As the severity of the global semiconductor shortage set in early last year, management at Koons of Silver Spring Inc., a Maryland dealership group, realized they would need as much used-vehicle inventory as possible to offset the looming deficit of new cars and trucks.
The problem was, other retailers were coming to the same conclusion, and auction prices were soaring. Owner Alex Perdikis, who operates a Ford-Lincoln and a Mazda store in the Washington suburbs, challenged his staff to find a creative alternative.
They didn't have to look very far.
Before the pandemic, the group, which sells about 4,000 new and used vehicles combined per year, had launched a subscription service called Inride. The business had been growing steadily but was scrapped when demand cratered after COVID-19 hit.
Management decided to revive the Inride brand, this time as a vehicle acquisition platform in the mold of Carvana and Vroom. It's owned by Koons of Silver Spring but has its own dedicated staff and runs local TV ads encouraging customers to visit the website and get a quote for their vehicle — all without any branding or mention of the dealership group it's affiliated with.