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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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The Volkswagen ID.4 will debut this year.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 will be uvelied later this month. Before it is shown sans camouflage to the public, the automaker has revealed a plan that would give ID.4 owners three year of unlimited, free charging on Electrify America's nationwide network of ultra-fast chargers.

Electrify America currently has more than 470 charging stations and over 2,000 DC fast chargers nationwide. The company currently boasts two cross-country charging routes and recently announced a partnership with Love's Travel Stops for additional charging station placement. Additionally, the company will soon compete with Amazon and sell Electrify Home charging units, complete with installation.

Electrify Home Electrify America will compete with Amazon by selling at-home EV charging stations. Photo courtesy of Electrify America

Electrify America is currently the only open, public charging network to offer chargers with power levels up to 350 kilowatts. Across the country, 96 percent of the population live within 120 miles of an Electrify America charger.

"With a relentless commitment to driving the electric vehicle industry forward, Electrify America opened DC fast-charging stations at an accelerated pace of 1.2 per business day in 2019," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. "As more and more electric vehicles are introduced to the market, and consumer interest grows, we are excited to announce this agreement with Volkswagen to deliver fast and accessible charging to ID.4 customers and a new wave of EV adopters."

"The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again," said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "By adding three years of fast charging at no additional cost through Electrify America, we are eliminating all barriers for mainstream compact SUV buyers to go electric."

Electrify America continues to expand. The company plans to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December 2021.

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