Dealer Pimps Rides to Pay Rent

By Stephen Markley  on May 19, 2010
Randall Reed, owner of seven car dealerships across Texas, took advantage of the economic downturn last year and bought out a competitor, boosting his own Ford-Lincoln-Mercury sales volume. But there was a catch: As a part of the purchase, he found himself saddled with an expensive 151,000-square-foot service department. However, he got the bright idea to transform it into a fantasy land for customizing vehicles.

Reed Auto Design is now a full-scale car customization outfit. Even as new-car sales have become less profitable, RAD (as it’s called) has helped turn the site into a money-maker: For the first time, the dealership and design facility combined to cover the property’s pricey $80,000 a month rent for April.

RAD will do just about anything to a car. Any modification, any adjustment, RAD will take care of it. A complete performance exhaust system for your Mustang? F-250 mud rubber? A set of wheels and tires worth $7,500? If a car owner wants it, RAD is happy to oblige.

RAD has even taken a Ford Fusion Hybrid and transformed it into a 300-horsepower, turbocharged “hyperbrid” (that sounds immensely expensive).

During a time when it’s so hard to turn a profit on the back end of a new-car sale, unorthodox approaches such as the addition of customizing dealer shops may be a way for dealers to boost profits.

Dallas-Area Car Dealer Finds Revenue in Customizing Vehicles (Dallas News)

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