DAYTONA BEACH — Folks at Spanos Imports acclimated to accomplish a acceptable active affairs acclimated high-end adopted action and affluence cars that included $200,000-plus Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
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The recession dead that alcove bazaar aloof afterwards the owners of Spanos Imports fabricated a cogent advance affairs and renovating a beyond architecture at 520 W. International Speedway Blvd. to become the dealership’s new home.
Today, with a new name and business model, Spanos Motors is active and attractive to expand, both locally as able-bodied as abroad in the state.
“Late 2007 and backward 2008 were tough. I said again that there are added than 300 actor Americans in this country and anniversary one has a canteen of ketchup and a car at home. Don’t acquaint me they’re not affairs cars. We’re aloof affairs the amiss ones,” said Alex Spanos, who founded Spanos Imports in 1996 with adolescent brother Vic Spanos.
“We took the plan and . . . into the debris can. We had to absolutely reinvent ourselves,” Alex Spanos said.
Today, the dealership, while still specializing in affluence cars, has aloof a few alien late-model Lotus, Jaguars, Bentleys and Maseratis in its inventory.
“That bazaar went out with Lehman Brothers and AIG,” Spanos said, apropos to the ultra cher alien sports cars and affluence cartage that acclimated to accomplish up the aggregate of his dealership’s fleet. “We absent buyers. The exotics died and the bazaar has a botheration digesting the absurd vehicles.”
The 145-vehicle account in the 25,000-square-foot exhibit at Spanos Motors is now abundant with entry-level and mid-class affluence acclimated cartage including Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, Lexus, Infinities, Accuras, VWs and alike Chryslers and Ford Thunderbirds.
“We are abundant added assorted today,” said Dana Carroll, the business administrator at Spanos Motors. “We can baby to appealing abundant anybody who comes in our doors.”
Prior to the Great Recession, the dealership rarely agitated annihilation beneath $25,000. Today, it offers cartage priced as low as $15,000.
The dealership today sells abounding of the trade-ins it receives, including Saturns and Buicks, via the Internet and through magazines. In the old days, it would advertise them to wholesalers or via an auction.
The new action appears to be working.
Sales at Spanos Motors, which biconcave about 30 percent in 2008 from antecedent years, accept been steadily aggressive in contempo months.
The dealership awash 781 cartage aftermost year, averaging 65 a month, the best in four years, according to aggregation officials.
“From a consumer’s point of view, with the ambiguity of the economy, it’s smarter to attending at pre-owned backward archetypal affluence cartage with low breadth that already accept the abrasion congenital in,” Carroll said. “They save money and accept the cachet of the affluence car at a added affordable price.”
Being an absolute banker acceptable the changes to fabricated quickly, clashing dealerships that are allotment of a alternation or that are franchisees, Spanos said.
The aces up in sales has appropriate Spanos Motors to access the admeasurement of its staff. The dealership, whose workforce had diminished to aloof a dozen workers during the recession, now employs 26 people.
The dealership includes a aliment and adjustment account department.
“It may be cheaper to accelerate them out to be formed on, but this way I ascendancy the quality,” Spanos said. “We’re a full-service dealer. We can fix annihilation and we’re accessible to the public.”
A new website was afresh alien and accounts for a majority of sales aural Spanos Motors’ ambition breadth of Tampa to Savannah, Ga. — cities that are aural a three-hour drive of Daytona Beach. But barter additionally accept aureate in from Rhode Island and Ohio to drive a anew purchased car home, Carroll said.
Spanos Motors is additionally attractive to accessible two aperture showrooms, including one in Tampa, to advice advertise cars forth Florida’s south Gulf Coast.
Locally, Spanos has outgrown its accepted 40,000-square-foot architecture and is affairs lots surrounding its acreage and leasing added adjoining lots so it can abundance additonal vehicles.
“This is now a price-driven business. There is no added adherence so we accept to compete. We get a lot of referrals, but addition will still drive to Orlando or abroad to save $1,000,” Spanos said. “We’re ambidextrous with abate accumulation margins and alive on volume, but I anticipate the affluence bazaar we’re now in is alpha to about-face around.”
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