LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois — A dozen dealerships along Libertyville's Mile of Cars will offer customers who buy or lease a new car during July, gift certificates to area businesses and a donation to the charity of their choice.
Residents of the village will receive $200 in Libertyville Rewards certificates, while non-residents receive $100. They come in $25 increments and are good at 90 merchants.
The participating dealerships, which represent 19 brands, include Acura of Libertyville, Gregory Infiniti, Liberty Auto City, Liberty Auto Plaza, Liberty Kia, Libertyville Chevrolet, Libertyville Lincoln, Libertyville Mitsubishi, AutoNation Libertyville Toyota Scion, Napleton Ford, Pauly Honda and Weil Cadillac.
"We put together this rewards program because we wanted to thank the community," Glenn Bockwinkel, president of Acura of Libertyville, told Edmunds.
Bockwinkel helped to introduce the Mile of Cars alliance and the rewards program with Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler in 2008 during the economic downturn. The hope was to increase business for the auto dealers and the local economy.
More than $40,000 of the certificates were used in 2008. This year, the village has budgeted $70,000 in gift certificates, while the dealerships will donate a combined $36,000 to approved charities picked by car shoppers.
Auto-related businesses represent about 60 percent of all sales tax received by the village and employ nearly 800 people.
"Even though the economy has improved and car sales are up, the market is still competitive and giving away $100 or $200 is enough to get people to drive to our place instead. Libertyville Rewards certificates are driving business," Bockwinkel said.
Edmunds says: Resurrecting a tried-and-true program is stirring sales beyond the showroom floor.