2:1

Ratio of New to Used Cars Sold.

88%

Increase in Cars Sold

>200

New and Used Cars Sold a Month

Executive Summary

First Choice Ford is an authorized Ford and Lincoln dealership located in Rock Springs, WY. The store weathered the economic downturn of 2008. After, dealer Shane Griffin sought out a differentiator to propel the store’s long-term effectiveness. After meeting DrivingSales CEO & founder Jared Hamilton at a 20 Group, Griffin personally committed to the training. He bought-in, engaged key team members, and focused on transitioning to a completely transparent sales process. First Choice Ford has increased volume by an average of 87 percent and become a more sustainable retailer. By leveraging the Internet to reach outside the PMA, First Choice Ford has improved the efficiency of their used car operation.

About the Store

Shane Griffin, general manager and owner, acquired First Choice Ford in 2008. Rock Springs, WY has a population of around 25,000. The area has a history of coal mining. The nearest Ford store is over 100 miles away.

Griffin recognized transparent sales as an opportunity to differentiate his store and he was the first at First Choice Ford to enroll in DrivingSales University.

The Challenges

“One of the toughest things is getting the buy-in from traditional ‘car guys,’” Griffin said. DSU gave him the tools to calculate the store’s potential. “When I did the math, I showed the sales team that our store could sell 150 cars per month,” he said. He said the transition did stimulate turnover of sales staff that weren’t ready to operate with transparency. Those that realized the store’s potential bought-in and executed the new methods and process with consistency.

Since, the store has broken records at over 200 new and used in a month. Average sales volume improved by 87 percent (75 cars per month average improved to 140). The ratio of used to new is now nearly 2:1.

The Solutions

DSU supported the evolution of all customer-facing aspects of the store: digital marketing, sales floor, and the BDC. Now the team is focused on transparency and used information to replace negotiation. After four years, First Choice Ford has improved their PMA penetration from 54 percent to 85 percent. The increase has established a trade cycle; generating used inventory so effectively that Griffin doesn’t utilize auctions.

The Results

First Choice Ford has also become more resilient to economic swings. Griffin said their region is greatly impacted by fluctuations in oil. “Right now the market is substantially down,” he said. “The only thing I’ve seen a dip in is new sales. Because we’re so heavily Internet based now, we don’t need just our local market.”
Griffin said about 50 percent of used sales come from outside the market. First Choice Ford allocates about 90 percent of marketing on digital (traditional remains only because of co-op.) He said DSU has also enabled the team to utilize technologies to their full potential (specifically vAuto).

“It’s a consistent and constant education process to understand not only where the car market is but where the buyers are, and how they’re researching you,” Griffin said. “One thing that DrivingSales has always done is give dealers the buyers’ perspective. Once you understand that and believe it and don’t use old theories or old beliefs, you’ll see a dramatic change.”

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