Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES

Long wait, quick win for Florida Audi dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 25, 2015

After opening in December 2013, Mario Murgado's Audi Stuartcq near Florida's Atlantic coast was one of just a dozen dealerships to win Audi's Magna Elite Society award in 2014, the highest award bestowed upon Audi dealers. It was the equivalent of an NFL expansion team winning the Super Bowl....
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BEST PRACTICES

Reconditioning fund ends store's strife

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 18, 2015

For every used car O'Daniel Mazda in Ft. Wayne, Ind., buys purchase at auction or take on trade, they set aside $450 in the reconditioning fund, which covers the cost of preparing used cars for resale....
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BEST PRACTICES

Stores reach out to empower female customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 11, 2015

A visitor to Don Jenkins' dealerships in this north Tennessee city will find a fair share of brawny men, but a dearth of female shoppers. So the dealer's daughter, Casey Jenkins, is doing something about that....
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History under glass

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 11, 2015

Bay King Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram built a glass-topped tomb beneath the showroom to display a World War II-era Willys MB Jeep. The owners got the idea from a friend's basement wine cellar, which people could see from the first floor....
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TALES OF 2 DEALERS

VIDEO: Using service lanes to lift car sales, smartphones to build bonds

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Two Washington dealers are clicking with consumers in new ways. Dwayne Lane's Family of Auto Centers has found an answer to a nagging question: How can we get more of our service customers to buy new cars? Meanwhile, Ford and Hyundai of Kirkland now snap photos of camera-friendly buyers during the delivery process and load those images onto social media sites as testimonials....
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BEST PRACTICES

A Kentucky dealer's cup overfloweth

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Don Moore turned an old drive-thru pharmacy window into an in-house coffee shop, which serves as a visible symbol of his main philanthropic pursuit: helping the homeless...
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BEST PRACTICES

Small VW store delivers top customer ratings

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Attention to detail and personal contact by the owners of a small, 50-year-old Volkswagen dealership in rural Pennsylvania helped it earn the brand's top scores for customer satisfaction in 2014....
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Split your squad

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

AutoNation Honda Roseville divided its sales staff into 2 groups - floor personnel and phone/Internet specialists - steering more resources to phone/Internet, the faster-growing source of sales leads....
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BEST PRACTICES

Rural dealer becomes used-car powerhouse

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 20, 2015

Small-town Schafer Chevrolet has turned the devastating loss of three new-car franchises into a used-car powerhouse....
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VIDEO: Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.'' In that role, he relentlessly pushes communication, whether by spreading “true rumors” or holding team meetings to discuss “WIGs” – wildly important goals. The effort has yielded better metrics for tire sales and parts orders. There's a big intangible, too. As Welch says: “You have to run it like a business, but why can't you have fun?”...
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BEST PRACTICES

Cramped quarters teach valuable lessons

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

When Hodges Subaru moves to a much larger building on Detroit's famed Woodward Avenue, it will take with it many lessons learned during the years confined in a small space. For instance, it will continue to train workers to perform the duties of more than one job, to boost efficiency and teamwork....
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Reviving auto row

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 13, 2015

The owner of Volkswagen of Oakland is seizing on the region's property boom by tearing down his dealership and building an apartment complex on the site, with VW and Hyundai stores on the ground level....
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BEST PRACTICES

Pa. dealership group gains from market-based pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 6, 2015

Eighteen months after #1 Cochran Automotive launched a customer experience initiative centered on market-based pricing and transparency, the dealership group says its market share and customer satisfaction ratings are up. Employee turnover is down, and the company is hiring more people with experience outside the auto industry....
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BEST PRACTICES

'Apple way' inspires Seattle dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015

Brad Miller, who owns Honda and Toyota stores in booming downtown Seattle, knows the traditional way of selling cars. And he knows he doesn't like it. So last year, the 60-year-old dealer, along with COO Babak Mohammadi, decided to do everything differently....
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BEST PRACTICES

Each generation learns to go its own way

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

If the Gates family has learned anything in 87 years of operating dealerships, it's that each generation must forge its own business plan....
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BEST PRACTICES

Food trucks give customers a taste of dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Later this month, food trucks will appear in the parking lots of two Oklahoma car dealerships on Saturdays to feed employees and the public, for free....
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Still going strong

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Park Ave Saab treats its customers as if Saab were still in business, offering a dedicated store with service, parts and a good selection of reconditioned Saabs. The goal is to retain customers and eventually move them into one of the group's other brands....
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BEST PRACTICES

BMW store sponsors, hosts Pinewood Derby

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015

Early this month, Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., took a dozen cars out of its large showroom to make room for a huge aluminum track and hundreds of enthusiastic Boy Scouts and parents. The daylong event was paid for entirely by the dealership and included BMW hats, stickers and other gifts for each Scout participant, as well as food and appearances by celebrity racing guests. Dealer Patrick Womack is doing what he can to fan the passion of fast cars in a new generation....
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BEST PRACTICES

Eat at the food court, buy a car

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Aloha Auto Group sells about 3,500 new and used vehicles a year from its seven Kia dealerships, across the islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. His mall location sells about 200, mostly new, vehicles a year. It is profitable despite having no service department....
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BEST PRACTICES

Helping hand for minority dealer hopefuls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015

Bill Perkins knows how hard it is to get a dealership and to succeed. He lasted one year in his first store. But when he later acquired a dealership in suburban Detroit, other dealers helped him. That made the difference. Perkins has picked up the mantle, mentoring and training others, mostly African Americans, to become dealers. Perkins believes in minority dealers training other minorities to create a mutual support system....
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VIDEO: Valet car-hauling effort fills service bays

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Dublin, Ohio, may still feel like a small town. But it is big when it comes to repairing pricey cars, thanks to the Midwestern Auto Group. The dealership's valet service coddles Astons, Bentleys, Ferraris and more as they are trucked in from five states. The program has also spawned ties to local high schools that serve as a talent pool for a booming parts and service business....
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BEST PRACTICES

Youth movement fuels Utah Subaru dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Fountain of youth: Jeff and Tatiana Miller say building a young, college-educated staff at 2 Mark Miller Subaru stores has reduced turnover in entry-level positions and improved relations with shoppers....
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Dole out the freebies

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Stanley Subaru in costal Maine gives its new-vehicle buyers a benefit it calls "Tires for Life." As long as customers follow Subaru's recommended maintenance schedule and have Stanley Subaru perform the work, the dealership replaces their tires for free when they wear out....
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Reviving Auto Row

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

The owner of Volkswagen of Oakland is seizing on the region's property boom by tearing down his dealership and building an apartment complex on the site, with VW and Hyundai stores on the ground level. When the apartments open, around 2018, Mike Murphy expects to charge $3.50 per square foot, or about $2,500 per month for a 700-square-foot apartment....
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BEST PRACTICES

Victory Automotive plants seeds in the classroom

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

Rodger Olson, COO of Victory Automotive Group in suburban Detroit, makes no apologies for being a retail geek as he lectures undergraduate students in his class on retail sales at the University of Michigan. Whether it's comparing the franchise models of Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's or measuring the success of 7-Eleven convenience stores' rollout in Taiwan, Olson can speak with the authority of someone deeply immersed in his chosen subject....
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Automotive News
Special Video Report
Nissan's Munoz: 'You grow or you go'

Nissan's Munoz: 'You grow or you go'

Nissan N.A. boss Jose Munoz continues to push U.S. dealers for a big jump in market share while deflecting complaints that his stair-step sales targets are too hard to achieve.
» Watch the Video
     
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