Millions of U.S. citizens serve jobs as ride-hailing drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft, and as there is a clear sign of those industries expanding, Reedman Toll Auto Group in Langhorne initiated a new business model that capitalizes on those services to promote a new way of acquiring vehicles.
Reedman Toll founded Stork Driver PA, a separate organization that purchases used vehicles from Reedman Toll before renting or selling those cars to ride-hailing drivers.
With the company now having a little more than 40 cars on the road in the six months since launching, Reedman Toll vice president Daryl Kessler is thrilled with the success of Stork Drive PA thus far.
“We view success as growing in a way that makes sense, is financially viable and there’s a path to growing in a sustainable way,” Kessler said to Mega Dealer News. “We know that there have been others who have been in this sector who have tried to make it work and have either grown too quickly or missed the mark with their product. We started cautiously and are growing … sustainably. … We’re very happy with the business results so far.”
Stork Driver PA issues many perks and advantages for drivers who utilize their features. Drivers gain access to a lounge in Reedman Toll’s building with couches, television and refreshments for tired drivers just looking for quick relaxation. In addition, Reedman Toll provides drivers with discounted maintenance on their Uber or Lyft vehicles, which includes four free oil changes, free brake pads for life after one change and free tire rotations.
“We really focused the perks on the routine maintenance that make the most sense for people who drive for a living,” Kessler said. “It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s really important to a driver … who really relies on his or her car for their living.”
Kessler said that since making the perks available, he has seen roughly “a couple hundred” new drivers enter the store.
“The challenge for the dealership is getting in front of the drivers and letting them know these perks are available,” Kessler said.
Stork Driver PA was conceived as a way to revamp and bolster the dealership retail model, as there is a common belief that the industry has started to decline.
“Even though some reporting at the end of the year suggests that the automobile industry is defying sort of a conventional wisdom in continuing to stay relatively hot, I think it’s wise for dealers and dealerships to consider where the market might be going and think creatively about what growing segments to the market there might be,” Kessler said.
Kessler also hopes that drivers who use Stork Driver PA perks will eventually turn into long-term dealership customers when it comes to buying or renting personal vehicles.
Stork Driver PA additionally collaborates with Drive-It-Away, a service that connects people who wish to obtain ride-sharing driver jobs but do not have the cars to do so. Drive-It-Away markets their company and sends applicants over to Stork Driver PA to rent a car, all while providing insurance and handling the collections.
Drive-It-Away takes a “small percentage” of rental payment the driver makes, while Stork Driver PA collects the rest.
Kessler is unsure how the business will evolve in the future but is confident that it will continue to grow.
“At this moment, we are very much in the game. We are very happy with the model, … the revenue … and with how the business is growing in a sustainable way,” Kessler said. “In six months, I may have some other details, … but right now we feel that having built slowly and (are) starting to accelerate a little bit, that we’ve got a model that’s working as it’s currently constructed. We’re really happy with it.”