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Car buying: GO dealerships in the Denver area
by Laura Ryan

Hereapostrophes the lowdown on a number of the GO car dealerships in the Denver area.

Go Nissan on 104th

On June 20th, I was invited to visit GO Nissan on 104th Avenue to present SendOutCards as a customer retention tool to the salesmen in their 9 a.m. meeting, and then to tour the facility.

Craig Bratcher, who has been at this location for 6 years, was kind enough to guide me around the store. Craigapostrophes backgroundis in graphic arts, printing and publishing. He felt it became very stagnant after awhile because it was becoming too automated. Craig believes the biggest mistake car salesmen and women make is to assume that a woman doesnapostrophet want to know about technical items such as the engine. He says you should never assume that a woman isnapostrophet fully competent to buy a car by herself!

GO Nissan North has a large parts department in a separate building, and a number of master mechanics. (For instance, Bob Plank has been at this store since the 1970s.) There is a car wash where the porters can clean up the service cars before turning them back over to the customer, and a special detail shop that was formerly a body shop. Craigadvised me that the Nissan Versa is lower priced than the Honda Fit or the Toyota Yaris, and the Versa was in stock at the time of our meeting.

I really enjoyed talking with several of the managers, too: Jeremiah Carey and Terry Mewis. They seemed interested in the individual clients and keeping on touch.Receptionist Diane Cherry is cheerful and helpful; overall,GO Nissan on 104th seemed like a comfortable place to shop for a Nissan.

GO Nissan is located at 2400 W 104th Avenue in Thornton. Contact them at 303-469-1721 or 720-635-3990 (Craig Bratcherapostrophes cell phone.)

GO Jeep on South Broadway

Devin Schubert, General Manager of GO Jeep on South Broadway, was happy to have me come and visit. Devin, who transferred to this store about two months ago (after working at a Honda store since he was 19), knows every single employee by name and history. He told me that he "inherited a great bunch of guys" and added that the top salesman at GO Jeep Southtakes the entire month of June off, typically helping his loyal clients purchase about 40 cars a month the rest of the year. Since I visited in June, I did not get to meet this gentleman!

I did, however, meet Allen Tamag and Nathan Wesner, who bothseemed quite interested in customer retention; that was refreshing for an industry that typically does not much care about keeping in touch. Chrysler Corporation does focus on customer retention in its measurements of various dealerships, but it seemed to me that it was a core value at this store. The previous manager moved to another state, and Devin brought in a new Service Manager as well, Cindy McDowell. Cindy is very personable , quite approachable and concerned with each client as an individual.

Devin told me that about 90% of the vehicles sold at this storeare Jeeps and about 10% Chrysler - they would like to acquire a Dodge franchise, too. They feel that would give them more flexibility in finding the right car for their customers. He assured me that a Jeep customer is always a Jeep customer.

GO Jeep South has two women new-car sales managers and is currently looking for a used-car manager. The day I was there, Amanda was on duty, but was so busy I did not have an opportunity to speak with her. Amanda also handles the internet sales department and the business development center.

I spent four hours at this store and got a sense that the people at this dealership are very proud of what they do.

Contact GO Jeep on South Broadway at 303-761-1720 or TamagA@AutoNation.com or WesnerN@AutoNation.com

I dropped in unannounced to visit GO Honda, at the corner of 104th and Federal in Westminster, and GO Mazda Hyundai just to the north. I was greeted warmly, and both stores appeared to be pretty busy for an early Friday afternoon - both had already sent several customers home in new vehicles before I arrived at 11:30 am.

At GO Honda, I found some changes since my last visit - they are almost out of new Civics, with a waiting list on Fits and some models of Civics. Both cars are well-known for their fuel efficiency, so there has been a big demand for them since the beginning of May. Tim Murphy, one of the managers, told me the Civic was the best-selling car in the US for the first quarter of 2008, and Motor Trend reports that Civic sales were up 14.8% in May. Tim said the Accord has been very popular the last few months, too.

At GO Honda, there are a number of family-friendly amenities, such as two nicely-equipped childrenapostrophes play areas, one upstairs and one downstairs. Since the building is on a steep hill, there are wheelchairs ramps and accessible restrooms as well. There is also free WiFi, coffee and donuts, USA Today newspapers; free shuttle service up to ten miles away (during the week), Enterprise car rentals on the premises, body-shop estimator available during the week for free estimates from the GO Collision Center…

GO Mazda Hyundai seems well-organized, and besides having three saleswomen out of a staff of eleven (27%!), women also manage four departments: Internet Sales (Angela Kent), Finance (Joley Guttierez), Parts and Service. The service and parts departments were closed for the holiday, so I was not able to visit those ladies. They were open again at 8am the next day, though!

The atmosphere at this GO store is pretty laid-back, and you donapostrophet see the high-pressure tactics that some other dealers are still employing. (Sometimes I have to shake my head - hard - and remind myself that itapostrophes 2008, not 1973, as I visit certain dealerships - I donapostrophet write about those guys!) GO Mazda Hyundai offers a number of fuel-efficient cars, such as the Hyundai Accent and Elantra and the Mazda3.

General Manager Kurt Price and General Sales Manager Mike Sealander were both very friendly and approachable. Although they were busy, they took time out to speak to me and were happy to answer my questions. I also spoke to the receptionist, Guy Becker, at length - his wife Pat Decker is the long-time receptionist for GO Honda, and Guy works part-time in the Honda office and fills in as receptionist at the Mazda Hyundai store. At one time th