FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Dealerships across the nation realized strong sales in May, largely thanks to a long holiday weekend and extra selling days. Rick Case Automotive Group was among those reporting strong numbers, reaching its highest sales figures in the dealer group’s 52-year history.
Rick Case said the record-breaking month was no accident. The dealer group, which comprises 15 rooftops across Florida, Ohio and Georgia, promoted the goal throughout the month. The group operates Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Acura, and Mazda stores —including a Honda powersports location — as well as Audi, Fiat and Volkswagen franchises.
“The month had 33 days, it had five weekends, it had a three-day holiday weekend … it was the biggest month of the year,” said Case. “So we promoted it all month long on all of our media as the ‘Race for the Record’ sale.”
Nationally, light vehicle sales increased 11.4% in May compared to last year, according to figures from Autodata. Case and his team realized a 28% jump, with some dealerships reporting as much as a 64% sales increase. Rick Case Volkswagen and Fiat dealerships finished No. 1 in sales in the nation, according to the dealer group.
“Hyundai was up the most, but our Honda store did the biggest volume,” Case said. The Honda store sold more than 500 new cars. Including used and certified pre-owned vehicles, the dealership retailed 700 units. Hyundai store sales were up between 30% and 54%.
Over the holiday weekend, the dealer group kept its stores open until midnight, and subsequently surpassed all previous weekend sales records, Case noted. The dealer group also offers its own incentives to buyers. Just this week, for instance, it launched a 100,000-mile used-car service contract.
“We double all of the manufacturer’s warranty. So if you take a Hyundai or a Kia, we double that 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty to 20 years, 200,000 miles. We do that on everything we sell,” Case noted.
The dealer group also has a rewards program it launched in 2002. It allows customers to earn points whenever they make a purchase. The points can be redeemed for parts and service, gas, and discounts on future car purchases.
Like many dealers across the country, Rick Case Automotive Group was affected by harsh weather in the beginning of the year. For the first time, the dealership’s stores in Georgia were shut down for multiple days in January and February due to ice storms.
Despite the setback, Case said the first quarter was “very good” for the group.
“There's still pent-up demand out there from the Great Recession and there is also a lot of incentives out there by the manufacturers,” Case explained. “Plus, people are buying new cars because of technology and safety. Every year, the technology the connectivity gets better and safety gets better. So that a lot that's driving the market also.”