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Dealer News Today Podcasts

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A collaboration between the Dave Cantin Group and Cox Automotive, Dealer News Today creates content and information for dealers in the automotive industry. The information they need today and insights for tomorrow. Our content is exclusive and our podcasts feature automotive industry powerhouses from around the globe giving master-class advice to dealerships.


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A collaboration between the Dave Cantin Group and Cox Automotive, Dealer News Today creates content and information for dealers in the automotive industry. The information they need today and insights for tomorrow. Our content is exclusive and our podcasts feature automotive industry powerhouses from around the globe giving master-class advice to dealerships.






“I’m really passionate about the EVs” || Matthew Phillips, CEO, Car Pros Automotive Group

Lifelong Seattle resident Matthew Phillips has seen Car Pros, a family business started by his father, grow from a single small used car lot into a seven-store automotive retail group operating in both Washington and Southern California and totaling $1 billion in annual sales. Under Matthew’s stewardship, Car Pros has become the top Kia retailer in the country. Matthew also has an educational background that’s as impressive as his auto industry success, including MBAs from Cornell University and Queen’s University of Ontario as well as an MA in organizational psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. In this episode, Matthew talks with our host Derek D about why sticking with the Kia and Hyundai brands during tough times was rewarding in the long run, why electric vehicles may not be for everyone yet but are a great choice for many people currently, and why auto dealers therefore need to educate their customer base on electrification. They also discuss why automakers that are more vertically integrated have fared better under supply chain pressure, why Matthew’s favorite recent car is the Kia Stinger, and more. Matthew Phillips | Car Pros Automotive Group Episode Highlights: “Normalize change in your culture - let’s make it so that change isn’t scary… let’s try to give people tools to deal with it.” — Matthew Phillips || Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group production


“That crazy demand is still being relieved” || Brett Hopkins, CEO, Ken Garff Automotive Group

Brett Hopkins returns to the show after his great appearance in the first episode of season 4! A medical school rejection set Brett on the career path that would eventually lead him to becoming CEO of Ken Garff Auto Group, which has over 60 dealership locations in the western US. Along the way, Brett has held many other prominent positions, including working as the CFO of the organizing committee for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Brett currently lives in Salt Lake City, and he holds his MBA from Arizona State University. In this episode, Brett joins Derek D to discuss how business has changed at Ken Garff Automotive in the year-plus since he last appeared on DNT. He discusses why his staff currently has the highest tenure rate and highest salaries they’ve ever had, how interest rate hikes pose a challenge in multiple ways, why electric vehicles are putting additional pressure on the supply of microchips, and why he prefers to tell dad jokes off the cuff rather than rehearse. Ken Garff Automotive Group Episode Highlights: “We just came off some amazing years, so you have sellers trying to market their dealerships based on those amazing years.” — Brett Hopkins || Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group production


“What if you don’t build a hybrid cell, but a hybrid system?” || Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann, Vice President of Business Development, Skeleton Technologies

Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann was born and raised in Germany and got his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Münster, but now lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. He started working at Skeleton Technologies in 2016 in the material development department, and quickly rose within the company while helping Skeleton win innovation grants totaling more than €60 million. Today, he works with major automakers around the world and says one of his biggest motivators is getting to see the products he helps develop actually perform on the road. In this episode, Sebastian joins our host Derek D for a fascinating technical discussion about his work on electrochemical double-layer capacitors, more commonly known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors. The conversation covers how the Honda CR-V “Beast” concept project first introduced Sebastian to the commercial and business development side of things, the major weakness of supercapacitors and how Skeleton’s SuperBatteries aim to correct it, why the innovation inherent in the automotive industry fascinates him so much, and more. Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann | Skeleton Technologies Episode Highlights: “In the end, there’s no silver bullet. You don’t have one energy storage concept that takes it all and you don’t have one drivetrain concept that takes it all.” — Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“We have a lot going on around the customer experience” || Bob Welby, Senior Director of Sales, Marketing, Product, and Customer Operations, INFINITI USA

Boston native Bob Welby now calls Nashville home, and has been a fixture at INFINITI USA for the past three decades, having joined the company in 1997 as a Regional Operation Specialist - in fact, INFINITI has been his employer for his entire career. In his current role, Bob is responsible for a whole spectrum of INFINITI’s processes, including overseeing sales channels, customer experience, pricing and incentive strategy, and product lifecycle. In this episode, Bob joins our host Derek D to discuss what it was like launching all-new models at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, how softening in used vehicle equity has had a ripple effect on new-car prices, and what he learned from his experience as a ferry boat captain at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Plus, he talks about what’s making automotive retailers go back to the “old ways” of value-based selling, how to keep customers connected to service and maintenance after the sale, and much more. Bob Welby Episode Highlights: “The biggest thing for us is giving customers the option: How do you set up the business to where they can do business how they want?” — Bob Welby || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“Our role is to put things that happen in context” || Stephanie Brinley, Associate Director of AutoIntelligence, S&P Global Mobility

Three-decade automotive industry veteran Stephanie Brinley has serious Michigan roots, having been raised in the state and gotten her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State, respectively. In her position at S&P, Stephanie oversees the development of daily analytical content in addition to special research reports, turning the constant flow of automotive industry news into something actionable for clients. A member of the Automotive Press Association, Stephanie also has past experience in supplier-based strategic communications and supplier-OEM marketing relations, among other specialties in the automotive field. In this episode, Stephanie talks to our host Derek D about why she loves working in an industry that’s always changing and moving, how the impact of COVID-19 and the rise of electric cars have made that change even faster than she anticipated, and why registration data is so important for forecasting automotive retail. Plus, she discusses the major sources of the learning curve for new, high-tech vehicle models, the future of auto shows, why dealerships need to work on pricing and financing transparency, and more. Stephanie Brinley | S&P AutoIntelligence Episode Highlights: “We still don’t have as many cars as we have people who want to buy them.” — Stephanie Brinley || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“We go very deep into the buyer’s psyche” || K.C. Boyce, Vice President of Automotive & Mobility and Energy, Escalent

K.C. Boyce now lives and works in the Atlanta area, but was born and raised near Motown, and says “I don’t know that anyone can grow up in Detroit and not be a gearhead.” He currently applies his longtime expertise in green and renewable energy to his lifelong passion for cars in his role at Escalent. K.C. helps advise major auto industry players on the most important electric vehicle-related issues and trends, and also currently co-hosts the weekly radio show, Energy Matters. In this episode, K.C. Boyce joins Derek D to discuss how building a new automotive ecosystem is vital to the success of EVs, the massive role emotions and design language play in an auto buyer’s decision making process, and what makes dealerships central to the transition. Plus, he shares insights about what it will take for other automotive manufacturers to obtain the EV mindshare that Tesla now dominates, why the changeover to electric cars will happen quickly despite supply chain and manufacturing issues, and more. K.C. Boyce | Escalent Automotive Episode Highlights: “It’s not enough to have really cool EVs if there’s no place to charge, and it’s not enough to have lots of charging if there’s no vehicles that people want to buy.” — K.C. Boyce || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“This omnichannel experience is becoming a reality” || Karen Lellouche Tordjman, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Karen Lellouche Tordjman has a worldwide background - born in San Diego but raised in Paris, she speaks several languages and now works in Mexico City, contributing to BCG X, the tech build and design department of Boston Consulting Group. Karen currently focuses on customer experience and digital transformation, among other major issues in the automotive industry, and has been with BCG since 2004, joining soon after her graduation from HEC Paris, one of France’s most prestigious business schools. In this episode, Karen speaks to Derek D about helping companies make changes to their user experience with the future in mind, how OEMs and dealers will need to collaborate in the EV era, and how the role of salespeople may soon be changing. Plus, she offers insights on why dealers should pay more attention to collecting customer data, why dealers’ EV sales effectiveness will depend on OEMs’ investments, preparing for change that’s sooner than most people may have expected, and more. Karen Lellouche Tordjman | BCG Episode Highlights: “The biggest answer that we got is that ‘I want to touch the car, test the car, and hear the engine.’” — Karen Lellouche Tordjman || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“If you’re an OEM, last year was a great year” || Pedro Correa, Head of Automotive & Mobility, Bain & Company

Pedro Correa is well-positioned for a wide view of the automotive industry, having a background that includes not only auto but also aerospace and airlines, defense, and industrial services. Based in Texas, Pedro has worked in a variety of countries in Latin America and Europe and has led global training programs for Bain & Company. Pedro earned his BA from Rice University and his MBA from Harvard Business School, and has served on advisory boards including the Emerging Leaders Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. On this episode, Pedro talks with Derek D about how different segments of the automotive industry are dealing with supply chain issues with different levels of success, when he predicts easing for microchip production problems and why inventory levels are rising again, and the factors that could be putting pent-up demand at risk. Plus, he discusses the factors pressuring the profit margins of major manufacturers to come down, why both consumers and entrepreneurs should be excited about the near future of automotive, and more. Pedro Correa | Bain & Company Automotive Episode Highlights: “As a whole, you’ve got the automakers and their dealer partners that are feeling quite good, but we’re already seeing cracks in the wall and signs that it’s going to be hard to maintain the good times forever.” — Pedro Correa || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“Fraud has never been higher” || Frank McKenna, Cofounder and Chief Fraud Strategist, Point Predictive

Lifelong California resident Frank McKenna has been working in fraud analysis for over 33 years, making him one of the most incisive and experienced minds in his industry. He now plays a key role in Point Predictive, a company he helped found in his hometown of San Diego, by working with in-house engineers and scientists to develop new fraud detection solutions, then helping outside partners like banks and other lenders to implement them. On this episode, Frank speaks with our host Derek D about what he’s learned recently during the day-to-day tasks of monitoring trends related to fraud in the automotive industry - including why there’s been such a dramatic uptick in auto-dealership fraud since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic-related measures that have helped customers stay safe but have accidentally been aiding fraudsters, and the staggering amount of resources potential fraudsters can access online to train themselves in scamming. He also discusses solutions being implemented right now, such as driver’s license scanning and using aggregate data to authenticate income for people who don’t have traditional paystubs. Frank McKenna | Point Predictive Episode Highlights: “Fraud always follows the money - we call it ‘fast money, fast fraud’. Lenders relaxed, maybe dealerships did the same, and the fraudsters took advantage.” — Frank McKenna || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“Everybody is embracing this transformation” || Daniel Shapiro, Vice President of Automotive, NVIDIA

Daniel Shapiro is originally from Southern California, but has long lived and worked in the northern part of that state - the Bay Area and Silicon Valley - and says even in his current position at NVIDIA, a company with tens of thousands of employees, he feels almost like he’s working at a startup, surrounded by entrepreneurial spirit and new ideas all the time. Daniel’s background includes a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. On this episode, Daniel speaks with Derek D about the trending concept of “software-defined vehicles” and NVIDIA’s forward-thinking approach to the future of driving, why long-haul trucking and last-mile delivery alike are great applications for autonomous vehicles, and why the current changes in the automotive industry are directly analogous to the smartphone revolution. Plus, he discusses the need to update old methods of machine learning for real-life road conditions, the staggering processing power advances that will be made in cars’ onboard computer systems, and more. Daniel Shapiro | NVIDIA DRIVE Episode Highlights: “Whether we’re actually replacing the driver, like in a robotaxi, or improving driver safety… there’s a massive amount of processing that needs to take place.” — Daniel Shapiro || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“I had a front-row seat to how quickly it was disrupted” || Chris Piche, Founder and CEO, Smarter AI

Canadian native Chris Piche has a wealth of experience in the computer science field, which he has now focused on contributing to the autonomous future of cars. He previously worked on developing BlackBerry’s video streaming and AT&T TV and has been recognized with Canada’s Top Young Leader and 40 Under 40 awards. In this episode, Chris talks with Derek D about founding and running a company producing a wholly new twist on a familiar automotive accessory, the lessons he learned from his experience at the dawn of smartphones, and working with OEMs supplying technology to the world’s biggest carmakers. Plus, he discusses coming up with new applications for existing product architecture, his company’s role in advancing the future of autonomous vehicles, and more. Chris Piche | Smarter AI Episode Highlights: “Our software platform can seek to understand what’s happening around the camera, in the vehicle, and around the vehicle by applying sensor fusion.” — Chris Piche || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“We’ve been doing it one technology at a time” || Ryan Robinson, Automotive Research Leader, Deloitte

Ryan Robinson took an unusual path to the automotive industry, having earned degrees in philosophy, English literature, and classical archaeology from Montreal, Quebec’s prestigious Concordia University. However, he’s managed to apply the analytical skills from this course of study to a two-plus-decade career working in all points on the automotive value chain. Today, he leads Deloitte LLP’s automotive sector department in finding actionable insights and predicting key trends that will affect the industry for years to come. In this episode, Ryan talks with our host Derek D about how the study of archaeology and “learning how to learn” set him up for success in research, how automotive culture was part of his background from the very beginning, and the unforeseen benefits of the semiconductor supply crisis. Plus, he highlights how autonomous vehicle systems have had precedent for longer than we think, concerns about autonomous delivery and freight from a labor standpoint, why consolidation by dealership groups is even reaching across the US-Canada border, and more. Episode Highlights: “One of the bigger questions we’re contemplating right now… is how much restraint the manufacturers are going to have to not go back to the way things were.” — Ryan Robinson || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


I Reign as a God, no one can match me! || Mike Tyson Interview

This episode is brought to you by DCG Giving. a Dave Cantin Group Partner A special automotive podcast episode featuring an interview with a global icon. Eight questions with the legendary boxer, movie star, entrepreneur, and youngest heavyweight champion of all time, Kid Dynamite, the Baddest Man in the World - “IRON” Mike Tyson. “You have to want to be the best more than you want to breathe. - that’s when you reach the top of your game.” - Mike Tyson Guest host and marketing keynote speaker Larry Bailin goes toe-to-toe with Iron Mike Tyson and asks the champ question he’s never been asked. Listen as Iron Mike discusses why he had to change his personal brand and what it takes to be a champion. “I’m the best, and how dare they try and take it from me. No one stands a chance. I reign total supreme in my field “ - Mike Tyson Listen as Iron Mike talks about the mindset of a champion as only the Baddest Man Alive can. “You have to be up more than anyone wants you to be down. You need that total belief and confidence that you can conquer the world and crush it to your feet! You reign as a god! You have to believe you’re a god, and there is no one that can match me! How dare anyone try and take my job, crush them to their knees!” - Mike Tyson -------------------------------- This interview is a pre-cursor to Mike Tyson’s guest appearance, live at the DCG NADA HEAVYWEIGHT DINNER on January 28th in Dallas, Texas. This is a VIP invitation-only event hosted by the Dave Cantin Group and DCG Acquisitions, the automotive industry's top M&A firm. Mike will participate in a live fireside chat, enjoying dinner with guests and a meet and greet photo session. For more information, visit -------------------------------- EPISODE SPONSOR This episode is brought to you by DCG Giving. According to the American Cancer Society, About 10,470 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022. DCG Giving is a non-profit organization fighting childhood cancer. This holiday season, make a donation that helps children fight this terrible disease.


“We help think through strategic decisions” || Gary Silberg, Global Head of Automotive, KPMG

Gary Silberg started off as a self-described “Midwest guy” but now has lived and worked all over the world. With over 20 years of experience in technology and 15 years in automotive, Gary’s career has taken him to places as far afield as France and China - and led to him becoming fluent in French and partly conversational in Mandarin Chinese. Among his particular areas of expertise are automotive connectivity and autonomous vehicles. In this episode, Gary talks with Derek D about critical factors for the future of automotive - the staggering amount of money automakers have already invested in electric vehicles, the places where “islands of autonomy” are beginning to push the boundaries of “self-driving” cars, and how history from the earliest days of cars may repeat itself. Plus, he discusses how quantum physics is tied up with his view of the automotive industry, why Berkshire Hathaway is investing in autonomous vehicle tech, and more. Gary Silberg | KPMG Automotive Episode Highlights: “We’re at a point now, as I tell people, where there’s a shakeout… the question is, how many of these autonomous vehicle makers will we need?” — Gary Silberg || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“The strongest trend we’ve all experienced is sustainability” || Ralf Klädtke, Chief Technology Officer and VP, TE Transportation Solutions

“German engineering” is a byword for quality in the automotive industry, almost a cliche. And Ralf Klädtke personifies that concept. A 25-year veteran in the technology space, Ralf has only recently brought his considerable talents to automotive: He has been a captain in the German Air Force and a director at DARA/DLR, the German space agency, where he helped develop the crew return vehicle for the International Space Station. Ralf has also worked in leadership roles at companies such as Carl Zeiss Optronics, one of the most famous optics manufacturers in the world, as well as ZKW Group, a top automotive lighting and electronics company. In this episode, Ralf talks with Derek D about an extensive array of topics that will affect the future of the whole automotive industry. This conversation covers Ralf’s predictions on when hydrogen fuel cells will overtake electric vehicles in market share, the many barriers facing fully autonomous or “self-driving” cars and why he believes autonomous trucks are much more feasible, and how the cities of the future will impact the entire transportation sector. Plus, Ralf discusses the present and future of connectivity and computing in cars, his experiences in countries from Switzerland to China, and more. Ralf Klädtke | TE Transportation Solutions Episode Highlights: “When you look into the charging of the battery, if this is done by renewable energies, you can reduce the carbon footprint over the lifetime by something like 50-55%.” — Ralf Klädtke || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“The good news is you can only go up” || Mario Benedetti, CEO, South Dade Toyota and Kia

Mario Benedetti proved his acumen with decades of success in the automotive industry in his native Venezuela, then proved his resilience with his move to the US. Mario’s family has been in the car business for nearly a whole century, with three generations managing Venezuela’s Prosperi Cumana dealership since its founding in 1924. Mario worked as a mechanic and in accounting at the family business before taking the reins, but in 2009, feeling bad prospects for business under Venezuela’s government, he moved to the United States intending to start a new dealership from scratch. Thirteen years later, Mario owns dealerships across Dade County - and Prosperi Cumana is still up and running. On this episode, Mario talks with our host Derek D about the differences between the Japanese (and Venezuelan) car sales business model and the American one, what a stint selling vehicles door-to-door taught him, and the challenges that came with starting a new business with a recession in full swing. Plus, he discusses navigating a major Toyota recall, what happened when he asked to buy a dealership on a whim, why one of the models sold at South Dade Kia dealerships is one of his favorite-ever cars to drive, and more. South Dade Toyota | South Dade Kia Episode Highlights: kaizen“Even though it’s the same brand and the same business model that we had in Venezuela with Toyota, it’s two different markets.” — Mario Benedetti || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“A lot of creative disruption happening” || Chris Sachno, Senior Vice President of E-Mobility, Cloud Services & Innovation, Karma Automotive

From the Oxfordshire, UK town where he grew up, Chris Sachno set out to explore the world, first earning his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at North Carolina’s Duke University, then making his way to Japan, originally intending to learn Japanese. Not only did he become fluent in the language, he also caught the technology bug and went on to help develop tech that has been used in products like the BlackBerry, the iPhone, and the Apple Watch. But it’s not just mobile devices that Chris was interested in, and he was drawn to cars - this past June he joined Karma Automotive and has helped shape the technological profile of their vehicles. In this episode, Chris has a very long-distance chat with Derek D about how the current electric vehicle revolution is kind of a comeback, why the current era is ideal for experimentation in EV design, and the mind-boggling innovations that may come to electric cars in a mere 10 years or so. Plus, he talks about why speed, safety, and range are the top areas for EV improvement, how it felt the first time he drove Karma’s flagship vehicle and the instant torque kicked in, and more. Chris Sachno | Karma Automotive Episode Highlights: “If you’re using your phone and an application crashes - okay, you start it up again. You don’t want that to happen when you’re doing 75 MPH on the highway.” — Chris Sachno || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“Getting away from gasoline is the right move” || William M. Monroe Jr., Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, Karma Automotive

Lifelong LA area resident William M. Monroe Jr. has been a leader on the OEM side of the auto industry for over 20 years, but now holds a prominent position at a highly distinctive company. Karma Automotive is the successor to California autobuilder Fisker, whose assets it bought out in 2014 - and William is Karma’s current SVP of Global Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. William has been instrumental in setting up Karma’s global distribution, and in his previous roles at Volvo he led teams in a diverse range of departments and won internal company awards. On this episode, William joins our host Derek D to discuss how Karma’s operations as an all-EV manufacturer are different from most automakers, why it’s valuable to have staff that’s composed of both gearheads and people with no outside interest in cars, and the statistical factor that’s quickly changing customer perceptions of electric cars. Plus, he talks about solar and wind power’s integration into energy infrastructure, the joy he gets from the torque and power of his own company’s products, the motto he was raised with and how it’s affected his perceptions of cars, and more. William M. Monroe Jr. | Karma Automotive Episode Highlights: “You’re still talking about a lot of cars to be added in a short amount of time. When you’re designing a car start to finish, that process is usually about 8 to 10 years. So when you’re a manufacturer and you’re not prepared for the changes that are coming and you’re behind, it’s going to take a long time for you to catch up.” — William M. Monroe Jr. || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“We’re just always on our feet” || Nadia Bical, Vice President, Bical Auto Mall

Nadia Bical was born into the automotive industry and considers herself to always have been a part of Bical Auto Mall. Growing up, the business was her biggest connection to her father, Sammy Bical, the company’s president and founder - now she’s risen to a leadership role for which she’s won multiple awards, including from Carfax and Cargurus. Nadia runs day-to-day operations and human resources for Bical Auto Mall, and her efforts to strengthen the link between the dealership and the community have included charity work for the Brooklyn Cyclones (the Mets’ High-A affiliate), New York Cares, Chevy Youth Baseball and Softball, and many other organizations. On this episode, both Nadia and Sammy Bical join Derek D for a unique conversation about their beloved family business, covering topics such as how their relationship has gotten stronger due to being business partners, what it takes to retain business over multiple generations, and what the simplest way to deal with inventory shortages is. In addition, they discuss how long it’ll take before EVs fully take over the car market, why Bical Auto Mall is upping their social media marketing now, why father and daughter differ on their preferred schedules, and more. Bical Auto Mall Episode Highlights: “Trust me - in a place with 220,000 square feet, there’s always something that somebody needs!” — Nadia Bical || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production


“It’s amazing how resilient auto retail is” || Alan Haig, President, Haig Partners

It’s fair to say that Alan Haig has a great pedigree in both the automotive industry and in finance in general. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, wrote AutoNation’s original business plan in 1996, and went on to found Haig Partners and the Haig Report, currently having $5 billion in total dealership transactions on his record. On this episode, Alan chats with our host Derek D about how he wrote that AutoNation business plan without even knowing a single car dealer, what initial missteps taught him about economies of scale in the automotive business, and why automotive M&A is a close indicator of the health of retail car sales. Plus, he discusses why some dealer principals may want to sell out prior to retirement age, his early experiences working for the late Wayne Huizenga, and more. Alan Haig Episode Highlights: “Our math indicates that we’re going to be in a period of elevated front-end profits on new, and therefore elevated dealership earnings, for at least three years.” — Alan Haig || Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production