Facing dire new-vehicle sales projections for 2009, Mullinax Automotive co-owner Jerry Mullinax knew the group needed to find a way to keep selling.
"We've always been pretty good at used cars, but we decided to really get better," Mullinax told Automotive News. "We do a lot — a lot — of training and a lot of experimenting."
The efforts worked. Today, the eight-store dealership group is the biggest retailer of Ford-brand certified pre-owned vehicles in the country, and it maintains one of the country's highest used-to-new-vehicle sales ratios among the retailers on Automotive News' list of top 100 U.S. dealership groups ranked by used-vehicle sales. In 2018, Mullinax Automotive sold 14,629 used vehicles to its 10,313 new, achieving a used-to-new ratio of 1.42-to-1. That far exceeds the industry's 1-to-1 gold standard.
Internet leads are the group's primary driver of used-vehicle sales, and pouring energy into online presentation and competitive pricing has boosted the retailer's sales considerably. Pricing tools from software vendor vAuto also are integral to the group's success, Mullinax said.