Car dealerships offering more competitive edge

Dealerships taking on a luxurious feel

There was a spike in car sales last year that brought an increase in competition -- competition that now includes service, as well as sales.

Some car dealers are pulling out all the stops when it comes to winning over customers.

"Everybody wants to have the best service in the industry and people are demanding that service," said Lee Willis, general manager of Lexus of San Antonio.

Gone are your dad's service departments.

"Long gone is the bar stool with the spark plug logo on it and the bad coffee and the bad TV and the dirty floor," said Matt Burkholder, general manager Barrett Motor Cars.

Dealers are getting creative with their service.

"To be competitive in today's market, you really have to be different from a service standpoint," said Sean Vaughn, with Toyota of Boerne.

Most dealers offer a variety of coffee flavors at their coffee bars and fresh-baked cookies to go along with the coffee or maybe soda.

They are keeping up with modern technology, by offering WiFi.

Then there are some differences.

Lexus of San Antonio offers their customers massages.

"People will actually call and schedule their appointments for when the masseuse is here," Willis said.

Barrett Motors' waiting room, with its leather chairs, marble-topped coffee bar and flowers, also doubles as a reception room.

If you are interested in shopping, you can look at a Maserati watch or a line of Maserati and Jaguar shirts and hats.

Toyota of Boerne's waiting areas offer a Hill Country feel.  They also have Lola’s Boutique that offers various gifts, jewelry and trinkets. They also have free gift wrapping and DVDs with kid-friendly movies.

"We have found little niches to make sure that as you stay, you are going to be taken care of (and) that your kids are going to be taken care of," Vaughn said.


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