Asbury Acquires Jim Cone Dealership, Toyota’s Tri-Gen Powerhouse, and Ford’s F-150 Hybrid Ambitions

Earlier this week: Asbury Automotive Group expanded its reach with the historic acquisition of Jim Koons Automotive, which included 29 automotive brands across 20 storefronts. In sustainable energy news, Toyota has partnered with FuelCell Energy to unveil a pioneering “triple system” for renewable energy. Meanwhile, Ford responded to consumer hesitation about all-electric pickups by increasing production of its F-150 hybrid. Finally, Toyota provided a sneak peek at its future electric vehicle strategy, And more headlines to stay on top of this week’s auto news Industry news.

Asbury Automotive Group has agreed to acquire Jim Koons Automotive Enterprises, marking the first dealership merger of this size since 2021.
Pictured (from left to right): Jim Kunz Automotive Corporation Chairman Jim Kunz, Asbury Automotive Group President and CEO David Holt

1. Asbury Automotive and Jim Koons Automotive sign huge acquisition deal

Asbury Automotive Group has agreed to acquire Jim Koons Automotive Enterprises, marking the first dealer group merger of this size since 2021. According to a press release, the deal will consolidate 20 storefronts representing 29 different vehicle brands into the Asbury Automotive network, along with six additional storefronts the service. During its 50 years in business, Jim Kunz’s dealer group has operated locations throughout Virginia, Delaware and Maryland, including one of the busiest Toyota and Stellantis stores in the country. Read more

Sean Fine, President of the United Auto Workers – Brittany Grayson for The New York Times

2. What a UAW strike means for vehicle availability and affordability

Big Detroit automakers are running out of time to prevent a strike as the deadline for contentious United Auto Workers (UAW) contract negotiations approaches. According to analysts, if the strike is limited to a few factories, it is unlikely to increase the cost of most vehicles. This is partly because the majority of cars on the market are made by the UAW, including Teslas, Hondas, Toyotas and other companies. In addition, dealers already have stock of many models produced by the UAW. Read more

Toyota and FuelCell Energy have completed what they call a world first "tripartite system," Capable of producing renewable electricity.
Image source: FuelCell Energy, Toyota

3. Toyota Port facility to use renewable energy system with hydrogen byproducts

Toyota and FuelCell Energy have completed what they call the world’s first “tri-generation system,” a power generator capable of producing electricity, hydrogen and renewable water. In a press release, the automaker revealed that it installed the new system at its Port of Long Beach facility, making it the first site of its kind to generate fully renewable electricity. The manufacturer has signed a 20-year contract with FuelCell Energy to continue using the “tri-generation” system for its operations at the plant. Read more

F-150 Hybrid Pickup Truck.
Ford Blue Unit Vice President Andrew Frick

4. Ford doubles production of its F-150 hybrid pickup truck

As a precaution against American truck buyers’ reluctance to switch to all-electric pickups, Ford aims to double production of F-150 hybrid pickup trucks in 2024. The automaker said it plans to equip 20% of its best-selling model lines in the United States with gas and electric engines by 2024. The hybrid powertrain will sell for the same price as a truck equipped with a six-cylinder “EcoBoost” combustion engine. . “We’re building some upside into the production schedule,” claimed Ford Blue unit vice president Andrew Frick. According to Frick, demand for hybrid powertrains, now available as a $3,300 option on some F-150 models, has increased by more than 10% of total F-150 sales. Read more

Image source: Toyota 2026 EV concept | Toyota

5. Toyota unveils the next generation of electric car batteries, promising a range of up to 497 miles

Toyota has revealed additional details about the new, advanced batteries that will power the next generation of its electric vehicles after announcing a new battery electric vehicle facility that will begin producing new models in 2026. The Japanese manufacturer will rely on four types of next-generation batteries: one solid battery and three new types of liquid electrolyte batteries. Additionally, the automaker estimates that these batteries will power 1.7 million of the 3.5 million battery electric vehicles it expects to sell globally by 2030. The new generation of battery technologies will be essential to attract a more inclusive customer base. Read more

Serra Automotive employs 3,000 employees in seven states and operates a network of 54 dealers, 66 automotive franchises and 25 brands.6. Joe and Matt Serra of Serra Automotive talk about fostering a great culture and future plans for the 50-year-old dealership group

Recently, Jim Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to visit the Serra Automotive headquarters in Vinton, Michigan. In this episode of Executive File, he is joined by President and CEO Matt Serra and Chairman of the Board Joe Serra in celebrating 50 years of the automotive group’s incredible achievements. Serra Automotive was ranked No. 12 overall on Automotive News magazine’s Top 150 Automotive Groups lists. However, it is the private merchant group that ranks sixth in the country. watch now

Colin Carrasquillo joins Inside Automotive to discuss how dealers' digital marketing strategies are changing in response to electric vehicles and artificial intelligence.7. Prepare Digital Marketing Strategies for Your EV & AI Dealership — Colleen Carrasquillo | Nielsen CDGR

To reach the right consumers with the right message, small business owners must stay on top of evolving digital marketing strategies and trends for their industry. On this episode of Inside Automotive, hosts Shyanne Malone and Jim Fitzpatrick are joined by Colin Carrasquillo, director of digital marketing for Nielsen Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. Carrasquillo describes himself as an “experiential marketer” who has dedicated his career to building relationships with consumers through unique, narrative-driven campaigns. watch now

Loyalty marketing program8. Crafting Effective Marketing Campaigns for Modern Dealerships – Dave Spahnack

On this episode of Kain & Co., host and Kain Automotive founder David Kain is joined by Dave Spahnack, founder and CEO of Reunion Marketing. Spannhake has spent years researching data analysis and consumer behaviors to develop effective marketing campaigns for his dealership clients. Reunion Marketing has helped increase revenue and sales across automobile retailers in the country. watch now

On today's episode of CBT Now, Jennifer Suzuki, renowned sales coach and president of Online Dealer Solutions, joins us to share some of her sales strategies.9. Transform Your Agency’s Success with These Key Sales Strategies – Jin Suzuki | E-commerce solutions

On today’s episode of CBT Now, Jennifer Suzuki, renowned sales coach and president of eDealer Solutions, joins us to share some of her essential sales strategies. Jennifer Suzuki is the founder and president of eDealer Solutions, a 21-year-old digital car sales education organization. More than 1,000 dealers have adopted eDS’s customer experience sales technologies to enhance showtime, sales, and administrative procedures. watch now

On today's episode of Inside Automotive, Autotrader Executive Editor Brian Moody joins us to share insights into the latest data from Cox Automotive.10. How are new cars trending in the market today – Brian Moody | autotrader

The average transaction price of a new car has risen since last year, but not significantly. Could this be the motivation and relief consumers are looking for? On today’s episode of Inside Automotive, Autotrader Executive Editor Brian Moody joins us to share insights into the latest data from Cox Automotive. New car prices remain astronomically high compared to pre-pandemic levels, although notable price increases have declined to less than 1%. These items reduce prices because more inventory is available. watch now

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