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Sonic Automotive Inc. (SAH) Maintains Consistency in Sales Volume through Innovation, Multiple Revenue Streams

  • Sonic Automotive ranks among the top five retail automotive groups in the United States each year, as reported by industry publication Automotive News
  • The company has a new vehicle-centered retail division and its EchoPark Automotive used car division, both focused on innovations to the buying experience
  • During the second quarter, EchoPark’s sales grew by 68.7 percent as new vehicle sales volume slowed
  • Despite a downturn in new vehicle sales during the quarter, Sonic’s total sales established a number of consolidated all-time quarterly records

Innovative automotive retailer Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE: SAH) is a Fortune 500 company that consistently ranks among the top five largest retail automotive groups in the United States, growing from a small business with 20 stores in 1997 to a group of more than 100 stores selling 24 brands currently.

Sonic was one of seven U.S. retailers to report over 100,000 new vehicle sales last year, rising to just shy of 300,000 units sold when used and wholesale transactions were factored in. Total revenues for the group were $9.95 billion (http://ibn.fm/lW9NF).

Under the company’s One Sonic One Experience campaign, introduced in 2014, non-commissioned sales representatives work with shoppers over the course of about an hour to make buying a vehicle an enjoyable experience by “eliminating all the pain points” that can accompany identifying the right vehicle and subsequent negotiations. The company’s priority on transparency extends from the service area to trade-in valuations, and it purchases consumers’ vehicles without trade-in requirements.

Sonic’s EchoPark Automotive segment is the corporate arm that deals in used cars and light trucks, helping to arrange additional finance and insurance product sales in eight specialty retail locations across North Carolina, Texas and Colorado.

EchoPark’s retail sales topped 12,500 vehicles during the second quarter of 2019, marking an increase of 68.7 percent from the previous year’s second quarter.

“Even as the new vehicle market started showing signs of weakness (during the second quarter), we still had record results in our pre-owned and F&I business lines and grew our fixed operations by 6.4 percent,” CEO David Smith stated in a company news release issued July 25 (http://ibn.fm/6Ma3u). “This, once again, shows how the dynamic dealer operating model benefits from multiple revenue streams. We are very excited to see the maturity of our current EchoPark locations as illustrated by our most mature market, Denver, Colorado… It is very exciting to see the results when you focus on the customer and use technology and process to reduce your expenses and simplify the operational model. We believe we will be able to open an additional EchoPark store before the end of 2019 and another shortly thereafter in the first half of 2020. Our current plans include two additional EchoPark store openings in the second half of 2020.”

EchoPark’s revenues of $291.7 million during the second quarter put the company on track to exceed $1.1 billion by year’s end, and Sonic’s total sales established a number of consolidated all-time quarterly records, according to the report. The company’s board of directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share payable in cash for stockholders of record on September 13, 2019.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SonicAutomotive.com

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