While that aspect of the business has remained constant, the way the dealer group interacts with customers is completely different than when O’Brocta came along.
At the time, he said, “It was getting the Yellow Pages and going to landscapers, writing down 15 to 20 landscapers in a certain area, and that’s who you were going to prospect for.
“Now it’s very different. You go online and do pretty much the same thing, but we have a lot more interaction because customers come to us through the website.”
from the group commercial website is separate from that of its passenger car business and features inventory and a custom vehicles page.
“The website is designed to focus on the rear of the vehicle, not the front,” said O’Brocta. “Nobody goes to the website and says, ‘I’m looking for a Chevy.’ They keep looking for a dump truck or a van or a cube truck.”
The commercial vehicles will be sold through the group’s two stores, but Basil is taking steps to build a “more unified” commercial and fleet division, O’Brocta said. He has spent more time this year acquiring inventory and building out the group’s websites and commercial advertisements.
Commercial vehicle production – like passenger car production – has been hit hard by factory problems, including the global shortage of microchips, which has wiped millions of vehicles from automakers’ production plans. Basil has fewer company cars in stock than usual and the waiting time for new trucks can be from six months to a year, according to O’Brocta.
Commercial vehicle sales fell to 880 in 2021, accounting for about 5 percent of the 17,000 vehicles sold by Basil dealers.