Dealerships

Texas dealership giving GM, FCA stock as bonus with new vehicle purchase

One Fort Worth, Texas dealership is offering a different type of incentive for buyers.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's not unusual to get a complimentary gift card for test driving a new vehicle. The team over at Frank Kent Motor Co. in Texas had a different idea on how to lure buyers - complimentary stock options.

During the month of April, the Fort Worth dealership is offering Drive a Piece of America, Own a Piece of America, where buyers will be gifted 10 shares of General Motors stock with the purchase of any new GM vehicle or 30 shares of FCA stock with the purchase of a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram.

"We're thrilled to be able to share this gift. Our customers, employees and community are our most valuable assets and we will always invest in them. We stand behind Americans and believe in the strength of the FCA and General Motors brands. As our economy rebounds, we are hopeful that the value of the stocks will increase for the recipients," said Corrie Watson, President of Frank Kent Motor Co.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCAU) opened the day at $6.71 per share on the NASDAQ exchange. General Motors Company (GM) started the day higher at $18.04 per share.

Vehicle sales plummeted in March with many automakers posting declines of over 50-percent from March 2019's numbers. Additionally, many showrooms are closed. However, many dealerships are able to complete no-touch handoffs and service facilities are still operating as essential services in most states.

Frank Kent Motor Co. has developed into one of the largest Cadillac dealerships in the Southwest, has been awarded the General Motors Dealer of the Year, and is recognized in the Cadillac Master Dealer Hall of Fame. Their dealership portfolio has grown to include Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM.

In addition to the dealership, Watson and co-owner Will Churchill own and operate Fort Brewery, Cadillac Wines, and Grease Money Rubs, a seasoning line. They also founded Dream Park Fort Worth, an inclusive playground for children of all abilities.

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Cadillac will be the first brand with Ultra Cruise

General Motors

Tesla has been in hot water for a while now for shenanigans pulled by owners abusing the automaker's advanced cruise control functions. While the company's Full Self Driving (FSD) tech isn't quite ready for primetime, other automakers are catching up – quickly. Today, General Motors announced Ultra Cruise, its advanced driver assistance tech that promises to allow hands-free driving in 95 percent of driving scenarios.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will build on Super Cruise functionality.General Motors

GM notes that its goal is to eventually roll the service out to all paved roads in the U.S. and Canada. When it launches, the service will work on over two million miles of roads, which could nearly double as the program expands.

Ultra Cruise will offer a host of automated driving features that build on Super Cruise:

  • Dynamic display system
  • Ability to react to permanent traffic control devices
  • Follow internal navigation routes
  • Maintain headway and follow speed limits
  • Support automatic, on-demand lane changes
  • Support left and right turns
  • Support close object avoidance
  • Support parking in residential driveways

The system uses LiDAR, radar, and cameras to build a 360-degree, three-dimensional picture of the world around it. An additional LiDAR unit is located behind the windshield. GM notes that a big part of the system is its Human Machine Interface (HMI), which communicates with the driver to alert them when they need to take control. Ultra Cruise-equipped vehicles will do this with a head-up display that helps drivers stay focused on the road, and will use the same driver monitoring cameras that are used in Super Cruise.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will enable hands-free driving in the majority of driving scenarios.General Motors

Ultra Cruise will first be available in Cadillac vehicles starting from 2023. There's no word on pricing or specific vehicle availability at this time.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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