Spireon Inc. recently introduced GoldStar Connect, a full-featured connected car mobile application that gives buy-here, pay-here dealers and other creditors the opportunity to increase customer loyalty and profitability.

With the new GoldStar Connect mobile app, consumers now have access to all the benefits of connectivity - real-time location access, trip history, vehicle health alerts and recovery solutions for stolen cars - as an add-on at the time of purchase.

Among the new features are stolen vehicle recovery and insurance discounts.

America’s Car-Mart saw several improvements in its latest quarter ended April, including revenue increasing by almost 11 percent and increased productivity.

Chief Executive Officer and President Jeff Williams attributes these improvements by their general managers in inventory and execution.

The most talented general managers increase the number of customers, Williams said. The goal now is improving results with the company’s lower performer, as well as building up their bench.

“While we are looking to improve our bench, it is going to take time,” Williams said, “as it takes a certain type of individual that fits with the company and fit for the role.

“It’s a very difficult job, but we do feel that over time we can build that bench strength up.

Williams said the Car-Mart does have a good group of long-term managers.

Williams also said the reason sales prices have been increasing is managers are doing a better job acquiring cars.

“Our general managers are doing a better job of being in inventory and really holding purchase agents accountable,” Williams said. “We’re looking at more cars, passing on more cars, negotiating prices better, it’s all of the above.”

Vicky Judy, the company’s chief financial officer, said the general managers’ execution and focus on the car have been very beneficial.

“It’s really important that these general managers bought into that product that they’re selling.” Judy said



Sonic Invests in EchoPark

February 28, 2018

Sonic Automotive Inc. reports that its EchoPark stores grew their sales by over 2,800 units in the fourth quarter.

The standalone used-car stores sold over 10,600 units for the year with nearly 4,500 units retailed in the fourth quarter. 

EchoPark brand has become nearly 20 percent of Sonic's total pre-owned volume.

Sonic expects to open a third EchPark store in San Antonio, two stores in the Charlotte market, and its first EchoPark store in Houston during 2018. 

The vast majority of the company’s capital spending in 2018 will support the expansion of its EchoPark brand.

Carvana Co. has opened a Carvana Curbside operation in Birmingham, Ala. Carvana Curbside is a smaller format purchase fulfillment concept.

Robert Beck, president, Stop ‘N Drive Motors, San Antonio, Texas: “We have one location and we opened up in 2005.

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