The first time Trevin Reed sat in the 2015 GMC Yukon, he knew the redesign of the already popular vehicle was going to be a hit.
“The body style looks great,” Reed said. “It is not until you get inside the vehicle that you truly appreciate the redesign. The first time I put my arm on the armrest, I liked it. Everything is so nice.”
Reed is the general sales manager at Randy Reed Buick GMC at 9550 NW Prairie View Road in Kansas City.
It makes sense that Reed is enthusiastic about the large SUV. The dealership wants to sell as many SUVs as it can get.
Given the way the 2015 Yukons are leaving Randy Reed Buick GMC, Reed only needs to point to recent sales to prove this is a high-demand SUV.
In fact, the only 2015 GMC Yukon left on the lot Monday morning was already sold and headed to Texas in a couple of weeks for Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson.
“I think he fell in love with the vehicle after driving it,” Reed said. “He is a guy who has driven … you name it.
“We’ve been working with him for a couple of months. Derrick is a guy who is pretty particular in what he wants. It needs to be done right. The Yukon fits the bill in what he was looking for.”
The 2015 GMC Yukon appeals to a much wider demographic than a professional football player.
“Probably the biggest difference is your previous Yukon buyers, for the most part, have been General Motors product enthusiasts,” Reed said. “These new ones, we are seeing a lot of Lexus customers, some Land Rover customers. I put in an order for a guy who had driven a Land Rover for a while. They have reached a broader demographic on this vehicle.”
About two weeks ago, on Friday, Jan. 16, the day started with three GMC Yukons on the lot. By the end of the day, they were sold.
The price for the Yukon ranges from $63,500 to $67,000 without the extras.
“With General Motors, you sell one, you earn another one,” Reed said. “I have a few coming in. They (General Motors) are not able to keep up with the demand.
“If they gave me 20 Yukons on Friday, I would have them sold by Monday. The problem is they can’t give me 20.”
What is creating this enthusiasm for the new Yukon?
Edmonds.com, an online source for automotive information, gave it a rating of 4½ stars out of five, saying the 2015 GMC Yukon deserves strong consideration if you’re shopping for a large, near-luxury truck-based SUV with impressive towing capacity.
The highlights include greater engine output with improved fuel economy and an integrated fold-flat third-row seat. The three rows of seating can accommodate up to nine passengers.
“They started with a great vehicle to begin with,” Reed said. “The previous body style of the Yukon was a great vehicle. It sold very well with a high level of customer satisfaction. When they redesigned it, everything but the frame is new. Everything just fits.”
Another factor why more SUV buyers are looking again at the larger vehicles is that gas prices in the Kansas City area have fallen to $2 and less per gallon.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.36 a gallon in 2014, to average $2.33 a gallon in 2015. The EIA said the average household was expected to spend about $750 less for gasoline in 2015 compared with last year because of lower prices.
Reed can’t help but smile at the prospects of a summer with cheap gas prices.
“Obviously, everything GMC makes is a little bit bigger,” he said. “We are seeing an uptick in our truck sales, Yukon sales and Arcadia sales. I think gas prices have a lot to do with it. My wife drives an Arcadia. I drive a truck.
“On the truck side, our Sierra Denali – we can’t keep those in stock, either. You can credit gas prices for those selling so fast.”
Reed said the dealership is in the perfect location to sell trucks.
“If you go 5 miles north of us, you are getting into Americana with a lot of agriculture,” he said. “Guys who use trucks as trucks. Sierra Denali is a crossover type of truck. They fit the need of those guys, but the ride is very nice. So we have a lot of guys trading in sedans for these trucks. They are cool looking, beefy.”
The 2015 Yukon also looks cool – cool enough to attract an NFL All-Pro football player.
Reed said it is fun to be able to sell a car to professional athletes in Kansas City. He said the experience the dealership has with Johnson has been rewarding.
“He came in post training camp for the first time,” Reed said. “We connected with him beyond doing business. We talked about life and everything. It was fun working with him.
“He sat down and talked about his days at Texas, talked about playing for the Chiefs. He came in on his own to sign some autographs for an hour block and he stayed 2½ to 3 hours and talked with employees and Chiefs fans who came in to see him. I can’t say enough about him.”
If you have a story you would like to see in On the Move, email David Boyce at Drive@kcstar.com.