Personalization justifies new building and keeps expanding

Posted by Whitney Williams on Apr 11, 2017 2:03:00 PM

Rudy Luther Toyota is building, in every sense of the word. With well over a million dollars in accessory sales last year, its personalization profit center helped justify the expansion of an new service building, which has further increased its in-house installations.

Dedicated Accessories Installer Andrew Felland

Dedicated in-house installer Andrew Felland has been an accessories technician for fifteen years, and spent the last five of those at Rudy Luther. When the dealership could no longer contain the increasing orders in its service department, management knew Andrew needed his own separate location.

As a dedicated and skilled member of the team, Felland points out that in-house installations do more than just increase accessory profit:

“We have more control of CSI. All stores should be doing this in-house.”

Take a peek inside, and you’ll find Andrew wearing his Bluetooth® device so that he can communicate with the sales team upfront, and keep busy at the same time. With remote starts flying off the shelves and a profit increase of hundreds of thousands of dollars, there’s no time to waste.

Andrew was presented an Insignia Challenge Coin for 2016 for Rudy Luther Toyota

Rudy Luther Toyota of Gold Valley, Minnesota, jumped into the million dollar club in 2015 and never looked back. In a one-year period, the dealership increased its vehicle personalization profit by approximately $600,000.

In 2017, the dealership is on track to do two million. General Manager Debbie Tufts attributes the increase in sales to the increased number of in-house installs. "Over the years customer ask for (accessory options). We feel there is no one better to provide those options other than the dealership they buy the car from,” Tufts explains. "We help them customize it, and deliver it to them, complete. They trust us."

This store has dialed in its process: Dedicated Accessory Specialist Dan Socher coordinates between the showroom floor and the service department. He’s also the point man to take care of the customer after F&I, and prior to delivery. Having one specialist coordinate communication internally, as well as walk the customer through all the way out the door makes for a favorable experience for all.

As far as what they’re selling, the  dealership’s hottest accessories include remote starts, and trailer hitches on the popular Toyota RAV4. They’ve also added additional paint protection packages. Finding good business in trucks, the dealership saw a marked increase in truck tops last year. To take full advantage of truck popularity, they began preloading Tacomas with five thousand dollars' worth of personalization. These loaded vehicles sold as soon as they hit the showroom floor.

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In house installs, a main contact to take care of the customer from presentation to delivery, and capitalizing on popular accessories and preloads rocketed Rudy Luther Toyota into Insignia’s million dollar club for two consecutive years. It is our honor to present them with a 2016 challenge coin to memorialize its success.

So what’s the take-away for dealerships getting started in the vehicle personalization game? Take a page from Rudy Luther Toyota’s book and keep everything in house. You’ll be glad you did.

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Vehicle Personalization Best Practices

Topics: Accessory News Vehicle Personalization accessory program accessories installations