Payless Car Sales is positioning itself as an alternative used-vehicle outlet for franchised dealers, suggesting that retailers use the Payless brand name to reach customers who might resist the retailer's own auto brand.
"You might not get a shopper to come look at a 2010 Chevy Camaro if it's selling at your Hyundai used store," says Keith Wiesman, CEO of Payless Development. "Dealers can use the Payless store as sort of a neutral third-party brand."
Wiesman is pitching Payless and its sister franchise, Payless Rental, to auto dealers as a national brand name in auto rentals and used-auto sales.
A new-car dealer could direct body shop customers to replacement vehicle rentals through a Payless Rental facility. The Payless rental cars also would be the dealer's in-house source of used vehicles, either for the Payless Car Sales lot or for the dealer's other used-vehicle lots. Payless Rental gets most of its vehicles from Ford Motor Co.
Scott Dance, owner of Bob Dance Imports Inc. in Sanford, Fla., has a Payless Car Sales location near his Hyundai and Kia stores and intends to open five Payless outlets around Orlando.
Wiesman was brought in last March to reposition privately owned Payless , which had become primarily a buy-here/pay-here chain for low-priced vehicles. He eliminated franchises, paring the number of sales outlets from about 18 to 8, and shifted the company's focus to vehicles under 2 years old. The remaining stores are in Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina.
He is meeting with dealers, mostly in the South, about the franchise. He has reached out to Saab retailers, who face an uncertain future.