Americans of a certain age are familiar with tales told to them by their parents that start with the iconic phrase, “When I was your age …” The story often includes bits about walking to school in the snow, which was usually uphill both ways.
Today’s version might go like this: “When I was your age, we had to appear in person at a car dealership to buy a car. And we kept that car for 10 years. And each time it needed service, we had to drive the car to the dealership and sit and wait for them to service the car.” At which point, shocked gasps will fill the air.
Don’t believe me? Just ask James Boening, executive general manager of Ourisman Lexus of Rockville.
“We are doing everything we can to engage our clients wherever they want to be,” he says. “It’s what clients want,” he adds, referring to a slew of changes being introduced at the dealership since Chris Ourisman, the president and new owner took over in January 2019.
“If they want us to come to their home to sell them a car, if they want to do paperwork through the mail, we are no longer like, ‘You gotta come in.’ We are actually creating some apps and tools to help clients do the total transaction without ever coming into the store if they don’t want,” James says.
Ourisman also offers pick-up and delivery for service clients.
“You do not have to come in,” James says. “You call and set up an appointment or set it up with an app. We bring them a loaner. We pick up their car. We service and wash the car, and we deliver their car back to them. We have a lot of people who are super interested. They don’t have to waste any time.”
This month, the dealership is rolling out another innovation that James says is gaining steam elsewhere in the country, but he believes his dealership is among the first in the DMV to offer it. It’s called a subscription service, and James says it will be app-driven.
“You just pay a monthly fee, and you can drive any cars on our lot from a fleet of previously owned cars that are not more than a few years old. The fee covers the monthly payment, service, insurance and maintenance. You can come in and out and swap cars as much as you want,” he explains, adding that millennials are happy to pay one amount that covers everything. “It’s a huge market getting ready to explode.”
For those seeking something even bigger and newer to make a huge statement, the dealership offers what James calls a brand within brand but is officially known as the Ourisman Grand Collection.
“We take brand-new cars, and we build them to look completely different—new wheels, new exterior packages. These are significantly different compared to stock cars. These are super high-level impactful cars.”
A stock Lexus sells for about $45,000 to $70,000. Cars in the Ourisman Grand Collection sell for about $80,000 to $150,000.
“We have already sold 15 of them, and we are building more,” James says.
Upgrading the physical appearance of the dealership is another element of the changes being ushered in at Ourisman.
“The entire store will be redone,” he says. “It will be way more futuristic and more streamlined and will flow better. And there will be iPads all over.”
It will be fun to watch the next generation explain that to their grandchildren.
December to Remember
In December, Lexus offers massive price incentives, and clients who purchase a car in December from Ourisman Lexus of Rockville will receive a year of complimentary pick-up and delivery service. For the proper presentation on Christmas morning, they can also lend you a big red bow.