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Penske Automotive Expands Commercial Truck Dealership Footprint

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Freightliner medium and heavy-duty commercial truck dealerships operating in the Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee markets. These dealerships represent the full line of Freightliner commercial truck products under the brand names Freightliner, Western Star, Sprinter and Freightliner Custom Chassis. The dealerships also offer a full range of used trucks and service/parts/body shop departments to meet the needs of their customers.

Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger S. Penske said, “We are pleased to expand our commercial truck dealership footprint into these new markets as we build scale within the highly-fragmented commercial truck dealership industry. The Chattanooga and Knoxville dealerships offer a strong legacy of providing outstanding new and used sales and service to local customers in addition to servicing fleet and owner-operators along the busy Interstate 24, 40 and 75 corridors providing us with an outstanding opportunity for future organic growth.”

Commenting on the transaction, Freightliner of Knoxville and Chattanooga President Patrick T. Carroll said, “We are excited to join the growing family of commercial truck dealerships in Penske Automotive Group. For more than 20 years, we have built our business with a focus on having industry leading facilities, hiring the best human capital and fostering outstanding relationships with our customers. As a result of sharing a common business philosophy with Penske, we look forward to continuing these traditions while expanding our ability to serve customers provided by the size and scope of Penske Automotive Group.”

The company estimates these dealerships will generate approximately $200 million in annualized revenue.

[Source: PenskeAutomotive.com]

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Company NewsDealer NewsGeneral

Penske Automotive Acquires Land Rover Dealership

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. announced today the acquisition of a Land Rover dealership in Darien, Connecticut. The company estimates the dealership will generate approximately $50 million of revenue annually.

Penske Automotive Group President Robert H. Kurnick, Jr., said, “We are pleased to add the Land Rover brand to our existing automotive dealership operations in Connecticut. For almost 30 years, this dealership has been serving customers in Darien, Greenwich, Westport and Stamford with a dedication to customer service. This brand complements our existing presence with Audi, BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche in the Connecticut market and connects our business from Fairfield, through Darien and into Greenwich, allowing us to continue scaling our operations.”

[Source: PenskeAutomotive.com]

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GeneralIndustry News

Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe Makes World Debut in New York City

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The Penske Automotive Group social team was on hand in New York City as Mercedes-Benz unveiled its latest AMG model.

The new S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe made its world premiere at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and is set to hit your nearest Penske Mercedes-Benz dealership showroom in the fall.

The Breathtaking S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe is equal parts presence and performance thanks to a sleek, athletic design and a power-packed drivetrain. With AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive standard; the S63 Coupe boasts an AMG 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine, with an output of 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. This engine, assembled by hand at the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach, allows the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds.

The S63 Coupe will also come standard with the advanced AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission, which allows drivers to select from one of three modes that best fits their driving style: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual). Also customizable are the sounds made by the vehicle. Thanks to the AMG sport exhaust system the automatic exhaust flaps in both rear silencers adjust to each driving mode to emit the most fitting engine sound.

The S63 AMG Coupe 4MATIC features the full air-suspension system AIRMATIC with the adaptive damping system ADS PLUS. Specific front axle kinematics – including higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle – have been developed exclusively for the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe. These measures enhance the vehicle’s agility for performance driving.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find uniquely sporty, luxurious accommodations that set the AMG apart from other models. The distinct interior features include the AMG sport seats with power adjustment, memory function and seat heating/ventilation; AMG design Nappa leather with piping together; AMG badges on all four seat backrests; and an embossed AMG emblem on the armrest of the front center console. There is also a new three-spoke AMG sport steering wheel and an AMG logo in the lower metal insert.

Additionally, the high-resolution TFT color AMG instrument cluster features two animated round dials for speed and RPM. The new, standard touchpad allows for seamless operation of the radio, telephone and navigation system.

Stay tuned to Penske Social for more photos, video and information about the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

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GeneralIndustry News

BMW Debuts Six New Models in New York

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BMW took advantage of its time in the Big Apple, bringing along six vehicles that have never been seen in the U.S. Penske Automotive Group was at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) to witness the German automaker showcase two vehicles that made their world debut and four others making their North American debut.

Arguably the most anticipated debut for the automaker was that of the BMW M4 Convertible, which combines the performance and body styling of the BMW M4 Coupe and BMW M3 Sedan with a retractable roof. Powering the BMW M4 Convertible is a 425-horsepower 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine, which propels the debuting vehicle 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The M4 Convertible will arrive at Penske BMW dealership showrooms this summer.

Also making its world debut in New York was the all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe. This all-new model will begin production soon exclusively at BMW’s production facility in Spartanburg, S.C. The new X4 will come with a choice of two TwinPower Turbo engines: BMW’s award-winning 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder on the X4 xDrive28i and a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline six on the top-of-line X4 xDrive35i. Both models include an eight-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission with shift paddles and xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system, standard.

Making their North American debuts were the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the 2015 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe, the Concept X5 eDrive and the X3 Sports Activity Vehicle. All four vehicles are set to arrive at Penske BMW dealerships later this year.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe brings the sporty character of the 4 Series Coupe with the functionality provided by four doors. It arrives in early summer with two engine choices: the award-winning 240-horsepower TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the 300-horsepower TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six.

The 2015 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe delivers 0 to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds thanks to a 540-horsepower, 4.4-liter ALPINA Bi-Turbo V8. This powerhouse also features an eight-speed Sports Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC and BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe will go on sale in the next couple of months.

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive features the combination of a BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder combustion engine and a 95-horsepower electric motor, which provides performance and an impressive average fuel efficiency of approximately 62 mpg. Different drive modes can also be selected, such as the full-electric mode, with a maximum possible range of 19 miles at speeds up to 75 mph. The vehicle’s high-voltage battery can be charged quickly and conveniently using the BMW home charging station, but it can also be charged using any standard household power outlet or public charging station.

The 2015 BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is the third generation for the model, featuring interior and exterior revisions and the availability of BMW Advanced Diesel power. The release of the new X3, which is set to hit showrooms in the next couple of months, will also mark the debut of the rear-wheel drive BMW X3 sDrive28i model an entry point into the X3. The new xDrive28d will feature BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower, while the X3 xDrive28i features BMW 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine, producing 240 horsepower.

 

Stay tuned to Penske Social for more photos, video and information about these new BMW models.

[Source: BMW USA]

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GeneralIndustry News

Six Finalists in the Running for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award

Six Finalists in the Running for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award

The slate of six finalists for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award have been named, each embodying the latest and greatest developments in automotive fuel economy, connectivity, telematics and active safety. Readers will now be charged with casting votes that will help determine which entrant takes the top honor.

Following a careful review of over 40 entries submitted by industry professionals, editorial staffers and readers alike, the judging panel has declared the finalists to be (in no particular order):

From midnight on November 19 onward, readers will be given the chance to vote for one of the six innovative technologies to take the top prize. The announcement and presentation of the honor to the victor will occur in Las Vegas at January’s 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

Though it is certainly true that most readers of AOL Autos will not have had a personal opportunity to test the technologies in the running for the honor, they do have access to reviews written by site staffers, all of which are accompanied by videos explaining the finer points of each innovation. These summaries also include specific articulation of the reasons each finalist was selected by the judging panel. Once the readers’ choice is determined after voting closes, that selection will have the equal weight to the vote of one of the judges on the 14-judge panel.

AOL Autos editor David Kiley believes that the readership will have sufficient information to fairly judge the merits of each new technology offering, thanks to the detail provided in the site’s presentations. Those assessments, combined with the hands-on experience AOL Autos staffers enjoyed with each finalist, make for a thorough, accurate judging process.

In its inaugural technology contest last year, AOL Autos tapped the updated UConnect system from Chrysler as the top technological innovation, surging ahead of laudable submissions from Cadillac, Honda, Nissan and Ford.

The fuel economy category was a new addition to this year’s contest, largely because it is an arena that is seeing a major influx of technological development within the auto industry. Kiley asserted that since fuel economy innovations are so thoroughly intertwined with electronics, the decision to include this sector in an event affiliated with the Consumer Electronics Show is entirely fitting.

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Company NewsGeneral

Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

Penske Automotive launched a product specialist program in one of its stores last month to try to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. The name or location of the store is not being revealed. The concept that the company is using closely emulates the “genius” product specialists that Apple uses at its retail stores.

Tony Pordon, the executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, says that the idea to initiate such a scheme came from the general manager of the test store. She is trying to creatively drive more people to her location and to improve customer satisfaction ratings at the dealership. Pordon would only say that a high-volume foreign brand is sold at the store.

Penske Automotive is not the first company to test out product specialists in its stores. BMW also took inspiration from Apple for its BMW Genius Everywhere program, which was launched in the United Kingdom and has spread throughout Europe. The vehicle manufacturer requires its dealerships to hire young, tech-savvy people to answer inquiries about its vehicles. BMW is expected to bring this program to the United States early next year.

Penske Automotive supports BMW Genius Everywhere, as well as sells the manufacturer’s vehicles, but Pordon says that its product specialist initiative is separate. The company owns 140 dealerships, but has only hired two product specialists. Pordon says that energetic, tech-savvy people who are willing to embrace changes in technology are ideal candidates for future product specialists. The company wants people who understand product details and have robust communication skills.

Pordon explained that Penske Automotive product specialists will greet customers, go on test drives and do vehicle walk-arounds before a salesperson begins to negotiate a price with the customers. The goal is to meet the high expectations of customers and provide a better, faster experience. Emulating the tech-savviness that other businesses have is one way to accomplish this goal, and that is why this program has been initiated.

He also noted that this is a lower-cost way to boost store sales, despite the upfront cost of hiring product specialists, because it will lead to more gross and increase profits. The management team will examine the initiative and make adjustments as necessary, such as having the product specialists do the sales side of the business as well. If the program works, Penske Automotive will consider launching it at other dealerships.

 

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GeneralIndustry News

Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

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Penske Automotive launched a product specialist program in one of its stores last month to try to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. The name or location of the store is not being revealed. The concept that the company is using closely emulates the “genius” product specialists that Apple uses at its retail stores.

Tony Pordon, the executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, says that the idea to initiate such a scheme came from the general manager of the test store. She is trying to creatively drive more people to her location and to improve customer satisfaction ratings at the dealership. Pordon would only say that a high-volume foreign brand is sold at the store.

Penske Automotive is not the first company to test out product specialists in its stores. BMW also took inspiration from Apple for its BMW Genius Everywhere program, which was launched in the United Kingdom and has spread throughout Europe. The vehicle manufacturer requires its dealerships to hire young, tech-savvy people to answer inquiries about its vehicles. BMW is expected to bring this program to the United States early next year.

Penske Automotive supports BMW Genius Everywhere, as well as sells the manufacturer’s vehicles, but Pordon says that its product specialist initiative is separate. The company owns 140 dealerships, but has only hired two product specialists. Pordon says that energetic, tech-savvy people who are willing to embrace changes in technology are ideal candidates for future product specialists. The company wants people who understand product details and have robust communication skills.

Pordon explained that Penske Automotive product specialists will greet customers, go on test drives and do vehicle walk-arounds before a salesperson begins to negotiate a price with the customers. The goal is to meet the high expectations of customers and provide a better, faster experience. Emulating the tech-savviness that other businesses have is one way to accomplish this goal, and that is why this program has been initiated.

He also noted that this is a lower-cost way to boost store sales, despite the upfront cost of hiring product specialists, because it will lead to more gross and increase profits. The management team will examine the initiative and make adjustments as necessary, such as having the product specialists do the sales side of the business as well. If the program works, Penske Automotive will consider launching it at other dealerships.

 

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