From the moment you walk into the dealership, you should feel like you're in the presence of enthusiasts.
Over the past few years, it's become clear that Dodge is by far the coolest brand in America, if not the world. This is a company that gives enthusiasts what they want, creating cars like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with supercar levels of horsepower at a relatively affordable price. Part of the success of the brand is down to its unique marketing campaigns, and as a result, the Challenger has been one of the best-selling cars in its segment for years. But Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis doesn't want anyone at the company to rest on their laurels and is determined to ensure that anyone who walks into a dealership feels as if they are being welcomed by true gearheads.
Dodge had previously announced that select dealers would be known as Dodge Power Brokers, and Kuniskis wants to ensure that these dealers and others continue to stand out from the competition. Speaking with Automotive News, Kuniskis recalled his early days as a salesman when a manager told him to sell more than a car; he had to sell the store too.
"[There are] over 40 brands in the mainstream market," said the CEO. "[There are] over 300 nameplates. There's a massive overlap. So if you don't have an identity ... you're just going to keep recycling the same people that are within the brand and like the brand, and you're never, ever, ever going to grow, and you're never going to be able to change the positioning of the brand."
According to Michael Smith, a Power Brokers salesman at Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Florida, training lasts several weeks and the courses were more challenging than he expected. The final exam alone had over 200 questions, and Smith needed to get at least 90% of the answers correct in order to pass. His training for the other Stellantis brands was not quite as extensive or difficult: "This was like a blank slate of just starting from the beginning," said Smith, "and really having to dig in deep and learn the product and learn the direction that Dodge is trying to go with this program."
As Dodge looks to alternative energy for its future, this sort of enthusiasm for the brand and its products will help retain existing customers and attract new ones. Other automakers should take note, because, at the end of the day, you're buying more than just a car - you're buying an experience.