As the United States grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Lexus dealers are doing what they can to ease the burdens caused by the crisis.
Across the country, dealers exemplify the Lexus ethos and fundamental core of the business: putting people first. No matter the circumstance, answering the calls of citizens in need is a top priority.
“We open our doors for one reason: to help people,” says Laura Thompson Barnes, vice president of the Thompson Organization, which owns Thompson Lexus Doylestown and Willow Grove Lexus in Pennsylvania. “If we start every day with this basic premise, everything else follows.”
From feeding those on the front lines to offering complimentary services, Lexus dealers are lending a helping hand.
A nationwide shortage of protective gear for frontline health care workers was one of the first challenges that developed as the coronavirus became more widespread. Governors and health officials warned that in order to care for vulnerable COVID-19 patients, health care workers needed the proper equipment. In response, Thompson Lexus donated gloves and masks from their inventory to local hospital workers.
Feeding the Front Lines
Long hours and demanding situations are typical for many health care professionals. However, with the onset of the unprecedented novel coronavirus, those stressful experiences have been compounded exponentially. To express gratitude for their sacrifices and commitment to service, O’Brien Lexus of Peoria, Illinois, is supplying food to those workers as well as neighboring hospitals with $6,000 raised via GoFundMe.com to buy meals from -and to help support- local bars and restaurants.
O’Brien Lexus of Peoria isn’t the only dealer supporting health care professionals and local bars and restaurants during this time. Since the pandemic started, many local bars and restaurants were forced to close or limit their services to only takeout or delivery, in turn causing severe loss of revenue. To help offset those losses, Lexus of Memphis is buying gift cards from local bars and restaurants for customers. And in Texas, the Houston Lexus Dealers Association is donating $10,000 to local restaurant workers. Even small gestures of goodwill can bolster restaurant sales and help keep small businesses afloat.
Offering Deals, Discounts and Gifts
A little goes a long way in uncertain times. To help people save wherever they can and thank them for continued patronage, Sterling McCall Lexus in Houston is offering $39 oil changes and $25 gas cards for service guests.
Also, in the spirit of gift giving, Lexus of Akron/Canton in Ohio has partnered with the Akron Children’s Hospital to support their local medical staff on the front lines of the pandemic. The dealership is offering complimentary pickup and delivery service for all Lexus makes and models and a 10% discount on service for any employees of the hospital.
In Salt Lake City, similar services are being offered via the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and Larry H. Miller Dealerships. The complimentary concierge vehicle pickup and drop-off service is for customers with service appointments whose health might be at risk and for those who are providing critical services to get to work.
“We want to be great community partners to help those who are on the front lines, assist those who are most at risk, and provide a safe and innovative experience for our automotive customers and employees,” said Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “This approach allows us to practice social distancing while ensuring our customers’ transportation needs continue to be met.”
In addition to these efforts, Lexus is still arranging transactions and services at various locations, and some locations also offer contactless servicing. Plus, many dealers are making calls to check in on the wellbeing of Lexus valued customers and their families to let them know that they’re an essential business and there to help with anything they may need.
For instance, in Watertown, NY, an elderly guest was concerned her car would not be returned in time for her to make it to the grocery store. The assistant store manager asked her what she needed to buy. When the dealership finished serving her car, it was delivered to her home along with some groceries.
Whether on a small or large scale, Lexus remains committed to supporting consumers and the communities it serves.
“It’s really simple, treat people as you would a family member,” says John Iacono, a dealer at Lexus of Manhattan, Lexus of Brooklyn and Lexus of Queens. “Saying yes to a request, being mindful and thoughtful, and exceeding expectations is the hallmark of being a Lexus dealer.”
For more about what Lexus is doing to support during COVID-19, click here.
Originally published April 24, 2020