Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES

Mormon site is marketing giant for Utah car dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2013
For Kris MacDonald and for most auto dealerships in Utah, the most productive source of sales prospects is a local Internet shopping site owned by the Mormon Church.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Manage misfortune, expand when you can

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2013
Ray Price III, whose grandpa, Ray Price Sr., started selling Model T's in Cresco, Pa., in the Pocono Mountains in 1913, calls the 2008-09 auto sales crash "not particularly difficult" compared to other events in the franchise's history. Ray Price Cars survived once again, and these days Ray III and brother Walt are busy enlarging and modernizing the multibrand, multisite family business to keep it secure for a new generation.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Delivery specialists: Smiles and smarts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2013
All of Terry D'Arcy's stores, which combined sell about 350 new and used vehicles per month, have delivery specialists, who teach customers how to sync their phones and use the navigation and infotainment systems. Many of the customer testimonials posted on D'Arcy's Web site thank the dealership for the personalized tutorials on their new vehicles.... Read More »

 

3 digital tricks of the trade for dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 1, 2013
Here are 3 ways auto dealerships are harnessing the power of digital technology: One dealer is 'branding' his staff with online bios; another is shooting quick product videos to customers; and a third is hiring tech-savvy people to help speed the delivery process.... Read More »

 

Volvo stand-alone avoids red ink, builds for future

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 28, 2013
Kevin Flanagan's Volvo new-car sales are half of what they were in 2001, and the brand itself is teetering in the United States.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Dealer takes a step toward online car buying

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2013
Visitors to Walser Automotive Group's Web sites can simply click an I'll Take It button next to a vehicle listing from the store's inventory.... Read More »

 

Dealer gives furloughed federal workers a break

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2013
When the federal government shut down, Alex Perdikis opened his doors a bit wider. Perdikis is general manager of Koons of Silver Spring, just outside the Washington Beltway.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

How to bring 100 new hires up to speed

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 7, 2013
Park Place Lexus Plano went on a hiring spree this year, creating and filling 100 positions.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Tech advice boosts store's bottom line

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 30, 2013
At Sterling McCall Lexus in Houston, customers can get help setting up their iPads, advice on choosing the right cellphone and even a breakfast prepared by a country club chef -- all for free. The complimentary services are boosting the dealership's bottom line by bringing customers into the store more often, says General Manager Joey Dupuis.... Read More »

 

Used-car dept. overhaul raises sales, profits

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 23, 2013
Paul Lynch felt like "crawling under a table" when his dealership financial data revealed to his classmates at the NADA Dealer Academy that some of the used cars on his lot had been there for more than 500 days.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Fast start in tight quarters for L.A.'s Galpin VW

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2013
Less than 18 months ago, the showroom at the corner of Roscoe and Sepulveda boulevards was empty. Today, it houses the nation's fourth-largest Volkswagen dealership, selling an average of 188 new vehicles per month and bursting at the seams.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Mullinax thrives on a no-haggle heritage

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 9, 2013
When it comes to no-haggle pricing, Larry and Jerry Mullinax have a huge advantage over other one-price dealers.... Read More »

 

Chrysler charity test drives build good will

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 2, 2013
On a warm Saturday morning in May, a stream of people poured into the parking lot of a suburban Toledo, Ohio, high school for a charity test drive of seven new Dodge vehicles.
Within minutes, employees of Grogan's Towne Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram helped them fill out a questionnaire and point them to a vehicle for a cruise around the parking lot.... Read More »

 

Class project: Students shake up stores' marketing plans

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 26, 2013
Students in professor Allen Smith's Principles of Advertising class at Florida Atlantic University are just the sort of young automotive outsiders that managers at Napleton Nissan & Kia in Riviera Beach, Fla., wanted to help shake up the dealerships' marketing plans.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Texas store adds used cars from service drive

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 19, 2013
The dealership is having success these days with a new twist on an old retailer practice known as "selling out of the service drive."... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Social media plan: Race a train, win acclaim

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 12, 2013
For Soave Automotive Group's Aristocrat Motors in Merriam, Kan., a train vs. Jaguar race from Kansas City to Chicago offered the perfect opportunity to highlight the Jaguar XJL's all-wheel-drive technology. It also was a chance to leverage social media, a growing priority for the dealership group.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Pricing plan: Low tech, high volume

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2013
"We're making good on our promise," says Evelyn Smallwood, who at 33 has been general sales manager of Ted Britt Ford in Fairfax, Va., for six years. Her approach to competitive pricing is low-tech in an automotive retailing world increasingly dominated by software that promises to tell dealers and shoppers what vehicles should sell for.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Dealership's interns tackle real-world tasks

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 29, 2013
For many college students, a summer job in the car business might mean washing vehicles or greeting customers. Not at Park Place Dealerships. The Dallas-based dealership group offers paid summer internships to accounting, marketing and information technology majors, along with the usual car fanatics.... Read More »

 

Best Practices

She's a single-point survivor

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 22, 2013
Katie Bowman Coleman took over a single-point operation in 2012. She needed to grow to compete against larger dealership groups in metro Detroit.... Read More »

 

Best practice

Kuni Lexus offers buyers the lap of luxury

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 15, 2013
When Kuni set out to move the Lexus store, it wanted to build something that would provide customer service and experience.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Stores' scrutiny of bills pays off

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 11, 2013
Automotive News recently conducted a dealer roundtable discussion in Dallas where executives exchanged ideas to improve operational processes in their stores. Texas dealer Greg May shared the story of his need to trim costs during the recession. As a result, expense reviews became a permanent agenda item during weekly management meetings. Department heads debated expenses and collaborated to cut them. Expenses dropped 20 percent within the first year of the program.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Interns break the 'dealership stigma'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 11, 2013
The Park Place dealer group in Texas is looking to erase the 'car dealership stigma' from the minds of college students. A formal summer internship program shows young men and women – and their parents – how 'lucrative' the business can be. The program now attracts students from schools including Harvard and the University of Oklahoma. Since its inception five years ago, a dozen interns have landed full-time jobs across the Park Place network.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Buy a car, get keys and a keyboard

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 11, 2013
After purchasing a vehicle from Southwest Kia Mesquite, a customer is handed the keys and often a keyboard. That's because General Manager James Seale asks buyers to rate and write a quick assessment of their overall experience right in the F&I department. The review is then posted several places online, including the front page of the store's Web site. Seale says new-vehicle sales are 18 percent higher now than they were two years ago.... Read More »

 

For a few grads, diplomas come with car keys

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Executives from Alan Jay Automotive Network in Sebring, Fla., gave away four late-model cars to students at four local high schools.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Store's sales pitch: 'We speak your language'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Nine of Don Hicks' 150 employees at Shortline Subaru in Aurora, Colo., speak one or more languages besides English. Hiring bilingual employees is a key goal for Hicks. He plans to increase his bilingual sales force by hiring one bilingual employee every four to five months, depending on the market's needs.... Read More »

 

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