Kansas Dealer Dodges Hailstorm With Innovative Sale | Edmunds

Kansas Dealer Dodges Hailstorm With Innovative Sale


Just the Facts:
  • Aristocrat Motors turned adversity into opportunity after a hailstorm damaged several new and used luxury vehicles on its lot.
  • The storm left dents in a number of Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Porsche, Land Rover and Jaguar models.
  • Rather than just repair the damage, the dealership launched a Hard Rain Sale and offered the luxury vehicles to customers at a discount.

MERRIAM, KansasAristocrat Motors turned adversity into opportunity after a hailstorm damaged several new and used luxury vehicles on its lot.

When the storm hit, it left a number of Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Porsche, Land Rover and Jaguar models covered with what the dealership described as "little marks." Although the tiny dents were "almost unnoticeable," Aristocrat Motors decided to highlight the damage in a Hard Rain Sale and offer customers a significant discount.

The sale was the brainchild of Robert Hellweg, Aristocrat's marketing and business development manager, who told Edmunds: "The damage to most of the vehicles was less than $300 — around $175 average per car — so we probably could've just repaired them. But our president, Marion Battaglia, said, 'No, we have to be up-front about this and disclose the damage.' So I came up with the idea of a Hard Rain sale."

Most of the damage can be fixed through a simple paintless dent-repair procedure, which is usually done by gently pushing out the dent from the inside of the body panel.

According to the dealer, the amount of money customers can save during the sale is considerably more than the cost of repairs, estimated to be a maximum of $225.

Hellweg said buyers have the option of arranging repairs through Aristocrat prior to delivery, bringing the vehicle back later or taking it to a repair shop after purchase.

"The first weekend of the sale went very well," Hellweg said. "We've sold five Mercedes models alone, so far. We're going to continue with it, and we're going to add in some radio ads."

Edmunds says: A weather-related setback for one Kansas dealer turns into an opportunity for car shoppers.

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