Mmna Dealer Partner Spotlight - Five Questions With David Baum Jr.
July 14, 2020 by MitsubishiFRANKLIN, Tenn. and LEWISVILLE, Texas –
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is celebrating dealer partners who go above and beyond for their communities. They provide more than just a great place to buy a car – they help their home towns thrive in the good times and heal in the challenging times. They rise to the occasion in support of the community, whatever the occasion may be. This month, we are proud to feature David Baum Jr., owner and general manager of Lewisville Autoplex Mitsubishi in Lewisville, Texas.
Five Questions with David Baum Jr.
General Manager, Lewisville Autoplex Mitsubishi
1.You are a third-generation auto dealer. What does it mean for you to be able to successfully carry on the family legacy through Lewisville Autoplex Mitsubishi?
I remember visiting my grandfather's dealership as a little kid. Even then, I was hooked on the business! Today, I get to work alongside my brother, my dad, four of my cousins and three aunts and uncles. We have a lot of fun together! Really, all the dealership employees feel like family. We still have customers who knew my grandfather, and his Dodge dealership, and share stories about him. It is really an honor to carry on the family business, and I hope that one day my kids will continue that legacy.
2. You make it a priority to give back to the community. Notably, you work with Carry the Load, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of military veterans, first responders and their families. Why is it so important for you as a local, business owner to give back to the community?
Giving back to the community is one of the best parts of this business. We have had the opportunity to partner with Carry the Load, the Chris Kyle Memorial Foundation and Live to Give. We offer military discounts in both the sales and service departments and do all we can to help these heroes.
3.In the era of COVID-19, how are you pivoting to make sure your business emerges stronger than ever?
During this uncertain time, we have continued to sell and service cars through door-to-door delivery, complimentary local shipping, complimentary service pickup and delivery, online credit approvals and trade appraisals and virtual test drives. Before COVID-19, our dealership was selling about 20 percent of vehicles to out-of-town buyers. That number has now grown to nearly 40 percent! We are working to make it as easy and as safe as possible for customers to buy our vehicles.
4.This time last year, Lewisville Autoplex Mitsubishi became the first dealership to implement the new, Mitsubishi global dealer visual identity program. How has the new brand changed your business?
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The new dealership has been a tremendous hit with our employees and clients. All the time, we have visitors stop by just to see the new space. The store setup and our service team have also been vital to the success of our new store. The customer service lounge is now steps away from the new vehicle display, which has led to a big increase in routine service customers upgrading their vehicles.
5.You are known for being innovative for finding new ways to sell cars. What advice do you have for the next generation of auto dealers who are just getting started?
Be ready to continue learning and to continue adapting to an ever-changing business. For example, I am currently taking classes in Washington, D.C. at the National Auto Dealers Association Academy. It is an intensive course, looking at each area of the dealership, combined with hands-on, practical application, and it is the best thing I have done to grow in my career since I started selling cars in 2005.
6.Bonus question! We must ask. We understand you have a great relationship with the Texas sports community. Who was the most memorable athlete you sold a vehicle to, and what brought them into the store?
I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, so selling cars to members of the team is a dream come true. And we have sold seven cars to them in just two years! If I had to choose a favorite athlete, it would have to be Isaiah Stanback. Isaiah came to me looking for a Tesla Model S, and I found it for him. This was the turning point for us getting into the electric car market, which has been a tremendously successful part of the business. Mitsubishi has the best electric vehicle technology, and I believe electric cars are the future. I am excited to work with a company at the forefront of this industry!