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Dealer Chris Saraceno on business today: ‘We have to focus on what we can control’

Despite rising interest rates, inflation, and concerns about vehicle affordability, nothing seems to shake the confidence of our next guest. We’re pleased to welcome back Chris Saraceno, Vice President and Partner of Kelly Auto Group and the best-selling author of the Theory of 5. Saraceno joins Inside Automotive today to share his opinions on new car inventory, pricing power, and the race to electric cars.

Inventory is light everywhere, says Saraceno. Out of Kelly Auto Group’s twelve franchised stores, two have zero new cars on the ground at the time of this recording. Several OEMs have even come out and said that the shortages will likely last until this time next year in 2023. Saraceno agrees that the auto industry is still a ways off from producing enough inventory to meet consumer demand. From his perspective, Saraceno doesn’t want to return to a 45-60 day supply. He would prefer and 20-30 day supply.

Like many car dealers, cars at Kelly Auto Group are going for sticker price or above, and profitability has risen. Saraceno explains that he leaves the pricing power up to the General Managers. Most often, if a vehicle is listed over sticker price, there is an added value like an environmental protection package, for example, he adds.

“I think it is crucial to everybody, every dealership across the country, that we let the sales consultants know this is not normal. We make sure we treat people well, and they leave with a great experience,” says Saraceno.

Electric cars are emerging in a big way as well. OEM commitments to produce all-electric vehicle lineups and legislation from the Biden Administration are paving the way to an alternative fuel future. In Saraceno’s opinion, his dealer group will sell whatever products are available as long as there is consumer demand.

“I’ve driven different EVs, and they’re wonderful vehicles. I think it’s going to be much longer than expected. I think it’s going to take decades until you have 50% of the population—I don’t think the infrastructure is there,” he explains.

For more great insight from dealer Chris Saraceno, watch our entire interview above.


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