Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

VIDEO: Dealer Reaches Out After West, TX Chemical Explosion

  You may have heard about an explosion that occurred in West, TX back on April 17th of 2013. An ammonium nitrate explosion at the West Fertilizer Company caused devastation for that community. 15 People were killed, over 160 were injured and a reported 150 buildings were damaged. The community was struggling with a disaster. That’s the story that you’ve heard, however what you haven’t heard is the tale of a local car dealer, who opened their doors and their hearts to fellow members of their community during a dire time of need.

The GM of this dealership, Ron Sykora, explained that, “I think that the main reason that we reached out was to help people find a little normalcy after such devastation.”

As Ron Sykora of Sykora Family Ford in West, TX explained, the goal was to help a community searching for norms amidst devastation. His dealership loaned out over 30 cars from their used car inventory to West residents needing transportation after the disaster. They asked only to see a license and proof of insurance, but did not charge them a dime.

“So we thought that we would go ahead and provide our used inventory as much as we could out to people so that they could have some vehicles to drive. While they’re still working with insurance, while they’re just, before they could get back to their homes,” Sykora explained.

Word did spread and people found out that Sykora Family Ford was helping out, but Ron says that this was about more than selling cars.

“You know, we got some kudos for it, but that’s really not the point of it. The point wasn’t trying to make sales, the point wasn’t trying to make people know more about us or get notoriety. The point was just to help people in need,” Sykora said.

A dealer, helping people in need. Sykora went on to say that before his dealership began to loan out vehicles, he found himself out and about helping those who suddenly found themselves without a home, to find a place to stay or a hotel. Certainly, this dealership in West, TX is an excellent example of what it means not only to be in, but to be part of your community.



Way to go Sykora Family Ford. Always refreshing to see kindness.

May 20, 2014

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:


DrivingSales News' Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Customer Retention Starts With Employee Retention

    Periodically I get the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and dig into a dealer’s pain point. More often than not these pain points lately are, “how do I get all the customers in to my shop and completed in a timely manner” or “do you know any techs” and “what is the best way keep my customers coming back.”  Here is the extremely tough answer to Mr. Dealer’s questions. The short answer goes something like this “I have an answer but I don’t think you will like the timeline it will take to accomplish this once and for all.” After a frustrated perplexed look from the dealer I usually say, “The complete fix sits within your people, your training program and your ability to grow and mentor your staff.” Obviously this is not an overnight fix. Most of the time I feel they are looking for the silver bullet to Customer retention starts with having a solid process and business model, yes this is a given. The execution of customer retention sits fully on the shoulders o...Read post

  • One of a dozen ways chat can kill your deal – and 3 tips to prevent it

    I once had a general manager tell us that Disney had a vice president of parking to ensure the first and last experience guests have at their parks are not tainted by stress. I don’t know about the VP part, but they certainly have it down to a science, as evidenced by nearly two dozen personal visits and this Wall Street Journal article. What does that have to do with live chat on dealer websites? Only everything. Just like a crappy parking experience can ruin an amusement park visit, OFFERING auto shoppers a chance to chat on your dealer website, then not answering the call when they click the CHAT NOW button is a sure way to kill a car deal. For all the things that can go wrong in an auto shopping experience, and even just during a live chat experience, killing it from moment one by not answering the virtual phone is surely the biggest. Check out my stop watch on this live chat inquiry. This dealer is taking their own chats – or is deluding themselves in to THINKING they a...Read post

  • Drive End-of-the-Year Sales by Targeting Current Customers

    Up next in OneCommand’s Holiday Marketing Guide is an easy way to drive end-of-the-year sales to your dealership. We all know marketing to current customers to keep them coming back is significantly cheaper than going out and conquesting for new business. Although bringing in new business is extremely important, try these three ideas to put current customers into your sales pipeline. Find Pre-Owned Opportunities Chances are you have several pre-owned vehicles in such high demand that they are sold before they ever hit your lot. Look into your database to determine if any of your current customers drive one of these desirable vehicles. Then, reach out to them to see if they are interested in selling their vehicle. If so, you have a win, win; you’re able to stock your pre-owned inventory lot with desirable vehicles and potentially sell a new vehicle. Find Equity Opportunities Another way to find potential sales for an end-of-the-year push is to look into your database and find cust...Read post

  • How Employee Causes Can Help Increase Volunteerism

    Auto/Mate has been recognized for six years in a row as a "Best Place to Work" by the Albany Business Review and four years in a row as a "Top Workplace" by the Times-Union. One of the perks Auto/Mate offers is eight hours of paid volunteer time to every employee. To encourage employees to use the time and get involved in the community, Auto/Mate organizes groups to identify and participate in local charities.   Ronald McDonald House   Kelly Shaw, a payroll benefits specialist with Auto/Mate, discovered the Ronald McDonald House when her own child was in the hospital. "I started making small dinners, or cookies and cakes, and dropping them off at the hospital," Shaw said. "When I realized that some of the parents were from out of town and were staying at the Ronald McDonald House, I started bringing food over there."   Shaw's involvement with the charity grew and her manager at Auto/Mate encouraged her to get fellow employees involved. When Shaw posted flyers asking for volunt...Read post

  • Dealers Must Streamline their Retail Process to Meet Consumer Need

    Today’s consumers dictate the customer experiences they want and brands are listening. Think about Amazon. You can literally tweet your order to them and it will be at your house in 2 days. In some markets, they’ll deliver your order in an hour. Why has Amazon become the behemoth that it is today? Because it has leveraged technology to create the most efficient retail experience possible. No matter how you want to purchase a product, Amazon provides it. Want to order from their website? Done. Via a mobile app? Done. By tweeting to them? Done. Amazon has become so powerful that they have disrupted many industries. The U.S. Postal Service never delivered mail on Sundays… until Amazon told them to. Just think about that for a minute. How did one company become so powerful that an organization started in 1775 allowed Amazon to change the way they operate?   Because consumers demanded it.   Almost every industry has adapted to increasing consumer demand for easier transactions...Read post

  • Is Your Dealership On Blab? Why You Should Be.

    Driving Sales members are going to want to jump on this new social media platform...because it's going to be a game changer.Read post

  • Get Customer's Vehicles Ready for Colder Weather

    Last week, we kicked off our Holiday Marketing Guide with Thanksgiving campaign ideas to help you demonstrate your appreciation to customers, give back to your community, and drive top-of-mind awareness for your dealership. This week, we move to the backend of your business and focus on increasing service visit frequency and dollars spent per RO. That’s right, it’s time to get your customer’s vehicles ready for the colder weather ahead and here are three campaign ideas to help you do just that. Inform Customers Typically customers neglect their vehicle’s service schedule because they are either too busy and it never makes their priority list, or they aren’t aware of the specific maintenance needs for their vehicle. Either way, communication is the key to making sure customers maintain their vehicles regularly. All you need to do is take the time to put together an informational service communication about the maintenance needs for a vehicle as the colder weather sets in. Cus...Read post

  • Vendor Accountability & Transparency

    As 2016 approaches, it’s a great time to think about ways to reenforce accountability and transparency into relationships with your digital marketing vendors. Accountability and transparency are cornerstones of solid business practices, so even if you have the utmost trust and confidence in your vendors, you should still ensure that the relationship is as transparent as possible. Here are a few ideas for getting better accountability from each of your digital marketing vendorsRead post