Team aims to sell cars at fair prices
Owners of the new Fredericksburg Chevrolet Buick GMC are focusing on being part of this community.
The new dealership, at the previous Bob Price Chevrolet Buick GMC location, 1225 Texas 16 South, opened in late June.
Martin Dinh, the company’s vice president, chief operating officer and general manager, said they are working with Fredericksburg Independent School District and Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce to try to build its relationship with the town.
“I think we all have similar goals for our community and we all want our visions to line up,” Dinh said.
Another way they’ve tried to express this focus is by naming the dealership after the town, a move they also made with their dealership, Ford of Boerne.
“We don’t want to name it after us,” Dinh said. “It’s important to be named after the community we serve.”
Another priority of the dealership is education.
“One of our owners, Melissa Martinez-Smith, is very involved with school districts,” Dinh said, noting she’s still on the school board at Sharyland Independent School District in the McAllen area, where they are from.
Dinh said they want to work with the Fredericksburg Independent School District to educate students on the automobile business. They are also trying to provide internships for FISD students.
The dealership plans to offer employee pricing to all customers, Dinh said.
He felt like selling a vehicle to somebody for a higher price than it was sold to someone else is not how a company gains community trust.
“You don’t want to sell a vehicle to someone for one price, and then turn around and sell that same car to the person’s mother for higher,” Dinh said.
Also, to help customers get their cars serviced at convenient times, they began opening their store for service and parts at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. They will also start opening for service on Saturdays on Aug. 1.
The store’s hours of operation for sales are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
For service and parts, they are open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Roland Smith, the president, chief executive officer and dealer principal, and his wife, Melissa Martinez-Smith, executive secretary and chief investor, are originally from the McAllen area.
Dinh, who started his career in automotive sales in San Antonio, met the Smiths in 2008.
“I had never seen their types of goals, employee commitment and commitment to the community anywhere else,” Dinh said.
The Smiths worked for a while in the McAllen area and decided they wanted to move to the Hill Country in 2008, so they purchased Jennings Anderson Ford.
Dinh said while they still love Boerne, as they grew, they wanted to expand to the Fredericksburg area.
Dinh met Bob Price through a mutual friend and said their community values and their goals lined up.
“We became very good friends and we were very grateful to get this deal done as quickly as we did,” Dinh said. “For example, it took almost two years to get the Jennings Anderson deal done, but it only took four months to complete the Bob Price deal.”
Dinh said he and the Smiths plan to stay in touch with Price going forward.
Dinh said the dealership team plans to offer health benefits and 401k plans to its employees.
Also, to help retain employees in an area with an affordable housing problem, Dinh said the team plans to offer competitive wages and help pay for moving costs.
“We want our employees living in this town, instead of having to drive here from a different area,” Dinh said. “We want them to feel like they’re working on their neighbor’s car and not a stranger’s.”
Dinh added that it’s more expensive to lose good employees than it is to keep them.