Car Dealer Insider Dec 15, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider Dec 15, 2008

Auto dealers make sunny day investments as recession clouds linger

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Auto dealers make sunny day investments as recession clouds linger

It's a delicate and difficult balancing act: figuring out how to batten down the dealership spending hatches in a recession (yes, it's now official) while still being able to sustain your business and position it for the future.

At one extreme is Prestige Ford of Garland, Texas, which is spending $6 million on an extensive facilities remodel and expansion that dealer Randall Reed hopes will pump up both new and used vehicle sales for his Dallas-area business, recently reported the _Dallas Morning News.

With Prestige's sales at less than half of what they were at the dealership's peak eight years ago, Randall could no longer justify the rent on his former 50,000 square-foot new-car facility and is converting it into a used-car superstore. Originally, he planned to simply move his new-car operation, which includes Ford and Lincoln Mercury franchises, across the street into his former used-car facility. But now, reportedly "very confident that the tide will change for Ford," he's also enlarging and remodeling that facility into a stylish 45,000 square-foot new-car showroom and adding office and training facilities, a café, and a separate area for Internet sales customers.

"I know what the future holds, what product we're getting into. This is the time to build the infrastructure to support that future," Randall told the _DMN. "Markets ebb and flow. But there will be a top dog and I want to be that top dog," said Randall, who got his start in the automotive business as a mechanic and also owns Park Cities Ford-Lincoln Mercury in Dallas and three Ford stores in the Houston area.

New vehicle sales in Dallas are expected to be down at least 10 percent this year, but Prestige's new car showrooms could help boost new vehicle sales, projected... (293 of 1171 words)

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  • Calif. car dealer opts for "lean" sales process to boost profits, CSI (1087 words)
  • Dealers tackle financing and floor planning challenges (587 words)
  • Essential Office Manager: Managers can give "green" or depressed employees a boost (629 words)
  • New Ideas (293 words)
  • News You Can Use: Dates to save, trends to watch (208 words)
  • Trend Spotting (240 words)