Merry Christmas to the thousands of DrivingSales community members who frequent the community and participate. We wish you all the very best this holiday season! Ill share my 2 most memorable Christmas in the Car Business. (Feel free to add your own if you so desire.)
Most memorable Christmas #1:
When I was 10 or so years old, on Christmas day, my father told us kids that he had some work to do and needed to go into the dealership for a few hours. He offered to bring us, and said since it was Christmas he thought we could have some fun playing in the Jeeps. We all went down to his Jeep dealership, my 2 brothers, my sister and even some cousins, and to our surprise as we got there he said, “it looks like Santa visited the dealership.” Inside the showroom, decked out with the real Jeep Wranglers was a Power Wheels Wrangler for each of the younger boys (I was the oldest by 4-5 years) The Power Wheels were in between the real ones on display like they were for sale and each one had a name on the stock tag. Everyone got excited and started driving their Jeeps around the show room and I noticed (along with my older cousins) that there was no car for us to drive.
A few minutes passed and we heard a motor racing outside. We ran out just in time for us to catch my father in a gas powered go cart with a fiberglass stock car body whizzing down the sidewalk towards us from his other dealership two doors down. He threw out a big Merry Christmas card as he raced by and did a lap around the lot. We each had a turn racing around the lot. It was a very memorable Christmas, and led to years of fun on the go cart!
Most memorable Christmas in the Car Business #2:
Just a few years ago, on Christmas Eve, I was on the desk so the other mgrs could have the day with their families. (My oldest son was only 2 and my wife was understanding, so I figured the other Mgrs should spend the time with their kids who were much older.) I had in-laws in town, and some family, so we scheduled dinner at 6. At the store we planned on working the morning and shutting the doors around 2-3 so the rest of the team could get home and enjoy the holidays. Well, anyone with any experience in the car business knows as soon as you make plans to get out early… you’ll be stuck with a late deal.
The morning was an average holiday and we sold a few cars, but this particular “repeat guest” showed up at noon and wanted a surprise for his wife. He had purchased many cars from us before, but all in his company’s name. He wanted a blue Expedition Eddie Bauer, we didn’t have one in stock. We quickly found one at the neighboring lot and make a quick trade, checks by mail, and sent the sales person on her way. We hadn’t even pulled credit, but knew the guest and had to get the car before the other store shut down if we wanted to make the Christmas surprise. The lot tech went to get the car while we completed the paperwork. Turns out the guy was personally way over extended, he had great credit, but too much outstanding. We called banks, sent him for current pay stubs, and worked every angle. In the end the car arrived, got detailed but there was no way we were going to get anyone at the bank to approve this… they were home for Christmas.
I decided to roll the car, confident the deal would get done (which it did the day after Christmas) The guest went through finance and we did a spot delivery. The sales person did a full delivery (you have to protect those surveys!) and we finally closed up around 7.30. By the time I locked up, pulled the gates, hit the lights I wasn’t home until 8:30 long after the big family dinner. I was so stoked though, it was one of those trophy deals. When you work for 6-7 hours on a deal, you wont let ANYTHING stand in the way of placing the happy tag on the car and watching the new taillights hit the road. As the saying goes “Busting bugs and burning gas”
My in-laws were great about the whole thing, but in the end it would take someone from inside the business to understand the addiction to making sure the deal went down, even on a holiday