After taking the reins of what was once his father’s single dealership, our next guest expanded his dealer group to 13 stores in California, the latest of which, opened just recently. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Mike Sullivan, owner of LAcarGUY, to discuss his newest store as well as the EV revolution that is taking place in our industry.
Sullivan begins the conversation, discussing the expansion of his auto portfolio with his 13th dealership. Sullivan has acquired a Genesis store in Santa Monica, California. Genesis is moving to do standalone stores and looking to build an electric future. Sullivan says it was a natural fit for both of them. He says they do not have plans to expand beyond California. He loves being close to his stores.
Sullivan dealerships didn’t open until March of this year. When COVID happened, they closed and went from 1,000 employees to 250. In his 45 year career, Sullivan says, that was the worst time of his career. Currently, they are back to 650 employees and he says, it’s been an interesting transition. COVID has allowed him to restructure and learn more about digital sales and home deliveries. To go from the worst year to the best year you ever had, Sullivan says, you got to be flexible to do what, they do.
When it comes to digital retailing, Sullivan doesn’t believe it’s the future but a piece of the future. 35% to 40% of their deals have some sort of digital component in them. It allows them to shorten the process and customers have much more information. They won’t be doing all home deliveries.
Sullivan says they are one of the largest hybrid dealers in the world. He’s excited about the EV revolution and they are aggressively moving into it. One of the things that attracted him to Genisis was the new electric vehicle. The market is growing as the manufacturer comes out. Sullivan also believes, more fast-charging stations are needed. He says, he’s not concerned about the EV revolution and looks forward to what’s to come.
Sullivan wraps up the conversation by sharing some of the life lessons he’s learned over the past year and a half. He says you have to learn how to keep your chin up and continue to be optimistic.
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