Used-vehicle sales for Sonic Automotive Inc. so far in June have been higher than a year ago for the retailer's franchised and EchoPark locations.
The rise in used-vehicle sales is part of a steady increase in overall operations since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the nation's sixth-largest new-vehicle retailer said Tuesday in providing an updated outlook for the second quarter and the rest of the year. It follows a May update that included better-than-expected sales.
Used-vehicle sales volumes were up 7 percent on an annual basis at Sonic's franchised stores on a same-store basis month-to-date in June, compared with an 8 percent decline in May and a 32 percent drop in April. The company expects franchised used-vehicle sales volume to be in line with its original forecast in July, and to be slightly above that forecast for August through December.
EchoPark same-store used-vehicle sales volume was up 18 percent month-to-date in June, compared with declines of 3 percent in May and 36 percent in April. Total EchoPark used-vehicle sales volume rose 34 percent so far in June, after a 9 percent increase in May and a 30 percent drop in April. Sonic expects EchoPark used-vehicle sales volume to be back to its original forecast this month, and then above forecast in July through December.
Sonic's new-vehicle sales volume on a same-store basis at its franchised dealerships is down 10 percent so far in June; it was off 20 percent in May and 40 percent in April. Sonic expects inventory shortages to keep new-vehicle sales lower than initially forecast before getting in line with its projections in the fourth quarter.
Consolidated gross profit, SG&A expenses and pre-tax income improved in May.
Based its performance and current market conditions, Sonic said it expects to report earnings per diluted share from continuing operations for the second quarter in the range of 23 cents to 33 cents.
Shares of Sonic closed Tuesday's trading up 4.8 percent to $31.27.
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 dealership groups in used-vehicle sales.