Thayer Family Dealerships in Bowling Green, Ohio, typically hosts a handful of events per year. The activities — including a back-to-school event, a few classic car shows and a military appreciation event — are meant to bring existing customers back as well as draw in new community members and potential customers.
This year, Thayer was able to hold its Dog Days of Summer event safely outdoors, but the pandemic made its other activities impossible to host. That's when Thayer got creative with an idea that may stick even after COVID-19 has passed.
Thayer — which has six stores, one each for Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership — held nearly a dozen drive-in movie nights complete with family-friendly films, snacks and themes ranging from Fall Game Day to Ladies Night to Halloween.
"We knew we couldn't do the same [events] as usual just with everything going on," Marketing Manager Marissa Garrett told Automotive News. "We were trying to think of something that we could still get people in the community out for something free and fun to do and yet keeping social distance."
Thayer bought its own screen and projector so that it didn't have to rent equipment each week and could consistently host the movie nights when convenient. The group set up speakers but also used FM transmitters so people could listen on a station in their vehicles.