Echo Park is on federal land near the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado, but megadealer Sonic Automotive says its similarly named EchoPark standalone used-car operation will usher in a new way of doing business.

Keeping the moniker under wraps until now, Sonic says the subsidiary will provide a “revolutionary customer experience.”

It starts in metro Denver in late fall and aims to provide customers “with a whole new way to search, buy, service and sell their pre-owned vehicles,” says Sonic, No.5 on the WardsAuto Megadealer 100.

The publicly owned company picked Denver as the kickoff point with good reason, says Sonic President Scott Smith.

“We believe Denver is well poised and an ideal environment to launch EchoPark, with Denver trending as one of the top pre-owned car markets in the U.S.,” he says. “We have spent years perfecting this concept and we view this as a real game changer for the pre-owned automotive industry.”

EchoPark will consist of a hub dealership in Thornton and neighborhood stores in Centennial and Highlands Ranch. Further along, neighborhood stores in Golden and Dakota Ridge are planned. Hiring has begun.

EchoPark will bring a customer experience “designed to build long-term relationships with guests by bringing transparency, ease and speed to all of their retail automotive needs,” the company says.

Franchised dealers, independent dealers and private parties sell about 42 million used cars a year. Sonic acknowledges it is taking aim at fellow megadealer CarMax, No.3 on the WardsAuto Megadealer 100 and reigning champ of used-car sales.

“Generally speaking, I think it is great,” Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Assn., says of the EchoPark subsidiary. “Sonic Automotive is a very good operator.”  

Its new-car stores typically hire top talent; comply with local, state and federal regulations; and score high in customer satisfaction, he tells WardsAuto. “We would expect to find the same with Sonic’s used-car centers.”

Other dealers near them will benefit from increased advertising and customer lot shopping, Jackson says. “The same has happened with CarMax used-car stores.”

 

 

sfinlay@wardsauto.com