Dealer principal Michelle Melendy found a winning formula at her dealerships in western Newfoundland to buck the nationwide new-vehicle sales slump.
Western Kia in Corner Brook reported a 15-per-cent year-over-year increase in new-vehicle retail sales (to 402 units) in 2020, while overall sales in Canada for the same period fell 20 per cent. And in 2021, the dealership sold as many cars by the end of November as it did in all of the previous year.
The Kia dealership employed digital and video strategies to mimic an in-person experience for customers. Product advisers make personalized walkaround videos of new vehicles, and use videoconferencing apps such as FaceTime or Skype.
The company also preserved sales by keeping customers up to date on their vehicle’s expected arrival.
Melendy said the digital tactics have been adopted by the group’s other dealerships, which include Toyota and Mazda stores.