Dealers throughout the world are navigating the electric vehicle landscape. So, on today’s episode of Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Doug Eroh, President and General Manager of Longo Toyota. Eroh elaborates on how things are going for the biggest Toyota dealership along California’s west coast.
In 1967, Dominic Longo established Longo Toyota in a little shop in the City of El Monte. The team of five worked tirelessly to attain achievement. After selling 469 new and used cars in its first year, Longo Toyota rose to the top of the national volume Toyota dealership rankings. Longo has maintained its #1 rating year after year and continues to expand, set, and break sales records nationwide.
1. Longo Toyota has increased its brand loyalty due to its refusal to charge more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP. Eroh believes this will lead to a robust fourth quarter.
2. “The used car market has been interesting,” asserts Eroh. The run-up demand in per-owned value has begun to drop as the dealership experiences a Q2 decline and a cooling vehicle inventory.
3. Owing to the challenges facing the industry, “We are now keeping the trade-in vehicles with higher mileage for as long as possible, and we are ensuring our certified cars program expands to the non-certified vehicles because we have outstanding cars,” says Eroh.
4. When it comes to EVs, Eroh looks at it through the lens of Toyota: Electrification comes in many forms. Toyota has a portfolio of electrified vehicles, from hybrids, plug-in hybrids, full-battery electric cars, and electric vehicles. According to numbers, 38% of the dealership’s sales were for electrified models. Moreover, battery-electric vehicles comprised only 3% to 4% of sales, which reflects the current demand for the country’s EVs.
5. Consumers want EVs for environmental reasons, but they also want them to be affordable. Toyota has demonstrated a strong understanding of affordability through leasing-assisted software. Currently, Longo Toyota leases 60% of the electric cars they offer.
6. Longo Toyota is actively involved in the community. The dealership recently acquired the rare and unique GR Corrolla. Although the vehicle’s MSRP was $52,000, they raised $90,000 at auction. They donated the earnings to two organizations. The first is the neighborhood school system, which runs an auto shop program, and the other is Vision to Learn, a charity that provides children in need free glasses.
“BEVs are here; we’re selling them, but maybe the demand isn’t where the industry or government officials thought it would be.” – Doug Eroh