GM dealership turns recall repairs into new car sales

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- GM CEO Mary Barra apologized last month for safety problems and recalls that damaged the company's reputation. However, a Holland dealership is turning the problem into more car sales.

Car dealers at Denooyer Chevrolet in Holland seem to have found the key to success, even with some GM vehicles failing to work properly.

"You take a tough situation and if you can take care of the customers, you can turn it into a positive experience," says Dominique Denooyer, sales manager for Denooyer Chevrolet.

The dealership is turning an ignition switch recall into new car sales.

"We've had five vehicles that we had people on the recall list, had their vehicle in for a recall, and ended up being able to switch them to a brand new Chevrolet," says Denooyer. "Those were five extra sales, those people weren't naturally coming into our dealership."

Denooyer says he's focused on old-fashioned customer service. WZZM 13 asked him if he was surprised it was so easy to sell a new vehicle to customers with a recalled car.

"I think the biggest thing is anytime there's a customer interaction you want to make it a positive experience," says Denooyer. There are recalls going on in every manufacturer. It's presenting them (customers) an option that their payments is affordable and they can upgrade their vehicle position."

In addition to selling new vehicles, dealerships also gets reimbursed by GM for repairing the recalled vehicles. Then dealers can resell the recalled vehicles, after they are fixed.

"All these people need a repair, so you get the list, they get mailed a letter, they come in, GM pays us, and that's a good little niche for us," says Denooyer.

Car dealers with Denooyer Chevrolet says they've fixed between 30 and 40 recalled vehicles in the past two weeks.They say it only takes about an hour to repair the problem with the ignition switch.


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