Thanks for joining us for another edition of Meetin’ Go Wednesdays! This week is an extra exciting edition because our two guests have both recently been promoted to their new roles among the Wheaton Honda staff. Meetin’ Go Wednesdays veteran Ian Clark has been promoted to assistant general manager, which means we now have a new pre-owned sales manager and new assistant pre-owned sales manager.
This week we will meet our brand-new used car managers and get to know them a little bit so that you know who our wonderful managers are the next time you stop into Wheaton Honda to purchase one of our pre-owned vehicles. This week we are pleased to present our Used Car Manager Ian Rae and Assistant Used Car Manager Aaron Stachiw! Let’s get to know two more of the good people here at Wheaton Honda: Ian and Aaron.
When and how did you start working at Wheaton Honda?
Aaron: I was with our partner store, Sun Toyota, and I decided to part ways with that store and come to Wheaton Honda because of the opportunities there. Just A to B and that’s where I’m at now. I started working here September 9, 2013 as a used car salesman, and I just got the promotion today to assistant pre-owned sales manager.
Ian: I worked for a car auction company for about 11 years selling cars to dealers all over the country. I needed a change, and I wanted to find employment at a dealership with friendly people, a good atmosphere and a good selection of used vehicles. Wheaton Honda checked all the boxes, so I met with management and there was an opening there as an assistant used car manager. I met with Ian Clark and Ted Clark and we all agreed that it would be a good decision to bring me on and it’s been good to me so far. I started working here October 1, 2012, and I’m now the used car manager.
What do you guys think is the best thing about working here?
Aaron: I think it’s the atmosphere and the staff. It’s a very family oriented store and everyone gets along. There’s the work atmosphere and then there’s the after work atmosphere where people will go out as coworkers and actually have a blast. It’s like a giant family.
Ian: I would agree with Aaron for sure, it’s the atmosphere. Beyond that I think, for me, it’s also that I love selling Hondas. It’s always been my favorite brand and it’s nice to be able to actually truly believe that the vehicles you’re selling are of quality. Hondas are good! It’s a great selection of used vehicles that we have, we carry a lot of exciting, different things and we get to drive all kinds of exciting vehicles, and that’s a part of the job I really like too.
Even though you guys have just been promoted, you’ve been working together for a few years now. So what is your favourite thing about working together?
Ian: The jokes.
Aaron: Yeah, there’s a few of those that go around every once in a while. We like to have fun at what we do. You know, I think the main thing is that if you can’t come to work and leave with a smile you’re in the wrong business. I think that’s what really reflects our working relationship together, which is nice.
Ian: It’s important that we work well together because I think I spend more time with Aaron than my actual family so…
Ian: If I didn’t get along with him, then there are some definite problems.
Aaron: And I think another thing that helped too is that we were on the same shift prior to me getting moved into the position and prior to Ian getting moved in. So we had that working rapport prior to both of us getting our promotions and I think that’s going to help us succeed in the future working together because we know how each other work.
The other departments have mentioned some things they do for fun, like pranking. Is there anything like that happening in the used car building?
Aaron: There’s some things that happen, I wouldn’t really call them pranks. I would probably call them fun toward each other. Sometimes both parties will laugh, sometimes only one party will laugh. Sometimes, randomly, 100 balloons will find their way into a vehicle. Small things like that.
Ian: I think we also do a good job of turning a blind eye when the new car pranks are happening. Quite often we see these things developing before the person who’s receiving the prank even knows. And we don’t really bother saying anything.
Ian: We are the eyes of the lot.
Aaron: Yeah, you could say that. We don’t really participate in the pranks but we see them all.
Since we are in the used car building, tell us about your brand-new building here.
Aaron: Well, we moved in December of 2014, and it’s a brand-new standalone building. It’s beautiful, we finally got air conditioning, running water, and our own washroom facilities. So, as for a pre-owned department I think we are in really good shape.
Ian: Yup, it’s a brand new facility. We’re very lucky to have it and it just makes the days more enjoyable when you’re in a nice new building.
Aaron: Coming from the guy that wasn’t working out of the old building.
Ian: That’s true. My office wasn’t by the old trailer, but now I’m close with the sales staff and the customers. So now I get to meet and greet a lot more people being right here on site as opposed to being the faceless manager who’s away.
So how has the new building changed the customer experience when people come here?
Aaron: I think the biggest thing is that now when they walk in they actually see an inviting building. Coming into the trailer wasn’t a negative factor to the business, but it just wasn’t as appealing as the new building. We now have a waiting area where, when are sales staff are tied up, they can actually sit down and relax. We’ve got coffee and washrooms with running water, which is much nicer. For the longest time we were having our clients run to the main building, and when it’s minus 30 it’s not fun.
Has the new building changed how the lot is laid out?
Aaron: I think so, yeah. I think the lot is laid out a bit more ergonomically now. We can see everything from whatever point we’re sitting in the office and I think it’s helping with the customer experience. They can tell that we can see them and if they’re interested we can confront them or vice versa.
What is your favourite thing about working with the other person?
Aaron: Well, I can honestly say I get every second weekend off, which is pretty cool.
Aaron: It’s a nice little perk. But I think working with Ian, like I said, we kind of have that same wavelength on what we do. We kind of know each other’s steps already even though we’re just getting into working together at this level. But previously we knew exactly which steps each other would take. Also, we’ve got the same taste in music.
Ian: We like electronic music and a little bit of everything. Usually we’ll have the music going throughout the day just to keep things lively and, you know what? I’ve only had to turn off a few of the songs that Aaron’s turned on.
Aaron: I think the best ones are the 80’s Saturdays when we have the 80’s days. Those are always fun too. We play 80’s music all day long. No dressing up, though. I think we have to keep it a little bit professional. I don’t think the whole 80’s era big hair would work in the industry nowadays.
What kinds of stuff do you guys like to do outside of work?
Aaron: Well, I’m a motorhead. I’m a huge Nascar fan, I go to the races every year. I also dirt bike and ride motocross. Other than that, nothing beats kicking back on the patio with an iced beverage and enjoying yourself.
Ian: I like to hang out with my family quite a bit. We like to travel around. My wife, 9 year old boy, and I do a lot of traveling around the Province. Beyond that, I’m pretty involved in the music community in Edmonton and I host a radio show once a week on CJSR FM 88.5. It’s a 2 hour radio show focused on underground dance music and electronic music from all ages. It’s one of the longest running electronic music radio programs in North America. It’s been on the air since 1985 with a succession of hosts, and we’re very lucky to have taken over the helm.
Aaron: And it’s actually pretty good music too, I’ve listened to it a few times.
If you had to pick one, what Honda vehicle would you recommend to a customer?
Aaron: Unfortunately, they don’t make it anymore, but I love the S2000. I’ve had a few of them on trade-ins and I really, really enjoy driving them. Honda kind of went the other route and now they’re more family oriented. But I would recommend the S2000 if they became available again.
Ian: You know, I’m really liking the new HR-V. I think it’s a vehicle that fills a niche and you just can’t find another vehicle like that. It gives you the all-wheel drive control, creative use of interior space, and fuel economy. So, you get all of that in a small, compact SUV and I think that vehicle’s going to do very well for Honda.
What car do you love seeing show up on the used car lot here?
Ian: I think it would be the Civic SI when we get it.
Aaron: They’re fun. I like the HFP Accord or the V6 Accord with the manual transmission, that’s one of my favorites.
Ian: Any V6 Accord Coupe with a manual transmission.
What seems to be the most popular car on the used car lot?
Ian: The Honda Civic.
Aaron: And the Honda CR-V.
Ian: And CR-V. But, yeah, there’s no shortage of people looking for a good quality used Honda Civic.
Why should people come see you guys for a car at Wheaton Honda?
Ian: We’re friendly and we’re a no pressure dealership. We’re very price conscious, meaning all our inventory is competitively priced. We also don’t put anything on our lot that we don’t feel would make a good vehicle for someone. If it requires too much repair works, we don’t take shortcuts with reconditioning our vehicles. We either repair it all the way or we don’t sell it here. We’re confident in our used vehicles and we stand behind them.
Aaron: Our pre-owned vehicles are the type of vehicles you can put any one of your family members in, tell them to drive it out to the coast and not have to worry. There’s kind of a sense of satisfaction, because you know that consumer is getting the exact same product that you would be trusting to put your own family into. And it goes a long way. Not only that, we like to have fun when our clients come in too and a lot of our clients actually do have fun when they come purchase from us.
That’s Ian and Aaron! Two great managers adapting very well to their new roles here at Wheaton Honda with a love of good music and a passion for the Honda brand and good customer service. We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Ian and Aaron. The next time you are in need of a pre-owned vehicle, stop into Wheaton Honda and visit our two wonderful used car managers.
We have had a great time meeting Ian and Aaron and we hope you did to. Come back next week for another edition of Meetin’ Go Wednesdays.