Day: May 1, 2021

How the pandemic led to a rental car crisis just as Americans are ready to bust loose

“Usually car rental is an afterthought,” said Benjamin Tuttle, a computer-assisted design programmer from Minnesota, who was taken aback when Hertz quoted him a price of $240 per day to rent a sedan to tour Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

The industry backfire illustrates that the post-pandemic recovery, while strong, may not be entirely smooth. As more retail businesses reopen, many report trouble hiring enough workers to cope with surging demand. Manufacturers complain that raw materials are scarce – a semiconductor shortage that hobbled auto production is making it hard for companies like Avis to restock.

“The covid shock was unlike anything we have experienced before. As we go into the recovery phase, we’re going to see friction and disruption in the normal flow of economic activity,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist for Oxford Economics. “It’s going to be a bit erratic and disrupted, but the pace of

Read More

This Is the Most Popular Car in Your State, According to Data

Read More

EchoPark Used-Car Dealerships Gain Momentum In Q1 For Sonic Automotive

A more ambitious expansion of EchoPark dealerships — a network of used-car-only stores owned by new-car dealership chain Sonic Automotive — is off to a promising start, company executives said.

“We sold almost 20,000 cars,” in the first quarter at EchoPark dealerships, an increase of more than 40% vs. a year ago, said Sonic CEO David Smith, in a phone interview April 29, following up on Sonic’s first-quarter earnings announcement.

The increase is largely because Sonic is adding more EchoPark stores, but Smith said some new EchoPark locations are also reaching operating profits faster than expected. Newly added markets include Phoenix, Birmingham, Ala., and Charleston, S.C.

EchoPark revenues were $507.1 million for the quarter, up 53% vs. a year ago. Pre-tax earnings for EchoPark were $2 million, down 4%.

Sonic, based in Charlotte, N.C., opened its first EchoPark location in late 2014.

Read More