The Luther Automotive Group

Luther Briefs

An unusual discovery prompted quick action by Alex Soderberg, left, and Christ Siebenaler.

An unusual discovery prompted quick action by Alex Soderberg, left, and Christ Siebenaler.

A technician on an everyday used car test drive saw something a bit peculiar in Bloomington near Interstate-494, a duck standing on the side of the road.

“What the heck is going on with this duck?” asked Luther Bloomington Kia technician Christ Siebenaler. He guessed that it was a mother looking for her ducklings in the storm sewer. “I looked down there and, sure enough, there were about nine baby ducks.”

Siebenaler went back to the shop, found some pry bars and asked technician Alex Soderberg to come along. Pulling up the grate, the two worked to pull the ducklings out, seemingly unhurt.

“They all fell through the grate, I guess,” said Siebenaler. And, how was the mother duck? “Not too bad. You could definitely tell she was nervous.”

Westside Volkswagen opened on the east side of Highway 100 in 1960. A new store opened on the west side in 2004.

Westside Volkswagen opened on the east side of Highway 100 in 1960. A new store opened on the west side in 2004.

In his 31 years at the old Volkswagen store in St. Louis Park, Westside VW Shop Foreman Toby Christen never saw the original 1960 logo on the wall that has now been exposed. “It was up in the ceiling of the body shop. That was the original building,” said Christen.

The facility is being remodeled for a new store. Stay tuned.



The service department at Luther Bloomington Hyundai proudly carried the customer satisfaction banner for four quarters, ranking first among the 15 stores in its district, and the Bloomington Kia store had best in the region CSI for two quarters.

Several members of Bloomington Hyundai Service.

Several members of Bloomington Hyundai Service.

“I just think it’s our people,” said Hyundai Service Manager Nick Ciardelli. The store performs “active deliveries” with customers, going through paperwork that indicates exactly what was done, he explains. Customers are also well informed about what to expect before the service is performed.

At Kia, Service Manager Dave Boogren’s team is virtually all new since it moved into its newly remodeled building. “Everybody works together really well. In departmental relations, it really flows,” he said. Boogren also notes that the Bloomington store, and Luther Nissan Kia have the highest customer email gathering rates in the district, about 80 percent. These relate back directly to CSI scores.

“We’re excited about the product, the great support has been fantastic. It’s a joy to work,” said Boogren.



It was a show floor transformation at John Hirsch’s Cambridge Motors for the islands, the Hawaiian Islands, that is. The push was for the “Ola Ala” employee fitness program.

The potluck event’s lead organizer was Erika Nelson in billing. “I said, ‘We have to make this big.’” Ola Ala promotes walking for good health.

A hula hoop contest was a must. There were Tiki torches, big, window-sized posters, fringe everywhere and Hawaiian leis and Hawaiian wedding cake for everybody, said Nelson. She kept after fellow employees with fliers and email blasts. Those who helped with lot cleanup that day could log some fitness time toward their goal.

Across the group, Motors Management had the highest Ola Ala participation, followed by Westside Volkswagen. Nearly 400 employees, in all, took part, and more employees signed up for the fitness program this year, explains Annette Sinicropi in human resources with Motors.

She said the program helps people to be more active, and to stay active. Healthier employees can also lead to a reduction in health insurance claims. “It shows employees that Luther encourages wellness by having something fun to do with fun rewards,” she said. Ola Ala prizes included fleece blankets, roadside safety and personal fitness kits, sports chairs and a 7-in-1 board game.


North Country Ford Lincoln was named a recipient of the President’s Award from Ford Motor Company.


The honor recognizes top performing dealerships that achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction, in both sales and service, in automotive retailing. North Country held a celebratory luncheon with employees to note the achievement.

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