Arkansas Retailers See More Revenue in 2012

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 20, 2013 12:00 am  

Scott Landers saw his firm’s revenue jump 62.6 percent to $393 million in 2012.

Dennis Jungmeyer, president of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association, said another reason that auto sales are up is that credit for autos is easier to obtain thanks to a 2010 amendment to the Arkansas Constitution. That amendment created 17 percent as the state’s cap for loan interest rates, rather than the previous cap of 5.5 percent.

“So now people that may have marginal credit ratings can get a loan,” Jungmeyer said. “Financing is more available than it’s ever been in our history.”

He also said he thinks that the trend for auto sales will continue.

Another big mover on the list was the Crain Management Group of Sherwood. Its revenue in 2012 was $418.7 million, a 21.1 percent increase over the previous year. That performance is on the heels of a 17.2 percent gain in 2011.

Its revenue gain in 2012 moved the company from No. 6 on the list of private retailers to No. 4 this year.

While the Crain Management Group includes revenue from the Crain Media Group, which has seven radio stations in central Arkansas, the majority of Crain’s revenue came from selling vehicles under the Crain Automotive Team, said Chris Byrd, the platform manager and chief financial officer for Crain.

2013 also is expected to be a good year for Crain Management. It added two dealerships on the last day of the year in 2012 in northwest Arkansas. Crain Automotive, which operates eight auto dealerships in central Arkansas, bought Kent Dobbs Hyundai in Springdale and Hyundai of Bentonville. The dealerships are now operated as Crain Hyundai of Springdale and Crain Hyundai of Bentonville. A purchase price was not disclosed.

Crain also is building a Crain Kia in Conway, but it might not open until the end of the year, Byrd said.

“We’re still trying to grow and grow what we’ve got and acquire when we can,” he said.

One auto dealership that didn’t see a boost in revenue in 2012 was Russell Chevrolet. Its most recent estimate by Cengage Learning was $103.5 million, down 2.5 percent from the previous year. Russell did not respond to Arkansas Business’ survey.

Chevrolet loyalists are waiting for new models to arrive before they buy a vehicle, said Brett Russell, general manager of the company.

“A lot of our product line is a little bit aged,” he said. But Chevrolet has “several new models coming out” that should help sales.



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