While pricing and product are important, this fleet professional recognizes the importance of providing excellent service.
Jonathan Dollinger is a busy man. As the Director of Corporate Accounts for the entire Policaro Group, which includes seven dealerships, he’s always on the move serving the needs of all his fleet customers.
While the Policaro Group covers an array of brands, including Acura, BMW, Harley Davidson, Honda, Lexus, Porsche, and Toyota, it’s no surprise the lion’s share of the Group’s fleet business comes from Toyota.
“Lexus has a new fleet program, which was launched Sept. 1, 2018, and it’s been great,” Dollinger admits, “but the vast majority of our fleet business is with Toyota.”
An experienced pro
Dollinger has been in the auto industry for over 30 years. He started as a car jockey for one of the large rental companies and also got involved in the taxi business.
“I would sell former rental vehicles, converting them into taxis, and I’d bring vehicles in from the U.S., fit them with propane, and sell them to the taxi industry here in Canada,” he explains.
Dollinger’s experience in the rental and taxi businesses evolved and progressed naturally into fleets. He’s been with the Policaro Group now for ten years. “I’ve never done retail, and never been on a sales floor,” he adds. “I’ve always been on the fleet side of the business.”
Much has changed in the past ten years, least of which is customer demand. “The market as a whole has shifted from mid-size sedans to SUVs,” Dollinger says. “Ten years ago our top sellers were Camry and Corolla. Now it’s the RAV4 and Highlander and on the Lexus side the NX and the UX.”
Safety is more important than ever, and brands like Toyota are stepping up to the plate by offering a complete suite of safety technologies as standard equipment on virtually all their models. “I get asked about Toyota’s Safety Sense quite a bit,” Dollinger says. “I think safety features and technologies are as important as the vehicle itself today. Anything that can help assist drivers and keep them out of harm’s way is important to a fleet.”
All about service
Hesitant to give away his trade secrets, Dollinger isn’t eager to talk in-depth about the level of service he offers fleet customers. All he’s willing to reveal is that service is what sets him apart from the pack.
“We obviously have to be aggressive with pricing, which we are, but I’ve found that service is at the core of our success,” he explains. “Even though we’re working with the fleet market, there’s still a driver behind the steering wheel. We have to keep that in mind, and the entire experience has to be professional and responsive.
“I work with an excellent assistant and associate, and we’re sure to put our best foot forward. What I mean is that we sell one vehicle at a time, even though we may be selling ten. We want to make sure we’re delivering a premium experience to each and every driver.
“Those who know me appreciate what it takes to put a fleet deal together. They also know that in the end, it’s all about the service.”