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Jaguar Columbia Receives Pride of Jaguar Award

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jaguar Columbia was honored with Jaguar Land Rover North America’s Pride of Jaguar Retailer Excellence Award, making it one of the automaker’s top dealerships in the nation.

The Pride of Jaguar and Land Rover Pinnacle awards are handed out annually to retailers that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and to the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Winners are selected based on their top performance in core business categories, including customer advocacy, sales, service, and parts.

“We want our customers to have the best experience possible when buying or servicing their vehicles, and Jaguar Columbia has gone above and beyond with their customer service experience,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive, parent company to Jaguar Land Rover Columbia. “We are so proud of their team and offer a huge congratulations to the entire staff of the dealership.”

In 2017, Jaguar Land Rover U.S. sales reached an all-time record of 74,739 units sold, up 9% from the year prior. The brand’s flagship model, the Range Rover, achieved double-digit annual growth. U.S. sales of the Jaguar brand alone increased 27% from 2016, with sales of the F-PACE and XE models leading the way. The Jaguar F-PACE performance SUV continues to the brand’s top seller since its launch two years ago.

“We are proud to recognize our leading retailers for their outstanding performance and commitment to the Jaguar and Land Rover brands,” said Joe Eberhardt, president & CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. “We achieved another record sales year in the U.S. last year, in large part due to the high-quality service and outstanding ownership experience these retailers provide to our customers every day.”

Since the dealership was purchased in 2014 by Peacock Automotive, Jaguar Columbia has seen an increase in sales of 75%. Jaguar Columbia is one of 16 dealerships to be recognized with the Pride of Jaguar Award out of 338 retailers across the United States. The dealership is located at 540 Jamil Rod in Columbia, S.C. and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our team is so dedicated to serving our customer and community, and this award proves that point,” said Jaguar Columbia Executive General Manager John Guth. “We come to work every day with the goal to have zero dissatisfied customers.”

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KBB Announces 2017 Best Buy Awards

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book today announced the winners of its 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards. The 2017 Honda Civic was named the Overall Best Buy of 2017, however, 11 other vehicles also took top honors for their respective categories.

“Kelley Blue Book editors went to the unprecedented choice of honoring the Honda Civic as the Overall Best Buy for the second year in a row because of the Civic’s unsurpassed all-around value,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com. “It turns in very high marks in objective measures like resale value and cost to own, yet it also is a supremely satisfying car to drive and live with every day.”

Overall, the Honda brand took home four awards, with its new Civic also winning in the small car category. The Honda Accord and Pilot also won in the mid-size car and mid-size SUV/crossover categories, respectively.

The Chevrolet brand received the second-most Best Buy awards, with its Impala winning in the full-size car category and the automaker’s Tahoe winning in the full-size SUV/crossover category.

The 2017 Audi A4 was named the Best Buy in the luxury car segment, while the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster took top honors in the sports/performance car segment. The best electric/hybrid was the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

In the small SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Kia Sportage emerged as KBB’s Best Buy. In the luxury SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC was honored with the top award. And for the third year in a row, Ford’s F-150 received KBB’s Best Buy award.

Lastly, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica received the best buy award for the minivan category.

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Five Star Ford of Lewisville Wins F&I Dealer of the Year Award

LAS VEGAS — Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford of Lewisville (Texas) was named F&I and Showroom’s 2016 F&I Dealer of the Year. Sponsored by The Warranty Group for the sixth consecutive year, the award was handed out last Wednesday, Aug. 31, during the magazine’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

Accepting the award on behalf of the dealership was Sue Bowman. And according to Five Star Ford of Lewisville’s community relations manager, the award topped off an eventful day and year for the dealership.

“This is amazing. Thank you so much for this award,” Bowman said after accepting the award. “This just made my day … I got a call just before we came in here that our dealership had won best dealership and best new-car dealership in Denton County. So I have worked all year for that, and with this, it’s pretty good to be me right now.”

Now in its 16th year, the F&I Dealer of the Year award is handed out annually to an operation with a highly profitable F&I department that demonstrates a commitment to regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction. Five Star Ford of Lewisville was one of six finalists, or what the magazine’s calls F&I Pacesetters, vying for this year’s award.

The Lewisville, Texas, operation is part of Five Star Ford of Texas Inc., a group that consists of four Ford dealerships located in the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The group was founded in 1980 by Sam Pack, a former Ford Credit employee who was named the TIME Quality Dealer of the Year in 1988.

The dealership’s F&I department is managed by F&I Director Tom Andrews, whose F&I team averages well north of $1,5000 per copy on new and more than $1,200 on used. In 2015, the dealership was awarded Ford Partners in Quality, Ford Credit’s highest honor for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“It’s never easy selecting the F&I Dealer of the Year, but this year was especially difficult,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “This year’s field of F&I Pacesetters included San Diego County’s Best Auto Mall, as voted on by readers of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wisconsin’s Top Dealer, as voted on by viewers of WISN TV, multiple winners of Edmunds.com’s and DealerRater’s top customer satisfaction awards, and a dealership that adopted and helped turn around a high-crime neighborhood in Abilene, Texas.

“In November, readers will discover why Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford of Lewisville is this year’s F&I Dealer of the Year,” Arroyo added.

Five Star Ford of Lewisville will grace the cover of F&I and Showroom’s November issue, which will also include a four-page profile on the dealership. To learn more about this year’s F&I Pacesetters as well as Five Star Ford, click here.

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Dealers’ Choice Awards Voting Open Until April 15

TORRANCE, Calif. — Voting for the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards is now open and will remain so until midnight on April 15.

Dealers and dealership personnel are encouraged to vote for their favorite vendors, suppliers, banks and finance companies in 34 categories covering new- and used-car leads, training, marketing, F&I products and more. Voters must write in the name of each company and score them in five categories, including whether they would recommend the provider to another dealer.

“As companies large and small have learned over the years, the Dealers’ Choice Awards are based on quality votes,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom. “We are extremely proud of our program, and I want to thank everyone who has already voted for giving their partners the chance to earn much-deserved national recognition.”

Honorees will win first-place Diamond, second-place Platinum and third-place Gold awards. The winners will be announced in May and listed in the July issue of Auto Dealer Today, and the awards will be presented at a special ceremony at Industry Summit in late August. Voters must complete five categories for their votes to count, and each voter will be eligible to win one of two Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet computers.

To participate in the 2016 Dealers’ Choice Awards, click here.

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COX Automotive Execs Named Leading Women

ATLANTA, Ga. — Three top executives at Cox Automotive were named to Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry during the publication’s annual awards ceremony.

Jane Barnard, president of Manheim North America, Lori Wittman, vice president and general manager of VinSolutions and Sharon Kitzman, vice president and general manager of Dealer Management Systems, all made the list, which honors influential women who make major decisions.

The selection committee for the award considered the size and importance of the candidates business, the health and direction of the business and the arc of each individual’s career, according to Automotive News.

Barnard directs Manheim’s overall operations, overseeing the strategic business functions including sales, inventory services and client experience. She also acts as a member of Cox Automotive’s leadership team.

Wittman directs all aspects of VinSolutions’ operations, including websites, client relationship software and digital marketing products. She is noted by Cox as specializing in driving cross-functional teams to deliver business results and manage change while developing lasting relationships with business partners, clients and colleagues.

In her role, Kitzman manages the strategic direction of and product development for Dealertrack DMS. She has negotiated key OEM agreements for dealers and shaped successful product integration initiatives.

Cox Automotive provides digital marketing software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, and manufacturers. The Cox Automotive family of brands includes, Manheim, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Dealertrack, vAuto, Xtime, NextGear Captial and several others.

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Ford, Hyundai,VW to Vie for Car of the Year

For many people this is the time of year for drummers drumming, pipers piping and chestnuts roasting. But if you are into cars, it is time to hear which vehicles are finalists for the 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

With so many car-of-the-year titles being tossed around one might wonder if this particular contest is worth any more attention than those for Green Car, World Car or Family Car accolades. But if you are shopping for a vehicle or just like to keep track of what cars are generating buzz, it is worth a look.

So here they are:

North American Car of the Year finalists are the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat. On the truck side are the BMW X3, Honda CR-V and Range Rover Evoque, reported The Wall Street Journal.

If the last three don’t sound like trucks to you, it is because they aren’t if you think of a truck as something used to tow a big trailer, haul rocks or take you deep into the woods on your next hunting expedition.

But by modern auto industry standards these crossover vehicles that would have been called station wagons 30 years ago are now trucks. At this rate you may never again see another muscular, rough-and-ready large pickup truck in the final three.

Ah, but therein lies the fun. These awards typically spark emotional debate and banter that last all year – sometimes for many years.

The awards are for new vehicles or models that have been significantly redesigned. A group of 50 auto writers from the U.S. and Canada do the judging based on design, safety, fuel economy, performance and other criteria.

The 2012 winners will be announced Jan. 9, just before the opening of press days for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Last year’s winners were the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Explorer.

This year’s finalist emerged from the following fields of contenders:

Car of the Year

Audi A6 Audi A7 Buick Verano Chevrolet Sonic Chrysler 300/SRT-8 Fiat 500 Ford Focus Hyundai Accent Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Veloster Kia Rio/Rio 5 Scion iQ Subaru Impreza Toyota Camry Toyota Prius V VW Beetle VW Passat

Truck of the year

BMW X3 Honda CR-V Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Mercedes-Benz M-Class Mini Countryman Nissan Quest Saab 9-4X

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