Forced shutdowns due to COVID-19 negatively impacted many dealerships, but for Auffenberg Chevrolet Buick GMC in Farmington, Mo., the pandemic had little impact. In the second quarter of 2020, the dealership posted significant year-over-year increases in unit sales and profit per retail unit — gains General Manager Barry Pannett attributes to a newly streamlined sales process and the solutions provided by DealerSocket CRM and Auto/Mate DMS.
Heading into the second quarter, the general manager thought sales would be terrible. Fortunately, businesses in Missouri were only required to shut down for a short time. "If anything, we were positively affected by COVID," says Pannett, who oversees five salespeople who sell an average of 50-70 vehicles per month.
While traffic remained steady, Auffenberg struggled to obtain enough used inventory to satisfy customer demand. To offset this challenge, Pannett focused on improving the sales process for new vehicles. "I've always preferred new and prided myself on the profitability factor of new," he says. "I believe you can make money on new cars, but you have to ask for the money."