Lithia and the Queen, EV Home Charging Woes, KIA’s Swivel Seat EV

March 16, 2023
It’s Thursday and we have a full charge as we talk about Lithia’s entry into Great Britain. We also cover JD Power’s new report indicating waning satisfaction with home charging, as well as KIA’s new EV SUV with swivel seats. Yep.
Listen On
Apple Podcasts IconSpotify IconGoogle Podcasts Icon

COME SEE US LIVE! Tickets here

  • Lithia Motors has become the third public auto retail with holdings in the United Kingdom, joining Penske and Group 1, with its recently announced purchase of Jardine Motors Group which includes 40 new-vehicle franchise points in the UK, including luxury brands including Aston Martin, Porsche and BMW, according to Lithia CEO BryanDeBoer said.
  • According to Britain's Sky News, the cost of the deal was between $361-482M and it will add around $2B in annual revenue to Lithia which already jumped 24 percent to $28.23 billion
  • During an interview DeBoer called the deal "more affordable than what we typically find ... in the United States” and continued "... more importantly, it gives us a foundation to grow more in the United Kingdom, which is helping us drive towards our $50 billion target for 2025
  • Customer satisfaction with their EV home charging solutions have taken a shock as the JD Power 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study  indicates a noticeable decline due to a combination of slow charging speeds, rising electricity rates, and lack of consumer education on charging programs
  • Satisfaction is measured across eight factors: fairness of retail price; cord length; size of charger; ease of winding/storing cable; cost of charging; charging speed; ease of use; and reliability.
  • When factoring cost, the index dropped more than 30 points
  • New EV owners were one of the primary reasons of the drop in scores due to charging speed of installed level 2 chargers
  • Only 51% of those surveyed were aware of programs that helped with the cost of install and charging costs
  • After weeks of teased photos, we finally got a first look at the first EV in the 3 row segment with the flagship Kia EV9 that features an aggressive design, three rows of seating plus cargo space, and yes, the middle row seats swivel
  • Built on Hyundai Motor Group’s 800V E-GMP platform, the release says the vehicle features “technology for life” design philosophy throughout that “promotes intuitive interactions between humans and machines.”
  • More performance details will be released next month however the design is very close to the concept presented last year but many tech and convenience features like generous screens and charging points throughout will be standard
  • How about those 180 degree swivel seats in the center to bring us back to the 80s.

Get the Daily Push Back email at

JOIN the conversation on LinkedIn at:

Read our most recent email at:

Share your positive dealer stories:

ASOTU Instagram:


Paul Daly, Todd Caputo

Paul Daly  00:31

Welcome to Thursday everybody. We got special guest host Todd Caputo, you know who he is. We're talking about lithium buy in stores in the UK. And Evie charging home charging survey reports and key as new EB nine.


People really want to act isn't always something going on. always something going on. Good morning. How are you today?

Todd Caputo  00:52

Breaking news, breaking news. Breaking news on your phone today for breaking news. Breaking news.

Paul Daly  00:58

Yeah, no, that is not the not the healthiest way to be. Especially when it's like breaking news. There's a big wave in one place that a surfer could write weather channels the worst? I know, I know. Well, if you can't, if you're just listening tide Caputo, he's got a little bit of an echo because he is sitting in his I don't even know what to call it. But he's got this amazing property and building where it's like, I think I feel like this is like the car dealers dream. You have garage space for how many cars about, like 19 cars on here. So he's got 19 cars, right big high bay doors, tall ceilings, and then to the right of it. There's like a three bedroom apartment and above the three bedroom apartment. There's just this. I don't know what to call. It's like an office. It's called pinball machines. What's it called?

Todd Caputo  01:44

It's called the Fortress of Solitude.

Paul Daly  01:47

The fortress numbers

Todd Caputo  01:48

our man has like, I'm not Superman by any means, right? But remember, Superman had the Fortress of Solitude.

Paul Daly  01:53

The Fortress of Solitude is exactly alone.

Todd Caputo  01:55

This is where this is. This place keeps me married, actually. So this is

Paul Daly  02:03

me and my wife. It is it is I bet Amy Amy loves the Fortress of Solitude as well. When I go there, because that's what I'm saying. It's so cool that I think we're going to do a show in there and get it all set up. And so the soda community we're going to we're going to show you the ins and outs of the Fortress of Solitude do a little Todd Caputo is garage episode.

Todd Caputo  02:24

But I remember when I will try to sell everybody that was watching all these cars. So

Paul Daly  02:30

of course, if you're well, that'd mean that's like the lifelong plot of every dealer, right? If you're awake, you're trading a car, somehow you're buying or you're selling a car. Hey, we have a lot of cool things going on in the soda verse, we just opened up ticket sales for our event in Arlington, which Todd will actually be at, we're going to talk a lot of use cars have a number of guests, we're going to announce very soon. It's in Arlington, on Arlington, Texas, on May 8 on April 5, and everyone in the store is invited, we've intentionally put it in the evening so that folks that can't usually get out or you're in the busyness of the day. So we want managers and GMs and service advisors and those who you need to get a little more inspired and in line with what's going on in the industry. We're making an event just for you. You can get tickets by going to ace a SOTU as ot you x A so two and we're putting on the whole event. Live show we're bringing a live band, it really is going to be something special a lot like

Todd Caputo  03:25

oh, that's gonna be awesome. Like, you know, if I still had stores, I'd be doing a spliff with my salespeople, with my technicians, with my writers with everybody some kind of spiffs so they can actually go to that event. It's gonna be awesome. Yeah, like a good spot. That's

Paul Daly  03:37

a great idea to be awesome. Because, you know, if they show up to that and meet other people that are inspired about the industry, you're in, you know, they're gonna bring that energy back to the

Todd Caputo  03:47

store. You just know hustlers. And they're hustlers, too, right? Like we want the hustlers there.

Paul Daly  03:52

Right, exactly. Exactly. Well, speaking of Hustler's segway. All right, so this story just came out yesterday. Lithia Motors has become the third public auto retail company with holdings in the United Kingdom, giorni, Penske, and group one. So they recently announced the personal purchase of Geordie Motor Group, which includes 40 new vehicle franchise points in the UK, including luxury brands, including Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW Ferrari, according to Lithia CEO Brian DeVore. So Britain, Sky News said the cost of the deal was somewhere between 361 and 482 million. I mean, they gave it in pounds, but we did the conversion. And it'll add about $2 billion in annual revenue to Lithia, who in 2022, has already jumped 24% in annual revenue. So during an interview, Brian DeVore called the deal more affordable than what we typically find in the United States. And he continued on saying more importantly, it gives us a foundation to grow more in the United Kingdom, which helps us drive toward our $50 billion revenue goal in 2025, which is only two years away. The CEO Have Jardine, Neal Williamson will stay in place and lead the 2700 employees that come with the acquisition today. You know, we hear a lot in the UK about aggressive changes to the agency model and how, you know, changes to the dealer model there are happening faster than in the US, what is your thought behind like a US company going in and just really getting into the game pretty heavy?

Todd Caputo  05:23

Well, the first word that comes to my head is diversification, right? Like these, these large publics are really diversifying the industries in the in the way the places of doing business, I mean, you know, didn't Lithia just get in the RV business a few months ago? Yeah. And then, you know, Sonic has gotten into motorcycles, power sports. So I think you're seeing some more diversification, not just with the kind of things that these large groups are going to sell, but also geographically. And then when you talk about the agency model overseas, it's obvious who the OEMs want to have franchisors going forward are very well capitalized, sophisticated operators that can probably process the agency model. And I think you're gonna continue to see especially overseas because they don't have franchise laws, like we have just less and less of, let's call them Mom and Pop dealers, I think they're gonna be gone, especially overseas,

Paul Daly  06:15

understood. I mean, if we learned anything from Brian De Boer and Lithia over the last few months. For me personally, it was when he was at the auto Team America event. And he sat with Alan Hagan, we just saw the revenue growth of Lithia. And what $1 invested in Lithia did versus $1 invested in companies like Apple and Google, and it crushed them, like 10s, and dozens of times more return. And they're, you know, so I think they've shown that they know how to make smart acquisitions, they know how to turn it into profitability. And, you know, that's what's the bet against Lithia that's for sure. So it'll be interesting to see how this pulls how it pulls more attention, maybe to the European market. And, you know, whenever this happens, you know, we actually had a recruiter just just waiting in the comments saying that's an exciting thing. I'm also you know, I know some folks over a group one and there is a synergy that happens when you have this straight line of communication between Europe and the US because diversity of thought, and diversity of systems actually helps makes make all the systems better. Speaking of making the systems better segue we're gonna move over into the area of home charging and customer satisfaction with Eevee home charging solutions has actually taken a shock as the JD Power 2023 electric vehicle experience study indicates a noticeable decline due to a combination of slow charging speeds, rising electricity rates, and lack of consumer education on charging programs and platforms. So basically, they're saying satisfactions measure across eight factors. And that's fairness of the price of the unit cord length size of the charger, the ease of storing the cable, the cost of charging your vehicle, how fast it charges and how easy it is to use. And when thinking about costs, like the cost to charge your car at home versus what was expected, the index satisfaction rate actually dropped 30 points. New Evie owners were the primary reason for that, which is really saying that customers that bought an Eevee in 2022 and 2023 had a much higher expectation of like money they would save by having an Eevee charger at home. Only 51% of the people who were surveyed you're even aware of any special charging programs that would help with the cost of the charger or the cost of the electricity. TriCity Tesla owners ranked the experience the highest and here's a quote from JD Power and I'd love to get your thoughts on this because you have an Evie charger and EVs. So this is from Brian Gruber, Executive Director of evey practice a JD Power said whether you're an automaker a dealer, or a utility company participating in the Eevee ecosystem, improving the Eevee ownership experience with respect to home charging is a common goal that we should all share. So Todd, you own you own several EVs, you have an Eevee charge actually not too far from where you're sitting right now, there is an Eevee charger. And so So what are your thoughts on like, what people are actually experiencing at home with Eevee charging based on what they thought it would be?

Todd Caputo  09:11

So if you talk about the cost, I think it depends on where you live. I mean, where I am in North Carolina, pretty close to Duke Energy, I got a new plant not far away. So electricity for me, it's extremely reasonable and the math works for me. But it doesn't work for a lot of other people. You know, I think that education, when it comes to EVs is really the most important thing right now. It's just a lot of hype. But there really needs to be education. I think that the automaker or the dealer there really educates people to know what the true expectations are, are going to give their customers really what they need to know. So they don't have this preconceived notion that a an Eevee is going to save the planet because I don't truly believe that it saves the planet. Number one. That's a whole other long conversation but number two, it really that it really just saves you like a ton of money. It doesn't, you know, I think if the price of fuel goes up, and if gas prices go up, it might make a difference. But right now, you know, gas is about a buck cheaper than it was a year ago when everybody was scrambling to get an Eevee. Because gas was, you know, five, six bucks a gallon it's short country. And I think it actually to is depends on where you are in the country and the price of gasoline. Also, you know, I was in Reno, Nevada a couple months ago to dealer and gas is still really expensive, especially out west. So, you know,

Paul Daly  10:24

I bet Electric is probably pretty expensive out there too, though.

Todd Caputo  10:27

Yeah, I that I don't know. So I'd like to see that chart. But also look at the electricity rates in the areas where people are actually surveyed, along with the price of gas, I think that probably would be better. But I mean, having the charger right in your garage is extremely, extremely convenient. You don't have to go to the gas station, especially if the weather's lousy, like it is in upstate New York right now. So you just have to feet of snow out there sure is. Bringing cars for me. But you know, like being able to just plug it in and your garage is super helpful. And you know, I just I just got an Airbnb I bought an Airbnb as an investment. And I put a Tesla charger that not only charges Tesla's but has an adapter on the end for other EVs as well, because of the fact that when I rent to people that are going to have the visa, no more and more people are going to have them I thought it was good to actually put one of those chargers in great idea. It was 400 bucks for the charger plus, I had to pay an electrician another 250 to install it. So I mean, that's reasonable. There's very reasonable, that's reasonable to get it done. So I those charges aren't overly expensive. But you know, no one's going to be able to control the rates of what it costs for electricity or for gas. So there's just a lot of ones

Paul Daly  11:29

Tell me this. How much would you estimate? So like, you have a Model S plan, right? Yes. How much do you think it takes like cost to get that to full charge?

Todd Caputo  11:41

What depends on how often I drive it? Right? And I don't know, but I mean,

Paul Daly  11:44

like, what do you think it would cost? Just a ballpark estimate? Called electricity? A couple 100? Fill to fill it up? One fill?

Todd Caputo  11:52

I'll just want to fill? Oh, yeah, so 30 bucks.

Paul Daly  11:58

Okay. 30 bucks. And what? What's that range?

Todd Caputo  12:00

Get you 347 miles. Okay.

Paul Daly  12:04

And if it's fast i driver slower drives. So

Todd Caputo  12:07

that's another factor too.

Paul Daly  12:09

Okay, of course. And the plaid model is meant so that you hammer the gas pedal and go from zero to 60 in under two seconds, just

Todd Caputo  12:17

your car? So you know, I was just

Paul Daly  12:19

because just because you can. And how long does that take on like so home charges or level two chargers? How long does it take to get fully charged? If it's empty? If it's

Todd Caputo  12:30

empty, that would take about six between six and seven hours if it was totally empty, but it never the thing is it never is right. Like the garage when it's completely empty. If anything I stop and I supercharged somewhere. And supercharging at least down here is still very reasonable. Yeah, I've traveled quite a bit with a Tesla, you could go to Tesla supercharger, the price is not crazy at all,

Paul Daly  12:51

right? Because they kind of subsidized the price the electricity or make it reasonable and don't mark it up and everything like that. So I mean, this will be a conversation, like you said, Education is critical. And I think dealers just have the upper hand in evey education if they realize it and take it because consumers expect the dealer to know the things that have to do with the car. And I think just any dealer in any market has the opportunity to be the authority in home charging and creative content. And being the place where people answer questions. I mean, a lot of these dealers now have like chargers out front. I was at a Nissan dealer earlier this week. And it's the charger doesn't cost anything. So people of all like driving all different types of OEMs and Tesla's included are showing up at that dealership to take advantage of the charging. So again, like this is an opportunity, I think we're dealers can be attractional, and give people a reason to come in and coach them up and give them great vendor recommendations on charger installs. And like, I think a big part of the charging experience is based on what the expectation is and how that set in the beginning. And when the expectation is not established, then people are going to be disappointed, you know?

Todd Caputo  14:01

Well, you know, another thing to think of too, is for dealers, right? Which I used to be one of them. It's a significant investment to be in the Evie business going forward. I just was in St. Augustine at a friend's dealership group, he asked me to help him with a few things. And he's building a brand new Hyundai store. And I you know, he showed me where all the charging stations are going to be. And then he had to build something separate far away from the building where he's got to keep the batteries and the batteries come out of these cars. And it's expensive to be in the evey business with really not a great rare comes in, told me about the markup that he's going to have and where this could be markup. And also when to fix apps, there's really not a lot of money to be made on those cars. So it's an investment really to be able to sell those cars get trades, get f&i but as far as the return on investment goes, I think it's a very, very, very long payback in my opinion was

Paul Daly  14:52

well speaking of EVs we have one more to talk about, but just going to stop not the whole segue. So after weeks of teased photos We finally got a first look at the first Evie in the three row segment with the flagship Kia Evie nine that features a super aggressive design. I personally love it I love boxy vehicles has three rows of seating cargo space and get this the middle row of seats actually swivel 180 degrees. So this is built on Hyundai Motors 800 volt eg MP platform. And the release says the vehicle features technology for life with a philosophy that promotes intuitive action interactions between humans and machines. The performance details are coming out next month as far as range and capacity and speed. And the vehicle actually came up very, very close to the concept that was presented last year. And they have you know, a lot of great Evie features that people have come to expect like large touchscreens and charging points throughout. But I gotta tell you 180 degree swivel middle seats where you can face the back seat or put the seats down in the back and look out the rear window. I mean brings brings me right back to the 80s

Todd Caputo  16:00

I totally agree. So do you have do

Paul Daly  16:03

you have a backwards? Did you have a backwards facing rear seat? No, but

Todd Caputo  16:07

I had I had conversion vans in the past where the seats did that right. So you got you got quite a few kids. They're going to be turning around and fight with each other because I know you're going to find one of those things.

Paul Daly  16:17

I love that's the first one that really got me excited.

Todd Caputo  16:21

That looks it looks like a QX it looks like an Infiniti QX I think is what it looks like.

Paul Daly  16:25

Yeah, it looks like a QX met like a Kia Soul and like made it bigger it. It's really neat.

Todd Caputo  16:31

I think it's kind of odd, though that they didn't. What's the range? Like that's that's the big

Paul Daly  16:35

that's that's coming next month? Performance details are coming next month, right? Because like if it's not 250 Miles isn't going to cut it in a family vehicle.

Todd Caputo  16:43

No, not only that, can you tow with it? How's it going to be in the snow? A big SUV like that is not daily commuter driver. I think for a lot of people. That's let's let's take a trip to the mountains kind of a vehicle. And let's just

Paul Daly  16:59

wonder how big it is. Because to me it looks like about the size of a Telluride. When I looked at it, yeah, so And here's the thing, too. It's like one of the things for me, I'm like, could I have an SUV to be my family vehicle because we have, you know, four kids. And when we're traveling, we're having luggage and we pull a boat sometimes. So I was thinking about that. And one of the things that actually made me think if it can pull something, right, there's plenty of seating, and not a lot of room behind the rear seats, which is usually a problem. If it's not a big SUV, especially for me, we're going somewhere, even if it's like we're going to the airport, and we have six suitcases, right? But the frunk actually changes the whole dynamic of a smaller car. Because all that space is available. No,

Todd Caputo  17:40

that will help but you know, I didn't see a roof rack up on that photo, right? Like that vehicle is gonna need a roof rack. Because if there's no room behind the back seat, which I'm guessing looking at it, there probably isn't much space, you're gonna need a roof rack if you got a family and then how much drag you're going to get going down the road? And how much is that gonna affect the performance of the rain?


Oh, that's an interesting point. With a fully with a fully on the top

Todd Caputo  18:03

of it. Like that's gonna give you drag a lot. I mean, it affects MPG is gonna affect range when it comes to levy. So I don't want to be seen. But I think it's pretty cool looking. That's for sure.

Paul Daly  18:11

It is Andrew Boyer just chimed in on the live stream and says it's slightly larger than a Telluride as far as what people are saying about it. So that answers that question. But without a doubt, like that segment is a there's a big void in the Eevee segment when it comes to an SUV with a third row. And Kia is going to you know, say, Hey, this is going to be our flagship entry. I mean, you look at the success of what they did with the Telluride and how they just nailed it with that vehicle. I own one for three years, and I loved it. So yeah, Kia given everybody a reason to look in. And I think it's just indicative of the way things are heating up in the Evie space. And there's just going to be a lot of options to consider.

Todd Caputo  18:49

Oh, from a dealer perspective, what are they going to allow the dealer to make on that on that truck? That's another question. How

Paul Daly  18:54

are they going to sell it? What are they?

Todd Caputo  18:57

I mean, I get educated about some of the markups in some of these EVs when I visited my buddy in St. Augustine with his Hyundai store. And he was telling me about that there's there's no markup there, right? That's just you got to be able to make money selling these cars dealer.

Paul Daly  19:11

So we know the sources are coming either.

Todd Caputo  19:14

No you don't services coming either. So we'll see that remains to be seen. Of course.


We will. Well, it's

Paul Daly  19:19

a busy Thursday around the industry. Tokuda, thank you so much for joining us as guest hosts. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of fun to have, and we have a lot of people to serve today. So go out there and serve somebody

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.