How To Celebrate The Veterans At Your Dealership?


As a day spent honoring and being thankful to those who have fought for our freedom, it only serves right for dealers to show that through their dealership. Many communities, companies, and businesses show their appreciation by offering freebies, special discounts, and incentives to active duty service members, U.S. military veterans, and their families. From haircutting establishments to oil change servicing’s, businesses’ unite to offer their thanks to all those that are serving or have served.

Almost every automaker express their thanks in some way, shape, or form through their military discount programs. With Veterans Day landing on a Saturday this year (2018), the designated federal holiday will be Friday, November 10th. So, it’s expected that the Veterans Day will have an increased number of visits over that weekend.

There are several reasons as to why your dealership should honor Veterans Day as a part of their marketing strategy or even just in general. These include:

  1. Easier Than You Might Think – It’s common to think that it’s tricky to give Veterans Day the recognition and respect that it deserves, but there are a fair number of ways that your dealership can get involved. From things as simple as having a banner greeting veterans to offering a sizable discount specifically for that day – anything is possible.
  2. Compete With Bigger Chains – There is a good chance that all bigger restaurants and chain stores will be offering veterans with a discount on Veterans Day. Customers are likely to go with your competitors if you are not willing to offer them the same (or better) deals.
  3. Gets your name out there – Whether you’re participating in an event on Veterans Day or just offering a discount, you’re getting your name out there simply by word of mouth (and advertising). Sponsoring an event helps the Veterans Day event and your business, making it a win-win situation.

All the different automakers in the U.S. offer different variations of discounts for their military personnel customers. It can help to see what some of these brands offer their customers, so as a dealer, you also get a ballpark of what to offer your customers. Below are some of the examples from the 2017’s Veterans Day Car Sales (ref: Auto Credit Express)

  • FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles): FCA brands offer a $500 cash rebate to military members and their families for eligible new Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Dodge, and Chrysler models.
  • Ford: Ford’s Military Discount offers $500 bonus cash to eligible participants.
  • General Motors: GM’s Military Discount Program features a discount on all eligible new GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet vehicles.
  • Honda: When you lease or finance through Honda Financial Services, eligible buyers can get $500 off any model (2017 and newer) Honda vehicle.
  • Hyundai: Retired U.S. Military members, veterans, reservist/National Guard, and active duty U.S. Military members can receive $500 off all eligible new Hyundai vehicles.
  • Kia: All qualified members of the Armed Forces or Reserves can receive a $500 incentive.
  • Mazda: Military members can receive $500 bonus cash towards the lease or purchase of a new vehicle.
  • Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi’s Military Discount program offers members of the military with a $500 rebate on select models. Ally Financial, Mitsubishi’s partner, throws in another $250 for down payment assistant to qualified customers.
  • Nissan: Nissan’s Military Program allows military members to save anywhere from $500 to $1,000 depending on the vehicle of their choice.
  • Subaru: Only active duty U.S. Military personnel can receive a special discount. Qualified personnel can save anywhere from $1,300 to $3,300 off MSRP depending on the vehicle of their choice.
  • Toyota: Eligible military personnel can get $500 – you will need to finance through Toyota Financial Services to receive this incentive.

The information above can help you gain a broad sense of what you should aim to offer your military member customers. Even with the importance of Veterans Day, it’s unfortunately often a holiday that’s looked over. It should be celebrated and those that serve should be recognized with honor. The following are our four marketing ideas for the next Veterans Day for your dealership.

  1. Sale

You can offer military veterans a discount on certain products and/or services, special gift, or even free meals. If you normally offer your customers a military discount, you could try to bump it up a little for Veterans Day. So, if you normally offer 10 percent, then you could try offering 25 percent. You can also hold a Veterans Day sale for the general public, but offer additional discounts for military veterans.

  1. Sponsor

If there is a Veterans Day event in your community, like a local event or parade, in which city officials will be honoring veterans, then you should get involved as a sponsor. You can help you with the event, provide money, or just have a presence. For instance, your dealership could hand out service coupons in a booth at a veterans parade.

  1. Serve

Try to volunteer to help out veterans and military families by finding a national organization that assists military veterans and inquire about how you can get involved. You might even find some local opportunities, such as helping out the elderly veterans with work. In addition to getting your own employees to volunteer, you might even try to get your local community involved as well.

  1. Give

This doesn’t just mean contributing to a cause that helps veterans and military families. Instead, you might try to raise even more money by getting your current (and prospective) customer involved. This could be anything from donating a percentage of your Veterans Day sales to a charity specializing with veterans, offering to match donations by customers (up to a certain amount), or spotlighting a certain product and donating anytime a customer purchases that.

Though Veterans Day usually only focuses on veterans, it helps to reach out to both former and current military members (along with their families) to widen your potential customer base. It’s also worthwhile to note that if your dealership is in a community with a decent or large amount of military members (active or retired), then you might want to consider marketing to this demographic all year round, as that will be a smarter strategy in the long run.

References: Auto Credit Express