The King Goes for a K.O. Against Breast Cancer!

October 2013, was a trying time for all of America.  We saw our Government come to a screeching halt, uncertainty about our economy arose and worst of all 800,000 government workers were left to wonder when they would go back to work or receive another paycheck.  Local Metro Washington D.C.IMAG0846 businesses were all affected by the shutdown because if no one is working, no one is purchasing products.  When the idea to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month was presented to our GM Conrad Aschenbach, he didn’t hesitate to accept the challenge.  “I’m sick of all this gloom and doom, I understand the politics, but we still have an obligation to our community!”  Mr. Aschenbach didn’t think of the rising expenses, the loss of revenue or the empty showroom, all he cared about was showing King Buick GMC Mitsubishi’s support for a worth while cause!  We partnered with Susan G. Komen Maryland and it was decided that we would donate $100 for every vehicle sold and $10 for every service visit over $200.  With the help and support of our employees and customers, we raised $4,320 within the first week!

Support for our Breast Cancer Awareness Month picked up traction as we donned our exclusive King Buick GMC Mitsubishi Breast Cancer Awareness staff shirts and also our custom “Driving Toward

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A Cure” t-shirts.  Our t-shirts were available for customers to purchase with all proceeds going towards the fight against Breast Cancer! Every staff member showed their support every Friday as we went Pink on Purpose.  We wore our Pink shirts, wristbands and even had Pink water bottles available for our guests. We heard stories about family members who were survivors, even personal stories of coping with breast cancer.  Everyone was grateful that we participated in such a worth while cause.

photo4  To culminate our fundraising efforts we decided to have a Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  We invited representatives from Susan G. Komen  Maryland to our showroom to provide information on the prevention, detection and eradication of breast cancer.  We made our “Driving Towards A Cure” t-shirts available for purchase and also held a raffle to raise additional funds to donate to Susan G. Komen Maryland.  Our raffle included, King Breast Cancer Awareness shirts, Madden 25 video games, coffee mugs, water bottles and hats donated to us by one of our vendors Cintas.  The raffle went well, with a drawing every 30 minutes.  Our employees and customers helped us in our fundraising goal by participating in the raffle.  We were able to raise $285 in less than 4 hours.  These funds will be added tphoto44o our total funds raised!  Although it was a short time we had a great deal of fun for a great cause. “A big thank you to King, as well as all of your employees and customers for your generosity, hospitality and good cheer!” (Adrienne Johnson, Susan G. Komen National Race Coordinator)  The month of October is over and our fund raising goal has been exceeded.  We projected that we would raise $12,000, but we shattered that goal!  Our total funds raised was $15,680.00!  We will have a check presentation at our King Buick GMC dealership Friday November 8th at 10:00 AM.  We wanted to thank our vendors, employees and customers that helped us reach this goal.  We look forward to participating in the fight against cancer next year!  Thank you once again for helping us “Drive Toward A Cure!”

-King Buick GMC Mitsubishi

King’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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King Buick GMC Mitsubphoto9ishi is celebrating it’s first Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  All month long we will honor those succumbed to cancer and also those who have survived.  We have partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to donate $100 for every vehicle sold and $10 for every Service over $200!  To date we have raised $4,320!  Every Friday our dealership will go “Pink On Purpose”!  We be wearing our exclusive Pink King Buick GMC Mitsubishi staff shirts in support of awareness, prevention and eradication of Breast Cancer!  You can join in the fight against cancer either by purchasing a vehicle, servicing a vehicle or purchasing one of our limited “Driving Toward A Cure” T-shirt.  Proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. photo7We will also have a Breast Cancer Awareness Day here at King.  October 25th from 10 AM until 3 PM, we will have representatives from the Susan G. Komen foundation on site to provide Breast Cancer awareness and prevention information.  We will have and prizes as well, so be sure to mark the date on your calendar and be sure to “Drive Toward A Cure!”

King For A Day!

IMAG1324When it comes to car lovers, there are different degrees of engagement.  You have the individuals who know the make and models, appreciate great design, but they couldn’t tell you the difference between a socket wrench and an EGR valve.  Then there are those that eat, breathe and sleep cars!  Somehow that Car Guy automotive gene was inherited by Jeffrey “AJ” Wims at an early age.  While other children longed for the latest Blues Clues DVD, AJ could be found snuggled up watching a Grave Digger Monster Truck DVD.   While other children threw their Hot Wheels aimlessly under the bed or in closets, AJ kept his neatly in a carrying case.   Although he owned hundreds of Hot Wheels he could tell you when you bought him one that he already had.  His love for the automotive industry has intensified as he has matured, so much so that he has decided to become an Mechanical Engineer, designing cars for a manufacturer.   He was given an assignment by his teacher at Takoma Academy to shadow someone in the field that he would like to enter.  AJ wanted a taste of the automotive industry so he asked if he could come to King Buick GMC Mitsubishi for the day to shadow employees.  He was able to work along with Aaron Powell in our Mitsubishi Service center, changing oil, rotating tires and even helping out on a vehicle diagnosis or two. IMAG0846 The best part of AJ’s visit was being able to sit down with our GM Conrad Aschenbach, who happens to be an Engineer.  Conrad’s passion for the industry goes beyond his knowledge of Engineering, he has held almost every position at his family’s dealership.  So when he completed his Engineering degree and started his career, it was no surprise that he longed to be back on the showroom floor. He still puts his degree to good use as he customizes his Corvette along with other projects.  Conrad advised AJ that he could use an Engineering degree for many purposes and also to be a successful designer, you need to know all the aspects of the automotive industry from retail to the factory.  He also provided different academic clubs and organizations that would help AJ in reaching his goal of becoming an Engineer.

With how busy the automotive industry is, especially dealerships, you can imagine how hard it was to find a quiet moment to help a youngster map out his future.  King Auto has been serving the community since 1928, and we never miss a chance to give a hand to those in our community especially when it comes to cars… because there are “Car Guys….and then there are Car Guys!”

The Battle Of the Fuel Efficient Vehicles (Part 2)

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My second energy efficient vehicle test drive was with the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist.  The first thing that you notice when driving the LaCrosse is the room inside the vehicle.  When you think of Hybrids or Fuel Efficient vehicles, your mind quickly diverts to tiny soap box type vehicles with room for maybe 2 adults.  The LaCrosse is a full size sedan, and the flagship of the Buick line.  The vehicle that I test drove had cloth, and the Intellilink radio.  I enjoyed the XM radio, the Driver Information center, and other extras like Remote Start, Cruise Control, Onstar and the 17″ Alloy wheels.

So how does a full size sedan with all these extras give you 33 MPG? The LaCrosse has a  separate electric engine which is housed in the rear of the vehicle (trunk).  When you come to a stop, the engine turns off and the electric engine starts up.  Once the brake is released the gasoline engine automatically starts back up.  GM has doe studies on the system and found that there was a 32% Improvement in City MPG and 24% Improvement in Highway driving.  With the substantial MPG increase, the LaCrosse wins the panic factor over the iMIEV.  You can save fuel, but not have to worry about the thought of not finding a charging station for miles.  The only draw back for the LaCrosse is the fact that there is no spare in order to compensate for the electrical engine.  But even with the reduced space you still have enough room to store things.2012-Buick-LaCrosse-with-e-Assist-Technology-001-trunk

All in all the LaCrosse is a GREAT vehicle.  It gives you the best of both worlds, the fuel efficiency of an Hybrid with the piece of mind of being able to pull into a gas station when you’re close to empty.  The iMIEV is a vehicle that demands a lifestyle change if it is going to be your main vehicle.  You don’t have to make as drastic of a change to own the LaCrosse.  It also dispels the myth of the tiny fuel efficient vehicle.  If it’s big enough for Shaq, I’m sure it’s big enough for you!

 

Another Case of…..”The Customer Is Always Right!”

debbienealDebbie Neal has been a part of the King Auto Family for years.  She was a loyal Saturn customer and when Saturn closed it’s doors Debbie remained a loyal Service customer.  Not only did Debbie purchase her vehicles from us, but she also makes sure every service visit is completed at King Buick GMC. Debbie finally decided to let the Saturn go and purchased a new Buick Regal.  You will know Debbie is around the showroom, because there is always laughter where ever she is.  Her usual spot is in Bob Benson’s cubicle, but she is known to be spotted at the receptionist desk, touring the Service Department, and there has even been the rare Internet Department sighting.  Unlike most customers, Debbie enjoys the time spent at the dealership, and we enjoy seeing her, so it was a surprise when she pulled me aside and wanted to express a concern with our Service Department.  She scheduled a Service Appointment online but did not hear back from anyone. She thought it was odd, so she came in anyway.  She was told by Service that they had not received the request, but she was certain she sent it, and even showed me when it was sent.  Her concern was not about herself, or the inconvenience, but for the dealership as a whole.  How many others have done the same and did not hear back from anyone and decided to go elsewhere for service?  We looked into the issue and discovered a few links on the site had a link to our old King Pontiac Service email address that is not currently being used.  Without Debbie’s help, this may have gone on longer.  We restructured our Online Service Appointment response procedure to ensure all Service Customers are responded to in a timely manner.  Now when you schedule a Service Appointment online you will receive a personalized confirmation email, and also a phone call from our Service Dispatcher Kelly Myles! We appreciate Debbie’s help and also her continued commitment to the King Buick GMC Family without our TRUE customers we could not survive.  As we prepare to enter a new phase of the King Buick GMC legacy, we want to ensure we are listening to our customers.  We have created a new email box that can be used to relay any comments, questions or concerns to the Management Team here at King.  The email address is customercomments@kingauto.com.  Please be sure to use this email is you have concerns in regards to Sales, Service or Parts……we want to make sure our customer’s voices are heard, because the customer is ALWAYS right!

 

King Buick GMC

 

The New Digital Dealer

April 15th brings fear and trepidation to almost everyone.  Despite who’s in office, or how much you make, regardless…..everyone still owes.  Tax time is usually an introspective time where you look at what you’ve made, what you have to show for it, and how you will restructure things for the upcoming year.

As an automobile dealer group, we go through the same process, we look at how we handled business in the previous year and how we might be able to meet this year’s goals and objectives.  Has the auto industry changed?  Can we attract customers using the same old tactics?  Where are customers searching for vehicles?  These questions have eluded all sales and marketing directors in the industry.  If we had the answer, we wouldn’t fall prey to all of the lead generation vendors swearing they can bring you multiple leads and sales magically.  Not long ago, being a player in the digital world meant having a website, then paid search got introduced to the mix.  Now we have Social Media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).  How often have you been asked to visit a 3rd party website such as Dealerrater.com or Google Places to submit a positive review?

Dealers have been so obsessed with implementing a digital strategy that they jump head first into the Social Media, Paid Search and SEO arena’s.  Some pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to be in that top spot so you will click on their website when you are ready to make your next purchase.  They also spend unheard of amounts to dress their websites up to attract customers.  How many times have you fell victim, like I have to the beautiful hotel website in another state, only to get there and realize they must have photo shopped every picture because the place is a dump!  This is the same with car dealerships, no matter how many Google Reviews have been coerced out of customers, if at the end of the day the service doesn’t match the online portrayal the dealership will suffer.

Most dealers take part in Social Media and other online venues grudgingly because they don’t want to have negative things said about them online.  Even if they view the comments or not, things are still being said.  The secret is to manage those comments and not give your customers what you think they want but what they actually ask for.

A dealer’s online reputation should match their actual in person performance.  They should not be attentive to online customers for fear of public backlash and neglect customers such as my grandmother who doesn’t know Google from Gobble!  If a dealer’s main focus is exceptional service, that will show in their online presence and in the way they handle their customers face to face.  In the end, while marketing strategies have changed, the one constant in the marketing mix has remained the same, you the customer.  If you as a customer take to an online forum to vent your frustrations, or if you tell a friend of a negative experience, you are still using word of mouth.  The Internet just makes your voice as a customer louder.  But in this day in age every customer counts…..no matter where they come from, the Internet or the old fashion walk-in.  A customer lost, is an opportunity lost. We at King Auto welcome your thoughts as we embark into the new age Digital Dealer, while still delivering that royal treatment that that you have come to expect and deserve!

Kingscarguy

www.kingbuickgmc.com

www.kingautomitsubishi.com