David Slone serves as the Sales Manager for Weld County Garage. In this Q&A, David Slone discusses his vision for the dealership and shares his optimism about the automobile industry for 2013.
Q: Good morning, David Slone. Thank you for speaking with us today.
David Slone: My pleasure.
Q: David Slone, please tell us what brought you to Weld County Garage and what you envision for the future with your company? You are the general sales manager for the dealership, correct?
David Slone: Yes, that is correct. I believe Weld County Garage is one of the most amazing dealerships in the country. As the general sales manager, I am responsible for growing new and used automobile sales for the company. It’s my plan to help the Weld County Garage become the number one Buick and GMC dealership in the western region—and a top ten used car dealership in Colorado.
Q: That sounds like David Slone is a man who knows where he is going and has a plan for how to get there.
David Slone: I suppose you could say that. Hopefully, my experience in building other companies will help our team create something really special. I see potential for Weld County Garage to realize even greater success than we have already achieved. But I don’t claim I’ll do it alone. I’ve built an incredible team of professionals to assist me with the goals we’ve set.
Q: For several years now, new and used car sales have been well below what the automobile industry has typically seen in the past. You’ve indicated that you think that is about to change. Why is that?
David Slone: Firstly, several recent studies show the majority of vehicles have now been in service for nearly a decade with roughly twenty percent of those at least sixteen years old. Secondly, auto loan interest rates are at or near historical lows. Also, 2013 will see a dramatic increase in new and redesigned vehicles introduced into the U.S. market, with a planned 43 new and 60 redesigned vehicles. That would make it an approximately 50 percent increase from 2012. That’s a notable boost over last year.
Q: David Slone, do you think that will solve problems brought about by the recession?
David Slone: Everyone knows there is no quick fix to the economic problems facing us today. I am a realist in that respect. But with these early reports and other encouraging factors, we have reason to be positive about the future. We may not reach the pre-recession levels immediately, but industry leaders are increasingly optimistic that the auto industry is heading toward some extremely good years.
Q: What is driving this optimism? Are there actual facts to back it up or is it just wishful thinking?
David Slone: In the past, the auto sector has been one of the key areas in economic recovery, and experts believe it is likely to continue to be major factor in the recovery of the U.S. economy. New Vehicle sales were up substantially in 2012 to around 12-13 million, and many experts think this year could see sales figures of 15-16 million, again. The improving economy and growth in the large pick-up truck sector have helped to make this number achievable.
Q: But will consumer confidence be high enough for people to commit to a large ticket item such as an automobile?
David Slone: Actually, many of the new vehicles are aimed at the budget-conscious buyers. That market segment is up from 13 percent in 2004 to 24 percent today. New technology is boosting vehicle performance as well as mileage, while being more fuel-efficient. These major improvements are bringing buyers back to the showrooms. And then there are the buyer groups that were pushed out of the market by the recession and natural disasters.
Q: There are groups of people that were actually pushed out of the market? Can you be more specific?
David Slone: During the recent recession, many young motorists were affected by unemployment while at the same time burdened with repaying large student loan debt. Those buyers are now returning to the market at a fast rate. Most recently, Hurricane Sandy took its toll where the estimated loss of vehicles was recently placed at 100,000 or more. These are just a couple of examples of where the new buyers are coming from.
Q: I guess the lucky few who can afford luxury cars don’t really care about gas prices and mileage, do they?
David Slone: You may be surprised to learn that it does make a difference. Everyone likes to save money. Whether we are talking about entry-level economy cars or top-of-the-line vehicles like the GMC Yukon XL or Buick Enclave, fuel cost and mileage are on every buyer’s mind.
Q: All of that sounds like good news for Weld County Garage and David Slone.
David Slone: It certainly is. It’s a great time to buy!
David Slone and his wife of twenty-five years live in Colorado with their two children. For more information about Weld County Garage, contact David Slone at 303-900-2793.