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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________________________________________

FORM 10-K
___________________________________________________________________

☒    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
or
☐    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission File Number:  1-13395
___________________________________________________________________

SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
___________________________________________________________________
Delaware 56-2010790
(State or other jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization) Identification No.)
 
4401 Colwick Road
Charlotte, North Carolina
28211
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (704) 566-2400
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 
Title of each class Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share SAH New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
___________________________________________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    ☒  Yes     ☐  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    ☒  Yes    ☐  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    ☐  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    ☐  Yes    ☒  No
The aggregate market value of the voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $916.8 million based upon the closing sales price of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock on June 30, 2020 of $31.91 per share. The registrant has no non-voting common equity.
As of February 18, 2021, there were 29,797,727 shares of Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 12,029,375 shares of Class B Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the registrant’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent described herein.




UNCERTAINTY OF FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains, and written or oral statements made from time to time by us or by our authorized officers may contain, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements address our future objectives, plans and goals, as well as our intent, beliefs and current expectations regarding future operating performance, results and events, and can generally be identified by words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee” and other similar words or phrases.
These forward-looking statements are based on our current estimates and assumptions and involve various risks and uncertainties. As a result, you are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and that actual results could differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from our projections include those risks described in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere herein, as well as:
the number of new and used vehicles sold in the United States as compared to our expectations and the expectations of the market;
our ability to generate sufficient cash flows or to obtain additional financing to fund our EchoPark expansion, capital expenditures, our share repurchase program, dividends on our common stock, acquisitions and general operating activities;
our business and growth strategies, including, but not limited to, our EchoPark store operations;
the reputation and financial condition of vehicle manufacturers whose brands we represent, the financial incentives vehicle manufacturers offer and their ability to design, manufacture, deliver and market their vehicles successfully;
our relationships with manufacturers, which may affect our ability to obtain desirable new vehicle models in inventory or to complete additional acquisitions or dispositions;
the adverse resolution of one or more significant legal proceedings against us or our franchised dealerships or EchoPark stores;
changes in laws and regulations governing the operation of automobile franchises, accounting standards, taxation requirements and environmental laws, including any change in law or regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
changes in vehicle and parts import quotas, duties, tariffs or other restrictions, including supply shortages that could be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
general economic conditions in the markets in which we operate, including fluctuations in interest rates, employment levels, the level of consumer spending and consumer credit availability;
high levels of competition in the retail automotive industry, which not only create pricing pressures on the products and services we offer, but also on businesses we may seek to acquire;
our ability to successfully integrate potential future acquisitions;
the rate and timing of overall economic expansion or contraction; and
the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions taken by vehicle manufacturers, governmental authorities, businesses or consumers in response to the pandemic, including in response to a worsening or “second wave” of the pandemic.
These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or when made, and we undertake no obligation to revise or update these statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required under the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.


SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 10.
Item 11.
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
PART I
Item 1.  Business.
Sonic Automotive, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1997. References to “Sonic,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K refer to Sonic Automotive, Inc. and its subsidiaries. We are one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States (the “U.S.”) (as measured by total revenue). As a result of the way we manage our business, we had two reportable segments as of December 31, 2020: (1) the Franchised Dealerships Segment and (2) the EchoPark Segment. For management and operational reporting purposes, we group certain businesses together that share management and inventory (principally used vehicles) into “stores.” As of December 31, 2020, we operated 84 stores in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and 16 stores in the EchoPark Segment. The Franchised Dealerships Segment consists of 96 new vehicle franchises (representing 21 different brands of cars and light trucks) and 14 collision repair centers in 12 states.
The Franchised Dealerships Segment provides comprehensive services, including (1) sales of both new and used cars and light trucks; (2) sales of replacement parts and performance of vehicle maintenance, manufacturer warranty repairs, and paint and collision repair services (collectively, “Fixed Operations”); and (3) arrangement of extended warranties, service contracts, financing, insurance and other aftermarket products (collectively, “finance and insurance” or “F&I”) for our guests. The EchoPark Segment sells used cars and light trucks and arranges F&I product sales for our guests in pre-owned vehicle specialty retail locations. Our EchoPark business generally operates independently from our franchised dealerships business (except for certain shared back-office functions and corporate overhead costs). We believe that the continued expansion of our EchoPark business will provide long-term benefits to the Company, our stockholders and our guests.
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the global economy beginning in the first quarter of 2020 and continued throughout the remainder of 2020. The impact on the economy affected both consumer demand and supply of manufactured goods as many countries around the world and states and municipalities in the U.S. mandated restrictions on citizen movements (i.e., shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders) or on in-person retail trade or manufacturing activities at physical locations. As a result, many businesses curtailed operations and furloughed or terminated employees. In the U.S., the federal government passed several relief measures, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, in an attempt to provide short-term relief to families and businesses as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This broader economic backdrop resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic had a direct impact on our business and operations in 2020. As a result of the pandemic and related shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, we transitioned many of our teammates to remote work arrangements. In situations where a teammate’s role did not permit remote work (e.g., service repair technicians), we implemented staggered work hours, social distancing and other safety measures to promote the health and safety of our teammates and guests. As a result of the systems and infrastructure we had in place prior to the pandemic, we were largely able to maintain our back-office operations, financial reporting and internal control processes with minimal disruption or changes in the effectiveness of such processes.
All of our store operations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to varying degrees. During the end of the first quarter of 2020 and the first two months of the second quarter of 2020, the majority of our stores were not permitted to conduct retail sales of new and used vehicles at our physical locations. Those locations could offer virtual sales transactions with “contactless” delivery to customers but experienced lower consumer demand as a result of the initial onset of the pandemic and state and local governmental restrictions on business and consumer activities. Due to the critical nature of automotive repair, our fixed operations were deemed “essential” by governmental agencies and have largely been able to continue to conduct business so far, while adjusting operations to comply with state and local standards for safety and social distancing to promote the health and safety of our teammates and guests. As a result, in the first quarter and second quarter of 2020, we experienced a decrease in total revenues of 3% and 19%, respectively, as compared to the applicable prior year quarter. Beginning in the latter part of the second quarter of 2020, vehicle sales and fixed operations repair activity began to improve as state and local jurisdictions relaxed their shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders and consumer activity began to recover into the third quarter of 2020. For the third quarter of 2020, total revenues decreased 6% compared to the prior year quarter. As of December 31, 2020, most of such restrictions had been relaxed; however, our stores remain subject to certain health and safety policies and practices that may affect the way we sell vehicles and interact with our guests. For the fourth quarter of 2020, total revenues increased 2% compared to the prior year quarter.

The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve. While we currently expect to see continued economic recovery in the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021, the ongoing pandemic may cause changes in consumer behaviors, including a potential reduction in consumer spending for vehicles and automotive repairs, especially if the pandemic worsens or the regulatory environment changes in response to the pandemic. This may lead to increased asset recovery and
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valuation risks, such as impairment of additional indefinite lived intangible assets. In addition, uncertainties in the global economy may negatively impact our suppliers and other business partners, which may interrupt our vehicle and parts inventory supply chain and require other changes to our operations. These and other factors may adversely impact our revenues, operating income and earnings per share financial measures.

Based on the events and circumstances at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, during the first quarter of 2020, we evaluated our indefinite lived intangible assets for impairment. This evaluation included reviews of fixed assets and related right-of-use assets, franchise assets and goodwill. As a result of this evaluation, we determined the carrying values of all indefinite lived intangible assets to be recoverable at March 31, 2020 with the exception of goodwill related to our franchised dealership reporting unit, resulting in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $268.0 million. One of the primary factors which contributed to the conclusion that goodwill was impaired was the decline in the market value of Sonic’s stock between the announcement date of the pandemic on March 11, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Based on the improvement in our business operations and market value during the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020, our future forecast expectations, and the results of our qualitative test, it was determined to be more likely than not that the fair value of our reporting units exceeded the carrying value. See Note 5, “Intangible Assets and Goodwill,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further discussion.
The following charts depict the multiple sources of continuing operations revenue and gross profit for the year ended December 31, 2020:

SAH-20201231_G1.JPG SAH-20201231_G2.JPG

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As of December 31, 2020, we operated in the following states:
Market Number of Franchised Stores Number of EchoPark Stores
Percent of
2020 Total
Revenue
Texas 16  28.4  %
California 21  26.4  %
Colorado 9.8  %
Tennessee 10  7.5  %
Florida 6.7  %
Alabama 10  —  5.6  %
North Carolina 4.6  %
Georgia 3.4  %
South Carolina 1.9  %
Virginia —  1.8  %
Maryland —  1.8  %
Nevada —  1.5  %
Disposed stores and holding companies —  —  0.6  %
Total 84  16  100.0  %
In the future, we may acquire dealerships or open new stores that we believe will strengthen our portfolio and divest dealerships or close stores that we believe will not yield acceptable returns over the long term. The retail automotive industry remains highly fragmented, and we believe that further consolidation may occur. We believe that attractive acquisition opportunities continue to exist for dealership groups with the capital and experience to identify, acquire and professionally manage dealerships. Our ability to complete acquisitions and open new stores in the future will depend on many factors, including the availability of financing and the existence of any contractual provisions that may restrict our acquisition activity.
See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources” for a discussion of our plans for the use of capital generated from operations.
Reportable Segments
As of December 31, 2020, we had two reportable segments: (1) the Franchised Dealerships Segment and (2) the EchoPark Segment. The Franchised Dealerships Segment is comprised of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles and buy and sell used vehicles, sell replacement parts, perform vehicle maintenance, warranty and repair services, and arrange finance and insurance products. The EchoPark Segment is comprised of pre-owned vehicle specialty retail locations that provide guests an opportunity to search our nationwide inventory, purchase a pre-owned vehicle, select finance and insurance products and sell their current vehicle to us.
For 2020, EchoPark Segment revenue represented approximately 14.5% of total revenue, up from 11.1% in 2019. See Note 14, “Segment Information,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional financial information regarding our two reportable segments.
Unless otherwise noted, the following discussion of our business is presented on a consolidated basis.
Business Strategy
Execute Our EchoPark Expansion Plan. We have developed a diversified business model by augmenting our manufacturer-franchised dealership operations with our EchoPark pre-owned vehicle specialty retail business. Our EchoPark business generally operates independently from our franchised dealerships business (except for certain shared back-office functions and corporate overhead costs) and offers consumers a modern guest experience and a wide selection of quality pre-owned vehicle inventory at low prices. Sales operations for EchoPark began in the fourth quarter of 2014, and, as of December 31, 2020, we operated 16 EchoPark stores in eight states. During 2020, we announced an accelerated EchoPark growth plan in which we hope to open 25 additional EchoPark stores annually from 2021 to 2025 as we build out an expected 140-plus point nationwide EchoPark distribution network by 2025.
Expand Our Omni-Channel Capabilities. Automotive consumers have become increasingly more comfortable using technology to research their vehicle buying alternatives, communicate with store personnel, and complete a portion or all of a vehicle purchase online. The internet presents a marketing, advertising and sales channel that we will continue to utilize to drive
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value for our stores and enhance the guest experience. Our existing platforms give us the ability to leverage new technology to integrate systems, customize our dealership websites and use our data to improve the effectiveness of our advertising and interaction with our guests. These platforms also allow us to market all of our products and services to a national audience and, at the same time, support the local market penetration of our individual stores. We believe that the ongoing development of our e-commerce platform will drive incremental revenues and an improved guest experience in the future.
Focus on the Guest Experience. We focus on providing a high-quality guest experience and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. Our personalized sales process is designed to appeal to our guests by providing high-quality vehicles and service through a positive, “guest-centric” experience. Several manufacturers offer specific financial incentives on a per vehicle basis if certain Customer Satisfaction Index (“CSI”) levels (which vary by manufacturer) are achieved by a dealership. In addition, all manufacturers consider CSI scores in approving acquisitions or awarding new dealership open points. To keep dealership and executive management focused on customer satisfaction, we include CSI results as a component of our incentive-based compensation programs for certain groups of associates and executive management.
Train, Develop and Retain Our Teammates. We believe our teammates are the cornerstone of our business and crucial to our financial success. Our goal is to develop our teammates and foster an environment where our teammates can contribute and grow with the Company. Teammate satisfaction is very important to us, and we believe a high level of teammate satisfaction reduces turnover and enhances our guests’ experience at our stores by pairing our guests with well-trained support personnel. We believe that our comprehensive training of our teammates provides us with an advantage over other competitors in providing a high-quality guest experience.
Optimize Our Capital Structure. As we generate cash through operations, we may opportunistically repurchase our Class A Common Stock or our outstanding debt in open-market or structured transactions to maintain our targeted capital structure.
Maximize Asset Returns Through Process Execution. We have developed standardized operating processes that are documented in operating playbooks for our stores. Through the continued implementation of our operating playbooks, we believe organic growth opportunities exist by offering a more favorable buying experience to our guests and creating efficiencies in our business processes. We believe the development, refinement and implementation of these operating processes will enhance the guest experience, make us more competitive in the markets we serve and drive profit growth across each of our revenue streams.
Maintain Diverse Revenue Streams. We have multiple diverse revenue streams among our two operating segments. In addition to new vehicle sales, our revenue sources include used vehicle sales (including through our EchoPark segment), which we believe are less sensitive to economic cycles and seasonal influences that affect new vehicle sales. Our Fixed Operations sales carry a higher gross margin than new and used vehicle sales and, in the past, have not been as sensitive to economic conditions as new vehicle sales. We also offer guests assistance in obtaining financing and a range of automobile-related warranty, aftermarket and insurance products.
Manage Portfolio. Our long-term growth and acquisition strategy is primarily focused on large metropolitan markets that meet certain strategic criteria for population growth and vehicle registration rates, among other considerations. A majority of our franchised dealerships are either luxury or mid-line import brands. For 2020, approximately 88.2% of our total new vehicle revenue was generated by luxury and mid-line import dealerships, which usually have higher operating margins, more stable Fixed Operations departments, lower associate turnover and lower inventory levels.
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The following table depicts the breakdown of our new vehicle revenues from continuing operations by brand:
Percentage of New Vehicle Revenues
Year Ended December 31,
Brand 2020 2019 2018
Luxury:
BMW 24.4  % 24.0  % 19.8  %
Mercedes 12.9  % 12.1  % 10.7  %
Audi 6.5  % 6.9  % 6.5  %
Lexus 4.9  % 4.9  % 6.1  %
Land Rover 4.9  % 4.3  % 4.4  %
Porsche 3.6  % 2.8  % 2.7  %
Cadillac 2.3  % 2.3  % 2.3  %
MINI 1.1  % 1.3  % 1.3  %
Other luxury (1) 2.6  % 2.7  % 2.8  %
Total Luxury 63.2  % 61.3  % 56.6  %
Mid-line Import:
Honda 13.5  % 15.3  % 17.2  %
Toyota 9.0  % 9.7  % 10.2  %
Hyundai 1.0  % 1.5  % 1.6  %
Volkswagen 1.0  % 1.4  % 2.0  %
Other imports (2) 0.5  % 1.2  % 1.8  %
Total Mid-line Import 25.0  % 29.1  % 32.8  %
Domestic:
Ford 6.0  % 4.9  % 5.7  %
General Motors (“GM”) (3)
5.8  % 4.7  % 4.9  %
Total Domestic 11.8  % 9.6  % 10.6  %
Total 100.0  % 100.0  % 100.0  %
(1)Includes Acura, Infiniti, Jaguar and Volvo.
(2)Includes Kia, Nissan and Subaru.
(3)Includes Buick, Chevrolet and GMC.
Increase Sales of Higher-Margin Products and Services. We continue to pursue opportunities to increase our sales of higher-margin products and services by expanding the following:
Finance, Insurance and Other Aftermarket Products. Each sale of a new or used vehicle gives us an opportunity to provide our guests with financing and insurance options and earn financing fees and insurance and other aftermarket product commissions. We also offer our guests the opportunity to purchase extended warranties, service contracts and other aftermarket products from third-party providers whereby we earn a commission for arranging the contract sale. We currently offer a wide range of non-recourse financing, leasing, other aftermarket products, extended warranties, service contracts and insurance products to our guests. We emphasize menu-selling techniques and other best practices to increase our sales of F&I products at our franchised dealerships and EchoPark stores.
Parts, Service and Collision Repair. Each of our franchised dealerships offers a fully integrated service and parts department. Manufacturers permit warranty work to be performed only at franchised dealerships such as ours. As a result, our franchised dealerships are uniquely qualified and positioned to perform work covered by manufacturer warranties on increasingly complex vehicles. We believe we can continue to grow our profitable parts and service business over the long term by increasing service capacity, investing in sophisticated equipment and well-trained technicians, using competitive variable-rate pricing structures, focusing on the guest experience, and efficiently managing our parts inventory. In addition, we believe our emphasis on selling extended service contracts and maintenance contracts associated with retail new and used vehicle sales will drive further service and parts business in our franchised dealerships as we increase the potential to retain current service and parts guests beyond the term of the standard manufacturer warranty period.
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. Various manufacturers provide franchised dealers the opportunity to sell certified pre-owned (“CPO”) vehicles. This certification process extends the standard manufacturer warranty on the CPO vehicle, which we
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believe increases our potential to retain the pre-owned purchaser as a future parts and service customer. As CPO vehicles can only be sold by franchised dealerships and CPO warranty work can only be performed at franchised dealerships, we believe CPO vehicles add additional sales volume and will increase our Fixed Operations business over the long term.
Relationships with Manufacturers
Each of our franchised dealerships operates under a separate franchise or dealer agreement that governs the relationship between the dealership and the manufacturer. Each franchise or dealer agreement specifies the location of the dealership for the sale of vehicles and for the performance of certain approved services in a specified market area. The designation of such areas generally does not guarantee exclusivity within a specified territory. In addition, most manufacturers allocate vehicles on a “turn and earn” basis that rewards high unit sales volume. A franchise or dealer agreement incentivizes the dealer to meet specified standards regarding showrooms, facilities and equipment for servicing vehicles, inventories, minimum net working capital, personnel training and other aspects of the business. Each franchise or dealer agreement also gives the related manufacturer the right to approve the dealer operator and any material change in management or ownership of the dealership. Each manufacturer may terminate a franchise or dealer agreement under certain circumstances, such as a change in control of the dealership without manufacturer approval, the impairment of the reputation or financial condition of the dealership, the death, removal or withdrawal of the dealer operator, the conviction of the dealership or the dealership’s owner or dealer operator of certain crimes, the failure to adequately operate the dealership or maintain new vehicle inventory or financing arrangements, insolvency or bankruptcy of the dealership or a material breach of other provisions of the applicable franchise or dealer agreement.
Many automobile manufacturers have developed and implemented policies regarding public ownership of dealerships, which include the ability to force the sale of their respective franchises:
upon a change in control of the Company or a material change in the composition of our Board of Directors;
if an automobile manufacturer or distributor acquires more than 5% of the voting power of our securities; or
if an individual or entity (other than an automobile manufacturer or distributor) acquires more than 20% of the voting power of our securities, and the manufacturer disapproves of such individual’s or entity’s ownership interest.
To the extent that new or amended manufacturer policies restrict the number of dealerships that may be owned by a dealership group or the transferability of our common stock, such policies could have a material adverse effect on us. We believe that we will be able to renew at expiration all of our existing franchise and dealer agreements.
Many states have placed limitations upon manufacturers’ and distributors’ ability to sell new motor vehicles directly to customers in their respective states in an effort to protect dealers from practices they believe constitute unfair competition. In general, these statutes make it unlawful for a manufacturer or distributor to compete with a new motor vehicle dealer in the same brand operating under an agreement or franchise from the manufacturer or distributor in the relevant market area. Certain states, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, limit the amount of time that a manufacturer or distributor may temporarily operate a dealership. These statutes have been increasingly challenged by new entrants into the retail automotive industry and, to the extent that these statutes are repealed or weakened, such changes could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, all of the states in which our dealerships currently do business require manufacturers or distributors to show “good cause” for terminating or failing to renew a dealer’s franchise or dealer agreement. Further, each of these states provides some method for dealers to challenge manufacturer attempts to establish dealerships of the same brand in their relevant market area.
While in any individual period conditions may vary, over the past 10 fiscal years, we have acquired a significant percentage of our retail used vehicle inventory directly from consumers through our appraisal process, in addition to vehicle auctions. We also acquire used vehicle inventory from wholesalers, franchised and independent dealers and fleet owners, such as leasing companies and rental companies. The used vehicle inventory we acquire directly from consumers through our appraisal process helps provide an inventory of makes and models that reflects consumer preferences in each market. The supply of late-model used vehicles is influenced by a variety of factors, including the total number of vehicles in operation; the volume of new vehicle sales, which in turn generate used car trade-ins; and the number of used vehicles sold or remarketed through retail channels, wholesale transactions and automotive auctions. According to industry sources, there were approximately 280 million light vehicles in operation in the U.S. as of December 31, 2020. During calendar year 2020, it is estimated that approximately 14.5 million new cars and 37 million used cars were sold at retail, many of which were accompanied by trade-ins. Based on the large number of vehicles remarketed each year, consumer acceptance of our appraisal
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process, our experience and success in acquiring vehicles from auctions and other sources, and the large size of the U.S. auction market relative to our needs, we believe that sources of used vehicles will continue to be sufficient to meet our current and future needs.
Competition
The retail automotive industry is highly competitive. Depending on the geographic market, we compete both with dealers offering the same brands and product lines as ours and dealers offering other manufacturers’ vehicles. We also compete for vehicle sales with auto brokers, leasing companies and services offered on the internet that provide referrals to other dealerships, broker vehicle sales between customers and other dealerships or sell vehicles directly to customers via online purchase transactions and delivery. We compete with small, local dealerships and with large multi-franchise and pre-owned automotive dealership groups.
We believe that the principal competitive factors in vehicle sales are the location of stores, the ability of stores to offer an attractive selection of the most popular vehicles at competitive market pricing (including the effect of applicable manufacturer rebates, below-market financing from manufacturers or their captive finance subsidiaries, and other special offers), the successful interplay between the virtual and physical aspects of car buying, and the marketing campaigns conducted by manufacturers and the quality of services and guest experience at our stores. In particular, pricing has become more important as a result of well-informed customers using a variety of sources available on the internet to determine current retail market prices. Other competitive factors include customer preference for makes of automobiles and coverage under manufacturer warranties.
In addition to competition for vehicle sales, we also compete with other auto dealers, service and repair centers, auto parts retailers and independent mechanics in providing vehicle parts and service work. We believe that the principal competitive factors in parts and service sales are price, the use of factory-approved replacement parts, factory-trained technicians, the familiarity with a manufacturer’s makes and models and the quality of the guest experience. A number of regional and national chains offer selected parts and services at prices that may be lower than our prices.
In arranging or providing financing for our guests’ vehicle purchases, we compete with a broad range of financial institutions. In addition, certain financial institutions are now offering financing and other F&I products directly to consumers through the internet. We believe that the principal competitive factors in providing financing are convenience, interest rates and contract terms.
Our success depends, in part, on national and regional automobile-buying trends, local and regional economic factors and other regional competitive pressures. Conditions and competitive pressures affecting the markets in which we operate, such as price-cutting by dealers in these areas, or in any new markets we enter, could adversely affect us, even though the retail automotive industry as a whole might not be affected.
Governmental Regulations and Environmental Matters
Numerous federal, state and local regulations govern our business of marketing, selling, financing and servicing automobiles. We are also subject to laws and regulations relating to business corporations.
Under the laws of the states in which we currently operate, as well as the laws of other states into which we may expand, we must obtain a license in order to establish, operate or relocate a franchised dealership or EchoPark store or to operate an automotive service and repair center. These laws also regulate our conduct of business, including our sales, operating, advertising, financing and employment practices, including federal and state wage-hour, anti-discrimination and other employment practices laws.
Our financing activities with customers are subject to federal truth-in-lending, consumer privacy, consumer leasing and equal credit opportunity regulations as well as state and local motor vehicle finance laws, installment finance laws, usury laws and other installment sales laws. Some states regulate finance fees that may be paid as a result of vehicle sales.
Federal, state and local environmental regulations, including regulations governing air and water quality, the clean-up of contaminated property and the use, storage, handling, recycling and disposal of gasoline, oil and other materials, also apply to us and our franchised dealership and EchoPark properties.
As with automobile dealerships generally, and service, parts and collision repair operations in particular, our business involves the use, storage, handling and contracting for recycling or disposal of hazardous or toxic substances or wastes and other environmentally sensitive materials. Our business also involves the past and current operation and/or removal of above
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ground and underground storage tanks containing such substances, wastes or materials. Accordingly, we are subject to regulation by federal, state and local authorities that establish health and environmental quality standards, provide for liability related to those standards and provide penalties for violations of those standards. We are also subject to laws, ordinances and regulations governing remediation of contamination at facilities we own or operate or to which we send hazardous or toxic substances or wastes and other environmentally sensitive materials for treatment, recycling or disposal.
We do not have any known material environmental liabilities, and we believe that compliance with governmental regulations, including environmental laws and regulations will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. However, soil and groundwater contamination is known to exist at certain properties owned and used by us. Further, environmental laws and regulations are complex and subject to frequent change. In addition, in connection with our past or future acquisitions, it is possible that we will assume or become subject to new or unforeseen environmental costs or liabilities, some of which may be material.
In 2020, the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread disruptions to travel and economic activity, including the retail automotive industry. Governmental orders were issued in response to the pandemic and have varied by locality and severity through the duration of the pandemic. Certain state and local governments have mandated restrictions on citizen movements (i.e., shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders) or on retail trade at physical locations which limited the conduct of retail sales of vehicles at our physical locations. Several measures were implemented by various governmental entities in response to the pandemic and our stores remain subject to certain health and safety policies and practices that may affect the way our business operates and how we interact with guests. Due to the critical nature of automotive repair, our parts and service repair operations were deemed “essential” by governmental agencies and have been able to continue to conduct business throughout the pandemic to date, but must maintain state and local standards for social distancing to promote the health and safety of our teammates and guests.
Information About Our Executive Officers
The following is a description of the names and ages of the executive officers of the Company, indicating all positions and offices with the Company held by each such person and each person’s principal occupation or employment during the past five years. Each executive officer of the Company is elected by our Board of Directors and holds office from the date of election until thereafter removed by the Board.
Name Age Position(s) with Sonic
O. Bruton Smith 93 Executive Chairman and Director
David Bruton Smith 46 Chief Executive Officer and Director
Jeff Dyke 53 President and Director
Heath R. Byrd 54 Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
O. Bruton Smith is the Founder of Sonic and has served as its Executive Chairman since July 2015. Prior to his election as Executive Chairman, Mr. Smith had served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since its organization in January 1997. Mr. Smith has also served as a director of Sonic since its organization in January 1997. Mr. Smith is also a director of many of Sonic’s subsidiaries. Mr. Smith has worked in the retail automotive industry since 1966. Mr. Smith is also the Executive Chairman and a director of Speedway Motorsports, LLC (“Speedway Motorsports”), which is controlled by Mr. Smith and his family. Speedway Motorsports was a public company until September 2019, whose shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). Among other things, Speedway Motorsports owns and operates the following speedways: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. Mr. Smith is also a director of most of Speedway Motorsports’ operating subsidiaries and a director and an officer of Sonic Financial Corporation (“SFC”), the largest stockholder of Sonic. He is the father of Mr. David Bruton Smith and Mr. Marcus G. Smith, a director and a greater than 10% beneficial owner of Sonic.
David Bruton Smith was elected as Chief Executive Officer of Sonic in September 2018. Previously, Mr. Smith served as Sonic’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer from March 2018 to September 2018, as Sonic’s Vice Chairman from March 2013 to March 2018 and as an Executive Vice President of Sonic from October 2008 to March 2013. He has served as a director of Sonic since October 2008 and has served in Sonic’s organization since 1998. Prior to being named an Executive Vice President and a director in October 2008, Mr. Smith had served as Sonic’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development since March 2007. Mr. Smith served as Sonic’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy from October 2005 to March 2007, and also served prior to that time as Dealer Operator and General Manager of several Sonic dealerships. Mr. Smith
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is also a director and an officer of SFC, the largest stockholder of Sonic. He is the son of Mr. O. Bruton Smith and the brother of Mr. Marcus G. Smith.
Jeff Dyke was elected to the office of President of Sonic in September 2018 and is responsible for direct oversight for all of Sonic’s retail automotive operations. In addition, Mr. Dyke has served as a director of Sonic since July 2019. Mr. Dyke served as Sonic’s Executive Vice President of Operations from October 2008 to September 2018. From March 2007 to October 2008, Mr. Dyke served as Sonic’s Division Chief Operating Officer - Southeast Division, where he oversaw retail automotive operations for the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Mr. Dyke first joined Sonic in October 2005 as Sonic’s Vice President of Retail Strategy, a position that he held until April 2006, when he was promoted to Division Vice President - Eastern Division, a position he held from April 2006 to March 2007. Prior to joining Sonic, Mr. Dyke worked in the retail automotive industry at AutoNation, Inc. from 1996 to 2005, where he held several positions in divisional, regional and dealership management with that company.
Heath R. Byrd has served as Sonic’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since April 2013. Mr. Byrd was previously a Vice President and Sonic’s Chief Information Officer from December 2007 to March 2013, and has served our organization since 2007. Prior to joining Sonic, Mr. Byrd served in a variety of management positions at HR America, Inc., a workforce management firm that provided customized human resource and workforce development through co-sourcing arrangements, including as a director, as President and Chief Operating Officer and as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. Prior to HR America, Mr. Byrd served as a Manager in the Management Consulting Division of Ernst & Young LLP.
Human Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 8,100 associates, or teammates with whom we strive to maintain good relationships, which benefit both our company and our teammates. Approximately 200 of our associates, primarily service technicians in northern California, are represented by a labor union. Although only a small percentage of our associates is represented by a labor union, we may be affected by labor strikes, work slowdowns and walkouts at automobile manufacturers’ manufacturing facilities.
We believe our teammates are key to achieving our business objectives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced restrictions on permitted occupancy or brief closures at many of our locations. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented, and we continue to maintain, protocols designed to protect the health and safety of our teammates and guests. These protocols, which remain in place, meet or exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and, where applicable, state mandates. Prior to, or upon returning to work, our teammates were trained on the protocols designed to protect the health and safety of our teammates and guests.
As we manage our workforce, we focus on associate satisfaction, turnover, and training. We benchmark our compensation practices and benefits programs against those of comparable companies and in the geographic areas where our operations are located. We believe that our compensation and employee benefits are competitive and allow us to attract and retain skilled and unskilled labor throughout our organization. Our notable health, welfare, retirement and training benefits include:

Company-subsidized health insurance;
401(k) plan with Company matching contributions;
paid vacation, sick and bereavement leave;
paid community service and volunteer leave; and
tuition assistance programs and Company-paid training opportunities.
We strive to maintain an inclusive environment free from discrimination of any kind, including in our hiring practices and daily operations. Our teammates have multiple avenues available through which inappropriate behavior can be reported, including a confidential hotline. Our policies require all reports of inappropriate behavior to be taken seriously and promptly investigated with appropriate action taken to address and prevent such behavior.

Company Information
Our website can be accessed at www.sonicautomotive.com. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as well as proxy statements and other
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information we file with, or furnish to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) are available free of charge on our website as well as the website of the SEC, www.sec.gov. We make these documents available as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically transmit them to the SEC. Except as otherwise stated in these documents, the information contained on our website or available by hyperlink from our website is not incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or other documents we transmit to the SEC.
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Item 1A.  Risk Factors.
Our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects and the prevailing market price and performance of our Class A Common Stock may be adversely affected by a number of factors, including the material risks noted below. Our stockholders and prospective investors should consider these risks, uncertainties and other factors prior to making an investment decision.
Risks Related to Our Growth Strategy
Our investment in new business strategies, services and technologies is inherently risky, and could disrupt our ongoing business or have a material adverse effect on our overall business and results of operations.
We have invested and expect to continue to invest in new business strategies, services and technologies, including our EchoPark business. Such endeavors may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including allocating management resources away from current operations, insufficient revenues to offset expenses associated with these new investments, inadequate return of capital on our investments and unidentified issues not discovered in our due diligence of such strategies and offerings. Because these ventures are inherently risky, no assurance can be given that such strategies and offerings will be successful and will not have a material adverse effect on our reputation, financial condition and operating results.
Our ability to make acquisitions, execute our growth strategy for our EchoPark business and grow organically may be restricted by our ability to obtain capital, the terms of the instruments governing our long-term debt and the need obtain consent from manufacturers.
We intend to finance future real estate and dealership acquisitions with cash generated from operations, through issuances of our stock or debt securities and through borrowings under credit arrangements. We may not be able to obtain additional financing by issuing stock or debt securities due to the market price of our Class A Common Stock, overall market conditions or certain covenants under the instruments that govern our long-term debt that restrict our ability to issue additional indebtedness, or the need for manufacturer consent to the issuance of equity securities. Using cash to complete acquisitions could substantially limit our operating and financial flexibility.
The amount of capital presently available to us is limited to the liquidity available under our existing debt agreements and cash flows generated through operating activities. Pursuant to the 2016 Credit Facilities (as defined below), we are restricted from making dealership acquisitions in any fiscal year if the aggregate cost of all such acquisitions is in excess of certain amounts, without the written consent of the Required Lenders (as that term is defined in the 2016 Credit Facilities). Our ability to obtain additional sources of financing may be limited by the fact that substantially all of the assets of our dealerships are pledged to secure the indebtedness under the 2016 Credit Facilities and the Silo Floor Plan Facilities (as defined below). These pledges may impede our ability to borrow from other sources. Our pace and scale of growing our EchoPark business may be limited in the event other sources of capital are unavailable.
In addition, we are dependent to a significant extent on our ability to finance our new and certain of our used vehicle inventory under the 2016 Floor Plan Facilities or the Silo Floor Plan Facilities (each, as defined below) (collectively, “Floor Plan Financing”). Floor Plan Financing arrangements allow us to borrow money to buy a particular new vehicle from the manufacturer or a used vehicle on trade-in or at auction and pay off the loan when we sell that particular vehicle. We must obtain Floor Plan Financing or obtain consents to assume existing floor plan notes payable in connection with our acquisition of dealerships. In the event that we are unable to obtain such financing, our ability to complete dealership acquisitions could be limited.
We are required to obtain the approval of the applicable manufacturer before we can acquire an additional franchise of that manufacturer.
Certain manufacturers also limit the number of its dealerships that we may own in total, the number of dealerships we may own in a particular geographic area, or our national market share of that manufacturer’s sales of new vehicles. In addition, under an applicable franchise or dealer agreement or under state law, a manufacturer may have a right of first refusal to acquire a dealership that we seek to acquire.
We cannot assure you that manufacturers will approve future acquisitions or do so on a timely basis, which could impair the execution of our acquisition strategy.
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We may not adequately anticipate all of the demands that growth through acquisitions or brand development will impose. Failure to effectively integrate acquired businesses with our existing operations could adversely affect our future operating results.
We face risks growing through acquisitions or expansion. These risks include, but are not limited to: incurring significantly higher capital expenditures and operating expenses; failing to assimilate the operations and personnel of acquired dealerships; entering new markets with which we are unfamiliar; incurring potential undiscovered liabilities and operational difficulties at acquired dealerships; disrupting our ongoing business; diverting our management resources; failing to maintain uniform standards, controls and policies; impairing relationships with employees, manufacturers and customers as a result of changes in management; incurring increased expenses for accounting and computer systems, as well as integration difficulties; failing to obtain a manufacturer’s consent to the acquisition of one or more of its franchises or to renew the franchise or dealer agreement on terms acceptable to us; and incorrectly valuing entities to be acquired or assessing markets entered.
Our future operating results depend on our ability to integrate the operations of acquired businesses with our existing operations. In particular, we need to integrate our management information systems, procedures and organizational structures, which can be difficult. Our growth strategy has focused on the pursuit of strategic acquisitions or brand development that either expand or complement our business. We cannot assure you that we will effectively and profitably integrate the operations of these dealerships without substantial costs, delays or operational or financial problems, due to: the difficulties of managing operations located in geographic areas where we have not previously operated; the management time and attention required to integrate and manage newly acquired dealerships; the difficulties of assimilating and retaining employees; the challenges of keeping customers; and the challenge of retaining or attracting appropriate dealership management personnel. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be able to determine the actual financial condition of dealerships we acquire until after we complete the acquisition and take control of the dealerships.
The operating and financial condition of acquired businesses cannot be determined accurately until we assume control. Although we conduct what we believe to be a prudent level of due diligence regarding the operating and financial condition of the businesses we purchase, in light of the circumstances of each transaction, an unavoidable level of risk remains regarding the actual operating condition of these businesses. Similarly, many of the dealerships we acquire, including some of our largest acquisitions, do not have financial statements audited or prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”). We may not have an accurate understanding of the historical financial condition and performance of our acquired entities. Until we actually assume control of business assets and their operations, we may not be able to ascertain the actual value or understand the potential liabilities of the acquired entities and their operations.

Risks Related to the Retail Automotive Industry
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of pandemics like the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters.
The automotive manufacturing supply chain spans the globe. As such, supply chain disruptions resulting from widespread public health crises, natural disasters, adverse weather and other events may affect the flow of new vehicle or parts inventory to us or our manufacturing partners. In 2020, the worldwide spread of COVID-19 led to widespread reductions in travel and economic activity, including automobile manufacturing and supply chain disruptions and production delays. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to adversely impact our business depends on the severity and duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of actions taken globally to contain or mitigate its effects, including governmental orders issued in response to any future developments, which are highly uncertain and unpredictable. Any resulting financial impact cannot be estimated reasonably at this time, but may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may experience materially adverse impacts to our business due to any resulting economic recession or depression. Additionally, concerns over the economic impact of COVID-19 have caused extreme volatility in financial and other capital markets which has adversely impacted and may continue to adversely impact our stock price and our ability to access capital markets.

Our facilities and operations are subject to extensive governmental laws and regulations. If we are found to be in violation of, or subject to liabilities under, any of these laws or regulations or if new laws or regulations are enacted that adversely affect our operations, then our business, operating results, financial condition, cash flows and prospects could suffer.
The retail automotive industry, including our facilities and operations, is subject to a wide range of federal, state and local laws and regulations, such as those relating to motor vehicle sales, retail installment sales, leasing, sales of finance,
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insurance and vehicle protection products, licensing, consumer protection, consumer privacy, employment practices, escheatment, anti-money laundering, environmental, vehicle emissions and fuel economy, and health and safety. With respect to motor vehicle sales, retail installment sales, leasing, and sales of finance, insurance and vehicle protection products at our dealerships and stores, we are subject to various laws and regulations, the violation of which could subject us to consumer class action or other lawsuits or governmental investigations and adverse publicity, in addition to administrative, civil or criminal sanctions. With respect to employment practices, we are subject to various laws and regulations, including complex federal, state and local wage and hour and anti-discrimination laws. We are also subject to lawsuits and governmental investigations alleging violations of these laws and regulations, including purported class action lawsuits, which could result in significant liability, fines and penalties. The violation of other laws and regulations to which we are subject also can result in administrative, civil or criminal sanctions against us, which may include a cease and desist order against the subject operations or even revocation or suspension of our license to operate the subject business, as well as significant liability, fines and penalties. We currently devote significant resources to comply with applicable federal, state and local regulation of health, safety, environmental, zoning and land use regulations, and we may need to spend additional time, effort and money to keep our operations and existing or acquired facilities in compliance. In addition, we may be subject to broad liabilities arising out of contamination at our currently and formerly owned or operated facilities, at locations to which hazardous substances were transported from such facilities, and at such locations related to entities formerly affiliated with us. Although for some such liabilities we believe we are entitled to indemnification from other entities, we cannot assure that such entities will view their obligations as we do or will be able to satisfy them. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may have an adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition, cash flows and prospects.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010, established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), a new independent federal agency funded by the U.S. Federal Reserve with broad regulatory powers and limited oversight from the U.S. Congress. Although automotive dealers are generally excluded, the Dodd-Frank Act has led to additional, indirect regulation of automotive dealers, in particular, their sale and marketing of finance and insurance products, through its regulation of automotive finance companies and other financial institutions. In March 2013, the CFPB issued supervisory guidance highlighting its concern that the practice of automotive dealers being compensated for arranging customer financing through discretionary markup of wholesale rates offered by financial institutions (“dealer markup”) results in a significant risk of pricing disparity in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (the “ECOA”). The CFPB recommended that financial institutions under its jurisdiction take steps to ensure compliance with the ECOA, which may include imposing controls on dealer markup, monitoring and addressing the effects of dealer markup policies and eliminating dealer discretion to markup buy rates and fairly compensating dealers using a different mechanism that does not result in disparate impact to certain groups of consumers.
Furthermore, we expect that new laws and regulations, particularly at the federal level, may be enacted, which could also materially adversely impact our business. For example, the labor policy of the Obama administration led to increased unionization efforts for U.S. companies, which could lead to higher labor costs for the Company, disrupt our store operations and adversely affect our results of operations.
Increasing competition among automotive retailers and the use of the internet reduces our profit margins on vehicle sales and related businesses.
Automotive retailing is a highly competitive business. Our competitors include publicly and privately owned dealerships, some of which are larger and have greater financial and marketing resources than we do. Many of our competitors sell the same or similar makes and models of new and used vehicles that we offer in our markets at competitive prices. We do not have any cost advantage in purchasing new vehicles from manufacturers due to economies of scale or otherwise. We typically rely on advertising, merchandising, sales expertise, customer service reputation and dealership location to sell new vehicles. Our revenues and profitability could be materially adversely affected if certain state dealer franchise laws are relaxed to permit manufacturers to enter the retail market directly.
Our F&I business and other related businesses, which have higher margins than sales of new and used vehicles, are subject to competition from various financial institutions and other third parties.
Moreover, consumers are using the internet to compare pricing for vehicles and related F&I services, which may further reduce margins for new and used vehicles and profits for related F&I services. If internet-based new vehicle sales are allowed to be conducted without the involvement of franchised dealers, our business could be materially adversely affected. In addition, other dealership groups have aligned themselves with services offered on the internet or are investing heavily in the development of their own internet sales capabilities, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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Our franchise and dealer agreements do not grant us the exclusive right to sell a manufacturer’s product within a given geographic area. Our revenues or profitability could be materially adversely affected if any of our manufacturers award franchises to others in the same markets where we operate or if existing franchised dealers increase their market share in our markets.
We may face increasingly significant competition as we strive to gain market share through acquisitions or otherwise. Our operating margins may decline over time as we expand into markets where we do not have a leading position.
The effect of companies entering into the automotive space may affect our ability to grow or maintain the business over the long term.
Large and well-capitalized technology-focused companies have continued to enter into the automotive space in recent years. Companies including, but not limited to, Amazon, Apple, Google, Lyft, Tesla and Uber may challenge the existing automotive manufacturing, retail sales, maintenance and repair, and transportation models. For example, Tesla has been challenging state dealer franchise laws in many states with mixed results, but its business model and vehicles have been accepted by many consumers, even in states where dealer franchise laws appear to preclude Tesla vehicle sales. Although the long-term impact of Tesla’s participation in the competitive landscape is undetermined thus far, these other large technology-based companies may continue to change consumers’ view on how automobiles should be manufactured, equipped, retailed, maintained and utilized in the future. Because these companies have the ability to connect with each individual consumer easily through their existing or future technology platforms, we may ultimately be at a competitive disadvantage in marketing, selling, financing and servicing vehicles. In addition, certain automobile manufacturers have expressed interest in or begun selling directly to customers. The franchised dealer’s participation in that potential future transaction type is unclear and our operations and financial results may be negatively impacted if the role of franchised dealers diminishes.
Our dealers depend upon new vehicle sales and, therefore, their success depends in large part upon consumer demand for and manufacturer supply of particular vehicles.
The success of our dealerships depends in large part on the overall success of the vehicle lines they carry. New vehicle sales generate the majority of our total revenue and lead to sales of higher-margin products and services such as finance, insurance, vehicle protection products and other aftermarket products, and parts and service operations. Our new vehicle sales operations are comprised primarily of luxury and mid-line import brands, which exposes us to manufacturer concentration risks. Although our parts and service operations and used vehicle business may serve to offset some of this risk, changes in automobile manufacturers’ vehicle models and consumer demand for particular vehicles may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, manufacturers typically allocate their vehicles among dealerships based on the sales history of each dealer-ship. Supplies of popular new vehicles may be limited by the applicable manufacturer’s production capabilities. Popular new vehicles that are in limited supply typically produce the highest profit margins. We depend on manufacturers to provide us with a desirable mix of popular new vehicles. Our operating results may be materially adversely affected if we do not obtain a sufficient supply of these vehicles on a timely basis.

Our business is dependent upon access to quality sources of used vehicle inventory. Our business sales and results of operations could be materially adversely affected by obstacles that prevent the efficient acquisition and liquidation of used vehicle inventory.
A reduction in the availability of, or access to, sources of desirable used vehicle inventory could have a material adverse effect on our business, sales and results of operations at both our franchised dealerships and EchoPark locations. Although the supply of desirable, high-quality used vehicle inventory has not historically been a material issue, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue in the markets in which we operate, particularly those of our EchoPark locations which rely heavily upon the availability of, and access to, high-quality used vehicle inventory.
We obtain a significant percentage of our used vehicle inventory through our proprietary appraisal system as this sourcing outlet is generally more profitable and more convenient for our guests and potential guests. Accordingly, if we fail to make appraisal offers in line with broader market trade-in offer trends, or fail to recognize those trends, it could adversely affect our ability to acquire used vehicle inventory and increase the risk of loss of business to our competitors. Our ability to source used vehicle inventory through our proprietary appraisal system could also be affected by competition and through third parties driving appraisal traffic to those competing dealers. Loss of sale, involving trades and insufficient levels of inventory, could also force us to purchase a greater percentage of used vehicle inventory from third-party auctions, which is generally less profitable due to high bidding costs and additional costs associated with transporting the acquired used vehicles to our store
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locations. Our inability to source high-quality used vehicle inventory from third-party auctions could reduce the demand for our used vehicle inventory offerings. See “Increasing competition among automotive retailers and the use of the internet reduces our profit margins on vehicle sales and related businesses” above in this “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for further discussion.
Used vehicle inventory is subject to depreciation risk. Accordingly, if we develop excess inventory, the inability to liquidate such inventory at prices that allow us to meet desirable profit margins or to recover our costs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
A decline of available financing in the consumer automotive lending market may adversely affect our vehicle unit sales volume.
A significant portion of vehicle buyers finance their purchases of automobiles. Sub-prime lenders have historically provided financing for consumers who, for a variety of reasons including poor credit histories and lack of down payment, do not have access to more traditional finance sources. In the event lenders tighten their credit standards or there is a decline in the availability of credit in the lending market, the ability of these consumers to purchase vehicles could be limited, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, revenues and profitability.
Our business may be adversely affected by import product restrictions and foreign trade risks that may impair our ability to sell foreign vehicles profitably.
A significant portion of our new vehicle business involves the sale of vehicles, parts or vehicles composed of parts that are manufactured outside the U.S. As a result, our operations are subject to risks of importing merchandise, including fluctuations in the relative values of currencies, import duties or tariffs, exchange controls, trade restrictions, work stoppages, and general political and socioeconomic conditions in other countries. The U.S. or the countries from which our products are imported may, from time to time, impose new quotas, duties, tariffs or other restrictions, or adjust presently prevailing quotas, duties or tariffs, which may affect our operations and our ability to purchase imported vehicles and/or parts at reasonable prices, which may negatively affect affordability to consumers of certain new vehicles and reduce demand for certain vehicle makes and models.
Risks Related to Our Relationships with Vehicle Manufacturers
Our operations may be adversely affected if one or more of our manufacturer franchise or dealer agreements is terminated or not renewed.
Each of our franchised dealerships operates under a separate franchise or dealer agreement with the applicable automobile manufacturer. Without a franchise or dealer agreement, we cannot obtain new vehicles from a manufacturer or advertise as an authorized factory service center. As a result, we are significantly dependent on our relationships with the manufacturers.
Moreover, manufacturers exercise a great degree of control over the operations of our dealerships through the franchise and dealer agreements. The franchise and dealer agreements govern, among other things, our ability to purchase vehicles from the manufacturer and to sell vehicles to customers. Each of our franchise or dealer agreements provides for termination or non-renewal for a variety of causes, including certain changes in the financial condition of the dealerships and any unapproved change of ownership or management. Manufacturers may also have a right of first refusal if we seek to sell dealerships.
We cannot guarantee that any of our existing franchise and dealer agreements will be renewed or that the terms and conditions of such renewals will be favorable to us. Actions taken by manufacturers to exploit their superior bargaining position in negotiating the terms of franchise and dealer agreements or renewals of these agreements or otherwise could also have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our failure to meet a manufacturer’s customer satisfaction, financial and sales performance or facility requirements may adversely affect our profitability and our ability to acquire new dealerships.
A manufacturer may condition its allotment of vehicles, our participation in bonus programs or our acquisition of additional franchises upon our compliance with its brand and facility standards. These standards may require investments in technology and facilities that we otherwise would not make. This may put us in a competitive disadvantage with other competing dealerships and may ultimately result in our decision to sell a franchise when we believe it may be difficult to recover the cost of the required investment to reach the manufacturer’s brand and facility standards.
In addition, many manufacturers attempt to measure customers’ satisfaction with their sales and warranty service experiences through manufacturer-determined CSI scores. The components of CSI vary by manufacturer and are modified
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periodically. Franchise and dealer agreements may also impose financial and sales performance standards. Under our agreements with certain manufacturers, a dealership’s CSI scores, and financial and sales performance standards may be considered as factors in evaluating applications for additional dealership acquisitions. From time to time, some of our dealerships have had difficulty meeting various manufacturers’ CSI requirements or performance standards. We cannot assure you that our dealerships will be able to comply with these requirements or performance standards in the future. A manufacturer may refuse to consent to our acquisition of one of its franchises if it determines our dealerships do not comply with its CSI requirements or performance standards, which could impair the execution of our acquisition strategy. In addition, we receive incentive payments from the manufacturers based, in part, on CSI scores, which could be materially adversely affected if our CSI scores decline.
If state dealer laws are repealed or weakened, our dealerships will be more susceptible to termination, non-renewal or renegotiation of their franchise and dealer agreements.
State dealer laws generally provide that a manufacturer may not terminate or refuse to renew a franchise or dealer agreement unless it has first provided the dealer with written notice setting forth good cause and stating the grounds for termination or non-renewal. Some state dealer laws allow dealers to file protests or petitions or to attempt to comply with the manufacturer’s criteria within the notice period to avoid the termination or non-renewal. Manufacturers’ lobbying efforts may lead to the repeal or revision of state dealer laws. If dealer laws are repealed or weakened in the states in which we operate, manufacturers may be able to terminate our franchises without providing advance notice, an opportunity to cure or a showing of good cause. Without the protection of state dealer laws, it may also be more difficult for our dealerships to renew their franchise or dealer agreements upon expiration.
The ability of a manufacturer to grant additional franchises is based on several factors which are not within our control. If manufacturers grant new franchises in areas near or within our existing markets, this could significantly impact our revenues and/or profitability. In addition, current state dealer laws generally restrict the ability of automobile manufacturers to enter the retail market and sell directly to consumers. However, if manufacturers obtain the ability to directly retail vehicles and do so in our markets, such competition could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our sales volume and profit margin on each sale may be materially adversely affected if manufacturers discontinue or change their incentive programs.
Our dealerships depend on the manufacturers for certain sales incentives, warranties and other programs that are intended to promote and support dealership new vehicle sales. Manufacturers routinely modify their incentive programs in response to changing market conditions. Some of the key incentive programs include: customer rebates or below market financing on new and used vehicles; employee pricing; dealer incentives on new vehicles; manufacturer floor plan interest and advertising assistance; warranties on new and used vehicles; and sponsorship of CPO vehicle sales by authorized new vehicle dealers. Manufacturers frequently offer incentives to potential customers. A reduction or discontinuation of a manufacturer’s incentive programs may materially adversely impact vehicle demand and affect our results of operations.
Our sales volume may be materially adversely affected if manufacturer captives change their customer financing programs or are unable to provide floor plan financing.
One of the primary finance sources used by consumers in connection with the purchase of a new or used vehicle is the manufacturer captive finance companies. These captive finance companies rely, to a certain extent, on the public debt markets to provide the capital necessary to support their financing programs. In addition, the captive finance companies will occasionally change their loan underwriting criteria to alter the risk profile of their loan portfolio. A limitation or reduction of available consumer financing for these or other reasons could affect consumers’ ability to purchase a vehicle and, thus, could have a material adverse effect on our sales volume. Any deterioration of our relationship with the particular manufacturer-affiliated finance subsidiary could adversely affect our relationship with the affiliated manufacturer, and vice versa.
Our parts and service sales volume and margins are dependent on manufacturer warranty programs.
Franchised automotive retailers perform factory authorized service work and sell original replacement parts on vehicles covered by warranties issued by the automotive manufacturer. Dealerships which perform work covered by a manufacturer warranty are reimbursed at rates established by the manufacturer. For 2020, approximately 18.4% of our parts, service and collision repair revenues was for work covered by manufacturer warranties and complimentary maintenance programs. To the extent a manufacturer reduces the labor rates or markup of replacement parts for such warranty work, our parts and service sales volume and margins could be adversely affected.
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Adverse conditions affecting one or more key manufacturers or lenders may negatively impact our results of operations.
Our results of operations depend on the products, services, and financing and incentive programs offered by major automobile manufacturers, and could be negatively impacted by any significant changes to these manufacturers’ financial condition, marketing strategy, vehicle design, production capabilities, management, reputation or labor relations or negative publicity concerning a particular manufacturer or vehicle model.
Events such as labor strikes or other disruptions in production, including those caused by natural disasters, that may adversely affect a manufacturer may also adversely affect us. In particular, labor strikes at a manufacturer that continue for a substantial period of time could have a material adverse effect on our business. Similarly, the delivery of vehicles from manufacturers at a time later than scheduled, which may occur during critical periods of new product introductions, could limit sales of those vehicles during those periods. This has been experienced at some of our dealerships from time to time. Adverse conditions affecting these and other important aspects of manufacturers’ operations and public relations may adversely affect our ability to sell their automobiles and, as a result, significantly and detrimentally affect our business and results of operations.
Moreover, our business could be materially adversely impacted by the bankruptcy of a major vehicle manufacturer or related lender. We may be unable to collect some or all of our significant receivables that are due from such manufacturer or lender, and we may be subject to preference claims relating to payments made by such manufacturer or lender prior to bankruptcy. Consumer demand for such manufacturer’s products could be substantially reduced and such manufacturer may be relieved of its indemnification obligations with respect to product liability claims.
A manufacturer in bankruptcy could attempt to terminate all or certain of our franchises, in which case, we may not receive adequate compensation for our franchises and a manufacturer that acts as a lender could attempt to terminate our floor plan financing and demand repayment of any amounts outstanding. We may be unable to arrange financing for our guests for their vehicle purchases and leases through such lender, in which case, we would be required to seek financing with alternate financing sources, which may be difficult to obtain on similar terms, if at all.
Additionally, any such bankruptcy may result in us being required to incur impairment charges with respect to the inventory, fixed assets and intangible assets related to certain dealerships, which could adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition and our ability to remain in compliance with the financial ratios contained in our debt agreements.
Manufacturer stock ownership restrictions may impair our ability to maintain or renew franchise or dealer agreements or to issue additional equity.
Some of our franchise and dealer agreements prohibit transfers of any ownership interests of a dealership and, in some cases, its parent, without prior approval of the applicable manufacturer. Our existing franchise and dealer agreements could be terminated if a person or entity acquires a substantial ownership interest in us or acquires voting power above certain levels without the applicable manufacturer’s approval. While the holders of our Class B Common Stock currently maintain voting control of Sonic, their future investment decisions as well as those of holders of our Class A Common Stock are generally outside of our control and could result in the termination or non-renewal of existing franchise or dealer agreements or impair our ability to negotiate new franchise or dealer agreements for dealerships we acquire in the future. In addition, if we cannot obtain any requisite approvals on a timely basis, we may not be able to issue additional equity or otherwise raise capital on terms acceptable to us. These restrictions may also prevent or deter a prospective acquirer from acquiring control of us.
A decline in the quality of vehicles we sell, or consumers’ perception of the quality of those vehicles, may adversely affect our business.
Our business is highly dependent on consumer demand and preferences. Events such as manufacturer recalls and negative publicity or legal proceedings related to these events may have a negative impact on the products we sell. If such events are significant, the profitability of our dealerships related to those manufacturers could be adversely affected and we could experience a material adverse effect on our overall results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Sources of Financing and Liquidity
Our significant indebtedness could materially adversely affect our financial health, limit our ability to finance future acquisitions, expansion plans and capital expenditures and prevent us from fulfilling our financial obligations.
As of December 31, 2020, our total outstanding indebtedness was approximately $2.0 billion, which includes floor plan notes payable, long-term debt and short-term debt.
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RISK FACTORS

We have up to $245.5 million of maximum borrowing availability under an amended and restated syndicated revolving credit facility (the “2016 Revolving Credit Facility”) and up to $966.0 million of maximum borrowing availability for combined syndicated new and used vehicle inventory floor plan financing (the “2016 Floor Plan Facilities”). We refer to the 2016 Revolving Credit Facility and the 2016 Floor Plan Facilities collectively as the “2016 Credit Facilities.” As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $214.7 million available for additional borrowings under the 2016 Revolving Credit Facility based on the borrowing base calculation, which is affected by numerous factors, including eligible asset balances. We are able to borrow under the 2016 Revolving Credit Facility only if, at the time of the borrowing, we have met all representations and warranties and are in compliance with all financial and other covenants contained therein. We have capacity to finance new and used vehicle inventory purchases under floor plan agreements with various manufacturer-affiliated finance companies and other lending institutions (the “Silo Floor Plan Facilities”) as well as the 2016 Floor Plan Facilities. We have up to $112.2 million of maximum borrowing availability under our delayed draw-term loan credit agreement entered into in November 2019 (the “2019 Mortgage Facility”), which varies in borrowing limit based on the appraised value of the collateral underlying the 2019 Mortgage Facility. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $11.3 million available for additional borrowings under the 2019 Mortgage Facility based on the borrowing base calculation. We also have borrowing availability of up to $57.0 million available under our 2020 Line of Credit Facility (as defined below). In addition, our 6.125% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2027 (the “6.125% Notes”) and our other debt instruments allow us to incur additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness, as long as we comply with the terms thereunder.
The majority of our dealership properties are subject to long-term operating lease arrangements that commonly have initial terms of 10 to 20 years with renewal options generally ranging from five to 10 years. These operating leases require compliance with financial and operating covenants similar to those under the 2016 Credit Facilities, and require monthly payments of rent that may fluctuate based on interest rates and local consumer price indices. The total future minimum lease payments related to these operating leases and certain equipment leases are significant and are disclosed in Note 12, “Commitments and Contingencies,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Our failure to comply with certain covenants in these agreements could materially adversely affect our ability to access our borrowing capacity, subject us to acceleration of our outstanding debt, result in a cross default on other indebtedness and could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue our business.
We may not have sufficient funds to meet our obligation to repay all or a substantial portion of the outstanding principal amount of our indebtedness when it becomes due.
The instruments that govern our long-term indebtedness contain certain provisions that may cause all or a substantial portion of the outstanding principal amount of our indebtedness to become immediately due and payable. The 2016 Credit Facilities, the 2019 Mortgage Facility, the 2020 Line of Credit Facility, the indenture governing the 6.125% Notes and many of our operating leases contain numerous financial and operating covenants. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the applicable agreement. In addition, a default under one agreement could result in a cross default and acceleration of our repayment obligations under the other agreements or prevent us from borrowing under such other agreements. If a default or cross default were to occur, we may not be able to pay our debts or to borrow sufficient funds to refinance them. Even if new financing were available, it may not be on terms acceptable to us. If a default were to occur, we may be unable to adequately finance our operations because of acceleration and cross-default provisions and the value of our common stock would be materially adversely affected. As a result of this risk, we could be forced to take actions that we otherwise would not take, or not take actions that we otherwise might take, in order to comply with the covenants in these agreements.
Moreover, many of our mortgage notes’ principal and interest payments are based on an amortization period longer than the actual terms (maturity dates) of the notes. We will be required to repay or refinance the remaining principal balances for certain of our mortgages with balloon payments at the notes’ maturity dates, which range from 2021 to 2033. The amounts to be repaid or refinanced at the maturity dates could be significant. We may not have sufficient liquidity to make such payments at the notes’ maturity dates.
Upon the occurrence of a change of control (as defined in the indenture governing the 6.125% Notes), holders of the 6.125% Notes will have the right to require us to purchase all or any part of such holders’ notes at a price equal to 101% of the principal amount thereof, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any. The events that constitute a change of control under the indenture governing the 6.125% Notes may also constitute a default under the 2016 Credit Facilities, the 2019 Mortgage Facility and the 2020 Line of Credit Facility. The agreements or instruments governing any future debt that we may incur may contain similar provisions regarding repurchases in the event of a change of control triggering event.
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There can be no assurance that we would have sufficient resources available to satisfy all of our obligations under these debt instruments should all or substantial portions of the principal become immediately due and payable. In the event we do not have sufficient liquidity to repay the principal balances, we may not be able to refinance the debt at interest rates that are acceptable to us or, depending on market conditions, at all. Our inability to repay or refinance these notes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to make interest and principal payments when due to holders of our debt securities depends upon our future performance and our receipt of sufficient funds from our subsidiaries.
Our ability to meet our debt obligations and other expenses will depend on our future performance, which will be affected by financial, business, domestic and foreign economic conditions, the regulatory environment and other factors, many of which we are unable to control. Substantially all of our consolidated assets are held by our subsidiaries and substantially all of our consolidated cash flow and net income are generated by our subsidiaries. Accordingly, our cash flow and ability to service debt depend to a substantial degree on the results of operations of our subsidiaries and upon the ability of our subsidiaries to provide us with cash. We may receive cash from our subsidiaries in the form of dividends, loans or distributions. We may use this cash to service our debt obligations or for working capital. Our subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and have no obligation, contingent or otherwise, to distribute cash to us or to make funds available to service debt.
We depend on the performance of subleases to offset costs related to certain of our lease agreements.
In many cases, when we sell a dealership, the buyer of the dealership will sublease the dealership property from us, but we are not released from the underlying lease obligation to the primary landlord. We rely on the sublease income from the buyer to offset the expense incurred related to our obligation to pay the primary landlord. We also rely on the buyer to maintain the property in accordance with the terms of the sublease (which in most cases mirror the terms of the lease we have with the primary landlord). Although we assess the financial condition of a buyer at the time we sell the dealership, and seek to obtain guarantees of the buyer’s sublease obligation from the stockholders or affiliates of the buyer, the financial condition of the buyer and/or the sublease guarantors may deteriorate over time. In the event the buyer does not perform under the terms of the sublease agreement (due to the buyer’s financial condition or other factors), we may not be able to recover amounts owed to us under the terms of the sublease agreement or the related guarantees. Our operating results, financial condition and cash flows may be materially adversely affected if sublessees do not perform their obligations under the terms of the sublease agreements.
Our use of hedging transactions could limit our financial gains or result in financial losses.
To reduce our exposure to fluctuations in cash flow due to interest rate fluctuations, we have entered into, and in the future expect to enter into, certain derivative instruments (or hedging agreements). No hedging activity can completely insulate us from the risks associated with changes in interest rates. As of December 31, 2020, we had interest rate cap agreements related to a portion of our London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”)-based variable rate debt to limit our exposure to rising interest rates. See the heading “Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities” under Note 6, “Long-Term Debt,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements. We intend to hedge as much of our interest rate risk as management determines is in our best interests given the cost of such hedging transactions.
Our hedging transactions expose us to certain risks and financial losses, including, among other things: counterparty credit risk; available interest rate hedging may not correspond directly with the interest rate risk for which we seek protection; the duration or the amount of the hedge may not match the duration or the amount of the related liability; the value of derivatives used for hedging may be adjusted from time to time in accordance with accounting rules to reflect changes in fair value, downward adjustments or “mark-to-market losses,” which would affect our recorded stockholders’ equity amounts; and all of our hedging instruments contain terms and conditions with which we are required to meet. In the event those terms and conditions are not met, we may be required to settle the instruments prior to the instruments’ maturity with cash payments, which could significantly affect our liquidity. A failure on our part to effectively hedge against interest rate changes may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Reforms to and uncertainty regarding LIBOR may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced in July 2017 that it will no longer persuade or require banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021 (the “FCA Announcement”). As of December 31, 2020, approximately $122.7 million of our outstanding variable-rate mortgage notes payable (excluding the 2019 Mortgage Facility) and none of the notional amounts of our interest rate cap agreements extend beyond 2022. In addition, certain of our dealership operating lease agreements contain LIBOR-based rent adjustments if LIBOR rises above a specified minimum LIBOR floor. The FCA Announcement and uncertainties surrounding LIBOR and other financial benchmarks may have the
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RISK FACTORS

effect of triggering future changes in the rules or methodologies used to calculate benchmarks or lead to the discontinuation or unavailability of benchmarks. The discontinuation of LIBOR or other benchmarks may have an unpredictable impact on the contractual mechanics of financial contracts (including, but not limited to, interest rates to be paid to or by us), require renegotiation of outstanding financial assets and liabilities, cause significant disruption to financial markets that are relevant to our business, increase the risk of litigation and/or increase expenses related to the transition to alternative reference rates or benchmarks, among other adverse consequences. Additionally, any transition from current benchmarks may alter the Company’s risk profiles and models, valuation tools, cost of financing and effectiveness of hedging strategies. Reforms to and uncertainty regarding transitions from current benchmarks may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Common Stock
Concentration of voting power and anti-takeover provisions of our charter, our bylaws, Delaware law and our franchise and dealer agreements may reduce the likelihood of a potential change of control from a third party. At the same time, such voting power concentration also could increase the likelihood of a change of control notwithstanding other factors.
Our common stock is divided into two classes with different voting rights. This dual class stock ownership allows the present holders of the Class B Common Stock to control us. Holders of Class A Common Stock have one vote per share on all matters. Holders of Class B Common Stock have 10 votes per share on all matters, except that they have only one vote per share on any transaction proposed or approved by our Board of Directors or a Class B common stockholder or otherwise benefiting the Class B common stockholders constituting a: “going private” transaction; disposition of all or substantially all of our assets; transfer resulting in a change in the nature of our business; or merger or consolidation in which current holders of our common stock would own less than 50% of the common stock following such transaction.
The holders of Class B Common Stock (which include Mr. O. Bruton Smith, Sonic’s Executive Chairman and a director, and an entity Mr. Smith and his family members control) currently hold less than a majority of our outstanding common stock, but a majority of our voting power. As a result, the holders of Class B Common Stock may be able to control fundamental corporate matters and transactions, subject to the above limitations. The concentration of voting power may also discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of us from a third party even if the action was favored by holders of Class A Common Stock. In addition, a sale or transfer of shares by one or more of the holders of Class B Common Stock could result in a change of control or put downward pressure on the market price of our Class A Common Stock. The perception among the public that these sales or transfers will occur could also contribute to a decline in the market price of our Class A Common Stock.
Our charter and bylaws make it more difficult for our stockholders to take corporate actions at stockholders’ meetings. In addition, stock options, restricted stock and restricted stock units granted under the Sonic Automotive, Inc. 2012 Stock Incentive Plan or the Sonic Automotive, Inc. 2012 Formula Restricted Stock and Deferral Plan for Non-Employee Directors and other obligations become immediately exercisable or automatically vest upon a change in control. Delaware law also makes it difficult for stockholders who have recently acquired a large interest in a company to consummate a business combination transaction with the company against its directors’ wishes. Finally, restrictions imposed by our franchise and dealer agreements may impede or prevent any potential takeover bid. Our franchise and dealer agreements allow the manufacturers the right to terminate the agreements upon a change of control of the Company and impose restrictions upon the transferability of any significant percentage of our stock to any one person or entity that may be unqualified, as defined by the manufacturer, to own one of its dealerships. The inability of a person or entity to qualify with one or more of our manufacturers may prevent or seriously impede a potential takeover bid. In addition, there may be provisions of our lending arrangements that create an event of default upon a change in control. These agreements, corporate governance documents and laws may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control or preventing stockholders from realizing a premium on the sale of their shares if we were acquired.
Potential conflicts of interest between us and our officers or directors could adversely affect our future performance.
Mr. O. Bruton Smith serves as the Executive Chairman of Speedway Motorsports and is also a director of most of Speedway Motorsports’ operating subsidiaries. Accordingly, we compete with Speedway Motorsports for the management time of Mr. Smith. Further, Mr. Smith, members of his family and certain trust the beneficiaries of which are members of the Smith family directly and indirectly control a substantial majority of our voting stock.
We have in the past and will likely in the future enter into transactions with Mr. Smith, entities controlled by Mr. Smith and his family or our other affiliates. We believe that all of our existing arrangements with affiliates are as favorable to us as if the arrangements were negotiated between unaffiliated parties, although the majority of these transactions have neither been verified by third parties in that regard nor are likely to be so verified in the future. Potential conflicts of interest could arise in
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RISK FACTORS

the future between us and our officers or directors in the enforcement, amendment or termination of arrangements existing between them.
Our Amended and Restated Bylaws designate the state and federal courts of Delaware as the exclusive forums for certain claims against the Company which could increase the costs of bringing a claim or limit the ability a stockholder to bring a claim in a judicial forum viewed by a stockholder as favorable.
Our Amended and Restated Bylaws provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the sole and exclusive forum for claims for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of Sonic (other than derivative actions brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Exchange Act or the rules and regulations thereunder); (2) any action asserting a claim of a breach of, or based on, a fiduciary duty owed by any current or former director, officer or other employee of Sonic to Sonic or Sonic’s stockholders; (3) any action asserting a claim against Sonic or any current or former director, officer, or other employee or stockholder of Sonic arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation or the Amended and Restated Bylaws; or (4) any action asserting a claim against Sonic governed by the internal affairs doctrine of the State of Delaware. Our Amended and Restated Bylaws also provide that, unless the Board otherwise consents in writing, to the extent permitted by applicable law, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act or any ancillary claims related thereto which are subject to the ancillary jurisdiction of the federal courts.
The exclusive forum provision of our Amended and Restated Bylaws may increase the costs to bring a claim, discourage claims or limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that he, she or it finds favorable for disputes with the Company or the Company’s directors, officers or other employees. Such provisions may also discourage lawsuits against the Company or the Company’s directors, officers and other employees. The Delaware courts or the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than to our stockholders.
While the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions requiring claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether courts in other jurisdictions will enforce provisions such as those contemplated in our Amended and Restated Bylaws, including whether a court would enforce the provision requiring claims arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or ancillary claims related thereto, to be brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. If the exclusive forum provision of our Amended and Restated Bylaws is found to be unenforceable in a particular action, we or a stockholder may incur additional costs associated with resolving such an action or the validity of the exclusive forum clause on appeal.
General Risk Factors
Our business will be harmed if overall consumer demand suffers from a severe or sustained downturn.
Our business is heavily dependent on consumer demand and preferences. Retail new vehicle sales are cyclical and historically have experienced periodic downturns characterized by oversupply and weak demand. These cycles are often correlated with changes in overall economic conditions, consumer confidence, the level of discretionary personal income and credit availability. Deterioration in any of these conditions may have a material ad-verse effect on our retail business, particularly sales of new and used automobiles. In addition, our business may be adversely affected by unfavorable conditions in our local markets, even if those conditions are not prominent nationally. Due to the provisions and terms contained in our franchise or dealer agreements or operating lease agreements, we may not be able to relocate a dealership operation to a more favorable location without incurring significant costs or penalties, if permitted at all. In addition, severe or sustained changes in gasoline prices may lead to a shift in consumer buying patterns. Availability of preferred models may not exist in sufficient quantities to satisfy consumer demand and allow our stores to meet sales expectations.
The outcome of legal and administrative proceedings we are or may become involved in could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects.
We are involved, and expect to continue to be involved, in various legal and administrative proceedings arising out of the conduct of our business, including regulatory investigations and private civil actions brought by plaintiffs purporting to represent a potential class or for which a class has been certified. Although we vigorously defend ourselves in all legal and administrative proceedings, the outcomes of pending and future proceedings arising out of the conduct of our business, including litigation with customers, employment-related lawsuits, contractual disputes, class actions, purported class actions
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RISK FACTORS

and actions brought by governmental authorities, cannot be predicted with certainty. An unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects.
Climate change legislation or regulations restricting emission of greenhouse gases could result in increased operating costs and reduced demand for the vehicles we sell.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has adopted rules under existing provisions of the federal Clean Air Act that require (1) a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles; (2) certain construction and operating permit reviews for greenhouse gas emissions from certain large stationary sources and (3) monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from specified sources on an annual basis. The adoption of any laws or regulations requiring significant increases in fuel economy requirements or new federal or state restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases from our operations or on vehicles and automotive fuels in the U.S. could adversely affect demand for those vehicles and require us to incur costs to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases associated with our operations.
The loss of key personnel and limited management and personnel resources could adversely affect our operations and growth.
Our success depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our management team, particularly our Chief Executive Officer, President, other senior management, and service and sales personnel. Additionally, franchise or dealer agreements may require the prior approval of the applicable manufacturer before any change is made in dealership general managers. We do not have employment agreements with most members of our senior management team, our dealership general managers and other key dealership personnel. Consequently, the loss of the services of one or more of these key employees could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
In addition, as we expand, we may need to hire additional managers. The market for qualified employees in the industry and in the regions in which we operate, particularly for general managers and sales and service personnel, is highly competitive and may subject us to increased labor costs during periods of low unemployment. The loss of the services of key employees or the inability to attract additional qualified managers could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In addition, the lack of qualified management or employees employed by potential acquisition candidates may limit our ability to consummate future acquisitions.
Natural disasters, adverse weather and other events can disrupt our business.
Our dealerships are concentrated in certain states, including California, Colorado, Florida and Texas, in which actual or threatened natural disasters and severe weather events (such as earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, hail storms, floods and hurricanes) may disrupt our store operations, which may adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition to business interruption, the automotive retailing business is subject to substantial risk of property loss due to the significant concentration of property values at store locations. Although we have substantial insurance, subject to certain deductibles, limitations and exclusions, we may be exposed to uninsured or under insured losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
We have invested in internal and external business applications to execute our strategy of employing technology to benefit our business. In the ordinary course of business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees. Moreover, significant technology-related business functions of ours are outsourced. Although we have attempted to mitigate the cyber-security risk of both our internal and outsourced functions by implementing various cyber-security controls, despite our considerable investment in security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breaches due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions.
These cyber-security risks include vulnerability to cyber-attack of our internal or externally hosted business applications; interruption of service or access to systems may affect our ability to deliver vehicles or complete transactions with customers; unauthorized access or theft of customer or employee personal confidential information, including financial information, or strategically sensitive data; disruption of communications (both internally and externally) that may affect the quality of information used to make informed business decisions; and damage to our reputation as a result of a breach in security that could affect the financial security of our customers. Any cyber-security breach or other loss of information could result in legal
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claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties or damage to our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our services, which could materially adversely affect our competitive position, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be subject to substantial withdrawal liability assessments in the future related to a multiemployer pension plan to which certain of our dealerships make contributions pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.
Four of our dealership subsidiaries in northern California currently make fixed-dollar contributions to the Automotive Industries Pension Plan (the “AI Pension Plan”) pursuant to collective bargaining agreements between our subsidiaries and the International Association of Machinists (the “IAM”) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (the “IBT”). The AI Pension Plan is a “multiemployer plan” as defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, and our four dealership subsidiaries are among approximately 153 employers that are obligated to make contributions to the AI Pension Plan pursuant to collective bargaining agreements with the IAM, the IBT and other unions. In March 2008, the Board of Trustees of the AI Pension Plan notified participants, participating employers and local unions that the AI Pension Plan’s actuary issued a certification that the AI Pension Plan was in critical status. In conjunction with the AI Pension Plan’s critical status, all participating employers were required to increase employer contributions to the AI Pension Plan for a seven-year period which commenced in 2013. As of April 2019, the AI Pension Plan’s actuary certified that the AI Pension Plan remained in critical status for the plan year commencing January 1, 2019 and is projected to become insolvent in 2031. Under applicable federal law, any employer contributing to a multiemployer pension plan that completely ceases participating in the plan while the plan is underfunded is subject to payment of such employer’s assessed share of the aggregate unfunded vested benefits of the plan. In certain circumstances, an employer can be assessed withdrawal liability for a partial withdrawal from a multiemployer pension plan. If any of these adverse events were to occur in the future, it could result in a substantial withdrawal liability assessment that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Tax positions may exist related to our tax filings that could be challenged by governmental agencies and result in higher income tax expenses and affect our overall liquidity if we are unable to successfully defend these tax positions.
We are subject to audits by federal and state governmental income tax agencies on a continual basis. During the course of those audits, the agencies may disagree with or challenge tax positions taken on tax returns filed for Sonic and its subsidiaries. As a result of these audits, the agencies may issue assessments and penalties based on their understanding of the underlying facts and circumstances. In the event we are not able to arrive at an agreeable resolution, we may be forced to litigate these matters. If we are unsuccessful in litigation, our results of operations and financial position may be negatively impacted.
Impairment of our goodwill could have a material adverse impact on our earnings.
Goodwill is subject to impairment assessments at least annually or more frequently when events or changes in circumstances indicate that an impairment may have occurred. Pursuant to applicable accounting pronouncements, we evaluate goodwill for impairment annually or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. We describe the process for testing goodwill more thoroughly in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Use of Estimates and Critical Accounting Policies.” If we determine that the amount of our goodwill is impaired at any point in time, we are required to reduce goodwill on our balance sheet. If goodwill is impaired based on a future impairment test, we will be required to record a significant non-cash impairment charge that may also have a material adverse effect on our results of operations for the period in which the impairment of goodwill occurs. As of December 31, 2020, our balance sheet reflected a carrying amount of approximately $214.0 million in goodwill. During the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant decrease in our market capitalization that increased the risk of impairment. As a result, we recorded a $268.0 million non-cash impairment charge related to our franchised dealership reporting unit goodwill as of March 31, 2020.

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Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
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Item 2.  Properties.
Our principal executive offices are located at a property owned by us at 4401 Colwick Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28211, and our telephone number at that location is (704) 566-2400.
Our dealerships are generally located along major U.S. or interstate highways. One of the principal factors we consider in evaluating a potential acquisition is its location. We prefer to acquire dealerships or build dealership facilities located along major thoroughfares, which can be easily visited by prospective guests.
We lease a significant number of the properties utilized by our dealership operations from affiliates of Capital Automotive Real Estate Services, Inc. and other individuals and entities. Under the terms of our franchise and dealer agreements, each of our dealerships must maintain an appropriate appearance and design of its dealership facility and is restricted in its ability to relocate. The properties utilized by our dealership operations that are owned by us or one of our subsidiaries are pledged as security for the 2016 Credit Facilities, the 2019 Mortgage Facility, the 2020 Line of Credit Facility or other mortgage financing arrangements. We believe that our facilities are adequate for our current needs.
Item 3.  Legal Proceedings.
For information regarding legal proceedings, see the discussion under the heading “Legal Proceedings” in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.

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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our Class A Common Stock is currently traded on the NYSE under the symbol “SAH.” Our Class B Common Stock is not traded on a public market and, we do not intend to apply to have our Class B Common Stock listed on a national exchange or an automated dealer quotation system.
As of February 18, 2021, there were 29,797,727 shares of our Class A Common Stock and 12,029,375 shares of our Class B Common Stock outstanding. As of February 18, 2021, there were 1,052 record holders of the Class A Common Stock and four record holders of the Class B Common Stock. The closing stock price for the Class A Common Stock on February 18, 2021 was $39.39.
Our Board of Directors approved four quarterly cash dividends on all outstanding shares of Class A and Class B Common Stock totaling $0.40 per share, $0.40 per share and $0.24 per share during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Subsequent to December 31, 2020, our Board of Directors approved a cash dividend on all outstanding shares of Class A and Class B Common Stock of $0.10 per share for stockholders of record on March 15, 2021 to be paid on April 15, 2021. The declaration and payment of any future dividend is subject to the business judgment of our Board of Directors, taking into consideration our historic and projected results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, capital requirements, covenant compliance, share repurchases, current economic environment and other factors considered by our Board of Directors to be relevant. These factors are considered each quarter and will be scrutinized as our Board of Directors determines our future dividend policy. There is no guarantee that additional dividends will be declared and paid at any time in the future. See Note 6, “Long-Term Debt,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources” for additional discussion of dividends and for a description of restrictions on the payment of dividends.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table sets forth information about the shares of Class A common stock we repurchased during the three months ended December 31, 2020:
Total Number of Shares Purchased Average Price Paid per Share Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs (1) Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (1)
(In thousands, except per share data)
October 2020 333,103  $ 38.67  333,103  71,465 
November 2020 55,000  $ 36.20  55,000  69,474 
December 2020 —  $ —  —  69,474 
Total 388,103  388,103 
(1)On February 13, 2017 and July 31, 2020, we announced that our Board of Directors had increased the dollar amount authorized for us to repurchase shares of our Class A Common Stock pursuant to our share repurchase program. Our share repurchase program does not have an expiration date and current remaining availability under the program is as follows:
(In thousands)
February 2017 authorization $ 100,000 
July 2020 authorization $ 60,000 
Total active program repurchases prior to December 31, 2020 $ (90,526)
Current remaining availability as of December 31, 2020 $ 69,474 


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Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Not applicable.

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the accompanying consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto and “Item 1A. Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The financial and statistical data contained in the following discussion for all periods presented reflects our December 31, 2020 classification of dealerships between continuing and discontinued operations in accordance with “Presentation of Financial Statements” in the Accounting Standards Codification (the “ASC”). For comparison and discussion of our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 (“2019”) compared to our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2018 (“2018”), please refer to “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Unless otherwise noted, we present the discussion in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations on a consolidated basis. To the extent that we believe a discussion of the differences among reportable segments will enhance a reader’s understanding of our financial condition, cash flows and other changes in financial condition and results of operations, the differences are discussed separately.
Unless otherwise noted, all discussion of increases or decreases are for the year ended December 31, 2020 (“2020”) compared to 2019. The following discussion of new vehicles, used vehicles, wholesale vehicles, parts, service and collision repair, and finance, insurance and other, net is on a same store basis, except where otherwise noted. All currently operating stores (both our franchised dealerships and EchoPark stores) are included within the same store group as of the first full month following the first anniversary of the store’s opening or acquisition.
Overview
We are one of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S. (as measured by reported total revenue). As a result of the way we manage our business, we had two reportable segments as of December 31, 2020: (1) the Franchised Dealerships Segment and (2) the EchoPark Segment. For management and operational reporting purposes, we group certain businesses together that share management and inventory (principally used vehicles) into “stores.” As of December 31, 2020, we operated 84 stores in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and 16 stores in the EchoPark Segment. The Franchised Dealerships Segment consists of 96 new vehicle franchises (representing 21 different brands of cars and light trucks) and 14 collision repair centers in 12 states.
The Franchised Dealerships Segment provides comprehensive services, including (1) sales of both new and used cars and light trucks; (2) sales of replacement parts and performance of vehicle maintenance, manufacturer warranty repairs, and paint and collision repair services (collectively, “Fixed Operations”); and (3) arrangement of extended warranties, service contracts, financing, insurance and other aftermarket products (collectively, “finance and insurance” or “F&I”) for our guests. The EchoPark Segment sells used cars and light trucks and arranges F&I product sales for our guests in pre-owned vehicle specialty retail locations. Our EchoPark business generally operates independently from our franchised dealerships business (except for certain shared back-office functions and corporate overhead costs). Sales operations for EchoPark began in the fourth quarter of 2014, and, as of December 31, 2020, we operated 16 EchoPark stores in eight states. During 2020, we announced an accelerated EchoPark growth plan in which we hope to open 25 additional EchoPark stores annually from 2021 to 2025 as we build out an expected 140-plus point nationwide EchoPark distribution network by 2025.
Executive Summary
The U.S. retail automotive industry’s total new vehicle unit sales volume was approximately 14.5 million vehicles in 2020, a decrease of 14.7%, compared to 17.0 million vehicles in 2019, according to the Power Information Network (“PIN”) from J.D. Power. For 2021, analysts’ industry expectation for the new vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (“SAAR”) ranges from 14.5 million vehicles (flat compared to 2020) to 16.0 million vehicles (an increase of 10.3% compared to 2020). We estimate the 2021 new vehicle SAAR will be between 15.5 million vehicles (an increase of 6.9% compared to 2020) and 16.0 million vehicles (an increase of 10.3% compared to 2020). The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in consumer confidence, availability of consumer financing, interest rates, additional federal relief spending by the U.S. government, manufacturer inventory production levels, incentive levels from automotive manufacturers or shifts in level or timing of consumer demand as a result of natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances could cause the actual 2021 new vehicle SAAR to vary from expectations. For example, a material portion of our revenue is generated from our locations in Texas, nearly all of which have been substantially affected by the extreme winter weather and related power outages experienced in February 2021. Many factors, including brand and geographic concentrations as well as the industry sales mix between retail and fleet new vehicle unit sales volume, have caused our past results to differ from the industry’s overall trend. Our new vehicle sales strategy focuses on our retail new vehicle sales (as opposed to fleet new vehicle sales) and, as a result, we believe it is appropriate to compare our retail new vehicle unit sales volume to the retail new vehicle SAAR (which excludes
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fleet new vehicle sales). According to PIN from J.D. Power, industry retail new vehicle unit sales volume decreased 8.1%, to 12.4 million vehicles, in 2020, from 13.5 million vehicles in 2019.
Franchised Dealerships Segment
As a result of the disposition, termination or closure of several franchised dealership stores in 2019 and 2020, the change in consolidated reported amounts from period to period may not be indicative of the current or future operational or financial performance of our current group of operating stores. Unless otherwise noted, all discussion of increases or decreases are for 2020 compared to 2019. The following discussion is on a same store basis (which excludes results from disposed stores), except where otherwise noted. All currently operating stores are included within the same store group as of the first full month following the first anniversary of the store’s opening or acquisition.
New vehicle revenue decreased 8.5% in 2020, primarily driven by a 12.9% decrease in new vehicle unit sales volume as a result of lower consumer demand beginning in the first quarter of 2020 and continuing through the second quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New vehicle gross profit increased 3.7% in 2020, primarily driven by an increase in new vehicle gross profit per unit due primarily to a 5.1% increase in new vehicle average selling price. New vehicle gross profit per unit increased $401 per unit, or 19.0%, to $2,508 per unit, due primarily to generally increased average selling prices due to inventory shortages in certain makes and models as a result of vehicle manufacturer supply chain disruptions and production delays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retail used vehicle revenue decreased 1.9% in 2020, driven by a 4.4% decrease in retail used vehicle unit sales volume. Retail used vehicle gross profit decreased 12.8% in 2020, due to a decrease in retail used vehicle gross profit per unit of $112 per unit, or 8.8%, to $1,168 per unit as a result of significant fluctuations in wholesale and retail used vehicle prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wholesale vehicle gross loss improved by approximately $2.9 million, or 84.6%, to $0.5 million during 2020, due in part to increased demand in the wholesale auction market as a result of new vehicle inventory shortages, which resulted in higher wholesale vehicle prices for much of 2020. In the past, we have focused on maintaining used vehicle inventory days’ supply in the 30- to 35-day range, which may fluctuate seasonally, in order to limit our exposure to market pricing volatility. Our reported franchised dealerships used vehicle inventory days’ supply was approximately 30 and 28 days as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Fixed Operations revenue decreased 9.5% and Fixed Operations gross profit decreased 7.7%, driven primarily by lower consumer demand for repairs as a result of shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixed Operations gross margin increased 100 basis points, to 49.9%, in 2020, driven primarily by an increase in customer pay revenue contribution and higher customer pay gross margin.
F&I revenue increased 1.2% in 2020, driven by an increase in F&I gross profit per retail unit. F&I gross profit per retail unit increased $161 per unit, or 10.1%, to $1,748 per unit, in 2020. We believe that our proprietary software applications, playbook processes and guest-centric selling approach enable us to optimize F&I gross profit and penetration rates (the number of F&I products sold per vehicle) across our F&I product lines. We believe that we will continue to increase revenue in this area as we refine our processes, train our associates and continue to sell a high volume of retail new and used vehicles at our stores.
EchoPark Segment
Unless otherwise noted, all discussion of increases or decreases are for 2020 compared to 2019. All currently operating stores are included within the same store group as of the first full month following the first anniversary of the store’s opening or acquisition. Total EchoPark revenues increased 22.1% in 2020, driven primarily by new store openings, increases in retail used vehicle unit sales volume and average selling price. Total gross profit increased 1.6% in 2020, due primarily to higher retail used vehicle unit sales volume, offset partially by lower retail used vehicle gross profit per unit as a result of significant fluctuations in wholesale and retail used vehicle prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retail used vehicle revenue increased 22.3% and F&I revenue increased 16.0% in 2020, driven primarily by a 15.4% increase in retail used vehicle unit sales volume in 2020. Combined retail used vehicle and F&I gross profit per unit decreased $283 per unit, or 12.3%, to $2,013 per unit in 2020. The decrease in combined retail used vehicle and F&I gross profit per unit was primarily due to higher cost of inventory acquisition as a result of increased demand in the wholesale auction market for much of 2020, partially offset by an increase in F&I product penetration rates.
Wholesale vehicle gross loss improved by approximately $0.3 million, or 75.3%, to $0.1 million in 2020, due in part to higher average wholesale prices as a result of increased demand for used vehicles at auction. We generally focus on maintaining
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used vehicle inventory days’ supply in the 30- to 35-day range, which may fluctuate seasonally, in order to limit our exposure to market pricing volatility. Our used vehicle inventory days’ supply at our EchoPark stores was approximately 41 and 33 days as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The elevated level of used inventory days’ supply as of December 31, 2020 was due primarily to the opening of three new EchoPark stores in the fourth quarter of 2020, which required additional inventory on hand but were not yet generating retail used vehicle sales at a normalized rate.
Same store total revenues increased 3.4% in 2020, driven primarily by an increase in retail used vehicle average selling price. Same store total gross profit decreased 13.3% in 2020, due primarily to lower retail used vehicle gross profit per unit as a result of significant fluctuations in wholesale and retail used vehicle prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results of Operations
The following table summarizes the percentages of total revenues represented by certain items reflected in our consolidated statements of operations:
Percentage of Total Revenues
Year Ended December 31,
2020 2019 2018
Revenues:
New vehicles 43.8  % 46.8  % 50.0  %
Used vehicles 36.5  % 33.4  % 29.9  %
Wholesale vehicles 2.0  % 1.9  % 2.2  %
Parts, service and collision repair 12.6  % 13.3  % 13.9  %
Finance, insurance and other, net 5.0  % 4.6  % 4.1  %
Total revenues 100.0  % 100.0  % 100.0  %
Cost of sales 85.4  % 85.5  % 85.5  %
Gross profit 14.6  % 14.5  % 14.5  %
Selling, general and administrative expenses 10.5  % 10.5  % 11.5  %
Impairment charges 2.8  % 0.2  % 0.3  %
Depreciation and amortization 0.9  % 0.9  % 0.9  %
Operating income (loss) 0.3  % 2.9  % 1.8  %
Interest expense, floor plan 0.3  % 0.5  % 0.5  %
Interest expense, other, net 0.4  % 0.5  % 0.5  %
Other (income) expense, net 0.0  % 0.1  % 0.0  %
Income (loss) from continuing operations before taxes (0.4) % 1.9  % 0.8  %
Provision for income taxes for continuing operations - (benefit) expense 0.2  % 0.5  % 0.2  %
Income (loss) from continuing operations (0.5) % 1.4  % 0.5  %

Results of Operations - Consolidated
As a result of the disposition, termination or closure of several franchised dealership stores in 2019 and 2020, the change in consolidated reported amounts from period to period may not be indicative of the current or future operational or financial performance of our current group of operating stores. Unless otherwise noted, all discussion of increases or decreases are for 2020 compared to 2019. All currently operating stores (both our franchised dealerships and EchoPark stores) are included within the same store group as of the first full month following the first anniversary of the store’s opening or acquisition.
New Vehicles - Consolidated
New vehicle revenues include the sale of new vehicles to retail customers, as well as the sale of fleet vehicles. New vehicle revenues and gross profit can be influenced by vehicle manufacturer incentives to consumers (which vary from cash-back incentives to low interest rate financing, among other things), the availability of consumer credit and the level and type of manufacturer-to-dealer incentives, as well as manufacturers providing adequate inventory allocations to our dealerships to meet consumer demands. The automobile manufacturing industry is cyclical and historically has experienced periodic downturns characterized by oversupply and weak demand, both within specific brands and in the industry as a whole. As an automotive retailer, we seek to mitigate the effects of this sales cycle by maintaining a diverse brand mix of dealerships. Our brand
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diversity allows us to offer a broad range of products at a wide range of prices from lower-priced/economy vehicles to luxury vehicles.
The U.S. retail automotive industry’s new vehicle unit sales volume below reflects all brands marketed or sold in the U.S. This industry sales volume includes brands we do not sell and markets in which we do not operate, therefore our new vehicle unit sales volume may not trend directly in line with the industry new vehicle unit sales volume. We believe that the retail new vehicle industry sales volume is a more meaningful metric for comparing our new vehicle unit sales volume to the industry due to our minimal fleet vehicle business. Beginning in the middle of March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to adversely impact the retail automotive industry and consequentially also our business operations by severely impacting the demand for our products and services. State and local governmental authorities in all of the markets in which we operate began to put in place various levels of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders in the middle of March 2020, which in many cases significantly restricted our business operations and suppressed consumer activity, in particular related to our vehicle sales activities. These restrictions remained in place to varying degrees through the end of 2020 in most of the markets in which we operate.
Year Ended December 31,
(In millions of vehicles) 2020 2019 % Change
U.S. industry new vehicle volume - Retail (1) 12.4 13.5 (8.1)%
U.S. industry new vehicle volume - Fleet 2.1 3.5 (40.0)%
U.S. industry new vehicle volume - Total (1) 14.5 17.0 (14.7)%
(1) Source: PIN from J.D. Power
For 2021, analysts’ industry expectation for the new vehicle SAAR ranges from 14.5 million vehicles (flat compared to 2020) to 16.0 million vehicles (an increase of 10.3% compared to 2020). We estimate the 2021 new vehicle SAAR will be between 15.5 million vehicles (an increase of 6.9% compared to 2020) and 16.0 million vehicles (an increase of 10.3% compared to 2020). The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in consumer confidence, availability of consumer financing, manufacturer inventory production levels, incentive levels from automotive manufacturers or shifts in level or timing of consumer demand as a result of natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances could cause the actual 2021 new vehicle SAAR to vary from expectations.
The following table provides a reconciliation of consolidated reported basis and same store basis for total new vehicles (combined retail and fleet data):
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total new vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 4,258,098  $ 4,654,982  $ (396,884) (8.5) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 23,125  234,189  (211,064) NM
Total as reported $ 4,281,223  $ 4,889,171  $ (607,948) (12.4) %
Total new vehicle gross profit:
Same store $ 231,871  $ 223,661  $ 8,210  3.7  %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 2,220  9,426  (7,206) NM
Total as reported $ 234,091  $ 233,087  $ 1,004  0.4  %
Total new vehicle unit sales:
Same store 92,445  106,170  (13,725) (12.9) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 836  7,961  (7,125) NM
Total as reported 93,281  114,131  (20,850) (18.3) %
NM = Not Meaningful
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Our consolidated reported new vehicle results (combined retail and fleet data) are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported new vehicle:
Revenue $ 4,281,223  $ 4,889,171  $ (607,948) (12.4) %
Gross profit $ 234,091  $ 233,087  $ 1,004  0.4  %
Unit sales 93,281  114,131  (20,850) (18.3) %
Revenue per unit $ 45,896  $ 42,838  $ 3,058  7.1  %
Gross profit per unit $ 2,510  $ 2,042  $ 468  22.9  %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.5  % 4.8  % 70  bps
Our consolidated same store new vehicle results (combined retail and fleet data) are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store new vehicle:
Revenue $ 4,258,098  $ 4,654,982  $ (396,884) (8.5) %
Gross profit $ 231,871  $ 223,661  $ 8,210  3.7  %
Unit sales 92,445  106,170  (13,725) (12.9) %
Revenue per unit $ 46,061  $ 43,845  $ 2,216  5.1  %
Gross profit per unit $ 2,508  $ 2,107  $ 401  19.0  %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.4  % 4.8  % 60  bps
For further analysis of new vehicle results, see the tables and discussion under the heading “New Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment” in the Franchised Dealerships Segment section below.
Used Vehicles - Consolidated
Used vehicle revenues are directly affected by a number of factors, including the pricing and level of manufacturer incentives on new vehicles, the number and quality of trade-ins and lease turn-ins, the availability and pricing of used vehicles acquired at auction and the availability of consumer credit. As with new vehicles, COVID-19 began to adversely impact the retail automotive industry and our business operations beginning in the middle of March 2020 by severely impacting the demand for our products and services. State and local governmental authorities in all of the markets in which we operate began to put in place various levels of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders in the middle of March 2020, which in many cases significantly restricted our business operations and suppressed consumer activity, in particular related to our vehicle sales activities. These restrictions remained in place to varying degrees through the end of 2020 in most of the markets in which we operate.
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The following table provides a reconciliation of consolidated reported basis and same store basis for retail used vehicles:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total used vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 3,358,527  $ 3,370,272  $ (11,745) (0.3) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 206,305  119,700  86,605  NM
Total as reported $ 3,564,832  $ 3,489,972  $ 74,860  2.1  %
Total used vehicle gross profit:
Same store $ 97,920  $ 129,428  $ (31,508) (24.3) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 8,078  17,968  (9,890) NM
Total as reported $ 105,998  $ 147,396  $ (41,398) (28.1) %
Total used vehicle unit sales:
Same store 149,429  155,031  (5,602) (3.6) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 9,596  7,118  2,478  NM
Total as reported 159,025  162,149  (3,124) (1.9) %
NM = Not Meaningful 
Our consolidated reported retail used vehicle results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported used vehicle:
Revenue $ 3,564,832  $ 3,489,972  $ 74,860  2.1  %
Gross profit $ 105,998  $ 147,396  $ (41,398) (28.1) %
Unit sales 159,025  162,149  (3,124) (1.9) %
Revenue per unit $ 22,417  $ 21,523  $ 894  4.2  %
Gross profit per unit $ 667  $ 909  $ (242) (26.6) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 3.0  % 4.2  % (120) bps
Our consolidated same store retail used vehicle results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store used vehicle:
Revenue $ 3,358,527  $ 3,370,272  $ (11,745) (0.3) %
Gross profit $ 97,920  $ 129,428  $ (31,508) (24.3) %
Unit sales 149,429  155,031  (5,602) (3.6) %
Revenue per unit $ 22,476  $ 21,739  $ 737  3.4  %
Gross profit per unit $ 655  $ 835  $ (180) (21.6) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 2.9  % 3.8  % (90) bps
For further analysis of used vehicle results, see the tables and discussion under the headings “Used Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment” and “Used Vehicles and F&I - EchoPark Segment” in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and EchoPark Segment sections, respectively, below.
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Wholesale Vehicles - Consolidated
Wholesale vehicle revenues are affected by retail new and used vehicle unit sales volume and the associated trade-in volume, as well as short-term, temporary fluctuations in wholesale auction pricing. Wholesale vehicle revenues are also significantly affected by our corporate inventory management strategy and policies, which are designed to optimize our total used vehicle inventory and minimize inventory carrying risks.
The following table provides a reconciliation of consolidated reported basis and same store basis for wholesale vehicles:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total wholesale vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 192,531  $ 195,233  $ (2,702) (1.4) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 4,847  7,713  (2,866) NM
Total as reported $ 197,378  $ 202,946  $ (5,568) (2.7) %
Total wholesale vehicle gross profit (loss):
Same store $ (678) $ (3,714) $ 3,036  81.7  %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions (193) (718) 525  NM
Total as reported $ (871) $ (4,432) $ 3,561  80.3  %
Total wholesale vehicle unit sales:
Same store 31,089  31,888  (799) (2.5) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 968  2,265  (1,297) NM
Total as reported 32,057  34,153  (2,096) (6.1) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our consolidated reported wholesale vehicle results are as follows: 
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported wholesale vehicle:
Revenue $ 197,378  $ 202,946  $ (5,568) (2.7) %
Gross profit (loss) $ (871) $ (4,432) $ 3,561  80.3  %
Unit sales 32,057  34,153  (2,096) (6.1) %
Revenue per unit $ 6,157  $ 5,942  $ 215  3.6  %
Gross profit (loss) per unit $ (27) $ (130) $ 103  79.2  %
Gross profit (loss) as a % of revenue (0.4) % (2.2) % 180  bps
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Our consolidated same store wholesale vehicle results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store wholesale vehicle:
Revenue $ 192,531  $ 195,233  $ (2,702) (1.4) %
Gross profit (loss) $ (678) $ (3,714) $ 3,036  81.7  %
Unit sales 31,089  31,888  (799) (2.5) %
Revenue per unit $ 6,193  $ 6,122  $ 71  1.2  %
Gross profit (loss) per unit $ (22) $ (116) $ 94  81.0  %
Gross profit (loss) as a % of revenue (0.4) % (1.9) % 150  bps
For further analysis of wholesale vehicle results, see the tables and discussion under the headings “Wholesale Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment” and “Wholesale Vehicles - EchoPark Segment” in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and EchoPark Segment sections, respectively, below.
Fixed Operations - Consolidated
Parts, service and collision repair revenues consist of customer requested repair orders (“customer pay”), warranty repairs, wholesale parts and internal, sublet and other. Parts and service revenue is driven by the mix of warranty repairs versus customer pay repairs, available service capacity (a combination of service bay count and technician availability), vehicle quality, manufacturer recalls, customer loyalty, and prepaid or manufacturer-paid maintenance programs. Internal, sublet and other primarily relates to preparation and reconditioning work performed on vehicles in inventory that are later sold to a third party. When that work is performed by one of our dealerships or stores, the work is classified as internal. In the event the work is performed by a third party on our behalf, it is classified as sublet.
We believe that, over time, vehicle quality will continue to improve, but vehicle complexity and the associated demand for repairs by qualified technicians at manufacturer-affiliated dealerships may result in market share gains that could offset any revenue lost from improvement in vehicle quality. We also believe that, over the long term, we have the ability to continue to add service capacity at our dealerships to further increase Fixed Operations revenues. Manufacturers continue to extend new vehicle warranty periods and have also begun to include regular maintenance items in the warranty or complimentary maintenance program coverage. These factors, over the long term, combined with the extended manufacturer warranties on CPO vehicles, should facilitate growth in our parts and service business. Barriers to long-term growth may include reductions in the rate paid by manufacturers to dealers for warranty work performed, as well as the improved quality of vehicles that may affect the level and frequency of future customer pay or warranty-related repair revenues.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on our consolidated Fixed Operations revenues, as travel restrictions, government-imposed stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders and fewer workers undertaking a daily commute combined to substantially decrease the number of miles driven in the U.S., which decreased the demand for maintenance and collision repair services.
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The following table provides a reconciliation of consolidated reported basis and same store basis for Fixed Operations:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands)
Total Fixed Operations revenue:
Same store $ 1,219,196  $ 1,337,711  $ (118,515) (8.9) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 14,539  57,592  (43,053) NM
Total as reported $ 1,233,735  $ 1,395,303  $ (161,568) (11.6) %
Total Fixed Operations gross profit:
Same store $ 590,413  $ 639,121  $ (48,708) (7.6) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 4,140  28,894  (24,754) NM
Total as reported $ 594,553  $ 668,015  $ (73,462) (11.0) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our consolidated reported Fixed Operations results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands)
Reported Fixed Operations:
Revenue
Customer pay $ 505,384  $ 561,422  $ (56,038) (10.0) %
Warranty 224,940  272,389  (47,449) (17.4) %
Wholesale parts 130,114  157,603  (27,489) (17.4) %
Internal, sublet and other 373,297  403,889  (30,592) (7.6) %
Total revenue $ 1,233,735  $ 1,395,303  $ (161,568) (11.6) %
Gross profit
Customer pay $ 284,103  $ 304,950  $ (20,847) (6.8) %
Warranty 127,862  150,984  (23,122) (15.3) %
Wholesale parts 22,587  27,187  (4,600) (16.9) %
Internal, sublet and other 160,001  184,894  (24,893) (13.5) %
Total gross profit $ 594,553  $ 668,015  $ (73,462) (11.0) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue
Customer pay 56.2  % 54.3  % 190  bps
Warranty 56.8  % 55.4  % 140  bps
Wholesale parts 17.4  % 17.3  % 10  bps
Internal, sublet and other 42.9  % 45.8  % (290) bps
Total gross profit as a % of revenue 48.2  % 47.9  % 30  bps
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Our consolidated same store Fixed Operations results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands)
Same store Fixed Operations:
Revenue
Customer pay $ 500,474  $ 536,704  $ (36,230) (6.8) %
Warranty 223,796  262,890  (39,094) (14.9) %
Wholesale parts 129,575  154,493  (24,918) (16.1) %
Internal, sublet and other 365,351  383,624  (18,273) (4.8) %
Total revenue $ 1,219,196  $ 1,337,711  $ (118,515) (8.9) %
Gross profit
Customer pay $ 281,948  $ 292,442  $ (10,494) (3.6) %
Warranty 127,285  145,913  (18,628) (12.8) %
Wholesale parts 22,524  26,603  (4,079) (15.3) %
Internal, sublet and other 158,656  174,163  (15,507) (8.9) %
Total gross profit $ 590,413  $ 639,121  $ (48,708) (7.6) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue
Customer pay 56.3  % 54.5  % 180  bps
Warranty 56.9  % 55.5  % 140  bps
Wholesale parts 17.4  % 17.2  % 20  bps
Internal, sublet and other 43.4  % 45.4  % (200) bps
Total gross profit as a % of revenue 48.4  % 47.8  % 60  bps
For further analysis of Fixed Operations results, see the tables and discussion under the headings “Fixed Operations - Franchised Dealerships Segment” and “Fixed Operations - EchoPark Segment” in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and EchoPark Segment sections, respectively, below.
F&I - Consolidated
Finance, insurance and other, net revenues include commissions for arranging vehicle financing and insurance, sales of third-party extended warranties and service contracts for vehicles, and sales of other aftermarket products. In connection with vehicle financing, extended warranties and service contracts, other aftermarket products and insurance contracts, we receive commissions from the providers for originating contracts. F&I revenues are recognized net of estimated chargebacks and other costs associated with originating contracts (as a result, F&I revenues and F&I gross profit are the same amount). F&I revenues are affected by the level of new and retail used vehicle unit sales volume, the age and average selling price of vehicles sold, the level of manufacturer financing specials or leasing incentives, and our F&I penetration rate. The F&I penetration rate represents the number of finance contracts, extended warranties and service contracts, other aftermarket products or insurance contracts that we are able to originate per vehicle sold, expressed as a percentage.
Yield spread premium is another term for the commission earned by our dealerships for arranging vehicle financing for consumers. The amount of the commission could be zero, a flat fee or an actual spread between the interest rate charged to the consumer and the interest rate provided by the direct financing source (e.g., a commercial bank, credit union or manufacturer captive finance company). We have established caps on the potential yield spread premium our dealerships can earn with all finance sources. We believe the yield spread premium we earn for arranging vehicle financing represents value to the consumer in numerous ways, including the following:
lower cost, below-market financing is often available only from the manufacturers’ captives and franchised dealers;
ease of access to multiple high-quality lending sources;
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
lease-financing alternatives are largely available only from manufacturers’ captives or other indirect lenders;
guests with substandard credit frequently do not have direct access to potential sources of sub-prime financing; and
guests with significant “negative equity” in their current vehicle (i.e., the guest’s current vehicle is worth less than the balance of their vehicle loan or lease obligation) frequently are unable to pay off the loan on their current vehicle and finance the purchase or lease of a replacement new or used vehicle without the assistance of a franchised dealer’s network of lending sources.
The following table provides a reconciliation of consolidated reported basis and same store basis for F&I:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Total F&I revenue:
Same store $ 448,098  $ 444,751  $ 3,347  0.8  %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 41,776  32,200  9,576  NM
Total as reported $ 489,874  $ 476,951  $ 12,923  2.7  %
Total F&I gross profit per retail unit (excludes fleet):
Same store $ 1,863  $ 1,720  $ 143  8.3  %
Reported $ 1,952  $ 1,743  $ 209  12.0  %
Total combined retail new and used vehicle unit sales:
Same store 240,532  258,569  (18,037) (7.0) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 10,432  15,037  (4,605) NM
Total as reported 250,964  273,606  (22,642) (8.3) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our consolidated reported F&I results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported F&I:
Revenue $ 489,874  $ 476,951  $ 12,923  2.7  %
Unit sales 250,964  273,606  (22,642) (8.3) %
Gross profit per retail unit (excludes fleet) $ 1,952  $ 1,743  $ 209  12.0  %
Our consolidated same store F&I results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store F&I:
Revenue $ 448,098  $ 444,751  $ 3,347  0.8  %
Unit sales 240,532  258,569  (18,037) (7.0) %
Gross profit per retail unit (excludes fleet) $ 1,863  $ 1,720  $ 143  8.3  %
For further analysis of F&I results, see the tables and discussion under the headings “F&I - Franchised Dealerships Segment” and “Used Vehicles and F&I - EchoPark Segment” in the Franchised Dealerships Segment and EchoPark Segment sections, respectively, below.
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Results of Operations - Franchised Dealerships Segment
As a result of the disposition, termination or closure of several franchised dealership stores in 2019 and 2020, the change in consolidated reported amounts from period to period may not be indicative of the current or future operational or financial performance of our current group of operating stores. Unless otherwise noted, all discussion of increases or decreases are for 2020 compared to 2019. The following discussion of new vehicles, used vehicles, wholesale vehicles, parts, service and collision repair, and finance, insurance and other, net, is on a same store basis (which excludes results from disposed stores), except where otherwise noted. All currently operating stores are included within the same store group as of the first full month following the first anniversary of the store’s opening or acquisition.

New Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment
The following table provides a reconciliation of Franchised Dealerships Segment reported basis and same store basis for total new vehicles (combined retail and fleet data):
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total new vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 4,258,098  $ 4,654,982  $ (396,884) (8.5) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 23,125  234,189  (211,064) NM
Total as reported $ 4,281,223  $ 4,889,171  $ (607,948) (12.4) %
Total new vehicle gross profit:
Same store $ 231,871  $ 223,661  $ 8,210  3.7  %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 2,220  9,426  (7,206) NM
Total as reported $ 234,091  $ 233,087  $ 1,004  0.4  %
Total new vehicle unit sales:
Same store 92,445  106,170  (13,725) (12.9) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 836  7,961  (7,125) NM
Total as reported 93,281  114,131  (20,850) (18.3) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment reported new vehicle results (combined retail and fleet data) are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported new vehicle:
Revenue $ 4,281,223  $ 4,889,171  $ (607,948) (12.4) %
Gross profit $ 234,091  $ 233,087  $ 1,004  0.4  %
Unit sales 93,281  114,131  (20,850) (18.3) %
Revenue per unit $ 45,896  $ 42,838  $ 3,058  7.1  %
Gross profit per unit $ 2,510  $ 2,042  $ 468  22.9  %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.5  % 4.8  % 70  bps
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment same store new vehicle results (combined retail and fleet data) are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store new vehicle:
Revenue $ 4,258,098  $ 4,654,982  $ (396,884) (8.5) %
Gross profit $ 231,871  $ 223,661  $ 8,210  3.7  %
Unit sales 92,445  106,170  (13,725) (12.9) %
Revenue per unit $ 46,061  $ 43,845  $ 2,216  5.1  %
Gross profit per unit $ 2,508  $ 2,107  $ 401  19.0  %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.4  % 4.8  % 60  bps
New vehicle revenue decreased 8.5% and new vehicle unit sales volume decreased 12.9%, driven by decreases in new vehicle unit sales volume in each of our markets as a result of disrupted consumer behavior and new vehicle inventory supply constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such impact was particularly significant in our California stores, which represented approximately 56% of the decrease in new vehicle unit sales volume compared to the prior year, due in part to more restrictive and prolonged government-issued shutdown orders than other markets in which we operate. New vehicle gross profit increased approximately $8.2 million, or 3.7%, as a result of higher new vehicle gross profit per unit, which more than offset lower new vehicle unit sales volume. New vehicle gross profit per unit increased $401 per unit, or 19.0%, to $2,508 per unit, due primarily to inventory shortages in certain makes and models as a result of vehicle manufacturer supply chain disruptions and production delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which generally have increased the average selling price of such vehicles.
Our reported franchised dealerships new vehicle inventory days’ supply was approximately 38 and 53 days as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, below our target level as of December 31, 2020 as a result of the vehicle manufacturer supply chain disruptions and production delays described above.
Used Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment
The following table provides a reconciliation of Franchised Dealerships Segment reported basis and same store basis for retail used vehicles:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total used vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 2,332,150  $ 2,376,141  $ (43,991) (1.9) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 13,786  117,326  (103,540) NM
Total as reported $ 2,345,936  $ 2,493,467  $ (147,531) (5.9) %
Total used vehicle gross profit:
Same store $ 117,903  $ 135,259  $ (17,356) (12.8) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 5,045  12,282  (7,237) NM
Total as reported $ 122,948  $ 147,541  $ (24,593) (16.7) %
Total used vehicle unit sales:
Same store 100,983  105,639  (4,656) (4.4) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 881  6,990  (6,109) NM
Total as reported 101,864  112,629  (10,765) (9.6) %
NM = Not Meaningful
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment reported retail used vehicle results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported used vehicle:
Revenue $ 2,345,936  $ 2,493,467  $ (147,531) (5.9) %
Gross profit $ 122,948  $ 147,541  $ (24,593) (16.7) %
Unit sales 101,864  112,629  (10,765) (9.6) %
Revenue per unit $ 23,030  $ 22,139  $ 891  4.0  %
Gross profit per unit $ 1,207  $ 1,310  $ (103) (7.9) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.2  % 5.9  % (70) bps
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment same store retail used vehicle results are as follows: 
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store used vehicle:
Revenue $ 2,332,150  $ 2,376,141  $ (43,991) (1.9) %
Gross profit $ 117,903  $ 135,259  $ (17,356) (12.8) %
Unit sales 100,983  105,639  (4,656) (4.4) %
Revenue per unit $ 23,094  $ 22,493  $ 601  2.7  %
Gross profit per unit $ 1,168  $ 1,280  $ (112) (8.8) %
Gross profit as a % of revenue 5.1  % 5.7  % (60) bps
Retail used vehicle revenue decreased 1.9% and retail used vehicle unit sales volume decreased 4.4%, driven by decreases in retail used vehicle unit sales volume in the majority of our markets as a result of disrupted consumer behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such impact was particularly significant in our California stores, which represented approximately 82% of the decrease in retail used vehicle unit sales volume compared to the prior year, due in part to more restrictive and prolonged government-issued shutdown orders than other markets in which we operate. Retail used vehicle gross profit decreased approximately $17.4 million, or 12.8%, driven primarily by a decrease in retail used vehicle unit sales volume and an 8.8% decrease in retail used vehicle gross profit per unit as a result of significant fluctuations in wholesale and retail used vehicle prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our reported franchised dealerships used vehicle inventory days’ supply was approximately 30 and 28 days as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, in line with our target levels of 30 to 35 days’ supply.
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Wholesale Vehicles - Franchised Dealerships Segment
The following table provides a reconciliation of Franchised Dealerships Segment reported basis and same store basis for wholesale vehicles:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit data)
Total wholesale vehicle revenue:
Same store $ 167,794  $ 172,306  $ (4,512) (2.6) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 861  7,714  (6,853) NM
Total as reported $ 168,655  $ 180,020  $ (11,365) (6.3) %
Total wholesale vehicle gross profit (loss):
Same store $ (520) $ (3,382) $ 2,862  84.6  %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions (269) (718) 449  NM
Total as reported $ (789) $ (4,100) $ 3,311  80.8  %
Total wholesale vehicle unit sales:
Same store 24,701  26,114  (1,413) (5.4) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 178  2,265  (2,087) NM
Total as reported 24,879  28,379  (3,500) (12.3) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment reported wholesale vehicle results are as follows: 
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Reported wholesale vehicle:
Revenue $ 168,655  $ 180,020  $ (11,365) (6.3) %
Gross profit (loss) $ (789) $ (4,100) $ 3,311  80.8  %
Unit sales 24,879  28,379  (3,500) (12.3) %
Revenue per unit $ 6,779  $ 6,343  $ 436  6.9  %
Gross profit (loss) per unit $ (32) $ (144) $ 112  77.8  %
Gross profit (loss) as a % of revenue (0.5) % (2.3) % 180  bps
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment same store wholesale vehicle results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands, except unit and per unit data)
Same store wholesale vehicle:
Revenue $ 167,794  $ 172,306  $ (4,512) (2.6) %
Gross profit (loss) $ (520) $ (3,382) $ 2,862  84.6  %
Unit sales 24,701  26,114  (1,413) (5.4) %
Revenue per unit $ 6,793  $ 6,598  $ 195  3.0  %
Gross profit (loss) per unit $ (21) $ (130) $ 109  83.8  %
Gross profit (loss) as a % of revenue (0.3) % (2.0) % 170  bps
Wholesale vehicle revenue decreased 2.6%, driven primarily by a 5.4% decrease in wholesale vehicle unit sales volume, offset partially by a 3.0% increase in wholesale vehicle revenue per unit. The decrease in wholesale vehicle revenue was due in part to a reduction in wholesale auction activity during the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the economic shutdown caused
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SONIC AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wholesale vehicle gross loss improved by 84.6%, primarily due to a $109 per unit, or 83.8%, decrease in wholesale vehicle gross loss per unit as a result of an increase in demand for these wholesale vehicle units during the third and fourth quarters of 2020 as consumer demand for used vehicles began to recover.
Fixed Operations - Franchised Dealerships Segment
The following table provides a reconciliation of Franchised Dealerships Segment reported basis and same store basis for Fixed Operations:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change
(In thousands)
Total Fixed Operations revenue:
Same store $ 1,184,428  $ 1,309,201  $ (124,773) (9.5) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 9,966  57,349  (47,383) NM
Total as reported $ 1,194,394  $ 1,366,550  $ (172,156) (12.6) %
Total Fixed Operations gross profit:
Same store $ 590,946  $ 640,015  $ (49,069) (7.7) %
Acquisitions, open points and dispositions 4,396  28,943  (24,547) NM
Total as reported $ 595,342  $ 668,958  $ (73,616) (11.0) %
NM = Not Meaningful
Our Franchised Dealerships Segment reported Fixed Operations results are as follows:
Year Ended December 31, Better / (Worse)
2020 2019 Change % Change