I visited Galpin Motors yesterday. Galpin, home of the world’s largest Ford dealership by sales among other superlatives, is an amazing place. Galpin includes ten franchises that are all at the top or very close to the top in sales for their brand.
Galpin has achieved this by being a pioneer in customer experience. Long before that became a buzz phrase, Galpin was looking for ways to make its dealerships a pleasant place in every way for its customers to hang out.
It was the first dealership in the U.S. to include a full-service restaurant, located at the original Ford store, for example. To see the newest face of customer experience, however, walk across the street to the Galpin Premier Collection building. It houses Jaguar, Lincoln, Volvo, Lotus, and Aston Martin franchises.
There is a Starbucks, but that’s not so revolutionary. Next to the coffee shop is a glimpse of the future of dealerships– a high-end retail section. The newest edition to this area is several showcases selling luxury watches. Galpin decided that was a better use of the space than putting racks with spare parts, says Beau Boeckmann, whose family owns Galpin. We’re not just talking about expensive watches. These are exclusive watches, including some with metal from the Titanic. (Yes, that Titanic.)
In this week’s issue, we have a story about the trend to adding these kinds of lifestyle elements to dealerships. It’s a competitive tool that dealerships can’t afford to ignore.
Also this week, contributor Mark Johnson writes about some of the better defenses that an Asset Purchase Agreement can include to help ward off a right of first refusal.
On the topic of customer experience, please dive into our new directory, at www.autobuyselldirectory.com. This is not your run-of-the-mill directory. It allows dealerships to advertise their customer experience, and potential customers to search based on the kind of lifestyle amenities she or he seeks in a dealership.
Dealerships can upload videos and other promotional material. So, for example, if Galpin Premier Collection wanted to show off its watches, it could upload a video of someone explaining the unique watches in its collection. On a more mundane note, it could also advertise its restaurant with a video of customers enjoying a meal in the diner-like atmosphere. It could upload a menu. And, if someone wanted to find a Ford dealership in the Valley with a restaurant, Galpin Ford would pop up on a search.
For a demonstration of our fabulous new directory, and to chat with some of our contributors, drop by our booth at NADA. You will find us in #3806C. See you in Vegas!
Oh, and of course we have Transaction News.