Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES

Second-chance store lets staff shine

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 22, 2014
At AutoNation’s Houston Mitsubishi store, General Manager Irfan Siddiqui has found top performers by hiring people who have struggled in their roles at other nearby AutoNation dealerships.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Urban-living trend a chance to branch out and up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Few dealers would get far offering a $2,500-a-month lease. Not on a car, anyway. But outside San Francisco, where the booming technology sector has sent real-estate prices into the stratosphere, one Volkswagen dealer is betting that apartments are a different story.... Read More »

 

For Murphy, building up charity is the next move

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Mike Murphy's plan to embed his Volkswagen of Oakland dealership into a mixed-use development that includes housing may be one of his final acts in the car business. He is pivoting away from the car business and toward charity to honor his wife, Margot, who died in 2011 after a nine-year battle with breast cancer.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Creative pairing: 2 dealers innovate as partners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
After toiling to revitalize separate single-point dealerships in the Detroit area, two childhood friends merged and expanded operations to compete with larger groups. "It's not an acquisition, but a partnership," says Sam Slaughter. The distinction is key.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Mini store wants customers singing its praises

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014
Surprising and treating customers to extras is part of a program Mini USA started in July to boost its image as a premium brand.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Cardinale group makeover flexes digital muscle

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
In 2008, the recession was raging, and dealer Joe Cardinale decided to make some changes. He committed heavily to online sales and marketing, and parted ways with third-party lead providers, developed his own systems and software to manage his online presence. And he set stringent goals for his staff and held them accountable for results. It has worked wonders.... Read More »

 

How dealers connect with tech-savvy buyers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Three dealers have found ways to forge bonds with car shoppers who are short on time and long on Web smarts. A Honda store has mobilized a young sales team hired from Starbucks and Best Buy. A Mercedes store has a special "honeymoon" tool kit for boosting online ratings. And a photo-friendly Audi store is snapping its way to more Internet leads.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Jeep history goes underground

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Many dealers collect historic vehicles, and some even display vintage cars in their showrooms. But one dealership in Hamilton, Ontario, has found a way to make a World War II-era Willys MB Jeep the centerpiece of its showroom -- without sucking up valuable indoor display space.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Luxury retailer is in for long haul

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Living a teenage boy's fantasy of driving exotic cars is part of Tom O'Keefe's job at Midwestern Auto Group, a 15-franchise group of mostly exotic and luxury dealerships in Dublin, Ohio, that offers valet service to its high-line customers.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Hidden cameras save dealership thousands

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Service Manager Jeff Sterry spends next to nothing to repair damages that customers say his shop caused to their cars. That's because, despite the customers' claims, his shop typically didn't damage the cars. And he can prove it.... Read More »

 

Racing, tech events draw crowds to Hoffman stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Hoffman Auto Group holds more than 100 elaborate events annually to attract and retain customers. Some buyers zip around a racetrack in Porsches at 130 mph. Others are treated to a feast of food and information about a car's infotainment system. On Tuesdays, smartphones take a back seat to face-to-face communication. These are among the techniques the Connecticut company is using to grow as it nears its 100th anniversary.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

N.J. dealer lets customers choose the charity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
One dealer's charitable impulse turned into a community fundraising powerhouse under the banner Kindle Community Challenge.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

A terrible wreck, but not a total loss

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Most dealerships send totaled cars straight to the junkyard. White Bear Mitsubishi put one on display, and it has been reaping the rewards ever since.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Do-it-all dealer learns to delegate as business grows

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Through long hours and hands-on involvement in every corner of his business, Mike Wood has rapidly built a group of four dealerships in seven years. He has more growth plans. But first he says he is learning to master a new business skill: letting go.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Maine store's free tires bring customers back

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Stanley Subaru gives its new-vehicle buyers a benefit it calls "Tires for Life."... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

L.A. retailer knows the value of a good name

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014
The adage that success is about "location, location, location" certainly applies to Honda of Los Angeles. But that was difficult to see three years ago. The store, which is booming now, was boarded up and in bankruptcy court in 2011.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Charity is a priority, not a look-at-me

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
George Nahas, a Chevrolet dealer in central Florida, says his annual budget for philanthropy has consistently been greater than $100,000 per year. Though Nahas says his charitable projects help him sell a few extra cars per year, additional business is never a factor when he evaluates a request.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Dealerships' tech team offers training for all

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
A few years ago, Ford's quality ratings began to take a hit from consumers who found its MyFord Touch infotainment system less than user-friendly.... Read More »

 

Over-the-hill used cars fuel Honda store

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Aging, high-mileage trade-ins are welcomed at RiverTown Honda in Grandville, Mich. The store sells up to 30 'Budget Row' cars monthly at an average gross profit of $700. The dealership is also finding value in a low-cost oil change program. It attracts hundreds of consumers weekly. And those bargain hunters are often willing to share their 'priceless' email addresses, which allows the store to grow its customer base.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Hiking pay to get 'the pick of the crop'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Earl Stewart Toyota in Lake Park, Fla., examined its pay scale this summer. The conclusion: not high enough. So it hiked its pay scale. For the lowest-paid employees, the change meant a 38 percent jump in their hourly rate.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Collection Auto's Bernie Moreno cultivates managerial talent

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Bernie Moreno was 28 and had no auto retailing experience when Boston dealer Herb Chambers hired him as general manager of a Saturn store. Nearly two decades later, as CEO of Cleveland's Collection Auto Group, Moreno sees big breaks for young talent as the cornerstone of his empire's rapid growth.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Rick Case career talks move workers up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014
Rick Case dealer group interviews every single employee to find out what kind of job each employee ultimately wants. The idea is to retain employees who might otherwise leave looking for new challenges or a better fit.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Dealership group's chaplain connects with employees

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 18, 2014
The services of Chaplain Roy Inzunza is part of the spiritual and wellness benefits for employees of the 12-franchise dealership group.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Mich. Honda dealer cashes in on clunkers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 11, 2014
Eighteen months ago, River Town Honda in Grandville, Mich., embraced older, high-mileage trade-ins instead of automatically selling them at near-zero profit to wholesalers. The decision has reshaped the way retails used vehicles and helped the store sell additional new vehicles.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Self-promotion, social media help sell cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
Saleswoman Laura Madison markets herself and the brand she sells, Toyota, but not her dealership.... Read More »

 

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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