Gaining a new customer when they purchase a new or used car or truck is great. Keeping that customer throughout the lifetime of that car or truck is even better. That’s why Huber Chevrolet – winner of the Best Car Dealership for 2015’s “Best of the Big O” – looks at its customers in the long term.
“A car sale is pretty quick, maybe a couple of hours out of your life. But keeping those customers through the service department is a long-term relationship,” said Anne McKinney, Customer Service Manager.
“We want to keep you as a customers from the time you bought the car all the way through the time you own the car.”
It’s an approach that has won Huber Chevrolet a legion of loyal customers.
“We treat our customers just like I’d want someone to treat my mom, treat my dad, brothers, sisters. It’s a family owned business and that flows through the entire culture,” McKinney said. “And we take pride in that. We want the Huber name to be spoken well of throughout the city.”
Ron Huber started his dealership in 1975. He still goes into work at Huber Chevrolet every day. His son, Bret Huber, now runs the Huber Cadillac business, while his son-in-law, Brian Allen, runs the Huber Chevrolet Sales Department. The entire Huber company is located at 11102 West Dodge Road, where it began in 1975.
“We used to be on the outskirts of Omaha, and now we’re considered almost the middle of the city,” McKinney said. “But we’ve grown, too. We had enough land to expand, and we’ve been fortunate to have that.”
Huber Chevrolet, along with the rest of the automotive industry, has also had to grow in the area of technology.
“We’ve had to keep up with technology and training – fixing modern day cars is like fixing computers, so everybody has to be trained to that extent.”
Chevrolet is ahead of many auto brands in that all of its 2016 model cars will have optional in-car Wi-Fi. The entire line will also be compatible with Apple Play and Google Android Auto, both of which connect to a car’s in-dash digital screen display. Basically, they allow you to synch your smartphone to your car.
“Car drivers want their cars to be an extension of their home. Everything needs to be mobile and at your fingertips and ready to go,” McKinney said. “It’s no different than having everything on your phone, now they want to have it in their car.
“We’re not a society that sits at home anymore. Your running your kids, your traveling to work, you’re doing whatever – your car has become your second residence, and you can do everything from your car now. Our cars are hotspots for your Wi-Fi so your kids can play all their Internet stuff off of your car being the hot spot. Your emails can be pulled up on the navigational screen – it’s just a way of life.”
And Huber Chevrolet is at the forefront of this new in-car technology.
“If you don’t continue to educate your employees to teach their customers how to use it, then everybody is going to be behind. “
In addition to adding modern tech to their cars, Chevy is also among those offering an electric hybrid. At Huber, the Chevy Volt is one of the plug-in hybrids they sell. They also sell the Cadillac ELR.
“We’re equipped here to service all of them, because you have to have special training and special equipment, and we do have a built-in plug-in station here on premises,” McKinney said. “
“The (electric car) movement has not hit the Midwest obviously as much as it has on the east and west coasts. It will come. People that have them, love them, swear by them. They totally believe in them. But to get it out in the mainstreams, it hasn’t happened as much here.”
At Huber, the best-sellers include the Chevy Equinox, a crossover SUV, and the Chevy Silverado pickup line of trucks.
“And then on the Cadillac side, the whole line has exploded,” McKinney said. “They’ve revamped themselves and have made themselves look younger and more hip.”
While young entrepreneurs are enjoying their first Cadillac, there are still veteran businesspeople who are buying the latest Cadillac models. Last year, Omaha’s Warren Buffett bought a 2014 Cadillac XTS from Huber Chevrolet.
“His daughter (Buffett’s daughter, Susie Buffett) came in and shopped for him, and she didn’t tell anyone who she or her dad was,” McKinney said. “Our salesperson talked with her and ended up suggesting the CTS for him. It’s great; he loves it. And he still services it here.”
Looks like Huber has another long-term customer.
11102 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68154