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Women-friendly dealers of German autos
by Laura Ryan

I have been visiting Denver-area auto dealers for several weeks now, searching out those that are women-friendly.

Two that I would definitely recommend to women in need of a new or used car are Lithia Volkswagen of Thornton, on W 104th Ave in Thornton and Murray Import Motors at South Colorado Blvd and East Kentucky Avenue in Denver.

I spoke to General Sales Manager Mark Dismuke at Lithia Volkswagen in early June, and went to visit him on Thursday the 5th to find out how his salespeople keep in touch with their customers. Mark invited me to come back that Saturday to observe the crew in action, and I was very impressed.

I spent three hours with the salesmen (there are no saleswomen at this store right now, and Mark said that is on his agenda) and every single one of them was helpful - professional and yet relaxed. There were a number of families in the store, and they were all treated cordially, with no high-pressure tactics. I thought the entire process was explained well to the clients, and several happy new Volkswagen owners left with their new cars while I was there, literally driving them off of the showroom floor. The delivery area is right inside the East door, and there is a large placard posted right there with all of the Delivery steps, so the new owners are assured that they will receive ALL of the information that Volkswagen wants them to have.

Please go to my website for photos and more details of my visit to Lithia Volkswagen. and tell them Laura sent you! http://www.coloradoautoinfo.com/lithiavwthornton.html

On Wednesday, June 11th, I went to see General Manager Todd Bondy at Murray Motor Imports, at South Colorado Blvd and East Kentucky Avenue in Denver. Todd gave me a warm welcome, and this was another great experience. I also spoke to two of the receptionists and two saleswomen: Dania Dominici with Pre-Owned Sales and Trisha Connor with Mercedes Sales - all were pleasant and helpful. Todd explained that Mercedes Benz has factory-sponsored personality tests and 6 weeks of required training before one can sell their product. Murray Imports employs about 185 people between BMW, Mercedes, Pre-Owned (all at this location) and Body Works, their body shop in downtown Denver.

All three buildings I visited were nicely furnished, with an eye to comfort, and the atmosphere was conducive to serious consideration of each vehicle. The

Company posted a record month in May 2008, and Todd believes that the new Bluetec E class Mercedes Diesel, with a smaller carbon footprint than some hybrid-technology cars, will continue to lead in sales. This fuel-efficient Sedan does not suffer from the disposal issues of hybrid batteries.

I know several people who have purchased their vehicles from Murray Import Motors, and have never heard a negative experience. In business since 1975, Murray offers plenty of loaner cars to ensure alternate transportation for their clients. You can reach Murray Import Motors at 303-759-3400 or http://www.murraymotors.com. Be sure to visit my website for more details and photos: http://www.ColoradoAutoInfo.com.

Laura Ryan is an active Ambassador for the Metro North Chamber of Commerce and Coloradoapostrophes Front Range BNI, and holds the dual roles of Visitor Host Coordinator and Librarian for her own BNI Chapter, A-1 Business Builders. Vice President-elect for Public Relations for the Westminster Communicators Chapter of Toastmasters International, Laura holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration and has worked her entire life in male-dominated industries. As an electronics technician in the US Air Force starting January 2, 1975, she was one of the very first women selected to go into military specialties that were non-traditional for women at that time. Most recently, Laura worked as a saleswoman in the automotive industry in the North Metro Denver area for eleven and a half years before leaving in May 2008 to start her own business, Laura Ryan Enterprises LLC. Now she consults with the automotive industry on women-friendly business approaches and relationship-building with customers and the community as a whole.