Sweeney Dealerships Score GM Hat Trick

BOARDMAN, Ohio – As the trophies made their trips around the showroom, passed from employee to employee, Doug Sweeney made note of just how important the three Mark of Excellence awards given his dealerships are.

“This is our Stanley Cup,” said the president of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC. “It’s something that’s hard to win every year and it takes a huge team effort.”

The award from Chevrolet in his hands, one employee asked, “Does that mean we all get to kiss it? Can we take it home and spend a day with it?” referring to the decades-old traditions that go along with winning the NHL championship, the same traditions that the Pittsburgh Penguins will celebrate this summer.

Every year, General Motors Co. presents the Mark of Excellence to its top dealerships based on things such as sales results compared to GM’s projections, customer retention and service satisfaction. Only 300 or so awards are given in any year.

This year, Sweeney was given three – one for each of the brands it represents – a hat trick, if you will. In hockey, a player who scores three goals in a game is credited with a hat trick.

“It’s difficult to win one, let alone all three. … You have to do pretty much everything right to make the cut,” Sweeney said after the award presentation. “It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of support from our team and our customers and our friends and Lordstown who set the pace for this big GM influence in this market.”

Winning the awards is nothing new for the two Sweeney dealerships. The Chevrolet store has won a Mark of Excellence every year since 2004 except 2009 and 2012. Across the street from the Chevy dealership, the Sweeney GMC franchise won the award in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and the Buick franchise was given the award in 2007 and 2011 through 2015.

“When you see a decade’s worth of awards, it shows consistency in their approach to how they treat customers,” said Bryan Wunsche, zone manager for Chevrolet. “As a consumer, when I look to buy a vehicle, I’m going to look for the dealership that gives exceptional customer service, not just once or twice, but over a long period of time.”

Last year, the Sweeney dealerships were among the top five in the Mahoning Valley for car sales. The Chevrolet dealership was ranked second and delivered 2,741 cars, while the Buick GMC store finished fifth with 2,239 sold.

Wunsche noted, however, that while sales play a role in who gets the award, it’s much more about customer service.

“It reflects not only sales excellence but also customer experience excellence,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about: treating the customer well and giving people an experience when they come to buy or service a vehicle.”

Even with a score of awards adorning the two showrooms, Sweeney said that the joy of winning never goes away. It’s a result of a year’s worth of daily hard work.

“It never goes away because you know how hard it is to accomplish this,” he said. “We’re grateful and, like anything, you have to take the time to celebrate.”

Pictured at the awards ceremony are Kevin Whitaker, Chevy district sales manager; Bryan Wunsche, Chevrolet zone manager; Doug Sweeney, president Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC; Dean Ciccoritti, Buick GMC zone manager; Steve Taylor, Buick GMC district manager of aftersales; and Andrew Snelling, Buick GMC  District sales manager.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.