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!

 

A New Look For King Buick GMC Mitsubishi in 2013!

We made it safely through 2012 despite all of the issues we’ve faced; elections, debt ceilings a slumping economy and fiscal cliffs couldn’t hinder King Buick GMC Mitsubishi.  Despite all that we have faced, we were able to post a record sales month for Buick GMC and also received a Diamond Sales award for our Mitsubishi brand.  All of this would not be possible if it were not for you the customer!

As we embark upon another year we have much more to accomplish.  As you know we are in the midst of a huge remodeling project at our Buick GMC showroom.  The new showroom will have an updated Service waiting area and also an enclosed Service drive making it easily accessible and convenient for customers.  We will also be introducing new vehicles in 2013.  We already have the redesigned Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia on our lot, and later this year we will introduce the all new Buick Encore, a luxury Cross-Over Utility Vehicle.  For those of you who love Pick-Ups, I know you can’t wait for the redesigned GMC Sierra! And that’s just what’s in store for GM.

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Our Mitsubishi brand will be welcoming 3 new vehicles this year, the first being the redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander.  The Outlander has been touring the Autoshow circuit and has received rave reviews.  Mitsubishi is also introducing a plug in hybrid version of the Outlander!  There are great opportunities on the horizon.  We will be updating our Mitsubishi showroom as well.  The project will not be as extensive, but the goal is the same, to benefit you the customer.  We want to ensure we provide you with a safe, comfortable environment where you can purchase or service your vehicle.

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Thank you once again for your continued support of King Buick GMC Mitsubishi.  Stay tuned for upcoming vehicle releases and “Grand Re-Opening” events for our Buick GMC showroom.

Sincerely,

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