- Some auto dealers in areas hit hard by this winter's severe weather are striking back by extending their hours.
- Several dealers in the east and southeast have implemented longer sales and service hours to benefit owners and drive showroom traffic.
- At Dyer & Dyer Volvo in Georgia, the extended hours helped somewhat, but tax returns are making even more of an impact on sales.
CHAMBLEE, Georgia — Some auto dealers in areas hit hard by this winter's severe weather are striking back by extending their sales and service hours later into the evenings and on Sundays.
As previously reported by Edmunds, this year's record levels of ice and snow had a negative impact on January sales.
While some dealers chose to implement special price incentives to make up for the lost revenue, others — especially those in the east and southeast — have decided to increase showroom traffic by staying open longer.
Dyer & Dyer Volvo, a Sonic store in Chamblee, Georgia, is one such dealer. Normally closed on Sunday, the dealership opened its doors on two Sundays in February to accommodate customers who had been shut in by the extreme weather.
Dyer & Dyer Sales Manager Gerald Firpo told Edmunds that the decision to extend hours was a "combination" of ideas from parent Sonic Automotive and the dealership. He said Sonic was definitely not requiring stores to stay open longer, but he and his colleagues thought it would be worth a try.
In the end, Firpo said, the extended hours helped "a bit," but the impact on sales was "not tremendous." He thinks "tax returns were more of an influence" on revving up showroom traffic than the longer hours. He noted that early filers have already begun receiving their refund checks, which starts bringing in more customers every year at this time.
Edmunds says: Forecasters are predicting another Arctic blast in the northern states this week. If you're a car shopper, it's best to check with your local dealer to see what accommodations are being made to make your life a little bit easier.