Best Practices

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....
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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....
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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....
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Don't just wholesale that old trade-in

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
Last year River Town Honda in Grandville, Mich., embraced older, high-mileage trade-ins instead of selling them at near-zero profit to wholesalers. General Manager Rick Clift says the decision has lead to "the biggest single piece to our growth." River Town markets the older vehicles under the moniker "Budget Row collection" both in a special section of its lot and online. The store is selling 25 to 30 such vehicles a month at an average net profit of $700....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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BEST PRACTICES

'Middle of nowhere' site limits store's costs

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
the rural location of Volkswagen of Salem County in Monroeville, N.J., helps the family contain its real estate costs. That freed time and money to focus on building the store's sales to roughly 28 new and 43 used vehicles per month from the 8 to 15 mostly new vehicles per month that the previous owners sold....
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Fewer bosses, Disney savvy, $2 idea lift stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 21, 2014
A Chrysler Group dealership chain is stripping away layers of management to sell cars faster. A Chevrolet-Cadillac store is enchanting customers through Disney training. And an Audi dealership uses $2 envelopes to ensure the return of $300 key fobs. These are just a few ways three California auto retailers are boosting sales, customer satisfaction and profits....
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BEST PRACTICES

Cue from airlines helps dealership cut no-shows

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 21, 2014
Robert Karbaum came up with is an "appointment boarding pass" to send to customers' smartphones via text or e-mail minutes after they schedule a test drive....
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BEST PRACTICES

Courting consumers, moving 'smelly tires'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
For customers and employees alike, the change in culture over the past few years at Bozard Ford-Lincoln in St. Augustine, Fla., has been like a breath of fresh air....
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BEST PRACTICES

Custom Nissans give dealership added oomph

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 7, 2014
When it comes to customizing, there are the usual hot-rod-able models like the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. But the Nissan Altima? Absolutely, says Eric Grubbs, CEO of Grubbs Nissan in Bedford, Texas....
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BEST PRACTICES

High-end Hyundai buyers enjoy private lounge, dinners and more

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 30, 2014
The lounge inside Burns Hyundai in Marlton, N.J., offers red-carpet perks to Genesis and Equus buyers. It has been essential to winning over customers from brands such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz....
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BEST PRACTICES

Mass. store becomes a one-stop shop for fleets

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
Imperial Municipal Partners caters to an important segment that many traditional dealerships aren't well equipped to handle -- commercial and government fleet buyers, including police departments....
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BEST PRACTICES

Retail group spells out privacy for customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2014
Jeff Wyler, CEO of the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Cincinnati, is convinced that dealerships soon will be subject to stricter privacy laws. So he is going extra lengths to inform customers of their rights and explain how the group's 13 dealerships gather and use data....
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BEST PRACTICES

With Sunday hours, there's no waiting to service cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Going to Sunday service is not about church for customers of Vista BMW Pompano in suburban Miami....
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L.A. store finds sales in freeway gridlock

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Dealer Hani Nassif is putting Hyundais face-to-face with gridlocked motorists – both day and night. The cars are housed in a massive glass display bridge alongside Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. Nassif says the colorful new structure has helped boost new-car sales tenfold and increase the size of his workforce....
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BEST PRACTICES

When a deal collapses, the sales reward remains

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
Operating in a lower-middle-class area, with about 20 percent of deals falling through at the finance desk, dealer Carlos Uruchurtu struggled to keep salespeople from jumping to dealerships in better neighborhoods. His solution: a compensation system that would give sales staff small but significant rewards for their efforts, even if those efforts didn't lead directly to a sale....
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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....
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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....
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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."...
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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....
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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....
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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, second-generation dealers Ray and Rik Fregia have seen a 30 percent boost in sales this year, thanks largely to million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. Mon., September 15
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