High 100 checklist exhibits shift in focus to used vehicles

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Zeigler Auto Group of Kalamazoo, Mich., considerably improved its used-to-new ratio in 2021 past the 1-to-1 ratio it posted for 2020, firm President Aaron Zeigler instructed Automotive Information. Zeigler rose 9 spots to No. 23, retailing 29,604 used autos final yr vs. 20,920 in 2020 — a 42 p.c enhance.

Dramatically growing used-vehicle stock grew to become some extent of focus for the group in Could 2020, through the early days of the pandemic, Zeigler mentioned. The main focus continued into 2021 with the chip scarcity and constrained new-vehicle provide.

“Virtually every thing that we knew concerning the used-car enterprise modified,” Zeigler mentioned. “Traditionally, used vehicles have depreciated. Rapidly, they began appreciating, in order that they had been going up in worth as a substitute of down over time.”

In earlier years, Zeigler Automotive cleared out used vehicles after 60 days in inventory, aiming to keep away from losses from their depreciation. However all through 2021, as vehicles rose in worth, even after 90 or 120 days in inventory, Zeigler relaxed that 60-day rule.

The group did not escape the tough job of discovering used stock, nonetheless: It purchased vehicles at public sale, sought trade-ins, bought autos in bulk and labored out offers with some automakers to purchase autos coming off lease.

Buying a dealership in Indiana and four in Wisconsin in 2021 gave the group a “little little bit of a bump in quantity,” Zeigler mentioned.

Step One Automotive Group’s used-to-new ratio additionally improved as its shops focused on promoting used autos. The group based mostly in Fort Walton Seashore, Fla., entered the checklist at No. 82, retailing 11,307 used autos in 2021, up 54 p.c.

In 2021, the group bought 1.1 used autos for every new automobile bought — up from 0.7 two or three years in the past, CEO Fernando Arellano Geddes instructed Automotive Information.

“General, the used vehicles allowed us not solely to maintain the efficiency of the quantity but additionally overcome efficiency versus 2019,” Geddes mentioned. “It is a key, key part.”

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