The Luther Automotive Group

Luther Briefs

Veteran salesman David Hartman at Westside VW won a year lease for a VW Passat by leading a Facebook effort to promote VW’s VOW customer experience model.

Facebook ‘VOW’ posts lead to free diesel VW for a year

David Hartman is a heavy Facebook user, and that’s exactly what Volkswagen was looking for to promote its VOW customer experience on the top social media site.

After the high ranking salesperson at Westside VW heard an informal offer for a free lease on a VW Passat or Beetle for a year, he jumped on the VOW Facebook page to share customer stories and spread the word to VW coworkers nationwide.

“I hit it hard and went to town on this,” said Hartman. Counting on a promise he had never seen in writing, his keyboarding fingers sought the “most posts” title, and encouraged the VW faithful to make and share their VOW experiences. “I think it was more or less just a visual reminder, something to keep in back of your mind- this is why we’re doing what we’re doing,” he said.

Some time later, Hartman asked VW if he was going to win. The man who developed the idea had left the company. Answers were delayed, so Hartman stayed the Facebook VOW course. About nine months later, the official letter came.

Bloomington Hyundai sets record CSI in service

Luther Bloomington Hyundai had a record number of customer surveys returned and a score of 932, topping all other Hyundai dealerships for Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) in the region.

A new store and new records are putting Luther Bloomington Hyundai on the map.

The service department brought home the Hyundai CSI banner. “My staff, from runners, technicians, cashiers, and advisors deserve all the credit,” said Service Manager Nick Ciardelli. “They work their tails off for it!”

Drive of the compact SUV
Steve Lodien, Brookdale Chrysler Jeep, with the Jeep Compass and Patriot.

The Jeep Patriot and Compass are two different styles of the same compact SUV platform, and are popular picks at Luther Brookdale Chrysler Jeep Dodge, says, Internet Sales Manager Steve Lodien.

With $4 gas in sight again, many are losing their affection for the hungry sport utility vehicles that once dominated the market. Compact SUVs are taking their place, and small car owners are sizing up, but not out.

Internet Sales Manager Steve Lodien at Brookdale Chrysler is seeing more and more customers trade out of smaller cars to get into new Compasses and Patriots, their compact SUVs. Brian Mensching in sales finds that most prefer the Compass for its lines that mimic the Grand Cherokee. It and the Patriot ride on the same platform.

Compact SUV stats

Sales Growth: 50%*

Best Selling: Honda CRV

Sales vs. Midsize SUVs: 5 to 1

* Since 2007, Kelley Blue Book

Health screenings draw hundreds for tests
Blood draw at Nissan Kia

Nissan Kia Sales Manager Aaron Schoenack has blood drawn to check 36 different levels. He’ll get his results in three weeks.

The small cafeteria was set up with stations and a black divider for private blood draws. Employees using Luther’s health insurance took advantage of free health screenings with an added bonus, a $250 deposit into each participant’s health reimbursement account.

At Luther Nissan Kia, three dozen staff members worked with five nurses from Wellness, Inc. who took blood pressure and blood,

Brian Nerka, Luther Nissan Kia

Brian Nerka in sales at Luther Nissan Kia waits for his vials and paperwork at the screening event. “I want to find out how unhealthy I am,” he said.

then coordinated individual surveys covering exercise, diet and mental health on an iPod devices. Flu shots were offered, as well.

Nurse Carole Traynor, who visits many dealerships, said the number of participants has been growing. And, a few who haven’t been in for a regular physical use this program instead, explained Controller Shelley Riach. The results are confidential.

MADA stats: domestics, European and Korean cars up, Japanese vehicles down

Minnesota market share for new domestic vehicles in Minnesota saw a 1.2 percent gain in the first six months of 2012, followed by European cars with a 1.1 percent increase and Korean automobiles at a gain of 0.7 percent, according to figures reported by the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association.

Domestics continue to dominate the market with 53.6 percent of sales, followed by Japanese vehicles, with 30.5 percent, a drop of 3 percent in the first half of 2012.

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