Kevin Nunez, 37
Used-car manager, Niello BMW Sacramento, Niello Maserati/Alfa Romeo, Niello Jaguar Land Rover
Kevin Nunez can often spot headlights at night and tell what make and model car or truck they belong to, just by the glowing shape. It’s the kind of soft-eyed vision he applies to his job in the used-vehicle market.
“Most people that drive don’t pay attention to the surroundings like they should,” Nunez said. “But I really pay attention to what’s out there. When you see, especially here in Sacramento, lifted trucks, you know what people are looking for around here.”
Figuring out what used vehicles customers will want to buy is one tactic Nunez has deployed to significantly increase used sales at the three Niello stores where he oversees that part of the business. Used-vehicle sales, for instance, jumped on average 90 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
While one of the reasons for his success is understanding the market, another is his willingness to expand the kind of used vehicles at the BMW, Jaguar-Land Rover and Maserati-Alfa Romeo stores. The dealerships’ used inventory can appeal to broad buying tastes, he said.
There was some concern, even from his wife, that he stocked used Jeep Wranglers at the Maserati store, for example. Nunez asked how she would shop for a car online. “Would it matter to you if the Wrangler you want — the color, lowest price — was at a Maserati dealership?” he said. His wife said it wouldn’t.
“Everything is online these days, and as a matter of fact, it’s probably a better selling tool that the Wrangler has been serviced by a Maserati technician.”
In a 90-day period since taking the managerial role, used-vehicle sales at the Maserati store jumped 145 percent and climbed 60 percent at his higher-volume BMW store. In a 60-day period after he took control of the Jaguar Land Rover store, used-vehicle sales rose 90 percent, Nunez said.
“The market wants what the market wants,” he said. “And if you’ve got the right inventory, you’ve got it priced right, I don’t think the brand on the building matters.”
Nunez has also found success in making what could be vanilla cars and trucks more desirable. That means putting lift kits on trucks or installing fancier wheels on basic cars. “There’s probably 50 Chrysler 300s that came from Enterprise,” Nunez said. “But if you’ve got wheels on it that makes it stand out and it’s priced the same as the other ones, it’s going to drive the traffic to you.”
— David Muller