The past couple years haven't exactly been a boon for the auto industry. But local car dealerships and service shops have combated this by offering creative amenities to their customers. "You saw what happened in '08 and '09 with auto giants going bankrupt," says Steve Smeltzer, general manager of Jones Junction in Bel Air. "But our business hasn't slowed down because of the luxuries we offer people." One of these luxuries is complimentary manicures for Jones Junction customers, something Smeltzer says was done to retain the female customer (although they get the occasional guy as well). Other dealerships, like Mini of Baltimore County, offer customers free use of iPads and shuttles to the mall. Service places are even stepping up, like Canton Car Wash, which offers free Wi-Fi and a full service cafe. "It's very inconvenient to bring your car in for service, and we know that," says Smeltzer, who points out they also offer free pick-up and drop-off services. "That's why we're trying to make it as pain-free as possible."
Local car dealerships are revving up their amenities.
Issue date: February, 2011