Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES

Tomes' 10-foot rope a measure of success

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 27, 2015

At Bob Tomes' Ford and Subaru stores in McKinney, Texas, any staffer who gets within 10 feet of a customer must greet them and ask them about their experience and whether they can help. Workers are empowered to fix problems, and the customer satisfaction scores for the dealerships have gone up.... Read More »

VIDEO: Mass. dealer shatters stereotypes, grows group to advance careers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 20, 2015

A strict dress code and a close-to-home expansion strategy geared toward promoting employees are hallmarks of Boston-area dealer Brian Kelly, who has spent a career “breaking the typical stereotypes associated with the automobile business.”... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Building a brand in the service department

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 20, 2015

A few years ago, Adam Silverleib found his family's Honda store facing a problem no dealer wants to confront: Not one but two new Honda dealerships were going to open within 15 miles of his Raynham, Mass., location. "So we had to take a new approach and create something that gives people a reason to come to Silko." That something turned out to be an offering called SilkoCare.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

With hydrogen, high pressure to get it right

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 13, 2015

Mike Sullivan's Santa Monica, Calif., dealership is one of the first eight in the country chosen by Toyota to sell its groundbreaking Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedan. Such an important launch means he'll need to do things a little differently.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Uber lifts Toyota dealership's marketing

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 6, 2015

Toyota of Plano offers its best deals to Uber drivers, who make up about 6 percent of the store's new-car buyers and serve as evangelists for the Dallas-area dealership.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Dealer Wise goes the extra mile(s) for buyers

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 29, 2015

Let's say you're shopping at one of the Randy Wise Automotive stores in this area, and you decide to check out a vehicle from a different brand at another dealership owned by the group. Well, just sit tight. The folks at Randy Wise will fetch the vehicle for you or drive you to where it is. Five dealerships. Ten brands. New or used. Your pick.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Museum, diner celebrate Ford heritage and family-owned store

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 22, 2015

Sanderson Ford in Glendale, Ariz., has a 1950s-style stainless steel diner and a 15,000-square-foot museum of classic cars and memorabilia. The facilities help the dealership connect with the community, hosting fundraisers, car shows and other special events.... Read More »

Dealer's wine shop spawns bar/service lane

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 15, 2015

Building on the success of its in-house Cadillac Wines shop, Frank Kent Cadillac opened a downtown wine bar that also serves as a satellite service lane.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Colo. store embraces pets, pedals

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 8, 2015

Fisher Auto Group embraces the Boulder, Colo., community's values, offering loaner bikes rather than loaner vehicles and allowing customers' pets in the store.... Read More »

VIDEO: Colo. stores use cameras, computers to build transparency

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 1, 2015

At Planet Honda, technicians are delivering video views from the service bay directly to car owners. This allows customers to see what fixes need to be made before repairs begin. At Kuni Lexus, used-car histories have taken on a digital dimension - all in the name of making sure customers know everything there is to know about previous repairs. The payback from both strategies: More-loyal customers.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Getting schooled in the car dealership business

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 1, 2015

Zeigler Auto Group's effort to grow its dealership group and cultivate employees has evolved into an in-house training program, spawned a crop of managers and reduced employee turnover.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Long wait, quick win for Florida Audi dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 25, 2015

After opening in December 2013, Mario Murgado's Audi Stuart near Florida's Atlantic coast was one of just a dozen dealerships to win Audi's Magna Elite Society award in 2014, the highest award bestowed upon Audi dealers. It was the equivalent of an NFL expansion team winning the Super Bowl.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Reconditioning fund ends store's strife

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 18, 2015

For every used car O'Daniel Mazda in Ft. Wayne, Ind., buys purchase at auction or take on trade, they set aside $450 in the reconditioning fund, which covers the cost of preparing used cars for resale.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Stores reach out to empower female customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 11, 2015

A visitor to Don Jenkins' dealerships in this north Tennessee city will find a fair share of brawny men, but a dearth of female shoppers. So the dealer's daughter, Casey Jenkins, is doing something about that.... Read More »

TALES OF 2 DEALERS

VIDEO: Using service lanes to lift car sales, smartphones to build bonds

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Two Washington dealers are clicking with consumers in new ways. Dwayne Lane's Family of Auto Centers has found an answer to a nagging question: How can we get more of our service customers to buy new cars? Meanwhile, Ford and Hyundai of Kirkland now snap photos of camera-friendly buyers during the delivery process and load those images onto social media sites as testimonials.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

A Kentucky dealer's cup overfloweth

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Don Moore turned an old drive-thru pharmacy window into an in-house coffee shop, which serves as a visible symbol of his main philanthropic pursuit: helping the homeless... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Small VW store delivers top customer ratings

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Attention to detail and personal contact by the owners of a small, 50-year-old Volkswagen dealership in rural Pennsylvania helped it earn the brand's top scores for customer satisfaction in 2014.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Rural dealer becomes used-car powerhouse

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 20, 2015

Small-town Schafer Chevrolet has turned the devastating loss of three new-car franchises into a used-car powerhouse.... Read More »

VIDEO: Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.'' In that role, he relentlessly pushes communication, whether by spreading “true rumors” or holding team meetings to discuss “WIGs” – wildly important goals. The effort has yielded better metrics for tire sales and parts orders. There's a big intangible, too. As Welch says: “You have to run it like a business, but why can't you have fun?”... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Cramped quarters teach valuable lessons

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

When Hodges Subaru moves to a much larger building on Detroit's famed Woodward Avenue, it will take with it many lessons learned during the years confined in a small space. For instance, it will continue to train workers to perform the duties of more than one job, to boost efficiency and teamwork.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Pa. dealership group gains from market-based pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Eighteen months after #1 Cochran Automotive launched a customer experience initiative centered on market-based pricing and transparency, the dealership group says its market share and customer satisfaction ratings are up. Employee turnover is down, and the company is hiring more people with experience outside the auto industry.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

'Apple way' inspires Seattle dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Brad Miller, who owns Honda and Toyota stores in booming downtown Seattle, knows the traditional way of selling cars. And he knows he doesn't like it. So last year, the 60-year-old dealer, along with COO Babak Mohammadi, decided to do everything differently.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Each generation learns to go its own way

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

If the Gates family has learned anything in 87 years of operating dealerships, it's that each generation must forge its own business plan.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

Food trucks give customers a taste of dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Later this month, food trucks will appear in the parking lots of two Oklahoma car dealerships on Saturdays to feed employees and the public, for free.... Read More »

BEST PRACTICES

BMW store sponsors, hosts Pinewood Derby

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Early this month, Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., took a dozen cars out of its large showroom to make room for a huge aluminum track and hundreds of enthusiastic Boy Scouts and parents. The daylong event was paid for entirely by the dealership and included BMW hats, stickers and other gifts for each Scout participant, as well as food and appearances by celebrity racing guests. Dealer Patrick Womack is doing what he can to fan the passion of fast cars in a new generation.... Read More »

Automotive News Cover
News by Brand