Best Practices

Dealer's telephone overhaul answers the call

Bill Penney Toyota's outdated phone system hurt revenues and damaged customer satisfaction reviews. A telecommunications overhaul turned things around.

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.
Defensive driving fuels Kia store offensive

Part defensive driving course, part unofficial r&d lab, part business opportunity. There's really no downside to the B.R.A.K.E.S. program at

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Defensive driving fuels Kia store offensive

Part defensive driving course, part unofficial r&d lab, part business opportunity. There's really no downside to the B.R.A.K.E.S. program at Hendrick Kia of Concord, in North Carolina, as Service Manager Karri Carbon sees it.

Dealer's Baldrige win was a decade in the making

Don Chalmers Ford became the first domestic auto dealership to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award by implementing a business model that helps all employees grow, thrive and contribute to the organization.

Dealership's return policy builds goodwill

The Maguire Family of Dealerships offers the Maguire Family Assurance policy, which guarantees the Ithaca, N.Y., based chain of dealerships will buy back a customer's vehicle if an unexpected life event, such as a family death or job loss, occurs during the first year of ownership.

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.

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