Friday, January 25, 2013

Dealership New Owner Events- Worth Your Time?

Have you ever bought a brand new car? Think back for a moment and try to remember what the dealership did after you signed the paperwork. Surely you were happy to drive off with your shiny ride, and they're of course thrilled to have sold a vehicle, but did they send you a thank you card? Maybe a gift basket with some treats? How about an invitation to an open house event with other new owners, where you're treated to dinner and a Q&A session with mechanics and certified experts?

That's what we did recently, as we invited new owners out on a chilly January night for an evening of information, food, and freebies.

John Sanchez, Lou Fusz, New Owner Event, Dealership event
Salesman John chatting with one of his customers.

So what happens at a New Owner Event? Why would you go? Here's a rundown of what we typically do, and what you can expect if you attend a similar event in the future.

  • Welcome guests and offer dinner. For this event, we catered with Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe, a nearby sandwich shop. Our guests enjoyed salad, sandwiches, and cookies while getting to re-connect with their salesmen and chit chat for awhile.
Pickleman's Deli, Catering, Lou Fusz, Owner Event
Our buffet line. Those cookies go fast.
  • Brief introduction and schedule of events. Our manager, Patrick Fusz, greeted everyone and talked a bit about Lou Fusz and how they got into business (the building that is our showroom now used to be a grocery store, believe it or not!)
Patrick Fusz, Mike Hecht, Lou Fusz Toyota, 10725 Manchester Rd, Kirkwood MO
Patrick Fusz introducing some of our staff.
  • Meet the staff Q&A's with mechanics, our service department, and body shop. Not everyone knows, but the dealership can actually be the same (if not cheaper) price than going to a local body shop for repairs and service such as oil changes! In addition, if you need custom work, whether adding something like leather seats or a sun roof, we can do it. These kinds of topics were covered as our certified technicians and representatives were on-hand to answer frequently asked questions and what-if scenarios.

Toyota Camry, Toyota Certified Technician, Maintenance tips, St Louis car repair
Taking a look under the hood of a Camry. 
  • How to take care of your car- for Prius and non-hybrid owners, with strategies for keeping your car in tip-top shape, such as how many miles to go between oil changes (in most newer Toyota vehicles, it's 10,000). Last but not least, we offer our guests some freebies. For this event, it was a voucher for a free tire rotation.  
Toyota Prius, Hybrid vehicle, Smartkey system, St. Louis hybrid, Green energy
Mike Hecht explaining lesser known features of the Prius.

If you get the opportunity, these kind of events are definitely a great way to learn more about your local dealership and how you can keep your car running optimally when your odometer starts climbing towards six digits...or further! We typically hold ours several times a year, in addition to other events that existing owners can attend, such as our hybrid clinics.

What kind of information or items would you like to see at a New Owner Event?