Special note from LotLinx: As the second-biggest car market in the country, Texas loves cars. And we love Texas. The unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey was enough to knock any industry back on its heels. But the Texas dealer community is not just any industry. It’s strong, tightly knit, and fiercely determined. We know they’ll come roaring back, stronger than ever before. And our friends at Street Volkswagen in Amarillo will be among those leading the charge. We’re proud to share this story of their recent success.
Everything’s bigger in Texas. And that includes the challenge of selling cars in a truck-loving state. Nobody understands that better than John Luciano, GM and Managing Partner of Street Volkswagen in Amarillo.
John describes how he approached this challenge in an insightful interview conducted by Joe Gumm of CBT News.
The new kid in town.
With 37 years of experience in every aspect of the car business, John figured he had seen (and done) it all. But opening a brand-new Volkswagen dealership in truck country was a new kind of undertaking. Initially, his strategy was to emphasize the fuel economy and other benefits of diesel technology. He figured customers could park a VW diesel car next to their big pickup truck, and have the best of both worlds. And in the beginning, it looked like that approach just might do the trick. But then came the corporate scandal.
Suddenly, shoppers were viewing the brand differently, and a new reluctance set in. John and his team new they had to expand their reach, and tell their story to a much larger audience.
The right support to cross boundaries.
John set out to find vendors who could help them get back on track. And that meant expanding their reach, and putting their VINs in front of shoppers who were looking for them, wherever those shoppers might be.
“We had a website, just like everybody else does. But we had to find a way to find relevance,” John explains. “We had a great story to tell, we’ve won all the awards, but who knew it outside of Amarillo?”
Then he learned about LotLinx. “We found LotLinx, who could take our message and get it out…and not just to Amarillo. We have an area around us that we had to find a way to reach. With a small store, and a small budget.”
Honor the bottom line.
Of course, cost was an issue. And John found that other vendors and technologies simply weren’t worthwhile. As he explains, “You could throw 20 or 30 thousand a month out, but the ROI just isn’t there.”
With LotLinx, John found an affordable targeting and retargeting option. And, most importantly, it worked. “ LotLinx did an amazing job for us. Still, to this day, it’s doing a great job,” John says.
The proof is in the thank you note.
John knows how many of his customers are coming from outside the Amarillo area, because he writes letters to them. “I send a letter to every customer that buys a car from us. So I can tell who’s not from Amarillo, and it’s about 60%. LotLinx is a great way to get out and find those customers.”
Make mine used.
Expanding their used car business was another vital path toward growth for Streeter. And LotLinx retargeting helped with that, too. “We were able to create ourselves as a used car store – not just Volkswagen. Now, we run about 2.1 to 1. The average VW store is about .6.”
When asked what keeps him up at night, John can answer that it’s definitely not moving inventory. With LotLinx, he has a plan in place to take care of the VINs he wants to get off his lot. “We stay focused on it, and have lots of conversations with LotLinx. They’ll call to find out what we need.”
Street Volkswagen has made the most of LotLinx Facebook technology, too. As John sees it, “They made us Facebook kings. We post all day long, a picture of every customer that buys a car from us, to link it back. They came to me and said hey, look how inexpensive this is. I couldn’t believe it.”
The LotLinx difference.
John sums up his experience succinctly. “We’re all out there trying to drive traffic in a huge market. You’ve got to find something that makes you different. And that’s what LotLinx helped us do. We’re a little quirky. We’re not your average VW store, by any means.”
We have to agree. With these kinds of results, Street Volkswagen is definitely above average.