As we turn the corner on summer, the 2019 sales year looks more volatile than ever, with nary a pattern or predictable trend to count on. The automotive market has simply become more complex and demanding, with many different ways to create revenue and reduce cost by leveraging digital tech opportunities – and streamlining processes. Yes, sales have been slightly down for most of the year, with around a 2% decline for the first half of the year. Yet many analysts forecasted a small uptick in July sales, thanks in part to an extra selling day.

If only we knew how the month really turned out.

With Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles no longer reporting on a monthly basis, it’s hard to tell exactly where the month ended. One thing we do know, however, is that Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia reported slightly higher automotive sales – led by Hyundai’s 12% increase. Even cars had a July day in the sun: Toyota reported decent gains in Camry sales, among others. So the news for July sales was, well – meh. For dealerships, the effort to increase revenue and reduce cost in other areas of the store, such as fixed operations, should continue to be a key area of focus.

Survey: 31% of service customers listen to their service advisor, add to the RO

What: According to a recent DealerRater survey of 11,000 consumers who had visited a new car dealership, 31 percent said that they added additional work based on the service adviser’s recommendation.

Takeaway: Expert advice never goes out of style, even with a powerful information tool like the internet available for all to use. Fact is, service advisers play an important role in simplifying and educating vehicle owners. And as cars become more and more complex, their knowledgeable advice is, in turn, more important than ever. Service managers should make sure that their advisers have the digital tools they need to quickly communicate with customers the right way.

Click here: 1 of 3 service customers buys additional work – survey

Report: Automotive cyberattacks

What: As cars increasingly become connected to the internet, concern is growing about the risk of a cyberattack that takes control of many vehicles at the same time. In fact, Consumer Watchdog recently published an extensive report that asks automakers to install inexpensive kill switches that essentially turns off the internet and blocks the connection. According to the report, it’s vital: By 2022, two-thirds of new cars on American roads will have online connections to safety systems. In addition, many automakers rely on third-party and open source software.

Takeaway: Remember the Jeep Cherokee that was hacked and shut down remotely? Yeah, that. Consumer Watchdog is, essentially, providing a reminder that a similar hack into another car (or cars) has gone from science fiction to nonfiction. It serves as an important reminder that automotive digital and connected tools must provide adequate security safeguards against possible hacking and attacks.

Click here: Report: Auto cyberattacks could kill thousands

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Corvette: Best Ever, or too Much Supercar?

What: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuted as a mid-engine supercar – the most significant change in its history, and all for a base price of about $60,000. That 6.2-liter V8 behind the seats gets 495 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Personally, I prefer the original stingray. But wait…THIS is automotive history

Takeaway: Just look, and admire. The next ‘Vette is here.

Click here: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette