Best Practices

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

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 »

 

Ford store's on-site medical clinic aids staff

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2014
Phil Long Dealerships' new medical clinic inside Phil Long Ford Motor City in Colorado Springs, Colo., is designed to help the self-insured dealer group and its employees better manage their health care costs. Medical professionals at the clinic write prescriptions and dispense the same services provided by primary care physicians. The clinic even caught the attention of a competing dealer group, which has negotiated a deal for its employees to use the Phil Long medical center.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

N.J. store cuts electricity costs by letting the sun in

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2014
Ron Rossi has always looked for efficiencies in his workplace. Back in the 1970s, fresh out of engineering school, he helped institute energy-efficiency measures at two supermarkets owned by his family, such as reclaiming the heat thrown off by the air conditioning and refrigeration system, and installing timers and motion sensors to cut power use. Now owner of a Honda dealership in southern New Jersey, Rossi is still at it.... Read More »

 

Charity test drives can drive leads, sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 10, 2014
Grogan's Towne Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Toledo, Ohio, sponsors charity test drives that create community good will -- and potential leads and new-vehicle sales. The advantages far outweigh the roughly $2,000 cost. The drives usually result in at least a handful of sales. The factory provides the donations; the dealership markets the event and provides staff.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Store mines second-chance sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 10, 2014
For Ford dealer Ryan Kirkpatrick, 140 simple characters are rescuing potential sales that otherwise might have gone elsewhere. Three times a month since April 2013, Kirkpatrick's Ryan Ford store in Sealy, Texas, has sent out short e-mail blasts to its so-called "lost" customers, people who shopped for new or used vehicles but didn't buy. They carry direct subject lines such as "Do you want to reprice?" and contain no more than 140 characters.... Read More »

 

A delivery specialist can make a difference

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
At D'Arcy Buick-GMC in Joliet, Ill., the creation of a delivery specialist has increased the sales staff's performance, raised customer satisfaction and created a pipeline of potential salespeople. The job: Instruct new-car customers how to sync their phones and use the navigation and infotainment systems, and make sure customers know how each feature works before driving away.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Got a car crisis? Better call Paul

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
No matter how bizarre the problem, Paul Jensen is just a phone call away.... Read More »

 

How video can seal the car deal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2014
Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, requires salespeople to shoot and send a 55-second video of a vehicle to every prospect who calls, e-mails or walks into the showroom. The rule is helping drive sales higher and has encouraged salespeople to become more responsive.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Sales bonus: $1,000 and you go on vacation

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2014
A car dealership that makes salespeople go on vacation and throws in $1,000 spending money? That's how Peter Petito, general manager of Hillside Honda in New York, rewards his high performers. When a salesperson sells 20 vehicles a month on average over a 90-day period, the reward is $1,000 and three extra days off.... Read More »

 

Keep a close eye on your used-vehicle inventory

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
DePaula Chevrolet in Albany, N.Y., has a strict policy: No used vehicle stays on the dealership's lot for more than 60 days. Making the change wasn't easy. But the switch has boosted sales and turned a money-losing department into a profitable one.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

3 brothers building on a family tradition

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Three entrepreneurs in a single new-car store could be a recipe for disaster, but the Milosch brothers have turned the family's entrepreneurial gene into a competitive strength.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Business center is 'heartbeat of the dealership'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 13, 2014
Dealer Henry Brown, 69, has built two wildly successful dealerships in his time. Brown credits much of his success to his business development center, an office in the dealership in charge of following up on phone and Internet leads, as well as contacting customers for everything from birthday wishes to lease-expiration reminders.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Colo. dealership dispenses on-site medical care

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 6, 2014
Many dealerships offer employees wellness programs such as weight management, access to fitness equipment and assistance with quitting smoking.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Dealer's local ties drive typhoon aid effort

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2013
After seeing the devastation wrought on the Philippines by deadly Typhoon Haiyan, Tito Anopol spoke up.... Read More »

 

Party with the Porsches at Ohio store

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2013
Bar mitzvahs, runway fashion shows, fundraisers, dinners and after-parties are among the events held at Porsche of Beachwood in Beachwood, Ohio.... Read More »

 

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How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

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. Mon., April 14
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