Sonic Automotive to launch used-car store at former Crossroads Ford location in Cary

Sonic Automotive plans to open its EchoPark Automotive location at former Crossroads Ford in Cary. Photo contributed by Sonic Automotive.

Your friends and family in the Charlotte area might have already purchased a vehicle at a dealership owned by Sonic Automotive. Your opportunity to do the same here in Cary is coming early next year at a location where cars have been sold for some time.

Sonic, one of the largest auto retailers in the U.S. and a Fortune 500 company, plans to open an EchoPark Automotive used-car store at the former Crossroads Ford location on Walnut Street in Cary.

Jeff Dyke, president of Sonic and EchoPark, says the Cary location is expected to open in the first quarter. The company is currently working with the town on permitting, he says.

According to a company spokesperson, the store is likely to have 100-125 employees once it reaches maturity.

Sonic, a publicly traded car dealership group headquartered in Charlotte, also has franchise new-car dealerships throughout the country.

Its EchoPark stores, meanwhile, specialize in the sale of 1- to 4-year-old used vehicles. The Crossroads location would be its third EchoPark store in North Carolina. There is now an EchoPark hub in Charlotte and a delivery center in Greensboro.

There are EchoPark locations across the U.S., from California to the Carolinas, Florida up to New York. Sonic plans on adding 25 EchoPark locations a year now through 2025.

These standalone used-car stores are akin to the business model of CarMax, which has two stores in the Triangle. Such stores have become popular in recent years, as the used-car market is large and highly fragmented, Dyke says.

“If you’re good at it, the opportunity (is there). It’s a trillion-dollar business. The opportunity’s just huge,” he said.

During the second quarter, EchoPark pulled in record revenue of $595.6 million, beating year-ago figures by 88.9% and up 104.2% from Q2 2019.

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