It’s a well-known fact that the economy is suffering. Consumers just aren’t making big purchases right now. People can’t sell their homes and some are even using credit cards to buy essentials, like groceries and gas.
Things are bad. One of the hardest-hit industries is the automotive industry. Dealers are sitting on big inventories of SUV’s and trucks. Their sales numbers are down overall. Put yourself in their shoes though.
They’ve got sales quotas to meet. Most of them work on commission so if they don’t sell, they don’t get paid. So how do dealerships get people to stop in? How do they get customers to look at cars or come in for service and maintenance?
One dealership has found a way to draw customers in. Mathews Nissan Suzuki in Clarksville, Tenn. is seeing an increase in customer traffic every day. Why are people stopping?
The dealership has a Loyalty Fuel Center gas island on premise. Even though they have a new facility and 700 vehicles on 10 acres to choose from, people are coming in for discounted gas.
Customers who have bought a vehicle at the dealership or come in for service get a Loyalty Fuel Card that they can use to buy discounted gas at the dealer’s station on site. Customers don’t even have to buy a car there; they just need to come in for an oil change or other maintenance and services to get a discount card.
"I didn’t realize when we first opened the fuel center how much gas prices would soar," says operating partner O.B. Garland. "We promised to stay below the average price per gallon and we’ve kept that promise to our customers despite the fluctuations in the gasoline market."
As gas prices jump, more people inquire about the discount gas card. The dealership encourages customers to come in, even if it’s just an oil change. They believe the fuel card will help to retain them as customers for life.
Any place that offers discounted or free gas is going to see the positive effects of their marketing. Consumers are looking for any way possible to save money on gas. Mathews Nissan Suzuki obviously has some smart people in their marketing and advertising department.
Photo courtesy of Mathews Nissan.