It may be difficult to find a dealer as unique as Ben Keating. Not only does he operate a successful dealership group, Keating Auto Group, in Texas, but he has also found success on the race track. Keating joins CBT News, to discuss his unique journey as a dealer and racecar driver as well as digital retailing and EVs.
Keating begins the conversation by discussing how he got involved with the racing world. He credits his wife for his start in the sport as she decided to give him a track event as a Christmas present twelve years ago. Keating fell in love with the sport and has been racing ever since. Keating began to find success in the racing world as he won several events in endurance sportscar racing. He is the three-time defending champion of the North American Endurance Championship.
Keating then shares about his automotive career. The Keating Auto Group has grown to 20 stores across the state of Texas. He says that he started buying one dealership per year when he started to help build his business. Keating Auto Group has had a very busy year as the company added three dealerships in 2020.
Keating said he got started with digital retailing several years ago before many dealers started using it. He said that he found that many consumers and vendors weren’t ready for it. He said his group did a study that found that most consumers feel differently about purchasing a car than other products they might buy online. He says this has led him to the realization that the customers will decide how cars will be bought in the future. Keating says that manufacturers are forcing digital retailing down dealers’ throats despite customers showing readiness to shift entirely online.
Keating concludes the conversation by giving his perspective on 2021. Keating says the next four years could be incredible as money continues to be poured into the industry. He expects a very bullish economy. He then hints at his auto group’s future. When asked if he expects his group to continue adding stores, Keating says, “Yet to be seen.”
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