Huffines Hyundai Is Breaking Records and Outpacing Hyundai Nationally by 25%

Huffines Hyundai of Plano Texas set a new sales record in May, followed by their most profitable month in dealership history in June, then broke that record in July, and yes, you guessed it, they broke July’s record in August. Four consecutive record-breaking months in a row, the dealership is up 45 percent year to date, Hyundai is up just 20 percent, and Huffines has moved into the top 20 for Hyundai dealers nationally.


“If Hyundai could keep up with the inventory we could keep setting volume and profit records,” says Roosevelt May, general manager of the Huffines Hyundai Plano store. “Life is good in Plano,” he adds.


Huffines has also seen dramatic growth in their active customer database, increasing by 213 percent for the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2010 and their service volume has more than doubled for the same period after implementing a new targeted and digital marketing strategy to attract, sell, service, and retain customers for less cost by integrating and positively promoting all their profit centers, new, used, finance, service, and parts.


While many dealers continue to struggle to maintain sales and service performance given challenging market conditions, manufacturer inventory issues, and stiff competition from same brand and off-brand competitors alike, Huffines Hyundai is breaking away from the pack.


Huffines wanted to clearly define its local market and identify the best possible Hyundai customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that it serves. “Our goal is simple really. We want to improve our bottom line. We want to find ready buyers who are in the market for a Hyundai and make sure they buy and service their vehicles with us,” says May.


A comprehensive five-year historical analysis of their sales and service transactions helped to define customer trends. The results were compared to leading third-party and industry data to establish consumer patterns and trends within their local market. With a clearly defined audience, Huffines Hyundai began implementing an intelligent targeted and digital marketing strategy that includes integrated campaigns with variable mail and email communications, custom digital offer sites, and in-store merchandising.


Using targeted variable mail and email communications, Huffines consistently talks to every customer throughout the 60-month life cycle of their vehicle with custom messaging. This includes a welcome for recent purchasers, maintenance reminders for newer vehicles not yet in-equity that may be due for recommended maintenance, and ongoing variable mail and email communications to customers in an equity position, that always includes a custom service message based upon the status of the customer’s vehicle. For example, a customer who regularly services with Huffines would receive a $24.95 oil and filter change offer, but a customer who does not regularly service with or did not purchase their Hyundai from Huffines would receive a $19.95 oil and filter change to incent them to come in for service. A benefit of the data technology platform that Huffines uses enables them to target 2010 and 2011 conquest Hyundai owners with enticing custom maintenance offers that brings these late model owners into Huffines’ service bays and away from the competition, which has more than doubled their service business.


“Active service customers are vital to a dealership because they’re seven times more likely to buy with the dealership they service with,” says Budd Blackburn, owner of, the targeted marketing company Huffines Hyundai uses. “Huffines is known for its outstanding customer service. Once Huffines gets a hold of a conquest Hyundai owner the chances of that customer becoming a customer for life are extremely high,” says Blackburn.


Every outbound mail and email campaign from Huffines directs customers to an online Campaign Offer Site that not only displays the featured promotions of the mail or email campaign they have just received, but also shows them every sales and service offer that Huffines is currently running. If a customer is not in the market for the specific offers they receive in the mail or email, they can check the Huffines’ Campaign Offer Site,, for other available offers. Online analytics show that Huffines’ offer site has a 13 percent conversion rate of customers who visit the site and take advantage of posted promotions. “We have measurable traffic on our offer site that converts to real sales and service business,” says May, “and one of my favorite things about the offer site is that it’s completely managed by our marketing company. It’s updated every month, on time, and ties in with the monthly promotion we’re running.”


In-store merchandising is also an important component of the Huffines’ strategy. Each month the store displays point-of-sale materials throughout the dealership that reflects their current monthly campaign. If a customer happens to walk in without having received anything via mail or email, they are immediately aware that there is an event taking place at the dealership and that they came to the right place at the right time.


“Huffines has many customers come to them from their service department asking about the BuyBack Event or how the Express Trade Program works,” says Blackburn. “This sets the Huffines’ team up for the perfect selling opportunity along with a higher ticket internal repair order when they take the service customer’s car in on a trade. Huffines has been phenomenal at capturing these folks.”


Healthier trade patterns have also emerged as a result of their steady trade-in promotions like their Express Trade Program. Previously Huffines’ top trades were older models ranging from 2000, 2002, and 2003. Today their dominant trade-in models are 2008, 2007, and 2006 providing a much better return on resale.


Huffines is consistent in the households they target and they strive to reach their customers early every month, before the competition. They focus on core models and use combined messaging that always delivers a sales and service message. They use a cohesive marketing strategy that includes targeted direct mail and email with custom messaging that reflects the service status of the customer’s vehicle, an online offer site that promotes all available offers, and in-store merchandising to tie everything together.


With sales and service up significantly, Huffines has been able to shift away from the more expensive traditional mass media, like television and radio, by directing that money toward strategies that generate the best response; ultimately spending less on their overall marketing strategy and saving money, while increasing profits.


Want Huffines’ results? Start by determining your ideal local market by identifying customers and prospects with the highest statistical probability of buying and/or servicing with your dealership now and in the future. Then design and create an integrated targeted and digital marketing strategy across multiple mediums that promotes all your profit centers, new, used, finance, service, and parts. Create dynamic, cohesive campaigns that consistently speak to your customers throughout the 60-month lifecycle of their vehicle, and set the highest standards of customer care to ensure every customer who buys or services with your dealership becomes a customer for life.


John Zeiglar is a performance consultant from the Performance Company. For more information, please email





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