To the Editor:
I enjoy reading stories about dealership groups that just can't seem to make the nonnegotiating, one-price business model work.
The lessons learned are that the business model is flawed and that customers don't like it.
A better takeaway would be that it's not a gimmick; but if you treat it like one, it can only fail.
This year, Gunn Automotive moved up to No. 62 in your annual survey of the Top 100 dealership groups in the United States (based on 2005 new-vehicle retail sales).
In the 2000 list (based on 1999 data), the Gunn group fell eight places to No. 94, and most people were betting we'd be out of the Top 100 in 2001.
Today we're just 10 places behind the only San Antonio dealership group that's ahead of us (up from the 61 places that separated us in 2000 and in front of the other three dealership groups we trailed that year), which is a bigger deal than it might seem.
We are in probably the most competitive market in the nation with five dealership groups (having all or most of their stores in a single city) in the Top 100.
We've also been more profitable over that period than at any other time in our 50-plus year history.
One price works, and customers like it a lot.
If they didn't, we wouldn't have been able to double our market share since we made the transition.
But don't take our word for it; just ask our competition what one price has done for their business.