BEST PRACTICES: How buying a truck service center helped California dealership diversify and grow

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Today, National Truck Sales & Service has seven service bays and nine employees, including five technicians. It offers maintenance services such as oil changes, tire rotation and alignment, as well as repair work. Despite its name, the company does not currently sell trucks. But adding that capability for brands like International and Mack is on Cooper’s radar.

The center maintains 80 trucks a month, up from around 15 when it purchased the facility.

“It brought us a part of our business that we couldn’t otherwise reach or maintain at a dealership,” Cooper said. Automotive News. “We don’t have a large enough footprint at our dealership to handle the volume of business we do because these trucks are so much bigger.”

By moving medium and heavy duty from the Chevrolet store, Cooper was able to expand the service capacity for the dealership’s retail customers, which has grown significantly over the years. When Cooper purchased Chevrolet of Watsonville, it was selling an average of nine vehicles, new and used, per month. By 2019, sales had increased to 85 per month.

Watsonville Auto Group also owns Watsonville Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram and Watsonville Ford, which Cooper acquired last year, and a vehicle buying center. The group sold 2,693 new and used vehicles combined in 2020 and expects to sell around 2,880 vehicles this year, Cooper said.

Each of the Cooper dealerships has a strong focus on utility vehicle sales, reflecting customer demand in Watsonville, a northern California farming community home to berry giant Driscoll’s.

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