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AUTO DEALER LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO MAKE CAR BUYING PLEASURABLE

 AUTO DEALER LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO MAKE CAR BUYING PLEASURABLE
 PHILADELPHIA, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- After going to the dentist, buying a car is one of the most dreaded experiences a consumer must face, according to a recent J.D. Power & Associates survey.
 That's why Art Micchelli, president of Potamkin Northeast, decided to literally change the way cars at his dealership were sold, and initiate a series of advertisements, community events and public service messages to rebuild consumer confidence and make the experience of buying a care more palatable.
 Micchelli, who joined the six-franchise complex over a year ago, recognized that while customers cared about price, they also valued the expertise of the salesperson, their sincerity and commitment to taking care of their needs, no matter how insignificant they might appear on the surface.
 "It was very obvious to me when I came to Philadelphia that the old style of selling a car where customers haggled over price was simply not appropriate for the consumer of the 90s," Micchelli said.
 "Over the next year we will be completely revamping our selling process and the way we respond to customers, by making sales managers more responsive, keeping our one-price selling concept, and launching new programs and services to reach out to the community and make our dealership a resource to them."
 In January, Micchelli adopted a "one-price" sales approach, which is new to the Northeast region, but has already been tried in other dealerships such as Swanson-Chrysler Plymouth agency in St. Petersburg, Fla.
 After studying the Swanson model, which has essentially replaced all the dealership salespersons with "greeters" and placed one-price stickers on the cars, Micchelli found that customers still weren't satisfied.
 "I think the Swanson experience showed that while price is important, people still need the advice and attention of a knowledgeable and trained salesperson," Micchelli said.
 "There are so many questions that consumers have, and we feel we have an obligation to not only remove the barrier of prices haggling, but to also give them the very best advice on the car's attributes, payments options and recommendations on the best car choice for their individual lifestyles."
 Micchelli is putting his money where his mouth is. In June he will be launching a series of public service announcements which will help consumers become more educated about the car buying process. In the meantime, he suggested remembering the following basic tips before considering a purchase of a car:
 -- Understand your lifestyle and personal needs before ever walking into a showroom.
 -- Know your monthly budget, and how much money you have available for a car payment, whether that is cash or a monthly payment.
 -- Don't be defensive when a salesperson approaches; you are in control of your own car buying decision.
 -- Thoroughly research the type of car models you are interested in, and don't be afraid to ask for more information on particular car attributes, problems, etc.
 -- Establish a rapport with the dealership. Chances are they'll want to do the same with you.
 Potamkin Northeast is one of the largest dealerships in the region. With a six-franchise complex located at Grant Avenue and Academy Road in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, it is one of the first dealerships in the region to adopt a "one-price" selling strategy. In addition, Potamkin will launch a series of public service messages, reinforcing the company's commitment to helping the consumer, and its dedication to total customer satisfaction.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Dava Guerin of Guerin & Kapnek Communications, 215-830-1440, or, home, 215-635-5985, for Potamkin Northeast/ CO: Potamkin Northeast ST: Pennsylvania IN: AUT SU:


MK-LJ -- PHFNS2 -- 1007 04/22/92 07:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1992
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