Sonic Investing in One Sonic-One and Stand-alone Used Vehicle Stores

Son¬≠ic Automotive‚Äôs just post¬≠ed its fourth quar¬≠ter and 2013 earn¬≠ings ‚Äď net income was down 8% in Q4 as a ‚Äútran¬≠si¬≠tion year‚ÄĚ came to an end where changes were made in stores to pre¬≠pare for 2014. The com¬≠pa¬≠ny will be launch¬≠ing a new cus¬≠tomer expe¬≠ri¬≠ence ini¬≠tia¬≠tive lat¬≠er this sum¬≠mer ‚Äď and stand-alone used vehi¬≠cle stores lat¬≠er this year. Imple¬≠ment¬≠ing a new pric¬≠ing strat¬≠e¬≠gy was one of the chal¬≠lenges tak¬≠en on last year that some of Sonic‚Äôs stores have strug¬≠gled with.

Son¬≠ic will roll out its One Son¬≠ic-One Expe¬≠ri¬≠ence ini¬≠tia¬≠tive on July 1, which aims to sim¬≠pli¬≠fy the pur¬≠chase expe¬≠ri¬≠ence by using iPads to han¬≠dle vehi¬≠cle sales from begin¬≠ning to end.  Son¬≠ic expects it will lead to short¬≠er trans¬≠ac¬≠tion times, bet¬≠ter cus¬≠tomer sat¬≠is¬≠fac¬≠tion, low¬≠er employ¬≠ee turnover, and high¬≠er sales.

As for the stand-alone used vehi¬≠cle stores, that will begin in Den¬≠ver dur¬≠ing the fourth quar¬≠ter of this year. ‚ÄúAs we have demon¬≠strat¬≠ed over the last sev¬≠er¬≠al years, one of our core com¬≠pe¬≠ten¬≠cies and com¬≠pet¬≠i¬≠tive advan¬≠tages is our abil¬≠i¬≠ty to exe¬≠cute in the pre-owned space,‚ÄĚ said Son¬≠ic Pres¬≠i¬≠dent Scott Smith. ‚ÄúWe intend to cap¬≠i¬≠tal¬≠ize on this strength.‚ÄĚ

Son¬≠ic Automotive‚Äôs used vehi¬≠cle rev¬≠enue was up 6% over 2012. Rev¬≠enue per unit for used vehi¬≠cles was $20,327 in 2013 ‚Äď $304 or 1.5% over 2012. Gross prof¬≠it per unit was $1,405 ‚Äď up 0.4% over 2012.

In its finan­cial report, Son­ic Auto­mo­tive said that its used vehi­cle rev­enues have been direct­ly affect­ed by the lev­el of man­u­fac­tur­er incen­tives on new vehi­cles, the num­ber and qual­i­ty of trade-ins and lease turn-ins, the avail­abil­i­ty and pric­ing of used vehi­cles acquired at auc­tion, and the avail­abil­i­ty of con­sumer cred­it.



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