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Sonic Automotive, Inc. Announces "One Sonic-One Experience" Initiative and Plans to Open Pre-Owned Specialty Retail Stores


CHARLOTTE, NC--October 21, 2013: Sonic Automotive, Inc. , one of the nation's largest automotive retailers, announced two major initiatives today. Sonic has been investing in changing its dealership level culture and investing significantly in the development of a revolutionary shopping and buying customer experience for its dealerships. The roll-out of this innovative guest experience and the sub-branding of Sonic Automotive will begin in mid-2014. In addition, after years of strategic planning, investment in IT infrastructure, business enterprise and consumer facing application development, and investments in training, Sonic plans to augment its OEM franchised dealership operations with stand-alone pre-owned specialty retail sales locations. This pre-owned business will operate independently from the existing new and pre-owned dealership sales operations and introduce consumers to an exciting shopping and buying experience. The first target market is planned for Denver, Colorado and will open in late 2014.

"One Sonic-One Experience" Initiative

Sonic has been developing a new and exciting guest experience initiative, "One Sonic-One Experience", since 2007 and is finally ready to start implementation in the second half of 2014. This experience will be new to the industry and includes several new proprietary technologies from inventory management and pricing tools to a fully developed "customer-centric" Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.

Scott Smith stated, "We are very excited to deliver the One Sonic-One Experience initiative to our guests. We are confident that, once our guests experience the difference between how vehicles are sold and serviced today versus Sonic's new experience, One Sonic-One Experience will be a significant consideration in the consumer's selection process. Our new guest experience puts the guest in charge. Our guests will find upgraded, Sonic Automotive sub-branded facilities that support our manufacturer partner brands. They will find state-of-the-art technologies, paperless environments, and helpful associates that are paid to execute and deliver an experience unparalleled in the auto retail industry. Our technologies will allow our guest advocates to complete the buying transaction through one individual – gone will be the days of back and forth negotiations, and waiting lines for appraisals, F&I and deliveries. Our goal is to allow the guest to control the process and move at their pace so that once the vehicle has been selected our team can go to work using these processes and technologies to get our guest on the road in their new vehicle in less than 45 minutes. The level of investment, time and dedication that it took us to get to this point has been significant. We have invested more than $45.0 million over the last 4 years preparing for these announcements and we are very excited to launch. Our investment in these initiatives will not only benefit the new, pre-owned and F&I revenue streams, but will enhance our highly profitable fixed operations business."

Jeff Dyke, added, "I'm thrilled with the result of the effort to get to this point in our company's history. While the technology, playbook processes and training took years to develop, the real heavy lifting came through a major change in the culture of this company. I am very glad that we are finally on the other side of that journey. I could not be more proud of the team that we have in place today. This team is ready and will deliver a guest experience never seen before in our industry."

The following link contains a video that describes the experience we are creating for our guests:

Guest Experiences