Honda of Tempe - East Valley Tribune: Business

Honda of Tempe

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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 6:19 am | Updated: 11:18 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It takes a lot to run a car dealership successfully in today’s very competitive new car market. Until you get behind the scenes of a car dealership do you come to appreciate all the hard work every single employee has to perform each and every day to make the dealership a profitable success.

Hundreds of employees in very different departments within a car dealership have to be hired, trained, and coached to keep customers happy and car inventory sold. If you can’t manage your car dealership successfully and also make your customers happy, there’s always another dealership down the street willing to take your place.

On top of the human resource you have to manage at a car dealership you also have to manage the physical resource. Everything from utility bills, which can be monstrous in our long hot summers, to payrolls for training professional sales and service staff, to buying the latest and greatest technology for your service department has to be budgeted. After all, you have to make sure your customers come in for service, get out in a timely manner, and don’t spend a fortune of their own money doing it. It is with these business facts in mind that it is really an honor for a car dealership to win the coveted Chairman’s Award by Roger Penske. The prestigious award was recently won by Honda of Tempe.

The Chairman’s Award is based on tough criteria. Honda of Tempe had to meet high goals of profitability, show good management skills, control and move new car inventory, but mostly, rank high in “CSI”, Consumer Satisfaction Index. This is the barometer that tells how happy your customers are with your dealership. There is also a “CSE” or Consumer Service Index for the service mechanic side as well. So whether you’re coming into Honda of Tempe to buy a brand new fully-equipped 2008 Honda Accord or just to get an oil change and tire rotation on your 10 yr. old Honda Civic, your employees are rated as to happy the customer feels during their visit. In addition, sales figures for new cars have to be not just “above” the national average for Honda car dealers across the U.S., instead they have to be in the “elite” range.

Honda of Tempe has won the Chairman’s Award not once but 3 years in a row. They’ve also been recognized 3 years in a row for new car sales in the Southwest. Most customers are repeat customers and referrals, that is customers coming in for a second Honda or to trade in their older model. Customers have been so satisfied with the Honda of Tempe experience that they often refer their friends and family to the dealership when it’s time for them to shop for a new vehicle. For a bonus incentive, Honda of Tempe offers customers $100 for each referral. One loyal Honda of Tempe customer has referred over 37 car deals to the dealer in the past 8 years alone (at $100 a referral, you do the math)! It’s no surprise that Honda of Tempe has also be a two time recipient of the Honda President’s Award.

So what’s new with Honda that makes their dealers such stellar performers? This April the Honda Pilot is coming out with a completely new design. They are possibly bringing on clean burning diesel technology without sacrificing towing capacity. Trucks equipped with the new fuel design will average 30 mpg city! Mileage like this is unheard of in today’s full size truck market. Another new “green” auto will be the introduction of fuel cell technology. This hydrogen-based fuel burns clean and produces water in its exhaust. This system is already in production in California. For 2009 the hybrid CRZ will be similar in engine and fuel design to the Prius.

Honda prides itself on being a very “green” car company. Almost all Honda’s are now produced in the USA in plants located in Alabama and Ohio and in Canada. “Seventy-five percent of our product is American built,” says Steve Smith, Internet Director for Honda of Tempe.

Come visit Honda of Tempe and see the difference for yourself. Since 2003 Honda of Tempe has been at its 60,000 square foot dealership spread across 12 acres at 8030 S. Autoplex Loop, near Priest Drive and Elliot Roads in the Tempe Autoplex. While at the dealership relax in one of the leather chairs in the waiting lounge and enjoy flat screen TV’s, WIFI for your laptop, free coffee or a beverage.

Honda of Tempe works hard to attract and keep your business by attracting and keeping employees best at what they do. Erik Stroud, New Car Sales Director and about to be a new graduate of the University of Phoenix’s business school, started washing cars in back in his early college days and progressed up through the ranks to his current position and his new bachelor of science degree. The help and expertise of Erik Stroud, Steve Smith, and the many sales and service staff make Honda of Tempe the award winning dealership that it is today. Check them out online at or visit the showroom today and experience the Honda of Tempe difference!

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