Some VW Internet Drama, Dealers Prioritizing Parts, Trader Joe’s Putting ‘love’ At The Center

March 6, 2023
It’s another wonderful week in Retail Auto as we cover new EV brand Scout and their touch-of-dramatic announcement of a new plant in South Carolina. We also cover some notable parts movement from Kia, as well as take some culture cues from the popular grocery store chain Trader Joes
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  • It is confirmed that VW Group will be building a $2B EV Manufacturing plant to produce vehicles for its new Scout brand near Columbia, South Carolina creating 4000 jobs and producing as many as 200k vehicles per year.
  • The final call to confirm the selection was captured in a video of Scott Keogh on one side, and officials from the state of South Carolina in which Keogh congratulated the group
  • Groundbreaking is set for mid 2023 and production for 2026
  • Scott Keough’s linkedin post announcement:
  • In an effort to help parts departments move through backorders and continued shortages to keep customers on the road, Kia had introduced D2D Express, a dealership-to-dealership parts program that automates and incentives dealers to obtain backordered parts directly from other dealers. Seven months later, the program is showing big success.
  • “The program allows a dealership to look at Kia's national parts ordering system to find where a component may exist. Kia handles the shipping costs and sends the provider dealership a bonus for its assistance worth 15 percent of the price of the part.”
  • Since launch, the emergency backorder part delivery has improved four fold
  • GM, Honda, and Stellanits have similar programs with similar success stories
  • A Retail Wire feature on the grocery chain, Trader Joe’s, gives a peek behind the curtain from “The Inside Trader Joe’s” Podcast, talking about why it has earned the extreme loyalty of some and has become an example of great company culture. The secret sauce according to Ty, a store manager in Colorado, is hiring nice people “who really love people.”
  • “It’s hard to talk about Trader Joe’s without talking about love because if you talk to anybody about Trader Joe’s, they’re eventually gonna mention it. They love a product, or they love shopping at our stores, but a lot of it is, they love working here, you know, and that in and of it

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Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:29

Yo, it's Monday sometimes you have to but today we get to that's the best part. We're talking about a little drama around VW and scout talking about Trader Joe's talking about dealers, prioritizing parts. parts, the people. I didn't run out of time today. Wouldn't they see? People I mean people prioritizing parts would have been better like little thing right there. But it's Monday morning. We want dealers.

Kyle Mountsier  00:58

What a Monday morning. Yeah. First Monday in March. I don't know why that just feels good to me.


Is it yesterday? Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier  01:05

Paul, get this get this. Something wild? I of course I do. I'm reminiscing on the fact that I believe we talked about the last time I talked about mowing was in December. And now first weekend in March, I have mowed my lawn. And it was absolutely necessary. Like I was midway through mowing the lawn thinking if I wait another week, this would have been sorry.

Paul Daly  01:31

It's so I've no idea what that's like the last time I mow my lawn was probably October Unbeliev. And I'll probably get to mow it again. And like May, maybe that's one of the one of the small benefits of having a frozen tundra for your home. Six months out of the year is that the mowing is minimized. Man there was like this weekend was was one of those where it feels like the ramp up is coming, right? There's like this anticipation where we were texting about some flight schedules and visiting some dealers. But like, I'm realizing, Welling

Kyle Mountsier  02:04

and it's a bad day was exactly one month away from us being in Arlington throwing down live.

Paul Daly  02:11

Snap. That's right, April 5, we have less than a month. Oh my gosh, this is gonna go like that. It's practically tomorrow. Yeah, frankly, tomorrow. Hey, we're going to be in Arlington for our asoto X world tour. And we'll just call it a Soto X. But in Arlington, we're gonna do our asoto live tonight show we're visiting three dealers, we're going to tell you more about them soon. But if you circle on April 5 on your calendar, and if you can get to Arlington, we would love to have you there to be part of some workshops and a live studio audience for a taping of a show very similar to the year end extravaganza. We're going to wear suits. We're gonna have a band with us. We're going to learn a lot from some amazing dealers and executives. We're gonna have a game show do giveaways. I mean, why would you want to be at this event? I don't know why. But let's talk about some news. today. We have some things unfolding some things I guess we'll call it that. It is confirmed now that the VW group will be building a $2 billion Evie manufacturing plant to produce vehicles for its new scout brand near Columbia, South Carolina creating 4000 jobs and producing as many as 200,000 units per year. The final call to confirm that it was South Carolina was captured in a video of Scott Keogh, who I might add looked a little bit like Steve Rossler when he was like, kind of like just standing there with his head down. I was like, is that Steve? Oh, Scott Keogh. So Scout released his video. He's on one side, you know, on the phone. And then there's just like this whole group of officials

Kyle Mountsier  03:37

watch it because it is it is literally like, I was like, this looks like Draft Day. Like, are we like this guy's getting a call this the people are celebrating you got the back office and you know, and everything. And everybody's like,

Paul Daly  03:51

it was part of it. Part of it that was kind of funny is like, it's obviously planned, right? Because you have that you have the drama of the bolts, like it's got the scout logo on top of it. And then you have like, you know, 20 people in the frame surrounding the desk like it's a photo I was like, Yeah, that's probably just how they roll every day. They're just hanging out in the governor's office. And it basically says, I know we're all busy, but I just want to say one word and that's congratulations, right and everybody is excited for that coming groundbreaking set for a mid 2023. With production starting in 2026. From Scott Keogh, CEO Scott Q has posted LinkedIn announcement he said the 1960 the original Scout revolutionize what it meant to go places what it means to see the world from the driver's seat when it started in 19. Six, what started in 1960 comes full circle today, Scott is once again reimagining the adventures that an off road vehicle can deliver only this time with an electric platform. I love this last line today, we are closer than ever to putting an important American icon on the road. And he's talking about like American iconic vehicles coming back. Look, you know, everybody in this audience is asking one question. What's the question? Kyle? We didn't even talk about this. But you know the question

Kyle Mountsier  04:58

So what abaft did dealers scatterplot. Dealers

Paul Daly  05:04

there has been zero mention of whether or not the vehicles would be available through the network of Volkswagen dealers however you go to the social posts and seen a lot of commentary on that. I mean, there's a lot of talk that like this is a very possibility that they could leverage the VW network to have an unprecedented Evie brand launch. I don't there's no other Evie brand right that was developed as a sub brand

Kyle Mountsier  05:27

Evie brand that has launched with a dealer network and the dealers every dealer that I've talked to has said we are pressing VW and scout to say we want to be a part of this we actually we think we can sell this we can do a good job here. But like there has been no mention and I've actually talked to a couple people that have said like it sounds like a plan to go direct to consumer so we'll see how votes

Paul Daly  05:51

and I wonder if even like for service you think you think of the advantage of having that network even to service it or test drive it? I don't know. I don't know Jack You obviously very well respected amongst dealer circles Yep. Right we're not talking about an executive coming in just to like trash the dealer network. Scott spent years and decades of his career building the dealer network and becoming a champion of it. So just leave it to VW to like kind of like brand play their way through it like they're just good at brand.

Kyle Mountsier  06:20

They're good at speaking of a dealer network segue

Paul Daly  06:24

I was wondering how that was gonna come out. You did it you did it. Do it. There it is there. It glad you can do it. You want me to do it. You got it. Go go go okay, in an effort to help parts departments move through back orders and continued shortages to keep customers on the road. Kia had introduced a D to D Express program dealership to dealership parts program that automates the ins and incentivizes dealers to get backordered parts directly from other dealers and seven months later now, the program is showing huge success in the way of a four fold return, or a four fold increase in people getting back on the road faster. Here's a quote from the automotive news article. The program allows the dealership to look at key as national parts ordering system to find where component may exist, and Kia will handle the expedited shipping costs and incentivize the dealer selling the part by giving them an additional 15% of the price. GM Honda's Lantis have programs similar but the takeaway, right? This is like people working together. That's

Kyle Mountsier  07:24

why we're excited. This is what kind of blows my mind is is okay. There's four brands that are mentioned. I don't know if there are others that have done this. But does it not seem ridiculous? This hasn't been thought of before.

Paul Daly  07:37

I thought that the moment I Rosi read the article I was,

Kyle Mountsier  07:40

what you're saying is we've got this network of warehouses across the country four or five in every single city that are warehousing parts.

Paul Daly  07:52

And this is what you get, you can only get it to the from the one place. Yeah. Now granted, they did put the program in place seven months ago. And now it's like revisiting the success of the program. This is a great example of how the industry needs to break down the old way we've been doing things and prioritizing the most important thing, which is the customer experience. And if somebody is in their Kia and it's broken, and they bought it new, and it's waiting for a backordered part guess what, what do you think their brand experience with Kia is doing going up or going just skyrocketing?

Kyle Mountsier  08:24

Going, especially with Yeah, just way better. This is what's crazy. We've been doing dealer trades on new cars for years and years and years and years and years. This This seems like a logical step for the other piece of inventory that you have sitting on the

Paul Daly  08:42

lot. Right? There's a lot of there's a lot of conversation going on around fixed ops and parts. We are kind of doubling down on our desire to give fixed ops and parts some love in the soda verse. We want more you you all in this network and we're going to talk about it more, we're actually likely going to be on the ground in Orlando sometime in the middle of the year at a fixed ops and parts conference. Yes, our very first parts conference will tell you more about that if when that comes together, but the bottom line is this is that everyone in the store every department has to work to make the customer experience amazing and fixed up some parts is in there every day slugging it out parts department doesn't have any windows and they're still smiling and they're still crushing it. It doesn't have any Windows well windows to the outside of service with

Kyle Mountsier  09:34

four guys put them on the edge, put them on the edge.

Paul Daly  09:39

Right customer interest. Some of them might make it more like in that but I don't know now we're now we're consulting a building's design. Let's go.

Kyle Mountsier  09:45

Hey, hey, speaking of beautiful buildings segue and you'll know if you've ever been to a Trader Joe's why this makes a whole lot of sense for me to space speaking of beautiful buildings because they Always have the customer in mind when they build especially they're there. They're just like one off rooftops that are standalone. So a retail wire feature on the grocery chain Trader Joe's gives a peek behind the curtain from the inside Trader Joe's podcast. Yes, trader, grocery store has a podcast. Can you do that? And

Paul Daly  10:17

can you do that?

Kyle Mountsier  10:19

Are you allowed to do that? Talking about why is earn extreme loyalty and sort of summon has become an example of great company culture, the secret sauce, according to Thai, a guy a store manager in Colorado is get this. I pay plans or pensions or company cars. It's hiring nice people who really love people. He has the shirt on. Oh, man, it's absolutely great. You you pulled out a few quotes from this because it was like every single thing just draws a straight line to the industry that we're in. And and the idea of going, Hey, look, we're going to we're going to leverage people to create the great company culture instead of like, trying to pack all these things in that that amplifier try to try to make a company culture great. And, man,

Paul Daly  11:15

so So first of all, we skipped over what we didn't get what we breezed past it. But Trader Joe's has a podcast where they talk about their culture and their operations. That is a part piece of our advice to every organization out there, whether you're listening and you're a dealership, or you're an industry partner, right? It is great to make organic content. Yeah, maybe you won't get covered in retail why, but maybe you will. But the most important thing is you will be reminding yourself and your people what is important to you. So some quotes from this. It says it's hard to talk about Trader Joe's without talking about love. Because if you talk to anyone about Trader Joe's they eventually mentioned it. They love a product. They love shopping at our stores, but a lot of it is they love working here. And that's what makes the culture another quote. The goal is to hire. Okay, lean in on this. Because everyone's talking about hiring, who do I hire? How do I find to hire nice, kind, empathetic individuals and turn them loose, right? You got to hire the people with that demeanor. And then you let them go. And he says we hired you for a reason we hired you for you. You don't have to become something you're not right or transform you into something that is Trader Joe's. Funny how that works. Here's one more that I need to read. And this is something that is a little bit of our vision for for the automotive industry QA that you put so eloquently. He said people who express their love for Trader Joe's in the application are the ones that really catch our eye. They put a couple sentences about why they want to work here. They shop with us for years. They grew up on Trader Joe's and he says that's important. There's a little something Kyle about us getting to the place where people have that belief and

Kyle Mountsier  12:51

innate desire to be a part of the culture that they've seen and experienced growing up or doing business with this innate desire to go I've done business with or I've experienced or I've watched other people fall in love with that industry or that or that company, that I would so much desire to be a part of that culture. Ring a bell

Paul Daly  13:15

ringing a bell, you know, we see see that a lot of the great operators across the country who have this culture, they get so many people that want to work there from people who have like done business there bought a car there, fix you know car there or talk to someone else who did that. So like when you invest in your company culture or your facility or focus on customer experience. You're not just selling a car, right, you're recruiting at the same time and you're building your culture at the same time. So this retail wire, you can click through it we put all the links to what we talked about in the show notes. So I like to read through the comments and retail wire has one of the best comments sections anywhere else because they vet the people who comment which is a good thing. One executive commented on the West Coast if you want great customer centric talent you look for people that have worked at In and Out Burger or Trader Joe's. So little tip for you. If you're a dealer and you're trying to find great empathetic guide people start shopping and Trader Joe's building some relationships.

Kyle Mountsier  14:15

Imagine if one day there was an article. And everybody was like if you're in the US and you want great customer centric talent, you look for people that work in car business. What if that was the case? That's that's on

Paul Daly  14:31

its way. Hey, that's the future we're working to. That's why you are here. That's why we're all here is to make this industry. A beacon for what it actually is. Is an industry that loves people more than it loves cars. Go get your Monday

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