Best Practices

Sell the fuel, too

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
The nation's largest Chevrolet dealership, Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, Texas, opened its own compressed natural gas fueling station to help sell the brand's natural-gas-powered vehicles. Chevrolet offers a heavy-duty pickup that operates on both gasoline and natural gas, and it will offer a bi-fuel version of the Impala this fall. Classic Chevrolet spent nearly $1 million in natural gas pumps and associated plumbing at a fueling station that also sells gasoline, diesel and E85 fuels....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Sonic: E-sales offices speed replies to leads

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 26, 2014
In the past five years, Sonic Automotive dealerships have slashed average response times to electronic leads to seven minutes. E-sales offices now operating in most of the chain’s 105 stores have made the difference....
Read More »

 

Know your customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 26, 2014
At Jaguar Land Rover North Scottsdale, Arizona, customer-facing employees are treated to an upscale steakhouse lunch, followed by tea at the local Ritz-Carlton, as part of their training. The point, says General Manager Bobby Perich, is to have his employees "experience what our customers are used to. … (Customers) need to get the same, if not a better, level of service when they come to the store."...
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Porsche owners unleashed at racetrack

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 19, 2014
As a rule, Porsche buyers have a need for speed. Hoffman Porsche of East Hartford, Conn., has started indulging that need by offering its most loyal customers a free excursion to the local racetrack....
Read More »

 

Reward employees in unique ways

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 19, 2014
At least once a month, Keith Kocourek, owner of Kocourek Automotive Group in Wausau, Wis., rewards great work or the achievement of a goal with custom-minted coins in denominations of $20, $50 and $100. The coins must be traded for an item of the employee's choice, such as a gift card, sports tickets or a trip, which the company buys on the employee's behalf. The coins have helped the dealerships maintain and improve customer satisfaction scores....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Matick Chevrolet says hello to customers, hello to sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 12, 2014
It's not the 100-car showroom, high-volume Corvettes or massive new collision shop that have propelled Matick Chevrolet into the brand's top 1 percent of sales volume. Rather, it is employees' obsessive approach to customer service, owner Karl Zimmermann says of the single-point store just outside Detroit....
Read More »

 

Make house calls

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 12, 2014
American Ford in Glendive, Mont., use Ford dually pickups and trailers to, well, pick up and deliver customers' vehicles for the service department. They also deliver newly purchased vehicles to customers. They even haul vehicles to potential customers for test drives. It's a boon in the winter, when American's service department is booked three weeks in advance, says Kyle Johnson, the store's general manager....
Read More »

 

How dealer Rick Case thrives on 'wow factors'

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
71-year-old Rick Case says the way to stand out in a crowded South Florida market is to do things differently. That means free car washes, discounted gasoline, beefed-up warranties and books touting the chain's “Treat every customer as we would our best friend” culture. If that’s not enough, there are also wedding services and cheap haircuts...
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Jaguar Land Rover dealer staff gets taste of luxury

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
Jaguar Land Rover North Scottsdale isn't just puttin' on the ritz for its customers. It's taking dealership employees for a steakhouse lunch, then an afternoon tea at the nearby service-oriented Ritz-Carlton hotel as part of their training....
Read More »

 

Outsource your staffing

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
By hiring a staffing agency to handle its hourly workers, including porters, Warren Henry Auto Group in Miami has saved $100,000 a year. It also reduced or eliminated such headaches as drug-testing and insurance costs and claims. In addition, turnover in its hourly ranks has decreased....
Read More »

 

Texas dealer sells natural gas, too

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 28, 2014
Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, Texas, the nation's largest Chevrolet dealership, has opened its own compressed natural gas fueling station to help sell the brand's new natural-gas-powered vehicles. "If we're going to sell this, we ought to have the fuel that it calls for," says Ken Thompson, the dealership's fleet manager....
Read More »

 

Enlist the help of a shopping consultant

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 28, 2014
At JM Lexus, the world's largest-volume Lexus store, product specialists help customers find the appropriate vehicle and explain its features, then hand the customers to sales managers for sales and finance discussions. This prevents the deal from bouncing among customers, salespeople and managers, and trims about an hour from the sales process....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Warren Henry hires help to hire the help

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 21, 2014
Warren Henry Auto Group hired an outside staffing agency to handle the 55 to 65 hourly employees who work in its detail shop and as porters....
Read More »

 

Take the time to teach

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 21, 2014
Dealer Terry D'Arcy has created the unique position of delivery specialist at his three Illinois stores. The specialists teach customers how to sync their phones and use the navigation and infotainment systems. Eventually, the specialists are promoted to sales....
Read More »

 

How a Texas store fixed used-car-supply issue

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, struggled to find good used cars. So it started providing free appraisals to service customers and offered to buy their vehicles on the spot. The result: more used-car inventory, bigger profits and higher scores for service satisfaction....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

JM Lexus drops middleman to speed sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Eliminating the middleman from negotiating has helped JM Lexus cut the time a customer spends in the store after deciding to buy a specific vehicle to 2.5 hours from 3.5 hours, including delivery. It also is among the reasons that the Margate, Fla., dealership has kept its title as the world's largest-volume seller of new Lexus vehicles for 22 straight years....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Prepping Hyundai for its close-up

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
As long as drivers are idling on the perennially congested Interstate 405 freeway, Hani Nassif figures, they may as well be checking out some Hyundais. Nassif is general manager of Win Hyundai in Carson, Calif., a dealership that recently invested $5 million in a new facility that includes a glass display case to spotlight its products for stalled commuters....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Tech courses in service bays supply talent

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
Cam Clark knows he can recruit veteran service repair technicians from outside to work in his Airdrie, Alberta, Ford dealership. But he can never be sure what work habits they might bring with them. What Clark did to solve the problem has helped not only his western Canada dealership, but the youth of Airdrie....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Love connection: 10-store group plays Cupid

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2014
For some consumers, shopping for a used vehicle online can be a lot like dating online: The photos tend to showcase the positive and finding a perfect match is tough. So to help shoppers find just what they want, a dealership group in central Indiana is touting its matchmaking abilities....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Fixed ops come first for Denver dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 17, 2014
Mary Pacifico-Valley's first job after quitting college at age 19 was phoning customers of Rickenbaugh Cadillac in Denver -- a friendly voice to remind owners that it was time to come in for service. Today she owns the dealership. That earliest experience has defined her approach....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Loyalty builder: Dealer calls buyers after a sale

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2014
Jewel Lee Kenley, who runs Ed Kenley Ford near Salt Lake City, calls at least 50 to 60 customers most months; in a good year, she has called as many as 1,000....
Read More »

 

Sell out of the service drive

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2014
Mike Shaw Toyota-Scion in Corpus Christi, Texas, employs a full-time salesperson who sits in the service department and offers a free, no-strings market appraisal when customers pull in for an oil change or repair. There's a 1-in-20 chance they'll trade in their vehicle for a new car, improving access to used cars and building the store's customer retention....
Read More »

 

Credit for repairs turns denials into dollars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 3, 2014
Service orders and profit have jumped at Garber Buick in Saginaw, Mich., since the store started offering credit-card applications and interest-free credit to cash-strapped customers....
Read More »

 

Go high tech, no pressure

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Patsy Lou Automotive Group in Flint, Mich., is embracing technology and a no-pressure environment to draw younger consumers. Offices in the bright, industrial auxiliary showroom have been converted to mini lounges with flat-panel TVs and high-top tables. Test drives are recorded in HD and drivers can post the experience online....
Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Rural Montana dealer makes house calls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Despite the weather, American's service department, with 17 bays, including lanes for oil changes and detailing, is booked three weeks in advance....
Read More »

 

Special Report
How #1 store scores with employees

How #1 store scores with employees

Texas dealer Greg May encourages staffers to provide input and solve problems on their own. Mon., October 20
» Watch the Video
     
News by Brand


Rocket Fuel