Sonic Automotive Reviews

Updated August 31, 2015
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3.2
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Sonic Automotive Chairman and CEO O. Bruton Smith
O. Bruton Smith
50 Ratings

Pros
  • Good People, nice facilities, lunch provided on Saturdays (in 5 reviews)

  • Decent benefits and discounts a national chains (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Since they are paid on the combined gross profit, a manager never has to work long hours (in 6 reviews)

  • If you are hourly and can't get your job done in 40 hours they switch you to salary then work you 55 - 60 hours a week for the same money (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

100 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Secrtes and Lies.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive full-time

    Pros

    Do you enjoy being treated like you're lucky to have a job? Do you want to be overworked and under paid? If you're worried about being promoted because you are an awesome and qualified person while suck-ups and toadies are unappreciated, fear not! Sonic Automotive is the place for you!

    Cons

    Absolutely nothing! If you are sick of seeing your family day after day you don't have to worry, Sonic prefers that you have no social or family life at all! Plus, you don't have to worry that you are doing an excellent job because you aren't! And Sonic's crack team of micro-managers will never let you forget it!

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course! Eventually you will finally get rid of all those pesky free-thinkers and problem solvers. Good people can be hard to run off, but treating people like disposable chess pieces is bound to pay off in the long run. Today the auto industry, tomorrow the world!


  2. Helpful (2)

    Car Salesman / Honda

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Salesperson in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Salesperson in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Sonic Automotive (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - NONE. You have you own desk...

    Cons

    - Management does not give a single * about your career. - Outdated CRM systems - Managers always blabbing about making calls to your lead everyday even if they expressed disinterest - Bosses/Managers make sexual jokes about females in sales room. - Working 6 days a week from 9am to 9pm = $2000 a month... sad

    Advice to Management

    Good luck


  3. Echo Park Automotive is Sonic Automotive's test-market experiment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive full-time

    Pros

    Great atmosphere for curious customers; Sonic has invested $250 million in Echo Park Automotive, which launched in Greater Denver in January 2015 with 3 test-market locations, & they will be adding several more in CO in the next year or so. The "showroom" doesn't have any vehicles in it. It has stationary iPads & a video wall above a bar; it's all very modern & appears eco-friendly. The benefits are OK for a fairly big company, but the medical insurance is average in coverage & quite expensive.

    Cons

    Echo Park Automotive is a big fat wolf in sheep's clothing. First off, the prices of the vehicles are higher overall than CarMax & Autonation, Echo Park's biggest competitors in the Greater Denver market. Secondly, it appears to be a different car-buying experience, but it isn't: "Experience Guides" (car salespeople) are under great pressure to deliver on sales, no matter how easy-going & laid back we try to appear to customers. Everyone is "on salary", but that means nothing, because if you don't produce regularly & often, you'll soon be gone! Some of my co-workers are sociopaths by nature (& came from other traditional dealerships) & will step over dead bodies to poach a customer away from another "Experience Guide". Everyone works & works & works; there is no "work-life balance" at all: No rotating Saturdays off, no vacation time for the first year, no getting two days off back-to-back, etc. Sometimes, standing "on base" (up by the receptionist) is a very long wait for someone to walk through the door! This is how we quietly "pounce" on a curious person or entire family as soon as they walk in---we take over from that point on, & it can be tiring & nerve-racking, trying to control how someone's experience is from start to finish. When we aren't "on base" up front, we're supposed to stay out of sight, so that people walking in won't see us grouped together, like "the pack" waiting at a regular dealership. And no one cares about having everything electronic but 4 pieces of paper to sign when they buy! Most people don't want a contract for the second most expensive purchase they make to be invisible. Going totally electronic is not going to impress anyone that much. People do what they need to do & making it so easy to spend so much money can create real buyer's remorse.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending---this isn't going to become the Starbucks of the automotive world by thinking a different atmosphere that doesn't look like a typical dealership will be enough. CarMax & Autonation do it better for the customer, & the early gains seen by Echo Park will even out soon enough. You don't treat your people that well, & it is already catching up with you.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Lots of hours to do nothing and make nothing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time

    Pros

    They have a good message, but lack follow through. Lots of false hope.

    Cons

    Lack training and expect overtime hours of work with little to no incentive. The managers don't give any helpful words of advice and get mad if you make a mistake when you haven't been trained. Unrealistic goals and expectations. They rip customers off with shoddy work and thrown in unnecessary F&I write ups. There's a ton of turnover due to poor management. Unapproachable, unfriendly managers don't help you to properly do your job but expect the best. Baptism by fire. Everything feels like a 'test'. (All the raving reviews are clearly forged by the trainers) They claim to have a transparent approach to car buying, but it is clearly old-school mentality in forcing people into cars they don't want/ need. Managers telling sales people to tell customers to "get the f*ck out of here" is not a good business approach. It's not constructive criticism, just constant criticism.

    Advice to Management

    Properly train your employees and give them incentive to work 65 hours a week. Don;t lie about salary and bonuses to get people in the door working for you. Stop ripping people off. Set people up for success, not failure.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Sales

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Being able to test drive the cars.

    Cons

    Everything. No training on any of the product knowledge was provided. The only training was on car sales - which the company didn't even pay for. Long hours with commissions only, no assistance from management team to help with sales - all they cared about was hounding the customers until they come in purchase. They have no clue what luxury customer experience is. It was the worst company to ever have worked for, they don't care at all about their employees like they claim.


  7. Service Cashier

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cashier in Chattanooga, TN
    Former Employee - Cashier in Chattanooga, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Mostly good people to work with. At one time company was considerate of it's workers.

    Cons

    New management has become fixated with numbers and pays it's upper management by "spiffs". Low end employees do not matter and there is not much room for advancement. Management does not care about employees, only themselves

    Advice to Management

    Need to fire management who are only concerned with the almighty dollar and not it's employees.


  8. Great Job

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Huge commission potential. Lots of freedom

    Cons

    Customers still believe in "old-school" car buying experience


  9. Helpful (2)

    Too many CHIEFS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Automotive Parts Salesman in Montgomery, AL
    Current Employee - Automotive Parts Salesman in Montgomery, AL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stay in the back out the way of everyone and keep your head down!!!!! It probably would be an ok place to if it wasn't for the management!

    Cons

    Over worked and way under paid. Everyone wants you to do there job because they're to sorry or don't have a clue about the Automotive industry.

    Advice to Management

    Associate satisfaction is a joke!!


  10. Helpful (1)

    Technician

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technician in Fort Myers, FL
    Current Employee - Technician in Fort Myers, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's an ok place to wirk

    Cons

    Not enough Time off work

    Advice to Management

    More time off


  11. Helpful (2)

    What's wrong with the Retail Automotive Business Today

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service and Parts Director in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Service and Parts Director in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some great people at the dealership

    Cons

    Sonic management thinks nothing of employees and customers. Only numbers. This starts at the top. There is an old Italian proverb that fits this company totally. "II pesce puzza dalla testa."

    Advice to Management

    People are what makes a company, NOT NUMBERS.. Loose the GREED



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