Auto Dealers Get in the Halloween Spirit | Edmunds

Auto Dealers Get in the Halloween Spirit

Just the Facts:
  • Franklin Sussex Auto Mall in North Sussex, New Jersey, allows buyers to choose a pumpkin, each of which has a valuable prize announced in an attached envelope.
  • With a theme of "zombies," everyone on the staff gets into the spirit during the Halloween costume party, to be held on Friday, October 24, this year at Franklin Sussex.
  • At Valley Hi Toyota in Victorville, California, a Tundra pickup truck full of pumpkins adds to the Halloween spirit, and a costume party on Thursday, October 23 will award electronic gadgets and cash as prizes to the winning kids 13 and under.

NORTH SUSSEX, New Jersey Franklin Sussex Auto Mall hands out pumpkins to its customers in October, but with a twist: After closing on the sale of a vehicle, customers are invited to choose a pumpkin from the "pumpkin patch" set up in the showroom. Each has an envelope attached, and there are some seriously valuable prizes announced on the slip of paper each envelope has inside it.

"There is cash, amounts from $50 to $1,000," Franklin Sussex staffer Kimberly Shields told Edmunds. "Some are service-and-parts vouchers for as much as $100. There are 32-inch flat-screen TVs."

The auto mall has a large devil painted on the windows in anticipation of the annual Halloween costume party, held inside the dealership on Friday, October 24. Prizes are given out to adults and children.

"We've seen some really original ideas," Shields said. "We'll have games and activities, but people can still shop for a car. Last year, we had quite a few show up."

Franklin Sussex Auto Mall specializes in Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Chrysler vehicles. It's located about an hour from Newark in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Across the country in the high desert country of Victorville, California, Social Media Manager Brian Ortega told Edmunds the Halloween party at Valley Hi Toyota is a way to give families a trick-or-treat experience "they can trust. Parents want to keep their kids safer."

At the party, held on Thursday starting at 5 p.m., kids 13 and under can sign up in advance to compete for costume prizes including an xBox, iPad and a $100 gift card to Toys R Us. Then they can visit the sales, service, and parts department to trick or treat.

Ortega says the idea came from General Manager Todd Stokes and has happened for three consecutive years. Decorations include a Toyota Tundra pickup truck with a bed full of pumpkins, which are given away to people who test-drive a car, and local businesses offer free food to party goers. The Halloween Sales Frenzy marketing event is going on at the same time, Ortega said.

"You can see how involved some of the costume ideas are," he told Edmunds. "Last year, there was a girl with a 'severed head' in a refrigerator — it was her head, but with a cardboard box around her like a fridge. One brother and sister came in Barbie and Spider-Man boxes like they were toys."

Edmunds says: Invite the community in for a little candy and some costume fun, and they'll stay to look at the inventory.

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