Best Practices

Dealership welcomes the fire department

Barton Chevrolet-Cadillac is saving taxpayers in Newburgh, N.Y., about $100,000 by letting a local fire department move in for a year while the department's station house is being rebuilt.

Best Practices Digital Edition Best Practices Supplement
Our Best Practices and Next Practices supplements explore success stories of auto dealers around the country who have implemented best practices within their dealerships.
Dealer's customs stand out from the crowd

Ralph Mahalak Jr.'s six Fiat Chrysler dealerships sell customized vehicles such as a Jeep Wrangler-based pickup and a Dodge Challenger-based

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Dealership welcomes the fire department

Barton Chevrolet-Cadillac is saving taxpayers in Newburgh, N.Y., about $100,000 by letting a local fire department move in for a year while the department's station house is being rebuilt.

Sales staff slips into something more comfortable

By blending a casual-attire work environment with a collection of high-end art on the walls, World Subaru in Tinton Falls, N.J., has outperformed other regional dealerships and achieved high customer-satisfaction ratings.

Dealer's customs stand out from the crowd

Ralph Mahalak Jr.'s six Fiat Chrysler dealerships sell customized vehicles such as a Jeep Wrangler-based pickup and a Dodge Challenger-based reimagining of the Plymouth Superbird. The unique vehicles draw in customers and energize his staff.

Morale booster: Letting workers call it a day

When Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines reviewed its operating hours, it found it was missing business in the morning, when customers came in for service, and selling few cars in the evening. So it closed an hour earlier. Employee morale improved, and job applicants increased.

Dealer makes way for workers with autism

The cafe opening inside Lexus of Naperville is certainly a nice amenity for customers looking for specialty coffees, teas or a smoothie. But for the eatery's employees, it's a potential lifeline.

Party favors Maserati dealer

How does a dealer sell a much-anticipated luxury vehicle when it won't arrive in showrooms for months? For a Maserati dealer in Houston, the answer was simple: You have a party.

Dealer’s hard line on recalls costs him

At his Florida Toyota dealership, Earl Stewart implemented a hard-and-fast ban on selling used cars with unrepaired safety recalls. He won't even wholesale used cars with open recalls. It hasn't been easy.

Dealer mixes digital tools, personal ties

At Friendly Chevrolet in Fridley, Minn., Internet Sales Manager Margie Martin has used data-driven tools to enhance, not replace, her community-oriented marketing approach.

The roof that changed everything

An effort to keep snowfall off the cars ended up transforming a Cleveland-area Honda store into a leader in clean energy and a magnet for eco-conscious consumers.

Proving the value of Facebook ads

Pride Chevrolet of Lynn was able to close the loop on a Facebook campaign and prove that its digital outreach was moving metal. Here's how it did so.

New sounds from an old microphone factory

Richard Fisher's dealerships in high-rent Evanston, Ill., were constrained on space. So when he learned of a closed factory nearby, he spent $5 million turning it into a massive service and vehicle-storage facility.

Using stair-steps as a step up

Dealer Scott Smith embraces automakers' bonus plans and the scorekeeping behind them. He views customer-satisfaction scorecards as playbooks on how to improve, and factory incentives as a source of funds to reinvest in the business.

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