Sonic Automotive Inc. has partnered with Darwin Automotive to use the vendor's digital retailing platform across its network of 96 franchised and standalone used-only EchoPark dealerships in 12 states, the companies said Tuesday.
The nation's sixth-largest new-vehicle retailer already uses Darwin's finance and insurance presentation software.
"Our guest experience is our top priority and Darwin is helping us create an efficient online experience that provides our guests with options to choose the online transaction method that's best for them," Sonic President Jeff Dyke said in a statement.
Darwin works with more than 6,000 dealerships, including more than 1,000 that use its digital retailing platform such as Holman Automotive Group, Leith Automotive Group and Herb Chambers Cos. Last month, Darwin said it had 504,000 deals on its platform and was tracking for 6.5 million deals for the year.
"Currently dealers need as much help as they can get with the online sales process and Sonic has always been ahead of the curve, providing its dealers and customers with the best in technology," Darwin CEO Phillip Battista said in the statement. "They are already seeing a boost in business by simplifying the online sales process, and enabling their salespeople and customers to transact the way they need and want to transact right now."
Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranks No. 6 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 114,131 new vehicles in 2019. It retailed 162,149 used vehicles for the same period, ranking it No. 6 on Automotive News' list of the top 100 retailers in used-vehicle sales.