November 26, 2022

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Sonic Automotive to broaden east Charlotte retail retail outlet

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The EchoPark location on Independence Boulevard is owned by Charlotte-based Fortune 500 company Sonic Automotive. Sonic said Tuesday it plans to expand the facility amid growth in the segment.

The EchoPark place on Independence Boulevard is owned by Charlotte-primarily based Fortune 500 business Sonic Automotive. Sonic explained Tuesday it designs to expand the facility amid growth in the section.

Sonic Automotive is increasing a retail hub on Independence Boulevard that is portion of a fast-growing segment of its business enterprise, the Charlotte-centered auto company announced Tuesday.

The Fortune 500 firm stated it has shut on the purchase of 4 acres subsequent to the keep at 3648 East Independence Boulevard in close proximity to the intersection with North Wendover Highway. Property documents clearly show Sonic paid out $3.2 million for the website.

The acquisition makes it possible for the organization to include close to 400 parking spaces for autos to its inventory, according to a release from Sonic, for a overall ability of about 1,000 autos at the place, recognized as EchoPark.

EchoPark focuses on providing utilised one particular- to four-12 months-aged automobiles at a price cut, and will allow persons to obtain and provide autos as a result of its web-site or retail spots.

‘Recession proof’

David Smith, CEO of Sonic and EchoPark, mentioned the pandemic delivered a strike to revenues in April. As a end result, the business experienced layoffs and reduce costs.

We did not know exactly where the base was — no person knew,” he stated. “It was like jumping out of a aircraft and not realizing when your chute is heading to open up.”

Sonic also owns other dealerships across the region and in Charlotte.

Total, the company’s income was down all-around 19% in the a few months ending on June 30 as opposed to the very same time period last yr, according to a July earnings launch.

But right after remain-at-household orders and other measures were eased, Smith explained, desire bounced back again, especially as consumers were hesitant to choose airplanes or cruises. And EchoPark, as nicely as the company’s applied auto sales in typical, fared superior during the lockdown far too, in accordance to the earnings report. 2nd quarter profits for the EchoPark division was up 8% from the earlier yr.

Let’s say we go as a result of an financial downturn: there are much more persons who would’ve bought a new motor vehicle who are going to decide on to get a nice, pre-owned car or truck,” he explained. “The current market in that way is quite recession proof.”

Progress designs

In 2018, David Smith took above as CEO of Sonic immediately after his brother Scott stepped down. The company was established by their father, Bruton Smith, who also commenced Speedway Motorsports, LLC, which owns and operates racetracks.

Sonic is not the only company with a presence in Charlotte proposing to adjust the utilized automobile shopping for working experience. Carvana, the on-line utilized auto retailer, opened an eight-tale “car vending machine” in South Conclude in 2018. The firm also declared past year it would convey hundreds of employment to an car inspection and recommissioning facility it will identify in Concord, on the site of the shuttered Philip Morris plant.

But Smith explained although EchoPark consumers may perhaps carry out the vast majority of the purchasing method online, lots of however want to occur to a retail store and consider a take a look at push.

In addition to retail hubs, the company also expects to open up delivery and get centers, where buyers can select up their autos, Smith mentioned. For instance, he reported EchoPark operates such a center in Greenville, South Carolina, and the stock comes from the Charlotte store.

The Charlotte spot was one particular of the to start with for the brand, but the company expects to open an additional 25 retail hubs or supply facilities per calendar year from upcoming calendar year via 2025.

Smith stated the growth of the Charlotte hub will be complete in just the up coming couple months.

Relevant stories from Charlotte Observer

Profile Image of Danielle Chemtob

Danielle Chemtob handles economic growth and progress for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.

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