Auto Dealer Group Trades In Old Lighting for $400,000 in Energy Savings from GE Lighting LEDs

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — November 13, 2012 — (NYSE:GE) — When Collection Auto Group learned it could save more than it would spend to light its lots with new outdoor LED fixtures, the Ohio-based auto dealer struck a sweet deal with GE Lighting. As the proud new owner of GE’s energy-efficient ecomagination℠ Evolve™ LED Area Lights, Collection Auto Group’s five-year lighting expense will be discounted by nearly $400,000 as the result of using 660,000 fewer kilowatt hours (kWhs) while virtually eliminating upkeep for years to come.
 
Looking for the Right Light
Operating across Northeast Ohio, Collection Auto Group represents 21 brands including Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Aston Martin. The company’s goal is to convert all of its 14 dealerships to new outdoor LED lighting in the next 12 months, starting with its flagship Mercedes-Benz location in North Olmsted. Phase one of the project will see six existing dealerships fit with Evolve LED fixtures, as well as two new lots currently under construction. Going forward, GE’s outdoor LED lighting will be specified for all Collection Auto Group new construction.
 
“Lighting in a car dealership is extremely important for a few reasons,” says Bernie Moreno, president of Collection Auto Group. “Of course we have a lot of inventory, so we’ve got to make sure the vehicles are safely displayed outside. Secondly, dealerships use lighting to capture your attention as you're driving by. And third, the light must represent the color of the vehicle properly. A lot of lights out there can make a car’s color look wrong, and that really affects the customer experience in a very bad way.
 
“We knew we had to replace our old lighting and build new dealerships in an environmentally minded way. LED lighting offers the best alternative for that to happen and in terms of partners there wasn’t a lot we needed to know, other than to say, ‘Hey, we're using GE.’ Our experience is that they're extraordinarily professional. They do all of the legwork you'd expect them to. And at the end of the day the lights look fantastic.”
 
GE LED outdoor lighting
The switch to GE LED outdoor lighting will save Collection Auto Group nearly $77,000 a year.

 
Seeing the Savings
Over the next year, Evolve LED Area Lights drawing between 101 and 217 watts will replace predominantly 400- and 1,000-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures at Collection Auto Group’s Mercedes-Benz, Nissan (Middleburg Heights), Acura/Infiniti (Cleveland), Maserati (Cleveland) and Buick/GMC (Beachwood) dealerships.
 
Combining energy and maintenance reductions, the lighting swap will save Collection Auto Group nearly $77,000 a year (based on a $0.11 kWh rate and 12 hours of operation a day). GE’s comprehensive outdoor LED lighting solution includes pole-mounted fixtures and wall packs attached to buildings, bathing the lots in crisp, white, uniform light.
 
Potential for Positive Cash Flow
Ultimately it was more than simple math showing dramatic savings that swayed Collection Auto Group’s decision to invest in outdoor LED lighting. By continuing the conversation beyond cost, GE demonstrated how the dealership group could be cash flow positive from day one if the dealership would take advantage of financing options.
 
“GE presented us with a variety of different financial options,” explains Moreno.  “Ultimately, we chose not to finance, because right now our cost of capital is very low, and we may be in a scenario in three years where the cost is much higher, which made our decision even easier.
 
“It's a decision that every dealership will eventually have to make, and you're better off doing it now and getting the benefits that exist today that may not exist in the future. We looked at it as a pure savings scenario and that’s why we're excited to be the first dealership group to convert entirely to LED outdoor lighting.”
 
In addition to Evolve LED Area Lights in its lots, GE is providing Collection Auto Group with more energy-efficient indoor linear fluorescent and LED fixtures in some locations, including its corporate office building.
 
To learn more about lighting commercial spaces with GE’s outdoor and indoor LED fixtures, visit www.gelighting.com. To learn more about GE’s commitment to innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth, visit www.ecomagination.com.
 
About Collection Auto Group
Collection Auto Group is a privately owned business composed of multiple automotive dealerships and an on-site performance center. Moreno and his staff have earned many recognitions from within the automotive industry, including:  Mercedes-Benz "Best of the Best" Award 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011;  #1 Mercedes-Benz Dealership in Ohio;  #1 Mercedes-Benz Dealership in the Central USA; #1 McLaren SLR dealer in the world; #1 Porsche dealer in Ohio; #1 Porsche dealer in the Central USA; First German "Autohaus" designed Mercedes-Benz dealership in North America; and #1 Lotus dealer in Ohio. For more information, go to www.collectionautogroup.com.
 
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 15,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx™, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination™ and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.
 
50 Years of LED Innovation
Oct. 9, 1962, GE scientist Dr. Nick Holonyak, Jr., invented the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED). In the 50 years since, GE has been on the forefront of LED innovation. The company has released inspired LED products for both residential and commercial settings, from the first ENERGY STAR®-qualified A19-shaped LED bulb to LED street lighting that illuminates cityscapes the world over.