Mr. Bean is the title character of a popular British TV comedy. He’s also helping Street Toyota in Amarillo, Texas, sell more wheel alignments.
The dealership’s service department awards a Mr. Bean bobblehead as the prize in an ongoing sales contest among its 12 service advisers. Each time an adviser sells an alignment, he or she takes possession of Mr. Bean until the next sale.
Other objects — a replica Toyota Racing helmet, a bobblehead of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, a rock with the image of actor Dwayne Johnson, who is known by his nickname, The Rock — are prizes in other contests among the advisers for sales of tires, brake jobs and Toyota Care Plus maintenance plans.
Three times a day, at random, a timer sounds in the shop. Whoever holds one of the prizes tosses two dice and wins $2 to $12 per roll, depending on which number comes up. The advisers are immediately paid in cash.
Jason Reed, Street Toyota’s service and parts director, says advisers win $500 a month, on average, in the contests.
“It’s a relatively inexpensive, fun and effective way to help sales,” Reed told Automotive News.
The contests are having the desired effect. The shop performs an average of 275 alignments each month, at a typical price of $89.95, up from 45 to 50 a month several years ago. About 70 percent of customers who are told their vehicles need an alignment opt for it, Reed says.