Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group
With you every step of the way
Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group (VWAG)is with you every step of the way—from the early years of wanting a practical, economical car to the later years, ready for a prestige ride. While the company specializes in premium brands, the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group always offers customers a premium experience, whether the brand purchased is premium or not.
All in the family
The Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group is a family business in every sense—from the personalized service they provide to customers, to the emphasis on improving employees’ quality of life. In addition to Vaughn Wyant as president and CEO, VWAG employs son Michael as general sales manager for Saskatchewan dealerships and son Phillip as comptroller.
As well, Vaughn’s partner Lori Leach is the founder and president of Kinetic Design; an independent advertising and design firm responsible for all VWAG marketing. If that’s not enough, the finance manager for VWAG’s Audi and Mercedes-Benz dealerships is the husband of Vaughn’s daughter Melissa (who is also an entrepreneur, with her own local salon).
Importance of customer service
With a business model built on customer satisfaction, the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group understands that the underlying driver of its business is reputation. VWAG has cultivated a reputation for providing an unmatched customer experience through conscientiously living its mission: “honesty of practice, care for customers and employees alike and essential support for community.”
“We strive to be better than the best in everything that we do,” says Michael Wyant. “You can work on labour rates and pricing all day long, but at the end of the day, if someone walks into your showroom and they are not treated properly, they’re not going to buy a car from you. And they’re going to tell 10 people why they didn’t.”
“We’ve had so many people come onto our floors because of the experience they’ve had elsewhere and they rave about the way they’re treated and the level of respect. That starts at the top and filters through. People need to walk out of here, even if they haven’t bought something, with a better experience and a smile on their face.”
Getting into the car business in the late 1970s, Vaughn Wyant acquired his first dealership at the age of 26 in Carstairs, Alberta. Building on his knowledge and experience, he soon added the dealership in Beiseker, Alberta to the roster. In 1983, Vaughn seized the opportunity to return to Saskatoon and buy out his former boss at Jubilee Ford, and the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group was born.
“Jubilee Ford is really the mother ship that has driven all of our growth. There have been some small dealerships that have come and gone. We are at 12 dealerships now (seven in Saskatchewan, five in British Columbia), though the majority of our growth really happened in the last five to seven years,” says Michael Wyant. “We’ve really sprouted dramatically.”
Controlling six of Saskatchewan’s nine premium dealers, VWAG holds a strong competitive advantage. With such high visibility in the marketplace, the likelihood of a sale increases greatly with the infusion of quality customer service. “If we can do our jobs well,” says Michael, “We have a pretty high chance of closing the sale.”
Like many companies over the past few years, VWAG has faced challenges with the economic downturn. “Whenever business is tough, it allows you to look in the mirror and figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong,” explains Michael. “I think all dealers have been affected by it. We picked an interesting time to build a couple of new stores in British Columbia, because right when we finished construction the economy started to crash. We’ve been affected by it, but we’ve learned from it. We have been fortunate, however, that in Saskatchewan, specifically, the economy has stayed so strong.”
Offering such a broad selection of products and services alleviates much of the need for customers to go anywhere else. VWAG’s abundant service offerings include car washing and detailing, parts and service, quick lube and more. The idea is that long after a vehicle is purchased, the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group can maintain an active relationship with the customer by providing quality services that simplify the ownership experience.
“We’ve applied those concepts throughout our organization and we’ve gotten better as a result. Whenever business is bad, you look at your internal process. How well are people trained, how well are they living up to expectations and how well are theytreating customers? You sharpen your process by doing that and you eliminate those obstacles,” says Michael.
“Buying a car should be easy and it should be fun, but a lot of dealers make the experience difficult. We try not to do that.”
Selection that meets any lifestyle
Weaving itself into the fabric of Saskatchewan society, the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group offers an impressive lineup of cars including Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and more.
“We really try to offer every type of vehicle for every different scenario in someone’s life —from the Ford Focus to the Porsche 911,” Michael explains. “That’s how we’ve built lifetime customers. They never have to go anywhere else.”
Continuing to do business with a knowledgeable and trusted supplier is a tremendous consumer incentive. “There can be no greater comfort than really knowing the personality and reputation of the company to which such a major purchase is made,” says Michael.
The Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group was awarded a Porsche Cars Canada franchise in July, dubbed “Porsche of Saskatchewan,” which is set to serve the entire province. In fact, a group from the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group was invited to test drive the new car line across Saskatchewan as part of a ‘Tour de Porsche’ Canadian circuit. The event showcased what Porsche has to offer and left potential customers with the famous “Porsche smile.” With locations throughout Saskatchewan and British Columbia and a customer focus that is second to none, VWAG continues to grow and has proven that it’s here to stay.
For more information, the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group can be reached online at www.vwag.ca.