Sonic Automotive planning to enter Baton Rouge used car market with Siegen Lane facility

(iStock photo)

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Sonic Automotive, a publicly traded company that is one of the largest automotive dealers in the U.S., is moving into the Baton Rouge market.

Sonic has two operating segments: A franchise division of dealerships that sells more than 20 brands of new vehicles; and a used-vehicle division, EchoPark Automotive, that sells 1- to 4-year-old preowned cars and light trucks.

The Baton Rouge location will be an EchoPark dealership, on Siegen Lane between Enterprise and Team Honda in a space currently occupied by David’s Car Stereo.

Sonic has a purchase agreement on the property for $1.07 million and will take over the space once the deal closes in the next two weeks, says broker Mark Hebert of Kurz and Hebert Commercial Real Estate, who represents the seller in the transaction.

David’s Car Stereo will continue to operate out of its location on Florida Boulevard, after vacating the Siegen Lane space, and may eventually open a new satellite location in southeast Baton Rouge, the Hebert says.

Sonic, founded in 1997, is known for its hassle-free, haggle-free policy as well as its online platform.

It’s the second national automotive company in as many months to announce plans to move into Baton Rouge. In August, CarLotz, a consignment-to-retail used vehicle seller, announced it is opening its first Louisiana hub, on Airline Highway at the former Salsbury’s Dodge City dealership

Nontraditional automotive dealers, who leverage the internet and empower buyers, have been slowly changing the way vehicles are bought and sold for nearly two decades. But the pandemic has hastened the transition, according to Car and Driver, upending the industry and creating opportunities for companies like Car Lotz, Sonic Automotive and Carvana.