Boulevard Buick Celebrates Years

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					                                        Representing South Los Angeles County New Car Dealers Since 1932

                                                                                                      Winter 2012

     Boulevard Buick Celebrates 50 Years

    Pictured above left to right are: Ron Charron, Co-Owner/COO; Brian Sweeny, Vice Pres – Buick/GMC; Mark Reuss,
    President of GM, Jim Willingham, Co-Owner/CEO; Brad Willingham, Co-Owner/CFO.

       oulevard Buick celebrated 50 years of sales            a car in Southern California. After the street was
       and service in the Long Beach/Signal Hill              changed to “Long Beach Boulevard” to really get
       area last month. Jim                                                  the city on the map, Jim changed
  Willingham began selling auto-                                             the name to Boulevard Buick. The
  mobiles on American Avenue at                                              photo on the left is the Buick
  Ed James Studebaker in 1954. The                                           showroom, circa 1967.
  dealership moved in 1961 from                                                 Congratulations to all manage-
  Anaheim Street to its brand new                                            ment and staff at Boulevard Buick
  facility at 1881 American Avenue                                           for 50 successful years! 
  in Long Beach. At the time, this
  was considered “the” place to buy

INSIDE             Tire Repair and Liability
                   Issues, Page 5
                                                      Commission Agreements
                                                      Legislation and its Impact on
                                                                                               How to Conquer Social
                                                                                               Customer Service, Page 9
                                                      Auto Dealerships, Page 8
  The Southlander is an official publication of    President’s Message
                                                      By Matt Browning,
                                                      Browning Auto Group, Cerritos

                                                       eason’s Greetings! This is the time of year
                                                       we reflect on our good fortunes and are
                                                       thankful to be in this industry, which pro-
                                                  vides a good quality of life for so many peo-
                                                  ple. Regardless of our personal situation or
        11111 New Falcon Way
          Cerritos, CA 90703                      the monthly ups and downs we see in our
        Phone: (562) 467-5252                     businesses, we don’t have to look too far to
         Fax: (562) 653-7876
                                                  see that we are fortunate to be living in this
                                                  country. Far too many people have it much
                                                  worse than we do, and I encourage you to take a moment to be thankful
       OFFICERS                                   for our blessings.
           PRESIDENT                                 Most of you know that we are no longer partners in the Orange
           Matt Browning
    Browning Auto Group, Cerritos                 County Auto Show. The joint venture ended this year, which has been
                                                  fantastic for both dealer associations. Our association has wisely used the
                                                  revenues from this event to do things that have given us national recogni-
             John Davis                           tion and support vital programs that keep our industry strong. Prior to
  Glenn E. Thomas Dodge, Signal Hill              the 15-year auto show partnership, we had our own show in Long Beach
                                                  for many years.
     SECRETARY/TREASURER                             I’m pleased to announce that we are going back to Long Beach! The
          Nick Worthington                        Same Old Auto Show? Not with the SMCDA. For the past six months the
     Worthington Ford, Long Beach
                                                  Southland dealers have put forth a plan that will revolutionize the tradi-
                                                  tional auto show. Next June the SMCDA will launch the “SoCal Test
             Ron Charron                          Drive Expo” at the Long Beach Convention Center. This will be a hybrid
 Blvd. Buick/Pontiac/GMC, Signal Hill             Auto Show and Test Drive Experience where the test drive will be the
                                                  central theme of the show. To find out more about this event, go to www.
              Bill Stephens
        Cerritos Infiniti, Cerritos      and stay tuned as this event takes shape.
                                                     Just when you thought you had all your holiday plans settled, you have
   IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT                       one more event to add to the calendar. Don’t forget to RSVP to the annu-
          Greg Timmons                            al installation dinner at the Virginia Country Club on Thursday, January
     Timmons Volkswagen/Subaru,                   12th and help welcome John Davis as our second third-generation presi-
            Long Beach
                                                  dent. John’s dad, Bob, was president in 1986 and his grandfather, Monte,
                                                  was president in 1963. And for those who are keeping track of such
             SMCDA STAFF                          things, Monte’s mentor, Glenn E. Thomas, was the first president of this
             Todd Leutheuser                      association in 1932. I hope to see you there and celebrate this rich history.
            Executive Director
            Dianna Docton                         Happy Holidays,
           Executive Assistant
To advertise in an upcoming issue, please
           Todd Leutheuser at
             (562) 467-5252                       Matt Browning
                                                  SMCDA President

  2 Winter 2012                                                                                     Winter 2012 3
NADA University’s Featured Training and Resources                                                                Tire Repair and Liability Issues                                                      By Sam Celly, Celly Services, Inc.

   T                                                                                                               I
      ake action now to enroll in a 2012 class at NADA        Overcoming Obsolescence (online course)                 n August of 2005, Casey Barber brought his         Knowing fully well that this judgment will serve
      University.                                             Unlocking Frozen Capital (online course)                Ford E350 to a Ford dealer in San Diego, Calif.    as a baseline for all future wrongful tire repair
      Dealer Candidate Academy (DCA): Jan 23, Feb             Managing Parts Inventory (convention work-              for tire repairs. A year later, on July 31, 2006   lawsuits, dealers may forego tire repairs entirely.
   20, May 7, Jun 25, Sep 10, Oct 22                          shop)                                                while Mr. Barber and his wife were driving to         Risks associated with tire repair are high and
   General Dealership Management Academy (GDM):               Performing a Monthly Parts Reconciliation            Arizona on Highway 98, their Ford vehicle over-       keeping in mind the liability Ford/Firestone
   Jan 9, Feb 13, May 21, Sep 17, Oct 8                       (webinar on demand)                                  turned and killed them both. The cause of the
                  ATD Truck Dealer Academy: June 11         NADA U Partner training from Jeff Sacks                accident as reported by the Arizona Highway
                     Department managers may attend a        ONLINE RESOURCES at               Patrol was tread separation of the rear left tire.
                  class week even if they don’t have a        Driven Management Guides-Parts:                      They left behind three sons who sued the Ford
                  student in the Academy program. Call        A Dealer Guide to Parts Management and               dealer and others for the wrongful death of their
                  800.557.6232, and visit www.NADA.           Profitability (no charge to NADA and ATD mem-        parents.
                  org/nadauniversity/academy to down-         bers)                                                   Prior to trial in San Diego County, other
                  load schedule and applications.             Top 5 Ideas for Managing the Parts Department        defendants who had worked on the vehicle set-
                     WEBINARS & SEMINARS: NADA                inventory (no charge to NADA and ATD mem-            tled for $8.3 million. The names of these other
                  U provides two types of webinars,each       bers)                                                defendants are not public. The jury, in a trial
                  conducted at 1:00 PM ET:                   Also in Resource Toolbox, find these tools in the     which ended on January 11, 2011, found the
      1.) MarketINSIGHT - open to all at no charge;       NADAPerks library, no charge to NADA and ATD             dealership negligent in repair of the tire and
      view them live or on demand in NADA U’s             members:                                                 awarded the plaintiffs $14.5 million. Without
      Resource Toolbox                                        Parts Turn Calculator                                commenting on the merits of the case or the size
      2.) Learning Hub – available for purchase ($199);       First Time Fill Rate                                 of the award, we can certainly say that tire repair   incurred from installing defectively manufac-
      view them live and on demand for 2 years            Visit or call 800-557-6232        is serious business and now has the fingerprints      tured tires, the complete tire repair business
     ONLINE TRAINING at               for assistance.                                         of a $22.7 million judgment. As part of the post-     requires some serious thinking on behalf of the
                                                                                                                   verdict settlement, the Ford dealer has agreed to     dealer community.
                                                                                                                   implement a comprehensive training program to            Business Concerns: Some dealers are sublet-
                                                                                                                   train its technicians on safe tire practices to       ting tire repair work to a vendor down the street
                                                                                                                   improve consumer safety.                              thinking that this will protect them as they are
                                                                                                                      Chilling Effect: When a judgment this size is      not conducting tire repair themselves. Not so.
                                                                                                                   handed to an auto dealer, it has a chilling effect    Actually, they will increase liability as they have
                                                                                                                   on the tire repair business of every dealer.          no quality control over the process. Any wrong
                                                                                                                                                                                        done by a vendor makes the dealer-
                                                                                                                                                                                        ship liable for damages. The vendor
                                                                                                                                                                                        is liable but the dealership is on the
                                                                                                                                                                                        hook too. Deep pockets at the deal-
                                                                                                                                                                                        ership make them an attractive tar-
                                                                                                                                                                                        get. Secondly, the dealership may
                                                                                                                                                                                        decline all tire work and this would
                                                                                                                                                                                        be the least risky alternative.
                                                                                                                                                                                        However, once the customer goes to
                                                                                                                                                                                        the tire repair facility down the
                                                                                                                                                                                        street, that facility will repair the
                                                                                                                                                                                        tire and take other business like
                                                                                                                                                                                        brakes, shocks and flush, etc. The
                                                                                                                                                                                        customer and their revenue stream
                                                                                                                                                                                        disappear. Some dealerships have
                                                                                                                                                                                        reported that since the $22.7 mil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Continued on page 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Winter 2012 5
4 Winter 2012
Continued from page 5
          lion judgement, their tire sales have gone up. Once       incorrectly. The days of a $5 tire patch are over. Due                 on the poster. A DVD reviewing the tire repair pro-      the dealer decides to mail the cards after the con-
          the safety concerns and conditions under which            to the inherent obligation of the dealership to pro-                   cedures is also available from the tire distributors.    sumer information has been filled in. Changes to
          many tires cannot be repaired are explained to the        vide training to technicians performing tire repair                    RMA guidelines or other industry guidelines do not       federal law in 2009 allows dealers to complete tire
          customer, the customers have opted for new tires. In      work, the dealership should allow only trained and                     have weight of the law but they are considered per-      registration online as well. This process is more
          any case, do not repair tires that may result in safety   competent employees to work on tires. In essence,                      suasive in trials. Also, California B.A.R. reportedly    accurate, trustworthy and the level of compliance is
          concerns later. Follow all vehicle manufacturers, tire    monitor who repairs tires carefully so that no                         judges tire repair work in line with RMA standards.      certainly more.
          manufacturers, and tire repair industry standards                                                                                In summary, in the absence of a better or higher            In summary, tire registration at the time of tire
                                                                                                                                           threshold on tire repair, follow RMA standards.          sale, whether through a sublet or in-house, is a
          related to tire repair.
             Industry Standards: Motor vehicle manufacturers
                                                                      Research from NHTSA and the                                          Some tires cannot be repaired. Do not repair them,       requirement under law. Federal law aside, failure to
          have certain specifications for the size and type of        Rubber Manufacturer Association                                      no matter how much customer wrath you may have           register can bring liability when a tire is recalled, the
                                                                                                                                           to take.                                                 consumer gets no information on the recall, and is
          tire installed on each vehicle. If the incorrect tire
          installed by the dealers causes an accident, liability
                                                                      has indicated that 87.5% of tires                                       Other Considerations Regarding Tires:                 involved in an accident caused by tire failure. If the
          accrues. Secondly, every major tire manufacturer            repaired in the country are                                          Tire Registration: The purpose of tire registration is   accident could have been avoided by notification to
                                                                                                                                           to document the identity of the retail purchaser of      consumer and subsequent tire replacement, liability
          provides an Owner’s Manual that covers warranty
          and maintenance issues such as tire rotation pressure
                                                                      repaired incorrectly.                                                every tire so that the purchaser can be informed of a    accrues for the dealership! (Authority Cited: 49CFR
          monitoring, and inspection for tire damage and wear.                                                                             tire recall by the tire manufacturer. The National       Ch. V 574)
          Implement policies and procedures at your dealer-         untrained employee gets to work on tires. It is seri-                  Transport and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15          This article was authored by Sam Celly, BChE MChe JD of
          ship to hand over information to customers. Lastly,       ous business. RMA has published tire repair guid-                      USC 1381) requires all manufacturers of tires to pro-    Celly Services, Inc. a Registered Environmental Assessor and
          follow correct tire repair procedures. Provide tools      ance. The guide from RMA on tire repair standards,                     vide tire registration forms to every distributor and    Certified Safety Professional in Long Beach, California. The
          and training to your technicians according to indus-      policies and procedures is available online at http://                 dealers of its tires which offer new tires for sale.     author is not an expert on tire repair standards and as such urges
          try standards or better.                                                     Procedure: The customer then fills in their name      the reader to confer with professionals in the tire repair industry.
             Tire Repair: Research from NHTSA and the               safety/tire_repair/. A poster from RMA should be                       and address and mails the form to the tire manufac-      Lastly, this article is in no way, shape or form legal advice to auto
          Rubber Manufacturer Association has indicated that        posted in the tire repair area and all employees work-                 turer or to its designee. The law allows smaller deal-   dealers to manage liability associated with tire repair. Comments
          87.5% of tires repaired in this country are repaired      ing on tire repair familiarized with the information                   ers up to six months or up to 40 tires (whichever        regarding this article are welcome. Send them to sam@cellyservic-
                                                                                                                                           comes first) to mail the tire registration information 
                                                                                                                                           to the tire manufacturer or its designee in the event

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        6 Winter 2012                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Winter 2012 7
Commission Agreement Legislation and Dealerships
                                                                                                                      By Lonnie Giamela,
                                                                                                                         Fisher & Phillips    How to Conquer Social Customer Service                                                                                         By Kathi Kruse,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Kruse Control, Inc.

      arlier this Fall, the California Legislature passed legisla-   an action for penalties of $100 per pay period per aggrieved                    ne customer service experience can change the                  waiting for a complaint to come to
      tion that puts additional obligations on how SMCDA             employee under the Private Attorneys General Act.                               entire perception of your organization.                        you, you must be an active listener.
      members document compensation agreements with com-                 Assembly Bill 1396 provides SMCDA members approxi-                             How much attention do you pay to your cus-                  Your attention on what matters most–the customer–
 mission-based employees. Assembly Bill 1396 requires                mately one year to come into compliance with the statute. The               tomer base? With technology and automation making                  has its rewards:
 employers, effective January 1, 2013, to put all agreements         statute applies to salespeople, service advisors, departmental              certain jobs obsolete, you may have eliminated the                      1. Reaching out and engaging the customer prior
 involving the payment of commissions in writing. The statute        heads and any individual who is paid on a commission basis.                 position of customer service manager. Maybe you’ve                      to sale makes you top-of-mind when they’re
 also requires written agreements to specifically set forth the      The written agreements should contain four parts, including a               been lulled into a false sense of security about how far                ready to buy.
 method by which the commissions shall be calculated and             discussion of the commission calculation, explanation of how                technology has come but customer expectations have                      2. Supporting them as they decide to purchase
 paid. Many expect that this statute will serve as a new conduit     figures used in the commission calculation (e.g. commission-                never been higher. In fact, your potential customers’                   establishes trust and strengthens the relationship.
 for class action wage-hour lawsuits against non-compliant           able gross profit) are calculated, description that commissions                                                                                     3. Continued engagement with them after the
 employers.                                                          are subject to adjustment and chargebacks and, if applicable,           Social networks allow us to                                                 purchase shows you care. They feel comfortable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         referring to you their network.
    “Commissions” are defined as compensation paid to any
 person in connection with the sale of the employer’s property
                                                                     an identification of any draw or guarantee that shall be pro-
                                                                     vided to the employee. Compensation plans should be
                                                                                                                                             communicate bigger, farther and                                             4. Effective listening and undivided attention dif-
 or services and based proportionately upon the amount or            descript and comprehensive to avoid complaints not just                 wider than ever before.                                                     fuses conflicts. Resolving their problem makes
 value thereof. “Commissions” do not include short-term pro-         under this new statute, but under general wage/hour and con-                                                                                        you a hero.
 ductivity bonuses or bonus and profit-sharing plans, unless         tract legal principles.                                                     expectations have never been higher. There’s never
 based on an employer’s promise to pay a fixed percentage of             Notwithstanding the new requirement that compensation                   been a more apropos time to dig your well before                  A dealership Social Media manager IS a customer
 sales or profits as compensation. Based on the new statute,         for commission-based employees be in writing, the risk of                   you’re thirsty.                                                service manager. They manage your online commu-
 written agreements must be prepared not just for traditional        increased wage/hour litigation emphasizes the need for all                     A few years ago, customer service managers would            nity: they solve conflicts and they engage fans and
 commission agreements, but also for one-time spiffs that are        compensation agreements to be in writing. Dealers should                    do their follow up with sales and service customers            followers in meaningful conversations that ultimately
 tied to the sale of an automobile or bonuses paid for meeting       devote time in 2012 to working with HR professionals and                    and merrily going about their business, waiting by the         generate leads. You and your management team can
 year-to-date sales goals.                                           respective departments to prepare written pay plans for hour-               phone for problems to come to them. Today, dealers             no longer afford to do this in your spare time. There
    Starting in 2013, SMCDA members must also give an exe-           ly, salary, commission and flat rate compensation plans.                    and brands must meet the customer where they are:              are too many customer service nightmares waiting to
 cuted copy of the commission agreement to every employee            Having these plans are useful tools both in resolving internal              listen and monitor the jungle tom toms to tell you             happen. It’s time to make sure the real-life experience
 and must obtain a signed receipt for each contract. The con-        disputes regarding compensation and in defense of litigation,               when trouble is brewing. Business has always been              your customer receives at your store gets communi-
 tract terms are presumed to remain in full force and effect         should such arise.                                                         built on relationships and Social networks allow us to         cated to your online community. Provide your net-
 until the contract is superseded or employment is terminated            Lonnie Giamela is a partner at labor and employment firm                communicate bigger, farther and wider than ever                work with a liaison and make that one customer
 by either party. Failure to comply will subject an employer to      Fisher & Phillips in Los Angeles.                                           before.                                                        experience that changes perceptions a fantastic one!
                                                                                                                                                    It’s time to reinstate the position of customer ser-           Kathi Kruse is an automotive Social Media expert.
                                                                                                                                                 vice manager only this time they have a much more              Visit her online at 
                                                                                                                                                 comprehensive list of job duties. They must
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Employee Appreciation
                                                                                                                                                 attend to all the standard functions they did
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the Holidays
                                                                                                                                                 before with the added duty of listening,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Reserve Your Date by October 31st &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 we will include FREE Holiday Cookies
                                                                                                                                                 reaching out and engaging with your custom-                      Catering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the Day after Thanksgiving
                                                                                                                                                 er through Social Media. Think about when
                                                                                                                                                 you call or interact with a company now,                                                  Special Luncheon Packages
                                                                                                                                                 especially if you’re having an issue with them.                                           Begin at $12.95 per person
                                                                                                                                                 Do you wait patiently for them to respond?
                                                                                                                                                 No, you want to be heard immediately. Social
                                                                                                                                                 platforms have made it possible to attend to
                                                                                                                                                 customers’ needs almost immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Served at Your Location or Ours
                                                                                                                                                 Customers know that, they know YOU know
                                                                                                                                                 that, so their expectations are set.
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                                                                                                                                                 ter a relationship with the customer before,
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8 Winter 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Winter 2012 9
                                                                                                                    Banquet invite 2012   12/14/11   12:15 PM   Page 1

  SMCDA Presents Scholarships to Auto Technology Students
                              Financial awards honor high-achieving students

                                              MCDA awarded three automotive
                                              scholarships to six promising students
                                              at its board meeting Thursday,
                                          November 17.
                                             The Jeannie M.T. Yang Scholarship, a
                                          $500 award was presented to Emerson
                                          Hemedes of Whittier and Joseph Park of
                                          Victorville.                                                                                80th Annual SMCDA Sponsors
                                             The SMCDA Automotive Technology
                                          Scholarship, a $500 tool voucher toward
                                          the purchase of MATCO tools was
                                                                                                                                            The Los Angeles Times
                                          received by Yosias Alfaro of Bellflower,                                                            Enterprise Rent A Car
                                          Zane Mortensen of Fullerton, and Eddie                                                                       Zurich
                                          Ornelas of South Gate. This scholarship
                                          was designed to assist the college’s automo-                                                    Asbury Environmental Services
                                          tive apprentice program students in pur-                                                       Bank of America Dealer Services
                                          chasing tools to use in their classes. The
                                          tool voucher, combined with the 50% tool                                                   BPM Windes Accountants & Consultants
                                          discount program which MATCO also                                                                       Comerica Bank
                                          provides for Cerritos College automotive
                                          students, is actually worth $1,000.
                                                                                                                                                   Daily Breeze
                                             SMCDA also presented the $750                                                               Parke Guptill & Company LLP
                                          SMCDA Northwood 3rd Year Scholarship
                                          to Richard Salazar of Santa Fe Springs.
                                                                                                                                                  Press Telegram
                                          This award assists Cerritos College stu-                                                    Burkhalter, Kessler Clement & George
                                          dents who have completed their first two                                                    California New Car Dealers Association
                                          years in automotive technology training
                                          and are pursuing their bachelor’s degree                                                               Celly Services, Inc.
                                          through Northwood University.                                                                           Dealer Track
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    Call 562-499-1301 or 310-543-6695                                                                                                               SMCDA.ORG
                                                                                                                                         Southland Motor Car Dealers Association |                                                                                11111 New Falcon Way, Cerritos, California 90703
                                                                 *2007 Claritas

10 Winter 2012                                                                                                                                                                        Winter 2012 11