacies of data more important than ever for dealers.

Auction industry boosts effort to recruit technicians

The National Auto Auction Association is spending $125,000 on two initiatives to help members find and hire more technicians.

For Carvana, wider losses, but higher hopes

Carvana Co.'s aggressive growth shows no sign of slowing: The online used-car retailer continues to charge into new markets on the strength of investor backing and improving vehicle sales and gross profit. Net profit, however, remains elusive.

Used-car managers need data skills

Data is increasingly king in used-car sales, but there is still a place for auction-hardened experience, dealers say.

KAR reports 23% rise in net income

The auction services and technology company's core businesses helped offset continued costs associated with its rollout of TradeRev.

Carvana's triple-digit growth continues, but still no profit

Carvana reported triple-digit growth in volume and revenue in the third quarter, but profits remain elusive as the online used-vehicle seller continues expanding its relatively low-overhead model.

Dealertrack launches uniFI platform to streamline transactions

To alleviate the often cumbersome and slow F&I process, Dealertrack has launched uniFI, a platform that connects the entire deal process with open integration.

TOYOTA: Tacoma, Highlander provide a lift

It was a record October for Toyota division light-truck sales. Surging deliveries of the Tacoma pickup and Highlander crossover led Toyota Motor Sales to a slight gain for the month.

October sales expected to dip as incentives keep falling

U.S. light-vehicle sales are expected to dip to the lowest level for October since 2014, forecasters say, as automakers dial back on deals and the cost to buy a new car or truck keeps rising. The SAAR is expected to remain strong and top 17 million. October could also be the first month ever in which light trucks account for more than 70 percent of retail sales, according to some analysts.

Dealers seek approval of antitrust deal with Reynolds

The settlement needs court approval, and the money would be put in escrow while the case against CDK Global proceeds.

Concierges to help auction giant with new sales app

Manheim Express is being touted as a logical evolution in digital wholesaling. But some high-volume dealers could use a little help.

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