Sonic Automotive Reviews

Updated March 22, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Awful Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sonic Automotive

    Pros

    The associates that worked for the dealership before Sonic purchased it. Great hard working people.

    Cons

    From the General Manager up within Sonic. Totally numbers driven, people don't matter. That is customers and associates, only numbers. The compensation scale for all associates from the GM down are from the 1980's. Appalling. This company is the epitome of what is wrong with our country today. Money filters up!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be human.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Use you up and spit you out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Mobile, AL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Mobile, AL

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

    Pros

    Car industry = income potential

    Cons

    At least at my dealership, managers are allowed to 'manage' in an explosive, emotional, childish and pride driven manner. Car deals are lost over pride, you are asked to do things outside your job with nuclear consequences if you decline. Benefits are being taken away on a daily basis. Little opportunity to move up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work WITH your team instead of AGAINST your team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. This company gives you the ability to have a vertical upward movement for your career!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Service Manager in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Service Manager in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive

    Pros

    Over a 100 stores nationwide that you can transfer to move up. The company gives amazing benefits for technicians. They give you additional compensation for tenure as well as FRTFT and CSI!

    Cons

    You have to put in your hours and you have to be driven to try to always FRTFT.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Sad place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive

    Pros

    Job is not difficult and for beginners it might be a good place to learn.

    Cons

    Pay plan is awful. You will make minis on ever deal and the place is completely disorganized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Automotive - Car Sales - Dealership - New - Pre Owned

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sonic Automotive

    Pros

    Good People, nice facilities, lunch provided on Saturdays.

    Cons

    No work/life balance. Work most holidays and Saturdays.

  7. Submitted my invoice for services rendered and did not receive what was owed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant
    Former Employee - Consultant

    I worked at Sonic Automotive

    Pros

    Zero zero zero zero zero

    Cons

    Unorganized misfits in suits and ties trying to sell that old 80s style of sleazy salesmanship to the honest hard working people in this country.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Disfunctional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Experience Guide in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Experience Guide in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Sonic Automotive full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Decent pay, 401k, technologies, true price policy, one sonic one experience makes guest buying experiences easy. The direction Sonic is going is positive as it is trying to change the image of car dealership.

    Cons

    Disfunctional and bad communications. As an adult and an employee, you are treated like kids and they threatened associates job on a daily basis. There are way to motivate the moral of the experience guide (sales staff) instead of kicking you in the nuts and tell you to go do your job. The current regime of foreigners that is running the dealership do not seem to understand how to motivate sales staff but threat them like a dictator. The beating shall go on until morale improved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sales people can walk to any dealerships and get a job so stop the firing threats. Give credits to sales associate that do a good job and make the work place fun. We know what we need to do without reminding us how we get pay on a daily basis. ENOUGH. America's best place to work and shop has a long way to go.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. Became employee of Sonic Automotive when they purchased the dealership where I was employed

    Former Employee - Finance Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good health plan and well kept stores

    Cons

    Constantly changing pay plans to meet the corporations needs of a pre set percentage going to that departments payroll, favoritism shown to select employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people in the trenches as they are the ones having direct contact with the customers.

  10. 3 people found this helpful

    It's a living. Long hours, nights and weekends, but that is the car business. Total lack of any leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant

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

    Pros

    If you are over 40, you can still get a decent paying sales job here.You will work harder than you ever worked in a B2B sales job, for less money than you have ever made. But it beats Walmart, Starbucks, or other retail sales jobs.

    Attractive women can do very well here. They do not need to know anything about cars, they do not need a college degree. They just need to know about people. It helps if they are the same etnicity of the majority of buyers.

    We do get frequent training from the manufacturer about products and crap traing from some corporate yahoo telling us how "True Price" and word tracks are the answers to everything.

    The medical benefits are good in this area because we have Kaiser. But most of the company has Blue Cross, which really sucks and is expensive. (I tried it my first year and dropped it in favor of Kaiser) The dental plan doesn't save you any money over pay as you go. There are some typical discounts that all big corporations can get for cell phone, movies, disneyland, etc. We get pizza or some other food on Saturdays where everone works 8:30 am to 7:00 pm. We work almost every weekend and all holidays except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the only two days of the year the dealership is closed. There is no holiday pay, it is just another regular workday. We get 6 to 7 days off a month. Our particular manager is very good about allowing us to choose our days off.

    The employee purchase plan for vehicles as described in the handbook would be a good deal, excpet it is at the discretion of the General Manager, who has no trouble making a few grand in profit off an employee purchase.

    On average, I make $500 in commission on a car. We get paid on both the front and the back end. So if I sell 10 cars a month, I'll make about $5,000 a month gross. I live in a very high cost of living city. I see 20 somethings earning $10,000 a month working in tech or marketing. Rent is expensive here, so $5,000 a month is not a living wage in this area.

    There are good months and bad months. On a good month, I can make $,8,500. On a bad month, barely cover my $2,500 draw. There are people here who consistently make over $10,000 a month in commissions. They are very experienced, agressive and very good at what they do.

    Our particular dealerhsip has a very orgainzied workflow, but it still takes 4 hours to meet, greet, test drive, close and deliver a car. And the rep basically does it all, from being a porter to retrieve the car from the lot to getting the car filled with gas after sale to teaching the customer all the features of the car.

    If the cusotmner isn't sure what they want, it can be longer. Only 2 out of every 10 cusotmers will actually buy, so there is a lot of wasted time with non-buyers. And a lot of standing around waiting for a cusotmer to walk in. We have an open floor, so every cusotmer is fair game to every rep working. But we work hard to be nice to everyone. There are times everything goes great until you run the cusotmer's credit and discover they are not financially qualified to buy a car. Any car.

    Their outsourced Technical Support is uniformely excellent.

    Cons

    Favoritism runs rampant. Certain favored reps get "spooned" deals that the managers have already negotiated.

    There is zero opportunity for promotion. To be promoted, one must move to another dealership and if you don't know the right people, you will never get the job. It is an "Old Boys" network. They mostly hire from outside. And they give prospective employees this stupid "Hartman Value Profile" test that asks questions like "What is worse, buring a witch at the stake or blowing up an airliner?"

    It is impossilbe to have any communication with any executive at Corporate HQ. I don't even know what 90% of them do there. Any communication is either ignored or sent back to the GM, who is now pissed off that one of his employees involved corporate. The name of the game here is give lip service to corporate, pass the audits, be able to recite The Playbook and then go back to business as usual. No one at Corporate wants to hear anything from a sales associate. They routinely roll out new technology without any mechanism for taking feedback. They post nationwide standards that may work in some less competitiver markets but don't work in more competitive ones. The do not tkae into consideration cost of living in setting salaries. $10,000 a month goes a lot farher in Phoenix than it does in Washington D.C.

    The Sales Managers and General Manager are way overpaid for what they do. There isn't a one of them that could actually do my job. Our GM is rumored to make $25K a month and never has to talk to a cusotmer. Works 7:30 to 3 PM, plus Saturday morning. He takes lots of vacations and micro manages everything, right down to the coffee and the bathrooms. Our General Sales Manger makes about $18,000 a month. Finance Managers make about $10,000 a month and clients are literally dropped into their lap.

    All the managers may have been great sales people in their day, but they are not leaders. This company promotes based upon sales achievement, not leadership. To be a great sales person means to be totally focused on your personal goals and satisfying your cusotmers. It is a solo game, not a team sport. Great leaders may not be the top performers, They are the ones who think outside the box. And that kind of think is neaither appreciate or rewarded.

    All ideas for new and better ways to do things are seen as complaints and being negative. There is very little delegation of authority. No one working here except the GM actually knows how much the dealership makes or loses, it is a closely guarded secret. All information is on a need to know basis.

    Since they are paid on the combined gross profit, a manager never has to work long hours. They can go home and still earn money. But as a sales rep, if I want to leave at the end of my "shift" and a cusotmer wants to come in later in the evening, I have to stay to even have a chance to make the commission. Otherwise, I can choose to split with another rep, but that is like taking $250 out of my wallet and giving it to him. So I stay, sometimes 10 to 12 hours in a day.

    Even though under the law, we are considered "exempt" employees, we are still required to punch a time clock and be right on time for our "shift" or face discipline. But they don;'t care (and don't pay for) staying late.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You claim you value the input associates provide in the annual Employee Satisfaction Survey, but there is no evidence that corporate takes any action based upon the feedback employees give about their managers.

    Open lines of communciation from middle managers at HQ with the field. Yes, Jeff Dyke will correspond with associates. But people are seriosuly afraid to contact him. He is the guy essentially running the company, not O. Burton Smith.

    Train your managers to LEAD, not do spreadsheets and crucn numbers. None of the managers here have ever been sent to a real, challenging leadership course. Only classes that teach the Sonic Way.

    The people working here are not kids on their first job. We have an experienced sales force, and they deserve to be treated like the professionals they are. Instead, the GM treats us like children, blames us for everything that goes wrong, but never wants to actually listen to anything we have to say. And on occasion, is downright condescending and nasty.

    Insist that Genral Managers spend the recommended percentage of sales on compensation. Stop rewarding them for cutting pay and spedning less. No GM is worht over $180K a year. If you are paying more, fire that person and find someone equally qualified who will be happy to work for that level of compensation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Hire mature people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sonic Automotive full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pay was good, benefits ok.

    Cons

    Management for the accounting office was horrendous!! You can't promote immature people to be in charge of the office staff!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful of who you promote into management positions, just because they can talk the talk does not mean that they are right for the position!! I thinks it's best to bring someone from the outside in!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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