As U.S. auto dealerships continue to grapple with a vehicle supply-demand imbalance that is causing inventories to dwindle, some dealers are searching for any and all ways to get vehicles on their lots.
For Aschenbach Automotive Group in Frederick, Md., establishing a buying center was an alternative way for the company to fill the supply gap and add to its used-vehicle inventory.
"Most of our stores do a pretty darn good job of buying from the public, but this is additional revenue we didn't have, and it's really thinking outside of the box," Conrad Aschenbach, president of Aschenbach Automotive Group, told Automotive News.
The group, which operates five dealerships across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, plus the buying center in Florida, got its start in 2017 when Aschenbach acquired a Cadillac-Buick-GMC store in Carlisle, Pa., with his father, William.
As a relatively new group with stores spread out geographically, it was struggling with car auctions and establishing relationships in the business, especially during the pandemic, Aschenbach explained.