Hey everyone, it’s Amy. I’m from Think Creative, and I’m here for Simi Valley Chevrolet’s podcast. This is the very first episode. We’re excited to bring you all kinds of stories from the dealership, insights, inside looks, all of that kind of thing. I’m joined today by Matt. He works on the simivalleychevy.com website and he knows a lot about the store. Welcome, Matt.
Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited. This is episode one, huh?
This is the very first episode, and you are our guest.
Woo. I don’t know what I did to deserve this.
Something very good I’m sure [laughter]. So Simi Valley Chevrolet is a car dealership that is part of the Martin Automotive Group. The Martin Automotive Group, it’s a pretty large automotive group owned by Michael Martin. It spans 3 states, 10 stores. Four of those stores are in California. One of them is Simi Valley Chevrolet. Now, what can you tell us about what it means for Simi Valley Chevrolet to be a part of the Martin Automotive Group, that from here on out, we’re going to call MAG?
Yeah, I’ll tell you what the people that I spoke to at the dealership they absolutely love being a part of Mr. Martin’s family. The MAG umbrella, obviously. But they always say, “Mr. Martin’s family,” which kind of just puts it all into perspective. They all feel that they are treated just like family. And I think that really resonates throughout the entire store. Not just from the employees, but on down to the customers, to be honest with you. You can tell as soon as you walk in that they do try to live up to their core values, which is honesty, integrity, and transparency. And it’s just something that you feel all the way through.
That’s pretty remarkable. As we all know the car dealership is kind of an unpopular place. Yeah. So it’s really encouraging to see that they’re taking that kind of step of leadership to really try to transform that perception that the public has by being transparent and full of integrity and really creating a family atmosphere among their employees. I think that probably really carries over to the customers.
All right. I know we just had Labor Day weekend not too long ago, which everybody knows is a great time to pick up a new vehicle. Is it still a good time to grab a new vehicle or what do you think?
Yeah. In my view, absolutely. And I think any time after Labor Day– of course, Labor Day comes, and you get some pretty big discounts off of vehicles, but then you’ve got to remember after that comes the fall, and during the fall, you have these dealerships that are really trying to get away from 2018 pretty much. They’re trying to make way for the new 2019 models. You’ll probably start to see more information come about on some of the specific model types and trims for 2019. And so when you have that going for you as a consumer, you can almost guarantee that you’re going to get a really good deal off of a 2018. Otherwise, you could just wait for 2019 to come, and hopefully, get a New Year special around that time. But man this is a great time. And if I were in the market, I’d be shopping now.
And you’d be shopping at Simi Valley Chevrolet, am I right [laughter]?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
All right. At least checking it out. So along those lines, when you’re starting to think about going to get a new car and taking advantage of the specials and stuff, it’s still a big purchase. Even if you get a good deal, it’s still a big purchase, and you want to prepare as much as possible. What are some things that you think a buyer should do to prepare for purchasing a new car or truck?
I think it’s all about the research. I mean, first and foremost, like you touched on earlier, there’s not a lot of people that actually enjoy the whole car-buying process, but what’s really going to help is if you do a few things for yourself in order to kind of speed up the process and then also make it go a little bit smoother. For example, you want to give yourself enough time, obviously. Don’t just go into the dealership expecting this to be over in an hour because you’ve got to be realistic. It’s going to take longer than that. So I would plan for a few hours. And that’s not because you’re going to be trying to haggle with someone, or a few people even, to get the best deal for yourself. It’s not that. It’s just that there are so many great offers out there on new vehicles, pre-owned vehicles, and you just really want to make sure that you get the one for yourself. So in order to save some time there just do some research on what it is that you’re looking for. Make sure that you’re staying within your means. Don’t come expecting to get this nice truck that’s going to run you about 45, 50,000 if all you can afford really is 25. You’ve got to stay within your means. So as long as you have the right expectations going in, and you’ve done the research and know what kind of car that you’re looking for, I feel like you should be good to go.
I like it. I think that’s great advice. So where do you think is a good place for a consumer to do that research? And I’m talking about not just on the vehicle that you want. Let’s say you’ve been like, “I’ve always wanted to own a Chevy Silverado.” But somebody tells you about some competing trucks that might be a better option to them. How can a consumer really do the right kind of research and figure out which is the right vehicle for them?
Well, I mean, the beauty of the state that we’re in right now, the whole technology and everything, it’s wonderful. So we actually have answers at the palm of our hands. All we’ve got to do is just get on our cell phones, hop onto a Google search, and start typing in, like you said, Silverado. You could find all types of reviews on the Silverado, including comparison type of articles. Maybe even videos off of YouTube. But sticking to some of the trusted magazines that do a good job of this sort of stuff like Car and Driver. You could check out KBB.com. That’s Kelley Blue Book. And really, why not just go to the actual website itself, simivalleychevy.com. You can look at some of the blogs. There’s actually some honest blogs on there. So if you are looking for comparison type stuff, or if you just want to get to know a certain vehicle a little more, trying to look at specs and things like that start there. Start at the actual website. And then another good thing that you could look at while you’re on the website is you are able to chat with a specialist. So they do have a live help option – a contact form. So if you want someone to reach out to you, or if you have just a real quick question, they are there to help you – to educate you. Not just to get you to buy anything. So if you’ve got questions, you can hop on the website, click on the live help button, and a real-life person is ready to help you out and just answer questions. Not try to sell you anything.
I love it. Great advice. So the blog, other Googling, and even just being able to talk to someone at the dealership are all great options.
Yeah, absolutely. Because, I mean, those are the ones that– they’re the professionals. They know exactly what’s the hot topic about that vehicle, whether it be something for safety. Maybe something for fuel efficiency, or just did the truck get bigger and is it able to tow more? There’s all types of thing that people look for. And again, it just kind of depends on what your preference is. What is it that you’re actually looking for. So I mean my honest advice is to ask all the questions you can and just get answers. That’s it.
Good advice. I like it. So another thing I noticed that you could do is get pre-approved before you actually make it to the dealership. Is that something that a buyer should do? Is that a good idea? What do you think about that whole thing?
I think it’s absolutely a good idea. I feel it’s one of those things where you can go in and just not lose. Being pre-approved somewhere through either a bank or credit card, whatever it might be that you got pre-approved from, having that in your back pocket when you get to a dealership it kind of speeds up the process because it already lets you know this is where I’m at. It sets the limit for you. So you know if I’m pre-qualified for 45K let’s say I’m going to stay either 45K and below. So your options are already kind of made for you. Here are your options and you can choose from any of these types of vehicles because they are less than 45,000. And then the good thing about Simi Valley Chevy is that the sales people there they might see that, “Okay. Hey, you’re pre-qualified somewhere else 45,000,” and maybe your interest rate is, I don’t know, 6% let’s just say. If they are capable of giving you that same amount at a 3%, they will do it. So they’re not going to– just because you come in and say, “This is what I’m pre-qualified for,” they’re not going to just say, “Okay. This is what we’ll work with.” They’re definitely going to try to help you and make sure that you’re going to get the best deal that you can. And like you mentioned with it being fall and everybody trying to get rid of 2018s and 2019s coming in, you can bet that you’re not going to get a bad deal. No reasonable deal is going to be turned down at this point, so keep that in mind if you’re a consumer.
Great advice. Great advice. So you’ve already kind of given us a lot of tips for a consumer when they’re heading out to buy a car. What other kinds of suggestions and ideas do you have?
I mean, really, just do yourself a favor always, always think about what’s important to you. Is your new vehicle– are you going to be commuting a lot? So is gas probably an issue for you? Do you need something where you’re going to have to haul a lot? Are you going to be driving with any family members, any children? Things like that. So obviously you want to have space, but you’re also concerned very much about safety features and things like that. So, don’t just look at the vehicle that looks the best to you or what looks hot at the time. Think about what’s important to you. Think about your family, your loved ones, and just your lifestyle. Don’t mess any of that stuff up, man. That’s nothing to play with. Obviously, Chevy has a ton of cars and trucks. They all do very well in safety tests and they’re all reasonably priced to be honest with you. And Chevy has that– the Chevy brand itself when you drive a Chevrolet you’re thinking you’re going to have this for the long haul. This is really one of those cars or trucks that can last a lifetime. Obviously, you treat it right, but they’re built to last. They’re strong. Strong vehicles. Motors are strong. Bodies are strong. Big bodied trucks is what they’re known for. So just keep that stuff in mind and you should make the right decision based on that.
Sounds good. I love the way you described the Chevy right there. Good stuff. Almost poetic [laughter].
All right. So what about the– we kind of touched on it already, the blog on simivalleychevy.com. What are some of the other things that the consumer can benefit from on the website?
Well, I did mention the live help. Obviously, you’ll get to see– through the shopping tools, you could see what type of inventory they have currently. So you could look at new cars, pre-owned cars. You could even get– we talked about getting pre-approved. You can get pre-approved online through the website as well. So keep that in mind. You can also just look at safety recalls if there is any. You could look at any service specials that they might have. Any part specials that they might have. All that information is right there on the website. It’s really easy to get to, which is what’s cool about the Simi Valley Chevy website is just that all the information is laid out perfectly, so you don’t have to really go digging for too much. Just anything you’re looking for is easily accessible. I mean, really, there’s nothing that you can’t do online anymore. We’re just in that time. That day and age. So anything that you’re looking for, you can get that right through the website.
Love it. Good words right there. Is there any other way we connect with Simi Valley Chevrolet, like social media or anything like that?
Oh yeah, absolutely. So Simi Valley Chevrolet, they’re everywhere honestly. They’re on Facebook. They’re on Instagram. I believe they’re on Twitter as well. And that’s another good thing. If you’re one of those people that’s on social media a lot – I know there’s a lot of millennials that are on social and they actually are pretty big on Chevies – you can always send a message through social media and somebody from there will actually respond to you and reply to any question that you may have. If you’re on Twitter, just don’t forget to @them and Facebook as well. And then you can even leave comments on their YouTube page. I know for a fact that they do answer all of those things, so. Even reviews, man. Read reviews. Read the reviews that you find online on any of these review sites. Even Google has their own reviews on there that you can read and find out who it’s from. And just look at the response that you get. So obviously everyone on there has a specific event that they’re mentioning, whether it’s a good review, a bad review, whatnot. But you’ll notice that there’s always a response from someone at that store. And that just goes to show much they care.
That’s pretty incredible, yeah. So before we wrap-up is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Any last-minute tips, ideas, suggestions?
No, I think we covered them all. Again, everybody if you are in the market for a new vehicle, and you’re considering any vehicle from Chevy, whether it be one of their small cars to a big old truck, they got it all. Chevies one of those companies that honestly does have a vehicle for everybody. So just make sure you check out the website. Again, that was simivalleychevy.com. Check out the inventory. And again, I’m telling you, if you’ve got questions, just hop on that live help and some bodies going to be there to help you. Don’t worry. They’re not trying to sell you anything. They legit just want to help.
Well, great. Thanks a lot, Matt.
I appreciate the time.
It was good to talk to you.
Yeah, thank you. This episode of the podcast was brought to you by The Martin Automotive Group. Martin Automotive Group is dedicated to delivering automotive excellence while providing both unprecedented customer service and an extraordinary workplace environment. They have dealerships in New Mexico, Arizona, and California filled with dedicated automotive professionals ready to serve your needs. Also, special thanks to the team at Think Creative. Think Creative is a full-service digital marketing agency offering businesses of all types forward-thinking campaigns, including video marketing, social media, web development, and SEO. Visit uthinkcreative.com for all your digital marketing needs.