With the digital future already here, we’re seeing many dealerships of all sizes embrace the need for transformation, mainly to meet their customers’ expectations and the pace of the market. Today, we’re catching up with Alex Casebeer, the General Manager and Partner of Capitol Auto Group. On today’s episode of Inside Automotive, Casebeer provides us with an inside look at how his operations are going on the West Coast.
1. Capitol Auto Group has four franchises on three rooftops, with different inventory levels at each dealership.
2. Service has increased dramatically at all of the auto group’s dealerships with the return of inventory. They have experienced significant gross profit months, aiming to minimize wait times; their service ROs are up, wholesales are up, and their parts and services are on a terrific trajectory.
3. Casebeer said, “We never waived our prices to go above sticker price, which benefited us in the long run regarding retention and loyalty.”
4. Subaru and Toyota each have an electric SUV on the market. However, despite the massive nameplate, there isn’t much of a need for those automobiles.
5. The desire for EVs is also declining despite initial hype from the early adopters who wanted one. This may be due to range anxiety, a lack of information, and poor marketing.
6. Casebeer doesn’t expect much to change over the next decade regarding the state-protected franchise model.
7. Most of the Auto Group customers interact with “Emily,” an AI chatbot, under the impression that she is a real person. Once the personnel at the dealership goes home, she starts setting up appointments and sending emojis.
“The key to AI in the dealership is embracing the technology and trying anything at least once.” – Alex Casebeer