Life Lessons Learned At Leif Johnson Ford

I have been working at Leif Johnson Ford for a year this month. As their social media rep, my job title includes blogging, taking pictures and talking to plenty of strangers. Oh, my name’s Christina, by the way. I’m the one usually behind the lens (and words) of Leif Johnson’s social media. I’d like to step to the front for a moment to share just some of the things that working at this family-owned, 60+ year dealership has taught me.

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1. Just ask.

Part of my job entails going up to people I’ve never met before and asking them to take pictures, or to share their experiences. Being someone who hates rejection, this was a little intimidating at first. Sometimes there’s an awkward pause. Sometimes people say no. But most times people smile, or laugh in excitement, or simply say ‘yes.’ Sometimes they can’t wait to share what makes their Ford purchase so special to them. I’d have missed out on a lot of priceless vehicle-buying moments if I’d been too scared to just ask.

2. Ford things

To tell you the truth, my vehicle knowledge was lower than sub-par when I first started working at Leif. But now I can tell you all about the aluminum body and fuel efficiency of the new Ford F-150, or how the 2015 Mustang is designed to look like Mustangs of decades past (but with more tech-savvy features.) Most importantly, after a year of working at Leif, I can honestly tell you that Fords are some of the most reliable, dependable vehicles out there. They really are ‘Built Ford Tough.’

3. Everyone has a story

Like the man in service who has worked at Leif for nearly as long as it’s been a dealership, who remembers Austin before Austin was the cool place to live. Or the woman buying a roomy Ford so she can take her dogs to compete in canine beauty pageants. Or the men buying a new F-150 for their brewery based in Alaska. Or the sync tech who has travelled the world, now working at Leif not necessarily because he has to work, but because he wants to. Everyone has a story. We just have to learn to listen.

4. Just look for the good. It’s out there.

Car dealerships get a bad rep. That’s just how it is. We as people often want to share our bad stories over the good ones. It’s much easier to take time out of the day to write a review when fueled by irritation or annoyance. What these reviews don’t show is what go on in real life every day; The smiling customers, the repeat customers, the overly satisfied customers, the customers who have now forged a friendship with their salesperson. I have seen firsthand that this is the norm at Leif Johnson Ford. Though Leif may not be a perfect dealership, it is a dealership that truly cares. I have watched managers go out of their way to make a situation right, have seen the way employees take care of one another, have taken note of the comradery and laughter that comes with a team event or potluck. Cheesy as it sounds, working at Leif really is like working with a huge family. Being a part of the Leif Johnson team has reminded me that there is good out there, but we’ll probably always hear about the bad stuff first. That’s why it’s important to always take the extra time to search for the good.

To wrap it all up, working at Leif Johnson has taught me to better love and understand Fords and the people that drive them. It’s a pretty sweet gig, y’all.

Back-to-school Carpooling Tips

Summer vacation has come to a close (Can you believe it?) and your kiddos are officially back in school. Has this week been a little more hectic than you would have liked? Is the constant picking up and dropping off throwing your schedule for a loop? It’s not too late to organize a carpooling system with other parents! Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you a few friendly tips on how to get the ball (or the car) rolling on organizing the carpool of your dreams.

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Trust your fellow carpoolers

The goal is to get your kids to school both on time and in one piece. Considering the importance of safety and punctuality, make sure you know and trust the parents you’ll be sharing car pool duties with.

Ask the parents of your children’s friends; Let them know you’re putting together a carpool. The smaller your list of carpool candidates, the more likely your little ones will be in good hands. If you have a few parents in mind, consider a meet-up with them to determine whether the group will work well together.

Organization is key 

So you’ve found your perfect fellow carpooling parents. Now it’s time to execute a plan.

First, organize a schedule that works for everyone involved, starting with a driving rotation. Is it most convenient for one parent to be responsible for for pickup and drop-off on certain days of the week?  Or would it be better for parents to work  out a schedule where each is responsible for one weeks worth of driving? Decide the best plan so that everyone involved is happy and pitching in equally.

Secondly, you’ll need to make sure everyone frequently discusses the carpooling situation. Whether this be in person or over the phone, texting or through smartphone apps like Carpool School Edition or Looptivity, just make sure every parent knows the pickup/drop-off locations and has the rest of the group’s contact info.

Be prepared (And have fun!)

Make sure each parent’s vehicle is equipped with items like an emergency roadside kit, first-aid kits and on-the-go eats for the kids. Ask about food allergies and sensitivities while planning the car pool.

Keep your backseat travelers entertained with more than just their smart phones/tablets by planning road-trip game and conversation ideas ahead of time.

Last but not least: Make a plan, but realize things won’t always go perfectly as planned, and have as much fun with that as you can.

Have any car pooling tips or stories of your own? We’d love to hear them! Comment below with any suggestions or anecdotes you might have! 

2015 Mustang Facts

The 2015 Mustang is estimated to arrive at Leif Johnson Ford in September of 2014! In honor of this upcoming arrival, we wanted to share a few facts about this snazzy new Ford with our followers. Read on, folks.

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Fact 1: Ford is going all out and bringing a touch screen with its MyFord Touch infotainment system.  The car also gets new technological additions such as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems, both of which will make your commute much easier.

Fact 2: This Mustang is both lower and wider than its ancestors. This makes for better cornering capability and will be easier to handle for more drivers.

Fact 3: Ford has gotten rid of the solid rear axle every found in Mustangs of generations past. This gives a new degree of your Mustang will be much more pleasant on rough pavement and less likely to hang the back half out in corners.

Fact 4: A new chassis on the Mustang allows for equipment that will hugely change how the car operates on street and track. It cost Ford a pretty penny, but we think it was worth it.

Fact 5: A Mustang just wouldn’t be a Mustang without that V8 roaring under the hood. Ford is making he same 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 even more powerful than before.t Ford says it will also be more efficient due to a ‘new intake manifold for improved efficiency at low speeds. It will make “at least” 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Wow.We like the sound of that!

Fact 6: The style is new too, y’all. Ford is going for “evolutionary” over “revolutionary,”keeping things similar to the old car. Two noticeable differences between the old and new is this: The new has smoother lines and the same Aston Martin-influenced face found on the Fusion sedan.

Fact 7: This Mustang is the first time that Ford is offering a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque or more.

Fact 8: It’s the first Mustang to be sold worldwide. Our personal opinion is that the best place in the world to buy one would be your local Leif Johnson Ford, right here in Austin, Texas. But we might be just a little biased.

Meet The Team: Bob and Cindy

Meet Bob:

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Bob Boles has been a valued team member of Leif Johnson Ford for thirty years now! Bob works in the service department and, as you can imagine, he has seen a lot of changes throughout the past thirty years!  One thing that hasn’t changed is the friendships he has forged while on the job. When he isn’t working, he enjoys hunting, fishing and hanging out with his fellow team members. We are so thankful to have dedicated and hard-working employees like Bob as part of our Leif Johnson family!

Meet Cindy:

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Cindy Hernandez has been working for Leif for a little over a year and is our latest employee of the month! She works as a finance assistant and tells us she learns something new everyday while at work. “I meet all different sorts of people. Everybody is unique and interesting.”, she goes on to say. With her positive attitude, and helpful and friendly demeanor, it is no wonder she was given the employee of the month title! Congrats to you, Cindy!

Just as each and every customer is important to us at Leif Johnson, so is every single one of our employees. We wouldn’t be the trusted, reliable and nearly 60 year dealership that we are without our amazing team.

Get The Most Out Of Your Test Drive

In the market for a new car but don’t know the first thing about getting started? Have no fear, Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you some simple steps on how to get the most out of your test driving experience.

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1. Make a list of your top vehicle options to narrow down the list a bit. Call us in advance to schedule your test drive and let us know what vehicles you’re interested in driving for the day.

2. Bring your stuff. Load up your purse, your shopping bags and whatever else you normally have in your current vehicle. You may even consider bringing a suitcase. It sounds a little crazy, but it’s good to know that you’ll have space and comfort needed when you’re looking for your new Ford. And we absolutely promise not to look at you funny. We are more than happy to do whatever needed to get you into your new vehicle!

3.  Next, make sure there is the perfect spot for all of your items. Car seats, sunglasses, dry cleaning, phone, briefcase; No item is too trivial to consider. Your car/truck is a spot you’ll be spending a lot of your time, so arrange and rearrange until you know everything feels just right.

4. Again, it’s good to remember that this is going to be a big part of your everyday life once purchased, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable. Does the seat adjust so you feel your coziest? Does the cabin give you enough room so that you’ll feel the vehicle was made just for you? Test out the passenger seat to make sure those driving with you will be just as comfy as you are. We want you to be 100% smitten with your new purchase, so take your time when picking out your perfect Leif Johnson Ford buy.

5. Now it’s time to get on the road! Consider starting out in a parking lot to first work out some of the technicalities. Get a feel for how it feels to park your possible future buy, and how easy it is to see out of all of your windows. Test out the back up camera if you have one.

After this, take the Ford on the highway. See if the car drives smoothly enough for you. If you’re driving up a hill, notice if you are or aren’t comfortable with the power of the vehicle. Note if you feel safe when making sharper turns. Consider asking a friend or your salesman to drive to see if you’ll get car seat as a passenger. Note whether there is a firm or soft break, and how much effort you had to be put into braking the car. Next, try a panic stop and slam the brakes. This will let you know how fast and efficiently your car responds when you’re needing to stop, fast.

Now it’s time for you to visit Leif Johnson Ford and try all of these steps out when looking for your new purchase! And please don’t be afraid to ask us any questions. There is no small or silly question when looking for your dream vehicle, and we are here for you every step of the way!

 

Apps To Help Your Everyday Commute

Have a long commute every morning and evening? There’s an app for that! Leif Johnson Ford wants to share 7 ways to make your weekly commute just a little bit better! Read on, folks!

1. Waze

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30 million users and counting can’t be wrong, especially when  these users are contributing to accurate and up to date travel info! Be in the know on current road conditions, access voice-guided navigation and join/create groups to share your traffic knowledge to the world. Best of all? It’s free!

2. Songza

Also free to use, Songza lets you choose from a list of playlists based on things such as the time of day and even your mood,  It’s the perfect way to wind down, even in the midst of stop and go traffic!

3. SmartPark

If you’re prone to forgetting where you parked your car (a bad way to start off your commute home!), then do we have the perfect app for you! SmartPark guides you back to your vehicle by using location, altitude and even a handy dandy built in compass!

4. GasBuddy

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Let’s face it, gas is not the cheapest thing around these days. Let GasBuddy help by finding you the cheapest gas in your area!

5. Inrix Traffic

Another traffic app, but this one uses its Smart Driver Network instead of being user based. This Smart Drive Network collects information from road sensors and collaborates with traffic providers and other trusted sources to provide maps showing live traffic and predicted traffic. For added convenience,  current conditions are compared to normal road conditions to give you a better idea of what exactly your commute will look like today.

6. Car Minder

Car Minder is similar to Inrix, but even more useful. Track your car’s miles, check when you’ll need an oil change, log mileage and fuel economy and even email this info to others!

7. Textecution

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Textecution is the only app on the list that comes with a price tag (29.99) , and with good reason. It could potentially be lifesaving! This app is advanced enough to know how fast you’re driving, and will keep you from accessing certain functions if driving over 15 miles an hour. Safety and innovation!

Leif Johnson Ford hopes to keep you happy, safe and informed on your commute to and from work! We hope this helps, and if there’s anything WE can do to make your commute better, give us a call!

 

 

Customer Highlight: The Levines

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Father and son duo Steve and Alex Levine are absolutely loving their new Ford King Ranch. In fact, there wasn’t anything they didn’t love about their experience with us at Leif Johnson Ford. Steve, enthusiastic and talkative, chats with us about what a great time he had buying his new truck. The last time he bought a truck was back in 2004, and he laughs when he realizes that two of the team members he’s talking with (The Social Media Rep and the Sync Tech)own  job titles that probably weren’t even around back then. (Times may change, but after over 50 years of business, you can bet the excellent service at Leif Johnson Ford sure doesn’t!)  When asked further about his time spent with us, he lets us know that his sync tech Peter is funny enough to be a stand up comedian, except for the fact that he was momentarily  sitting down.

Joking aside, Steve says that his salesman Leo was pretty awesome too. “I gave him three chances to beat other dealership prices and he was able to beat them every single time.” Despite all the laughter going on in that King Ranch, he made it clear that the unbeatable deals at Leif Johnson Ford were no laughing matter.

Come see the experience the Levines are raving about by stopping by one of your local Leif Johnson Ford locations today!