Calgary auto dealer Woodridge Ford Lincoln once again proved to be a leader in its field when it was awarded the President’s Diamond Club Award for 2016 – the highest award bestowed on Canadian Ford dealers – by Ford of Canada’s new president, Mark Buzzell. Having won the President’s Award over 20 times in the last 34 years, Woodridge is again at the top of its class as a Diamond Club Award winner – in the top five of the eight President’s Award winners in Western Canada.
“The Diamond Club Award recognizes our dealers who not only do a really great job with sales and service but also those who do a really great job of taking care of our customers,” says Buzzell. “It’s not really an award from Ford Motor Company but an award from our customers, because it’s based on customer satisfaction surveys.”
To qualify for the award, a Ford dealer must achieve at least 85 per cent of both car and truck share – a requirement Woodridge has no problem meeting. The second differentiating measurement is customer service. This is measured via surveys which are emailed directly to both sales and service customers from Ford of Canada. “The award recognizes the fact that this store here does a really great job of taking care of its customers,” Buzzell says.
Gerry Wood, dealer principal and founder of the Wood Automotive Group, was delighted with the award. “It means we have provided customer service to the highest level, and that’s something we pride ourselves on.”
Buzzell, who took over his new role in January, has been with Ford since 1989, in a variety of marketing, sales and service positions across the United States, the Caribbean and Central America. Within Canada, he notes the strength of the western regions in particular. “The western part of the country are our highest performing dealers – it’s amazing,” he lauds. “Some of the sales this year and the customer satisfaction scores have been so high.”
He says while both Ford and the overall industry are doing very well this year, it is dealers out West that are driving the largest year-over-year improvements. In fact, while the initial industry forecast at the beginning of this year was lower than last year’s record, it has since been adjusted to what could be another all-time record. Last year, Ford sales were approximately 304,000; Buzzell expects a greater number this year.
He highlights a few things to look forward to later this year: a refreshed 2018 model F-150 as well as an all-new Expedition and Navigator for the first time in 10 years. “We’re actually number one in SUV sales in Canada and most people don’t know that; they just think of us as selling full-sized pickup trucks,” he says. “So we’re really excited to continue to grow SUV sales with the new Expedition and new Navigator.”
He’s also looking forward to continuing to work with the 427 dealer partners Ford of Canada has across the country, including Wood. “I’ve had a chance to get to know Gerry over the last six months and he’s a tremendous person. You can tell that his people really love working here, and that’s one of the things we see at our better dealerships: if you’ve got employees who really love working there, are engaged and empowered to do great things, you’re going to be very successful.”