It can be tough to see around corners and anticipate trends in your market. One dealership group in the Philadelphia area took a leap on an anticipated trend that has since grown into a sizable revenue channel. Leaders recognized a new target market of consumers, as part of the growing ride-share popularity – those who wanted to operate as drivers, but needed cars to do it.
Reedman Toll Auto Group Had an Idea
Uber and Lyft came onstage as a relevant and economical transportation trend. First, it boomed in the major metropolitan areas. But now it’s practically impossible to find an area that doesn’t have a driver ready to pick you up. Daryl Kessler, vice president at Reedman Toll Auto Group, recognized a couple of years ago that there would be a shift in the market. Using ride-shares would mean people would be leaving their cars at home, or eventually, not needing them at all. But Kessler saw something else – an opportunity. With seven locations in and around the Philadelphia area, Reedman Toll set out to put ride-share drivers behind the wheels of their cars.
It’s Not Too Late to Create Your Strategy
Daryl Kessler told Automotive News that ride-share services are “very much here to stay.” He also believes it presents an opportunity to target those drivers who either can’t afford a new car or would maybe struggle with financing a new vehicle. In 2018, the dealer group structured a separate company, Stork Driver PA, that buys gently used vehicles from Reedman Toll first. The entity then sells or rents those vehicles to would-be ride-share drivers. This strategy created a more targeted approach to selling used cars, and in turn, reduced overall aging costs simultaneously. Kessler went on to say this channel grew as they added partnership companies to the mix, attracting more Uber and Lyft drivers. Mobile apps like DriveItAway or HyreCar are designed to connect ride-hail drivers with vehicles in their area. For many dealerships, these apps create sustainable lead funnels ongoing.
Lattes, Wi-Fi, and Ride-Share Car Sales
Pop into Reedman Toll Auto Group’s Langhorne facility. You’ll find that Stork Driver PA rents and occupies a space there. More like a lounge, the Stork Driver space offers a comfortable lounge setting, with couches, snacks, and a television. Ride-share side hustlers can have a place to relax when they come to find new-to-them cars. Reedman Toll found a proven way to tap into an entirely new revenue stream. They then created an entirely separate car-buying experience for that target audience.
Imagine creating a segment in your market that caters specifically to those ride-hail service drivers. Maybe partnering with a mobile app can help funnel those drivers directly to your dealership. Reedman Toll Auto Group did it and haven’t looked back since. What began as a hunch and prediction that the automotive market would shift, inspired an idea. The idea came to fruition with a strategy and grew with proper marketing and partnerships. It is now a profitable and successful channel for Reedman Toll. Maybe it inspires your teams to create and develop a plan for ride-share sales in your market, too.