The free offerings include a year of paintless dent removal and key replacement — two of the Big Five. Other products customers get free with the Bommarito Advantage are free car washes, a guarantee that Bommarito will offer $500 to $1,000 more for their trade-in, paint protection and fabric care.
Customers walk away with contracts guaranteeing these services. "It's not any kind of dealer promise that's not going to get delivered on," says Bommarito whose dealership group's franchises are Infiniti, Cadillac, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Mazda, Isuzu, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac and GMC. The laminated cards vary, depending on the brand.
When the customer gets to the F&I office, they've already got a year's worth of two of the Big Five for free. It's natural, Bommarito says, for them to consider extending some of those items over the entire length of a finance contract for a few extra dollars a month.
"We priced them inexpensively enough so the customer sees the value in the increase in their payment," he says. "You can cherry-pick the ones you want. You menu-price them. My menu presentations in the finance office are set up so you offer some of the options a la carte."
Customers also get a free year of Bommarito EasyCare Personal Assistant, an OnStar-style 800-number concierge service that helps the customer find restaurants and hotels, buy theater tickets and get travel directions.
The concierge service is provided by EasyCare, an Atlanta-based unit of Automobile Protection Corp. EasyCare also administers the Big Five programs for Bommarito and trains his dealership employees via frequent continuous improvement sessions. EasyCare has relationships with 2,500 auto dealers.
Bommarito, a longtime Mazda dealer, first developed his relationship with EasyCare because it has been warranty administrator for Mazda for several years. Bommarito says his relationship with EasyCare is the key to making his F&I offerings a success.
"We've seen multiple people try to copy it, but they can't execute the customer service level," he says. "That's because of the provider."
In 2005, Bommarito and Larry Dorfman, president of EasyCare, realized their two companies could work together beyond Mazda warranties.
"John is probably one of the most innovative thinkers in the automotive business period," Dorfman says. "I go out there every quarter and just listen to him. He's always thinking outside the box."