Boyd Street Magazine June 2021

Page 64


Ricky Stapleton Autos


Long-time Norman auto dealer helps Normanites navigate unprecedented used car market

hopping for a car in 2021 has brought consumers new levels of sticker shock. Unprecedented market conditions throughout the country are evident in the used vehicle industry, with multiple factors contributing to less supply, more demand and, ultimately, higher prices. Ricky Stapleton, of Ricky Stapleton Autos, got started selling cars in 1987 and enjoyed working in sales at several different car lots before becoming a manager in 2000. “I found myself as a general sales manager at that point and just with the demands of the job, in that role, the standard is two Saturdays off a year,” said Stapleton. “As a Dad, I was not able to spend time with my kids, who were then around 3 and 7 years old. I was never home for dinner, not able to go to their sports practices or games. “It was time to make a change... so I cashed in my 401K and bought a few cars. My work ethic has never changed: get up and go to work, and usually, something good happens.” Through a happy coincidence, Stapleton ended up joining his neighbor, Ralph Salyer, owner of Extreme Auto Options, at 330 24th Ave. N.W. Now an established entrepreneur with more than a decade of ownership, Stapleton is grateful for his family’s support. “My wife, Robyn, is the backbone of our family and what we do,” he shared. “When our kids see cars for sale, they stop and take pictures. Early on, we would travel together as a family and go find cars for sale, look at them together or go pick them up in Texas or southwest Oklahoma or wherever we found inventory.”

64 | June 2021

The couple’s kids are now teenagers and Stapleton prides himself on making sure each vehicle sold is something he would feel comfortable with his loved ones driving away in, as he knows firsthand the importance of a reliable used car. With more than 30 years of experience, Stapleton has seen market ups and downs but nothing quite like the current car buying situation. “Inventory has diminished because of the ripple effects of COVID,” he explained. “Shipping delays and shortages of car parts and microchips have made new inventory harder to get. If you drive by the car dealerships in your area, you might notice they are not as full as before.” Industry experts at the national level blame canceled contracts from the beginning of the pandemic for delays in manufacturing orders of key components as a major problem that continues to affect production. The recent blockage of the Suez Canal also halted the delivery of parts from Asia to Europe, which has severely limited the availability of European vehicles, while leading Asian brands have experienced both production and delivery delays. A series of largely unforeseen storms has also negatively affected companies’ ability to turn out national brands. In addition to supply chain issues, February’s ice storm paused Texas petrochemical producers’ ability to produce the plastic hardwares and industrial seat foam commonly fitted in American-made trucks, SUVs and cars. Assembly may take place in other states and countries but Tex-

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.