Dealer Pimps Rides to Pay Rent
Randall Reed, owner of seven car dealerships across Texas, took advantage of the economic downturn last year and bought out a competitor, boosting his own Ford-Lincoln-Mercury sales volume. But there was a catch: As a part of the purchase, he found himself saddled with an expensive 151,000-square-foot service department. However, he got the bright idea to transform it into a fantasy land for customizing vehicles.
Reed Auto Design is now a full-scale car customization outfit. Even as new-car sales have become less profitable, RAD (as it’s called) has helped turn the site into a money-maker: For the first time, the dealership and design facility combined to cover the property’s pricey $80,000 a month rent for April.
RAD will do just about anything to a car. Any modification, any adjustment, RAD will take care of it. A complete performance exhaust system for your Mustang? F-250 mud rubber? A set of wheels and tires worth $7,500? If a car owner wants it, RAD is happy to oblige.
RAD has even taken a Ford Fusion Hybrid and transformed it into a 300-horsepower, turbocharged “hyperbrid” (that sounds immensely expensive).
During a time when it’s so hard to turn a profit on the back end of a new-car sale, unorthodox approaches such as the addition of customizing dealer shops may be a way for dealers to boost profits.