While harsh weather had negative effects on dealer network , pre-owned, used car sales brought in some sunshine. Sonic Automotive, Inc., one of the largest retailers in the country, reported 2014 Q1 earnings down — $20 million versus $21.7 million a year before. Continuing operations earnings per diluted share were $0.38 in Q1 2014 vs. $0.41 in Q1 2013; weather and expenses that came from Sonic’s pre-owned store initiative affected earnings.
Used, pre-owned vehicles saw some very good numbers during the first quarter of 2014:
• Sonic experienced an all-time record for its pre-owned unit sales, which reached 27,657.
• Record first quarter pre-owned gross profit of $40.7 million.
• Pre-owned unit sales per store per month reached 90 units during the first quarter.
• Q1 2014 fixed operations revenue was up $22.1 million, or 7.5% over the prior year’s quarter.
“We continue to demonstrate our ability to operate and grow in the pre-owned space at record levels, said Jeff Dyke, Sonic’s EVP of Operations. “Compared to the prior year quarter, we were able to grow pre-owned unit sales by 4.5% and pre-owned gross profit by 7.0%.”
Two other marketing initiatives are starting to see results for Sonic – its True Price pricing methodology and One-Sonic One-Experience customer service program. The retailer is confident that fully implementing One-Sonic One-Experience will offer the automobile buying community a shopping experience that no other competitor in the industry can offer.