After the blockbuster new-vehicle promotion of the year, a sale of that size doesn't happen without planning, marketing and people.
Jim Click Automotive spent more than $250,000 luring consumers -- many of whom had not qualified for cash-for-clunker incentives -- to the event. The marketing dollars paid off: The 10-dealership group took in about $14 million over six days, Khayat said.
Jim Click Automotive is part of Tuttle-Click Automotive Group, of Irvine, Calif. Tuttle-Click ranks No. 51 on the Automotive News list of the top dealership groups in the United States, with retail sales of an estimated 10,810 new vehicles in 2008.
Jim Click Automotive sells Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi vehicles. This is the group's 12th August off-site sale.
This year's event worked the same as always except for the timing. The sale was Aug. 24-29, a week later than usual, to steer clear of cash for clunkers.
Cash for clunkers officially ended Aug. 24. Click halted its clunker sales Aug. 22.
In the past, the group sold as many as 1,000 units during the sale. Sales were down this year because of the economy, Khayat said.
The group sold 1,600 new and used vehicles in August, double the sales of its best month over the past year.
Unlike the many dealerships that found themselves with little inventory after cash for clunkers, Jim Click Automotive had more than 700 new and about 600 used vehicles on hand, Khayat said.
The dealership group's manufacturers send it extra vehicles every year just for the sale, Khayat said. The group also purchased about 250 to 300 new vehicles from rejected Chrysler Group dealerships and a closed Mazda dealership.
Advertising included live TV and radio spots, newspaper ads, 500,000 pieces of direct mail and 500,000 e-mails. In a weak advertising market, "we spent the same amount of money on advertising, but our dollar is buying us more," Khayat said. "We are able to stretch our dollars by a third."