She did note that the average increase in annual pay per affected employee will be $3,250.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, though a little more than half of states already have a higher minimum wage, according to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
While minimum hourly wages of at least $15 are becoming more commonplace across various industries, the Sonic spokeswoman told Automotive News in an email that the company is not aware of any competitors that offer a $15 minimum wage.
Sonic CEO David Smith in a statement positioned the move as something that would help the company's hiring and retention efforts and ensure that its employees are paid at above-average levels for the industry.
"As Sonic and EchoPark reach new heights and achieve record-breaking performance levels, we want to show our teammates how much we value their contributions," Smith said. "Moreover, this increase, coupled with the full spectrum of benefits we provide our associates, furthers our position as an employer of choice that attracts and retains the best possible talent."
Sonic's employee count is poised to rise going forward with its expanding network of EchoPark used-vehicle stores and delivery centers. There are currently 31 EchoPark locations, but Sonic is aiming to have 140 nationwide by 2025. Sonic also has 86 new-vehicle dealerships and is looking to acquire more franchised stores.
Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranked No. 7 on Automotive News' most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 93,281 new vehicles in 2020. It retailed 159,025 used vehicles last year, making it No. 6 on Automotive News' list of the top 100 used-vehicle retailers.