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PA Dealer Pres. Peter Cooper on the takeaways from a better-than-expected Q1

The first quarter of 2021 outperformed dealer expectations and market predictions. Today on CBT News, we’re pleased to welcome Peter Cooper, President and CEO of Lexus of Lehigh Valley, to discuss the first quarter for his Lexus store and his thoughts on the EV revolution. 

Cooper begins the conversation by reflecting on the first quarter of 2021. He says that Q1 was much better than what most dealers were expecting. Despite challenges with inventory and inclement weather in big markets such as Texas and midwestern states, 2021 got off to a record-breaking start. Cooper said that he doesn’t believe OEMs nor dealers were expecting sales to continue their pace from last year.

With the ongoing chip shortage delaying new-vehicle inventory, used-vehicle values are continuing to soar. This is causing the franchise dealer to turn to the used-car business to accelerate the acquisition of pre-owned vehicles. Many large retailers are turning to used-vehicle-only stores with AutoNation expanding its AutoNation USA stores and Sonic Automotive growing its EchoPark stores. 

Cooper then discusses the growing EV market. With fuel-economy standards changing, more manufacturers are entering the electric car market. Cooper believes the integration of new technologies will be important for OEMs to master if they plan to compete with Tesla. The appeal to customers in EVs lies with features that are not available in conventional engine vehicles. 

Cooper concludes the conversation by discussing Volvo’s plan to sell EVs online. As a dealer that expects to see a higher volume of EVs in the next few years, Cooper is not concerned about OEMs directly selling to customers.

“If we take out the negotiation, I don’t have to stock the cars, and it allows me to reduce my cost, it allows me to track a whole new employee,” said Cooper. “I’m not as nervous about it.”

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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