What tops the to-do list at your dealership? Are you looking for creative new ways to win customers and keep them happy? To hire and retain good employees? To master online sales? To run an environmentally friendly store?
Every auto dealer faces these challenges. A few dealers have blazed trails.
Inside, you'll find Automotive News' annual look at innovative dealers. They do remarkable things that have built sales and generated word-of-mouth advertising while containing costs.
A “green” dealership isn't just for tree-huggers. It also saves money and energy and provides a marketing hook.
Jeff and John Morrill own Planet Subaru in suburban Boston. Half the 11-acre dealership site is a nature preserve. The showroom's windows open. Rocks on the roof provide insulation. The dealership recycles used oil and filters, along with the water it uses to wash cars. Jeff Morrill says he has cut the store's electric bill by 30 percent.
In Oregon, the Land Rover Portland dealership helps offset the greenhouse gas emissions of the SUVs it sells by paying to plant thousands of trees. Dealership executives say the “carbon neutral” sticker they place on their vehicles is a status symbol among buyers.