Porsche’s Heather Pullen receives Cox Automotive Community Impact Award at Used Car Week

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.  - 

On Thursday, Cox Automotive presented its 2017 Community Impact Award to Heather Pullen, national remarketing manager at Porsche Cars North America.

The award — sponsored by Cox Automotive brand, Manheim — was presented by Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, during an awards luncheon at Used Car Week.

The honor is given to a remarketing industry leader “for their outstanding contributions to the community and the innovative ways they collaborate with community partners to help further their missions,” according to a Cox Automotive press release.

Huang had the following to say about this year’s recipient:

"Heather's enthusiasm and passion for community service exemplifies the spirit of the Cox Automotive Community Impact Award," said Huang. "Community service is a guiding value for how Cox Automotive operates its businesses, and we congratulate Heather on her inspirational work."

Pullen has been with Porsche for more than six years. And although she is passionate about performance cars, “her real passion starts with horses,” according to the press release from Cox Automotive. She is an avid polo player. In fact, she and her husband, Randy Pullen, formed a charity in 2016 named Pony Up For A Cause. The charity is designed to give back to local charities in the Atlanta area by raising money through an annual polo event produced by Pony Up For A Cause.

The charity partners with Atlanta Ronald McDonald House (ARMHC) to support its mission in the local community. Since its inception, Pony Up For A Cause has raised more than $30,000 for ARMHC. 

Along with the award, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to “making a difference through community service,” Pullen’s charity will receive a $10,000 donation from Cox Automotive to further its work in the Atlanta area.

"Giving back to the community is simply part of the culture at Cox Automotive," said Pullen. "It is a sincere honor to be recognized, and I am humbled by the generosity of Cox Automotive."

KBB names the 2018 Honda Accord America's 'best buy'

IRVINE, Calif. - 

After narrowing down its list to a few dozen Best Buy Award contenders in 12 major vehicle categories, Kelley Blue Book announced Thursday that it has named the 2018 Honda Accord this year’s overall Best Buy Award winner.

In addition to selling for far less than the average new car, the 2018 Honda Accord provides more features, better fuel economy and a greater reputation for quality and reliability than its competitors, according to KBB.

“The mid-size sedan segment has long been a sweet spot of needs, wants and value, and the totally redesigned 2018 Honda Accord is the most appealing car in the category. The Accord's storied refinement and resale value advantages remain, but the new model now outclasses the competition in almost every meaningful measure,” KBB said in a news release. “Value without compromise is as rare as it is desirable, and it's why the all-new Honda Accord is our Overall Best Buy for 2018.”

KBB’s year-long regimen of expert vehicle evaluation and testing includes more than 300 new-car models available in the U.S.

The analysis of each model focuses on an examination of vehicle pricing/transaction prices, along with 5-Year Cost to Own data related to depreciation; insurance; maintenance; financing; fuel, fees; taxes; consumer reviews and ratings, and vehicle sales/retail sales information, according to KBB.

“Kelley Blue Book takes great pride in providing a significant consumer service by identifying the new vehicles our experts believe to be the absolute best-value choices for new-car shoppers,” KBB executive publisher Karl Brauer said. “This year's Best Buy Award winners can help shoppers narrow the consideration list of new models across every major vehicle category, providing car buyers with confidence in their next new-car purchase.”

The 2018 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award 12 category winners include the following models:

  • Small Car: 2018 Honda Civic
  • Mid-Size Car: 2018 Honda Accord
  • Full-Size Car: 2018 Chevrolet Impala
  • Luxury Car: 2018 Audi A5 Sportback
  • Performance Car: 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster
  • Electric/Hybrid Car: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
  • Small SUV/Crossover: 2018 Honda CR-V
  • Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2018 Honda Pilot
  • Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2018 Ford Expedition
  • Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2018 Audi Q5
  • Truck: 2018 Ford F-150
  • Minivan: 2018 Honda Odyssey

Additionally, in a recent study, 64 percent of consumers said their vehicle opinion was influenced when a model earned a Kelley Blue Book award, outpacing the influence of an award offered by the next closest third-party automotive resource by nearly 20 percentage points, according to KBB.

Refresh of Thursday awards at Used Car Week

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.  - 

Included in the full itinerary today at Used Car Week is the in-person recognition for the respective winners of three awards programs previously announced in Auto Remarketing magazine.

Those are:

  • Best Auto Auctions to Work For, which is sponsored by CARS Recon. They are being recognized during a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. (PT), which is also sponsored by CARS Recon.
  • Remarketing’s Under 40 awards, sponsored by Ally Auto, Cox Automotive, CARFAX and Equifax. They are being recognized during the NRC Awards Luncheon, which begins at 12:15 p.m. During that luncheon, there will also be a Cox Automotive Community Impact Award presented by Cox Automotive.
  • Women in Remarketing, which is sponsored by Ally. In addition to our annual Women in Remarketing panel (1:45 p.m.), Used Car Week will include a second Women in Remarketing session this year. That session is titled, "Hiring for the Future: The search for authenticity," and is set for 2:45 p.m.

There will also be a Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation at 11 a.m.

Enterprise awards 14 auction partners for exceptional performance


Enterprise Holdings, owner of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, announced Thursday that it has honored 14 automotive auction partners with its 2017 Auction Achievement Award.

The annual program awards several auto auction partners for exceptional service, in two categories: whole-car auctions and damaged-vehicle auctions.

Recipients are recognized for their strong performance in areas such as communication, customer service, marketing and reconditioning, operational success and strategic planning, Enterprise said. 

“The Auction Achievement Award winners play an important role in our efforts to showcase vehicles in cities and regions across the country,” Enterprise Holdings vice president of vehicle remarketing Nate Lattimer said in a news release. “We created this award as a way to say thanks for the accomplishments of these valuable business partners.”

The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the whole-car category include:

  • ADESA Los Angeles
  • Manheim Central California
  • Manheim Cincinnati
  • Manheim Dallas
  • Manheim Fredericksburg
  • Manheim Omaha
  • Manheim San Diego

The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the damaged-vehicle category include:

  • Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies
  • IAA Atlanta
  • Manheim Dallas TRA
  • Manheim NJ TRA
  • Manheim Southern California TRA
  • Manheim Tampa TRA
  • Metro Salvage Pool

Regional Enterprise Holdings teams will present their respective auction partner honorees with their awards, according to the company.

“Our Enterprise teams have terrific, long-term relationships with local auction operators so they are in the best position to nominate the best of the best for our Auction Achievement Awards,” added Lattimer. “Our auction partners are essential to our success and we're excited to recognize them for their commitment to quality and exceptional customer service.”

US News names Best CPO Program


U.S. News & World Report announced its inaugural Best Certified Pre-Owned Program winner on Tuesday, recognizing the automaker that best provides peace-of-mind for CPO buyers.

Winning the award in its debut year is Lexus.

U.S. News & World Report will also recognize Lexus during the Used Car Awards luncheon, sponsored by TradeRev, this coming Tuesday at Used Car Week.

In a news release, U.S. News pointed to Lexus’ lengthy CPO warranty (which includes up to two years of coverage with no mileage limit or deductible), strong certified pre-owned benefits and its used-dependability as primary reasons the brand won.

Other CPO benefits include free roadside assistance and a free loaner car. Additionally, Lexus CPO owners can utilize four complimentary factory maintenance service visits, so long as they use them within the first two years/20,000 miles of owning the car.  

“The certified pre-owned program from Lexus gives consumers confidence across the board,” said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars, in a news release. “The warranty coverage and program perks are excellent, and Lexus' record of dependability means that consumers may never need to use it.” 

Used Car Awards to debut at Used Car Week

CARY, N.C.  - 

Used Car Week (which is next week, by the way!) has some exciting new twists in store.

One of those is the Used Car Awards (UCAs), which will make their debut during the conference, which is being held Nov. 13-17 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif.  

The UCAs will honor the dealers and executives making positive impacts and building great businesses within the used-car industry.  

Recognizing excellence has long been a key part of Used Car Week’s annual agenda, and with the launch of the UCAs, those awards and recognitions will be grouped together during the Used Car Awards Luncheon on Tuesday Nov. 14, which is being sponsored by TradeRev.

“We’re excited about the launch of the UCAs,” said Bill Zadeits, president of Cherokee Media Group and chairman of Used Car Week.  “We’ve had tremendous response to efforts such as Women in Remarketing, Auto Remarketing’s Under 40 and others; this launch was taking the next step to brand and solidify our company’s commitment to recognizing the industry’s best and brightest. 

“Used Car Week is the ideal opportunity to meet and honor those in our industry who are at the top of their game.”

Awards that have traditionally been a part of the event, as well as these new awards, will all be part of the UCA luncheon.

As part of this combined effort of Auto Remarketing, SubPrime Auto Finance News and other Cherokee Media Group brands, the new awards include:

  • Franchise Dealer of the Year
  • Independent Dealer of the Year
  • And three tiers of Dealer Group(s) of the Year

Again, the Used Car Awards will be presented during a luncheon sponsored by TradeRev during the First Block of Used Car Week on Nov. 14.  

Additional industry recognition and awards such as the Auto Remarketing Under 40, Women in Remarketing, Lifetime Achievement and the National Remarketing Executive of the Year will still be presented during the NRC/NAAA (Second Block) portion of the week. 

All of the award winners and honorees during Used Car Week will be highlighted in a special December “Used Car Awards” edition of Auto Remarketing magazine.


2017 National Remarketing Executive of the Year

CARY, N.C.  - 

The best part of the used-car industry for Scott Mousaw isn’t just applicable to the world of automotive.

“What I enjoy most about it is not unique to the business. I enjoy the process,” he said in a phone interview. “I enjoy looking at how or what we’re doing, what I’m doing as a consignor, and what could I do to make that better? What could I do to make that better, stronger, faster? What could I do to make that less expensive?”

While what he enjoys most isn’t unique to the business, his latest accomplishment puts Mousaw in some rare company.

Mousaw, who is director of loss mitigation at United Auto Credit, is the 2017 National Remarketing Executive of the Year, an award presented by ServNet.

Auto Remarketing is proud to honor Mousaw with this award — now in its fifth year — at the National Remarketing Conference/NAAA Convention portion of Used Car Week, which takes places Nov. 13-17 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif. 

An early start in autos

Mousaw’s first job in the car business came at age 19, when he started as a lot attendant at a Pontiac dealership in Downey, Calif. His days included such tasks as parking and washing cars.

“The gentleman who hired me, he says, ‘You’re too young to be a salesperson, but you talk like one,” Mousaw said. “So, I’m going to make you a lot attendant … whenever you see salespeople talking, I want you to get in that circle and listen to watch what they’re saying.’

“Well, unbeknownst to me, that got me fired by the head lot attendant because he just saw me standing around all the time,” he said with a laugh.

Mousaw also worked on the wholesale side of the business for five years before moving into collections and skip-tracing in Tustin, Calif., with what eventually became Drive Financial Services. (Drive was later acquired by Santander in 2006.)

Mousaw was senior loss prevention manager at Drive, handing repossessions, insurance claims, impounds and more.

He joined United Auto Credit in 2002. And with the company being a branch network, each of those branches managed its own portfolio.  That marked his first foray into the consignor side of the business.

In 2009, United Auto Credit centralized the recovery department in Irvine, Calif., and in 2010, there was further centralization, so Mousaw took on remarketing duties, as well. 

Once back in autos, it was like a ‘snowball’

The auto industry wasn’t Mousaw’s initial career choice.

His goal early on was actually law enforcement. But things changed in the early 1990s after the Los Angeles riots, Mousaw said.  He held an unsworn and unarmed intern role with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, working out of North Long Beach, Calif., during the time of the riots, he said.

“After that, there was a major hiring freeze. I’d never be full time at any realistic future point,” Mousaw said.

At that point, he “got back in and went into wholesale,” Mousaw said.  “I’d already been a lot attendant at that point.”

When he got back into automotive, it was like a “snowball,” he said.

“From wholesale to retail, I think I knew I was a car guy,” Mousaw said.

And he discovered his “niche” upon moving into the lender side of the market.

“And then there’s just no looking back. Once you’re in, they suck you in and you’re stuck,” he said with a laugh. “For better or for worse.”

‘That’s what I enjoy’

Joking aside, Mousaw is a process guy, even more than he’s a car guy.

He said the industry has folks who might be able to look at a car from 100 yards away and spot needed fixes.

However, “that’s not me,” he said.

“I could tell you when a process is broken, and there’s a better way to do it,” Mousaw said. “Just by following what you’ve got going on, you find a way to make things better. That’s what I enjoy.

“And the fact that I learn something every day, whether it’d be about a car, about a process, about an auction, about whatever it is — this business is so multi-faceted,” he said.

Having worked in most of these areas the used-car business gives a good vantage point into understanding the various processes involved even more.

And answer questions like, “how does this change impact down-the-line users?” and “By making this change here, what does it do the process as a whole?”

Outside of the office, Mousaw — even though he claims he’s “not good at it” — likes a round of golf. “But I enjoy hitting a little white ball and then going to find it,” he said

And most importantly, Mousaw, who has two teenage kids, enjoys spending time with the family. 

“Everything I do and aspire to be is for them,” he said, later adding: “When I’m off it’s all about (spending time with) the family, and it’s my driving force.”


Cox Auto honors Motorcars Honda with Leader in Sustainability Award


Cox Automotive presented its third annual Leader in Sustainability Award to Motorcars Honda this past week.

The award, which was given out at the at the 2017 Automotive News Best Dealerships to Work For celebration, honors dealerships that promote green business practices and make a difference through community service.

The dealership will receive $10,000 to fund a sustainability project, as well as an energy audit from the Cox Conserves team.

“At Cox, being good stewards of the environment and inspiring others to protect our national resources is in our DNA,” said Joe George, Manheim senior vice president of vehicle advantage. “Motorcars Honda is a wonderful example of conservation commitment in action, and we’re excited to celebrate their success with the Cox Automotive Leader in Sustainability Award.”

Cox Automotive said it has recognized Motorcars Honda for its conservation efforts surrounding carbon, water and waste.

In addition to implementing a recycling program designed to encourage staff and customers to limit waste, the dealership installed the largest singular solar array of any dealership that generates 50 to 70 percent of the store’s energy needs.

Motorcars Honda is the first carbon-neutral dealership in the world, according to Cox Automotive.

Additionally, the dealership also uses recycled water in their Rainforest Car Wash to conserve water.

“Like our team at Motorcars Honda, Cox Automotive understands that every step we take today toward conservation helps shape a better future for our children and our communities,” said Chuck Gile, owner of Motorcars Honda. “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment and inspire change in our employees and neighbors.”

Just last year, the dealership hosted a Solar Car Derby, where participants competed for the chance to win an iPad mini.

During the event, Motorcars Honda donated and distributed over 150 solar panel car kits to local community families. Children built and decorated their own solar panel cars to race, while also learning about sustainability, according to Cox Automotive.

Spireon donates $100K to NIADA for hurricane relief; IIADA names dealer of the year

CARY, N.C. - 

NIADA announced Tuesday that Spireon will contribute $100,000 to the NIADA Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund to help members of the automotive community recover from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The association said Spireon chose to give to the NIADA Foundation Disaster Relief Fund because it was the quickest way to contribute to the customers and the communities the company serves.

 "Our hearts and prayers go out to the folks whose lives have been impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma," Spireon chief executive officer Kevin Weiss said in a news release.

"We know the road has not been easy over the past few weeks, and we know the recovery efforts will continue for months to come. We are incredibly thankful for the support our customers have shown us over the years and feel very fortunate to be in a position to give back to these impacted communities," he continued.

Spireon will use its NSpire platform to provide data to customers to help them get their businesses running and assess next steps in wake of the storms, according to Weiss.

"When Spireon heard the NIADA Foundation had created the Emergency Relief Fund, it quickly rallied and offered a major financial commitment to help those affected by the catastrophic storms," said Steve Jordan, NIADA's CEO and president of the NIADA Foundation board of trustees. "We appreciate that Spireon understands recovery doesn't happen overnight, and we are looking forward to working with Kevin Weiss and his entire team to advance our shared goals of helping all members of the independent dealer community get back on their feet again."

 The Disaster Relief fund was established by the NIADA Foundation to enable members and industry partners to help fellow dealers and others in the automotive community in need.

 NIADA said the foundation will continue funding hurricane relief efforts in the coming months.

Fort Wayne store named Quality Dealer of the Year

Meanwhile, in other auto community news, the Indiana Independent Automobile Dealers Association recently announced that Grote Automotive of Fort Wayne, Ind. is its 2017 “Joe Krier” Quality Dealer of the Year.

Owner Fred Grote recently accepted the award at the association’s 30th Anniversary Golf Tournament and Awards Day held at Ironwood Golf Club.

Grote Automotive was started by Grote and his wife Jackie in 2007.

“‘For The People’ is the guiding drive behind the success of the dealership,” the association said in a news release.

“Fred has instilled in the staff that customers are to always feel respected and be given the most enjoyable and fun car buying experience they have ever had.”

In addition to recognizing dealerships and dealers that have a record of being consumer-oriented, award winners must also represent themselves as a civic leader in their community.

The Grote’s have fostered over 30 children and adopted four as their own. Currently, two of their children are involved in the business.

Grote Automotive will represent Indiana at the NIADA Convention in Orlando, Fla. in June. The dealership will compete with Quality Dealers from other states for the National Quality Dealer of the Year title.

Additionally, this year, the dealership was named one of Indiana’s Top 100 Best Places to Work and No. 1 in Fort Wayne.

CIADA honors NC dealer with top award


The Carolinas Independent Auto Dealers Association (CIADA) recently awarded its Quality Dealer of the Year Award to M&M Auto Sales in Lumberton, N.C., during a ceremony following the association's annual Expo.

Brothers Chris Moore and Jerry Padrick Jr., who took over M&M Auto Sales from their father about 25 years ago accepted the CIADA’s top award.

The dealership was chosen from a group of several candidates that the CIADA judged on a variety of factors, such as contributions to the auto industry, the association and local community.

Michael Darrow of The Auto Finders in Durham, N.C., and a past Quality Dealer of the Year, nominated M&M Auto Sales.

"Jerry and Chris are an inspiration to all dealerships across the Carolinas and the country," CIADA executive director John Brown said in a news release.

"M&M Auto Sales walks the walk. It is truly a pleasure to recognize dealers in the Carolinas who achieve greatness. I look forward to having M&M Auto Sales compete for the National Quality Dealer award at the NIADA Convention in June 2018."

Next year, the dealership will represent the Carolinas as CIADA's nominee for the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s top award in Orlando, Fla.

"It is an honor to be recognized by one of the top IADAs in the country. We are very humble people, and we just do the right thing for our customers," said Padrick Jr. in the news release. “We surround ourselves with the best employees, and we learn from others in the community. We just treat others like we would want to be treated when you buy a car.”

In addition to serving as coaches for local youth baseball and soccer in their community, Moore and Padrick are also involved with Robeson County 4-H, the Relay for Life and active in their church, according to the CIADA.