It just makes sense that a family-centered auto dealership priding itself on relationships would result from a solid foundation of friendship. In the case of Atlas Motors, that was co-owners Mike Lewis and Andy Baltz’s friendship-turned-partnership when the dealership opened its doors seventeen years ago.
“On my first day in the car business, I knew whose job I wanted – the owner’s,” says Lewis, who started out as a car salesman in 1987. “I also knew I wanted every job between myself and the owner to work my way up.” Lewis worked in retail until the mid-1990s when he decided to make a transition and go into the wholesale auto business.
Meanwhile, Baltz was deciding between medical school and selling cars – he had a small lot with about thirty cars. The two connected when Baltz reached out to Lewis to expand his inventory.
Lewis and Baltz became friends, and Lewis offered some knowledge about the used auto industry from his years spent in retail. As business started growing for Baltz, talk of merging the two companies started to come up. While Lewis was initially against the idea, three years later he agreed and the two bought a piece of property together.
Nearly two decades later, Lewis credits much of the success of the business to the family-centered atmosphere at Atlas Motors. “The culture of our dealership is family,” says Lewis. “We stay with our customers – used cars are generally sold as is, but that’s not the way we do it.” He estimates that 35% of his customers are repeats and 30% are referrals, so nurturing existing customers is a top priority. “Our slogan is ‘Families Trust Atlas’ – and it’s true,” he says. Atlas Motors is one of the few independent used auto dealers with a Better Business Bureau membership and an A+ rating, according to Lewis, and they work hard to maintain that reputation.
There are other facets of the industry that Lewis thinks Atlas Motors does better than other independent used auto dealerships. “We try to be on the forefront of adapting to the needs of our customer base,” says Lewis. “When I first got into the business all advertising was done on paper – in magazines and whatnot. And many independents have hesitated to upgrade to digital because it’s complex.” The Atlas Motors team, however, has not only upgraded but taken their online presence to the next level by tracking high-level data. “We are data rich,” Lewis explains. He and his team needed a strong web provider to support their data-driven efforts.
Prior to partnering with Dealer Spike in 2016, Atlas Motors’ previous website was “first generation, with first generation tools,” Lewis explains. The previous provider failed to grow with time. Vital upgrades such as responsive software and optimized search fell by the wayside. When Lewis and his team were introduced to Dealer Spike, they were impressed by the level of engagement they received and willingness to accommodate to Atlas Motors’ digital needs. “Dealer Spike was open to learning more and growing with us,” Lewis says.
Atlas Motors saw an average of 250% increase in leads per month in the first year after switching from the past provider, and the team was impressed. Lewis commends the staff at Dealer Spike, calling the relationships he’s built “real and perpetual.” He says, “We’ve worked together to create the best digital presence possible.”
“Dealer Spike is proud to partner with Atlas Motors,” says Jay Mason, CEO of Dealer Spike. “This team provides a great example of an auto dealership that has consistently adapted to the changing landscape of digital marketing.”
The Atlas Motors team is committed to quality in what they offer and in what they do. They take the extra step to cultivate relationships with lenders to get customers the best financing available. They go beyond what is expected from a typical small business by giving back to the local community as well as national foundations and causes.
What Atlas Motors and Dealer Spike have in common is a genuine desire to take care of customers. While Atlas Motors goes above and beyond for their buyers – checking all recalls, getting fixes done prior to sale, and running the vehicle through a double inspection process for safety and quality – Dealer Spike also makes customer experience and value the #1 goal. Staying ahead of the game in technology, keeping customer service at the forefront, and a consistent willingness to learn are all priorities for both Atlas Motors and Dealer Spike, making the two a good match and a solid partnership.
One of the largest and highest-rated used car dealerships in the Portland area, Atlas Motors has been serving automotive needs for over seventeen years. The dealership has a huge inventory of used cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that stretches over two city blocks with new inventory arriving every day of the week.
Dealer Spike is a digital advertising software-as-a-service (SaaS) company focused on helping dealers increase leads and sales online. The company provides innovative, powerful, distinctive web solutions and tools to thousands of dealers worldwide. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a passion for listening and responding to dealers’ needs in the marketplace.