Dealers have found ways to adapt to today’s changing market conditions, like selling electric vehicles. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re catching up with Jonathan Fowler, the President of Fowler Holding Company, to get an update on his dealer group, and we’ll also learn what the demand looks like in his markets today.
When we last spoke with Fowler, he had just announced a collaboration with Mamva and the launch of “Lactation Pods.”. According to Fowler, “I’m beyond grateful we got ahead of the traffic because this year, the pump act was enacted,” which clarifies that employers need to account for the time a work spends pumping during their shift towards minimum or overtime pay. Fowler adds, his dealer recently added two more lactation pods to their most recent Northern Colorado store.
The Fowler Holding Company operates 11 distinct stores. Fowler claims, “The Colorado store was our 11th acquired and 5th in Colorado. As the industry evolves, I’m glad we have such an incredible team.” 2023 marks the 50th year Fowler Holdings Company has been in business. To put it into perspective, before COVID, they carried seven dealerships with roughly $100 to $120 million in new car inventory across those seven dealers. Currently, they have approximately $60 million across all 11 dealers regarding new vehicle inventory. Therefore, Fowler asserts, “We are returning to normal inventory levels, but it’s nowhere near the market level it once was.
“In today’s market, I believe the interest in EVs will always be there. But the level of excitement, intrigue, and consumers coming in with questions is higher than ever, and the market reflects that,” claims Fowler. The industry is witnessing new car inventory of EVs going over 100 days, in comparison to ICE vehicles that have a far less turnaround due to regional, cultural, and political reasons.
To illustrate, Fowler claims large cities, on a state and federal level, along the coast have pushed way harder and longer to obtain more EVs on their lots. Whereas, for cities in the Midwest, EVs don’t particularly make sense for them. However, we’re seeing the middle of the country forcing regulations on a state-to-state basis. According to Fowler, Oklahoma restrictions differ from those in Colorado, but the dealer group still hopes to grow by extending its reach and keeping the dealer-family environment.