Driven By Customer Service
Tell us about what you do. My work at the Kuhio Motors Kapa’a dealership encompasses a number of areas. My primary area is to oversee sales operations and to make certain that customers are properly assisted by our sales staff in finding just the right vehicle by offering the best selection of cars, trucks and SUVs, and to ensure a friendly, courteous and fun atmosphere in which to buy.
Kuhio Motors in Kapa’a now specializes in new Hyundai sales. Hyundai is a Korean-based company and one of the fastest-growing and most-successful selling brands in the world today. This is an automotive manufacturer that literally transformed itself over the past decade, offering high-quality products at very affordable prices. Hyundai’s U.S. sales and market share have grown tremendously, so much so that the Japanese companies like Toyota, Honda and Nissan are comparing themselves to Hyundai.
In addition to our new Hyundai sales, our Kapa’a location offers a complete selection of clean, preowned cars, trucks and SUVs in all price segments. For many of our customers from the North Shore and East Side, Kuhio Motors Kapa’a can now be your one-stop shop for a new or preowned vehicle. Since we are part of a full-service dealership operation, we also can provide each customer with all the best financing resources and options right there to easily complete their purchase transaction.
How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? I have been in the automotive retail business now going on 30 years. I began my career selling Japanese import vehicles in Santa Monica back in 1983, moved to Hawaii in 1996 where I have continued in the business ever since. Automotive sales, like many things, is about relationship marketing, and here on Kaua’i relationships and earning someone’s trust is everything.
Where are you from originally and what role does that play in your business, if any? I grew up on the East Coast, a small town in Connecticut. My dad once told me that whatever career path I decided to follow, to make sure that I deal honestly with people and always give 100 percent effort. That bit of wisdom has always stuck with me, so each and every day I try to practice those sound words of advice I was given.
My sales staff and I strive each and every day to make the customer’s experience something special.
What is your specialty?
Working our Kapa’a location requires me to wear many hats.
Primarily, my area of responsibility is to assist the salesperson in tailoring the transaction to fit the customer needs in a vehicle, and then to make certain that their budgetary requirements are met, whether they are financing or paying cash. Once the basic terms for the transaction are completed, I will work directly with the customer in helping them choose just the right financing and insurance products at the time they do their paperwork – products such as mechanical protection coverage, prepaid maintenance and car care, ding and dent protection and more. There are some incredible products available that automobile owners can take advantage of to keep their vehicles running well and looking their best.
I would like to think that I’m not selling products but more importantly offering options to protect their investment and to make their automotive ownership experience more enjoyable.
What is your educational background?
It’s in business administration with a specialty in marketing and photographic technology. The latter I have never really used, but it gave me a love and appreciation for photography that has stayed with me over the years.
What sets your work apart? Each and every day in our business, the world and economic climate is changing literally right in front of our eyes. For example, prospective customers can access via the Internet almost any information desired within minutes, so we as sales professionals must keep up with what is current. Each and every transaction is unique to that particular customer, so I get to learn something new every single day. There is nothing mundane or boring – I have the opportunity to work with a wonderful team of dedicated sales professionals who I learn from as well, so every day is a brand new experience for me in many ways.
What is your business philosophy/motto? Very simply, to make the customer’s automotive purchase experience fun and enjoyable. Because of changing times and the information age, buyers are smarter and more educated than ever.
This is a real advantage for both the dealer and the customer. With the Internet, customers now feel more empowered and informed when purchasing a vehicle. This fits right into my philosophy in making sure that I am hearing what is most important to that particular customer in front of me and to assist them in making the most informed decision possible.
The customer experience should be seamless and hassle-free, so our team of sales professionals always strive to make our customers feel like honored guests in our home.
What is your business plan for the future? Let me put it this way: I have a son who just started college this fall, so I will stay working, doing what I’m doing for the foreseeable future. Sure, we all have our not-so-good days, but I truly enjoy the automotive business in my current capacity, so I am planning on staying at this for a while.
Where can people learn more? Information is the most valuable commodity that someone can have. Before setting out to buy your next car, truck or SUV, think about what is most important in your next vehicle: Is it fuel economy, interior storage, safety, passenger capacity, etc.?
Whatever your needs, make sure you are clear on those. Do your research online, from published articles or by talking with owners of brands or types of vehicles that you are considering. Always test drive any vehicles being considered to make sure that you like the looks and feel of what you are considering buying before sitting down to discuss finance options or purchase price.
We are always happy to help, and people can either stop by (we are located next to the Burger King on Kuhio Highway), call us at 823-0508, or visit us online, at kuhiomotorskapaa.com.