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How Texas dealer Ben Keating is competing for market share amid tight supply conditions

Automotive dealers are challenged now, more than ever, with very limited supply. And while it is limited across the board, that isn’t stopping dealers from seeing record-breaking profitability. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Ben Keating, Owner and President of Keating Auto Group, to give us an update on his operation and get his perspective on how the EV market has changed.

Like many others, Keating is experiencing record profits, but the business is not as fun as it used to be, he says. Part of the entrepreneurial spirit and competition for market share has been stripped away due to inventory shortages. However, Keating adds that his group has done a great job of adapting to the current market. There is something fun about competing for market share, creating advertising, and customer relationships.

In the last two years, Keating Auto Group has purchased 11 stores, for a total of 28 dealerships. He says there have been some growing pains trying to manage this influx of stores. In most cases, Keating has been able to keep almost all of the employees from these dealerships, under the guidance of Keating managers. But it’s tough for one person to go into a new store and try to transition the culture.

Last time we spoke to Keating about the EV market, he said, “Nobody is going to be successful in that market including Tesla and it’s going to be so segmented, so divided, it’s going to cost everyone a ton of money.” Today, Keating says that the growth and innovation are exciting, but in terms of the size of the EV market over the next 15 years, it’s anyone’s best guess. He predicts that in 15 years, 25% of vehicles sold in Texas will be electric.

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