Darwin Automotive now an online digital retailing partner with Sonic, EchoPark


Sonic Automotive and its chain of standalone used-car stores, EchoPark Automotive, have chosen Darwin Automotive as their digital retailing partner for their 95 dealerships across 12 U.S. states.

The companies said the partnership marks an extension of Sonic and EchoPark’s existing relationship with Darwin following the implementation of Darwin’s F&I presentation software in its dealerships.

With Darwin online, dealership personnel anywhere in the world can virtually “desk” their online customers, conducting several deals and options while the customer is online.

Darwin says that with that functionality, the online customer can interact anywhere and at any time with the dealership, just like if the online customer was in front of the dealership’s employees.

The dealership’s sales team, in just seconds, can view several lenders, programs, and items including dealer cash and front and back end profits, “desk” deals virtually with their customers and close transactions.

Darwin described how the process is fast and simple for the customer: First, the customer visits the dealer‘s website, selects a vehicle and clicks on “Create my Deal.” The customer then receives up to five sets of options: an out-the-door cash price, two financing options and two leasing options.

At that time, the customer can transact using one of the available options or customize it, such as by changing the down payment level.

Then, the system moves the customer onto aftermarket sales. The customer can select value-add options such as maintenance, vehicle service contracts, and tire and wheel. The customer at any point in the deal-creation process can share the deal with his or her significant other, a parent, or friend — anywhere in the world.

The customer then visits the dealership, test drives the vehicle and signs the paperwork to drive away in about 15 to 30 minutes.

“Currently dealers need as much help as they can get with the online sales process, and Sonic has always been ahead of the curve, providing its dealers and customers with the best in technology,” Darwin Automotive chief executive officer Phillip Battista said in a news release.

Battista continued, “They are already seeing a boost in business by simplifying the online sales process, and enabling their salespeople and customers to transact the way they need and want to transact right now. Sonic and EchoPark join a successful group of over 1,000 leading retailers nationwide who use our digital retailing platform, including Holman Automotive, Leith Automotive, Herb Chambers and Hertz,” Battista added.

“Our guest experience is our top priority, and Darwin is helping us create an efficient online experience that provides our guests with options to choose the online transaction method that’s best for them,” said Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive president Jeff Dyke.

Darwin Automotive currently operates in all 50 states. More than 6,000 dealerships subscribe to its programs. Last month, Darwin delivered 504,000 deals on its platform and says it is on track to deliver 6.5 million units for the year.

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