A Washington, D.C., area dealership is rebranding itself amid changing incentive programs and swelling competition. Its actions reflect how dealerships, as well as automakers, are trying to boost sales through creative marketing, rather than simply larger incentives.
Koons of Silver Spring (Md.) launched a campaign on Jan. 18 called Total Confidence Pricing, which includes a 30-day guarantee on the price buyers paid for a new vehicle.
The marketing plan aims to showcase the dealership’s competitive pricing, wide vehicle selection and reputation for integrity, said Alex Perdikis, owner of Koons of Silver Spring, which sells Ford, Lincoln and Mazda vehicles.
“We’re finding a way to repackage and enhance what we offer as an organization,” said Perdikis.
Perdikis said he derives prices from Kelly Blue Book, Autotrader, TrueCar and “other metrics.” Total Confidence Pricing is not one-price or no-haggle, he said. It is “market price,” meaning anyone in the market qualifies for it, unlike some prices that dealers advertise for which only veterans, senior citizens or other groups qualify.
“We may not be the lowest price, but we’ll be competitive and we have large inventory so customers will find what they want,” he said.
The Total Confidence campaign also carries a new 30-day guarantee. If Koons advertises a car for less than what a customer paid for a similar new vehicle -- year, make, model, and sticker price -- within 30 days after the customer’s purchase, Koons will refund the difference. The difference must be in the selling price, and does not include any changes in discounts or incentives offered by the manufacturer.
Koons sells about 4,000 new and used vehicles a year. Perdikis said he felt a need to reinvent himself after Ford Motor Co. ended its long-running stair-step incentive program last September. Perdikis said he relied on that program “a fair amount” to help him earn extra profits from the factory for achieving certain sales targets.
Koons is promoting the Total Confidence campaign on network television, social media, digital marketing and its website. As part of the launch, through the end of the month, Koons will make the first three payments on a customer’s new- or used-vehicle purchase or give $1,000 off the price.
In the next “few months,” Perdikis said, he plans to roll out Total Confidence Financing and Total Confidence Servicing. But he is not yet ready to discuss either.
“We’re still coming up with what makes the most sense across the board,” he said. “Pricing is easy, but financing and servicing are a bit more difficult. We don’t know about someone’s need for financing, same with service -- there are so many different makes and model vehicles. But we’re working on it now.”