AS EVERYTHING IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY CHANGED, BILL BROWN SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO DELIVER FOR THEIR LOYAL CUSTOMER COMMUNITY
Today, Bill Brown Ford has been named the world’s #1 volume Ford Dealership for a second year. Over the past two years, Bill Brown has faced historic obstacles. As a result, the 100+-year-old family-owned dealership took a calculated risk and evolved its vehicle sales process to focus on delivery. This decision changed everything and enabled Bill Brown to get the Ford inventory needed to meet consumer demand, maintain excitement for new car purchases, and create a unique customer-first auto-buying experience.
Inventory shortages, COVID, supply chain issues, a wave of new online dealerships, and lower OEM discount programs have permanently changed the auto industry. Bill Brown addressed these changes by doubling down on the needs of their loyal consumer community. This customer-centered approach is exemplified by the dealership’s leadership, Ed Brown, and his son Tom Brown.
It’s a guiding philosophy of the dealership that has been passed down from generation to generation, and it’s an integral part of Bill Brown’s everyday culture and consumer interactions. This approach is one of the most significant contributors to the Livonia, MI dealerships’ success, enabling them to build a loyal, passionate, and highly engaged community of customers and employees. Bill Brown’s community includes several local families who have bought from the dealership for 40, 50 years, or more, and the dealership’s staff is equally as devoted, with some employees working for them for 40+ years.
“Bill Brown’s unique approach places employees, family, community, and customers first. It’s what drives us forward and has enabled us to build an extraordinary community around the dealership,” said Tom Brown, grandson of Bill Brown. “It’s one of the main reasons we’ve been so successful. It’s also why we see so many returning customers every year and sell more vehicles to Ford employees and their families than any other dealership.”
Bill Brown’s loyal customer and employee community is the key to their success. The dealership has harnessed the power of one-to-one relationships, social media, and engaging editorial content to add value to their customers’ lives and keep them engaged and excited about their current and future Ford vehicle purchases.
Instead of just engaging with consumers when their lease is up, Bill Brown is there with insight and advice 365 days a year. They provide tips for vehicle maintenance, especially for hybrid and EV models, recommendations about the best 4X4 road trips, and places for families to go on their next “adventure.” Bill Brown employees want their customers to get the most out of their new Ford. Their efforts facilitate growth for the dealership and create an open feedback loop as customers add authentic content and experiences to the conversation.
“Ed Brown instills in every employee the importance of supporting our customers and the larger Ford community we’re a part of, along with the organizations that are educating and improving the lives of individuals across Metro Detroit,” said Dave Tashman, General Manager of Bill Brown. “Ed’s long-term commitment has helped us build a strong and passionate community for the dealership. Anyone can win on price, but at Bill Brown Ford, we’ve proven that if you deliver for your customers, you can win one of the auto industry’s biggest prizes.”
Family-owned dealerships, like Bill Brown Ford, are facing additional challenges today due to rapid changes in the auto industry, including increased consolidation, which is being led by large national companies. These large dealership groups often prioritize profits over customer and community relationships and personalized incentives. Bill Brown has taken a different approach. They’re focused on creating the best environment for their employees and prioritizing customer and community satisfaction through strong online and in-person processes and personalized service. As a result, the 100+-year-old dealership has a much closer relationship with the local community, enabling them to build a more robust and deeper long-term connection with their customers, employees, and community.
For the Brown family, the definition of business success goes beyond profitability, growth rate, and brand recognition. Instead, they focus on their employees, customers, and the local Michigan community.
“In the auto industry, your staff is the heartbeat of the dealership and your local community. You can have the best lease deals and offers, but it won’t mean anything if the right individuals aren’t part of the team.,” said Matt Garchow, Sales Manager. “They’re the face of the dealership. At Bill Brown, we work hard to identify and hire the best employees and ensure at all levels that they’re happy in their day-to-day roles and passionate about our dealership and our community.”