Blogger Event at Ricart Automotive Auto Mall..
A couple of weeks ago, Ricart Automotive Group invited local bloggers to a day at their Mega Mall in Columbus Ohio. We were invited to tour their facility and spend the day learning about their company. I have to be honest and say that auto dealerships are not a place that I like to visit.
Here is how buying a vehicle works in our house. My husband announces it is time for me to have a new vehicle – which means he sells his current vehicle (usually to one of our children) and starts driving mine. He always asks me if I have any thoughts on the type of vehicle. LOL…I don’t know why he asks me. My answer has been the same for over 20 years. In fact, I have seen one vehicle in the dozen or more than we have owned prior to being purchased. My answer is always: I want automatic transmission, AC/HEAT, at least 4 doors, and NOT black or white in color. That’s it. I think I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to vehicle demands. Once that is out on the table, I am done with the vehicle purchasing decision. He can’t bribe or drag me to look at vehicles. Nope, I would rather get my teeth pulled than go car shopping!
So, once every stopped laughing that I was attending a day at an auto mall, I was given a list of cars to be on the lookout for as I toured the facility.
Upon arriving at the location, I was amazed at the size! The property went on and on – with vehicles of every shape, size and color neatly lined up. Just think about how large this place would need to be to have a traffic light inside the lot! Really?
Our first speaker was Lisa Woodruff from Organize365.com. She spoke to us about various ways to organize our vehicle. Some of her points were things that I was already doing as I send way too much time shuttling children and need to have extras on hand for emergencies (clothes, bottles, snacks). Other ideas were truly brilliant such as using the cubby areas in the trunk/storage space for keeping extra phone/tablet chargers, extra business cards, and other items that can be used to work while waiting on a child or at an appointment. Since we homeschool, our children often have their lesson books or laptops with them and have been known to work on Math, History or Web design while waiting on someone to finish a class. I have incorporated several of Lisa’s tips since her presentation.
Our next speaker was Rick Ricart. He is the third generation of the Ricart family to be a part of the business that was founded over fifty years ago by Paul Ricart. His son Paul (Fred) Jr. and his brother Rhett now co-own the company. Rick was so entertaining and spoke with such passion about of growing up at Ricart. He shared that just because your last name was Ricart, you still had to earn your way and he started at the bottom of the rank.
More importantly, he shared that several years ago; the company decided to break away from the stereotypical “Car Dealers” mentality and became employee centered. Under this new plan, the company has thrived and the employee moral as well. Some of the suggestions of the employees resulted in a Subway and a gym being built on property. For the customers, Enterprise has opened a rental location on site as well. Their goal is to make buying your next car a Fast, Easy and Fun experience!
Ricart is leading in the auto industry with their online pictures of the actual cars on their lots. Every car is photographed in their 360 photo booth! This room was impressive. A vehicle was being shot while we were touring and to watch the vehicle turn around on the turntable while being filmed both inside and out was simple fascinating to watch.
Now, if you are like me and don’t like the physical looking at vehicles; this rocks! I have even been to their website to look at a couple of vehicles since visiting.
The thing that impressed me the most was that the staff did not have the typical “car lot” approach. I spoke with several salesmen and mechanics. They were all friendly and willing to stop and answer my questions.
We were treated to a wonderful lunch and spent time with the staff and other bloggers from the area.
Ricart recently partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities in their latest commercial. These are all Ronald McDonald House volunteers, not actors. Take a look at their fun and spooky Revive Your Drive Commercial.
As far as my experience, I was so impressed that I came home and told my husband about the vehicles that I saw and even offered to take a drive with him to spend a day looking at vehicles! YES… I had to pick my husband up off the floor! He hasn’t cashed in that offer yet, but I expect we will be driving to Columbus soon. If Ricart in Columbus Ohio can make auto shopping enjoyable for someone like me…..you really should give them a chance.