Golden Valley, MN - April 20, 2009 With new car sales dropping for a record 17 straight months, many wonder what it will take to save the struggling auto industry. One local company doesn’t have the answer, but it does have a plan to get its own employees in a new car.
It’s an effort to help out the very customers that the company depends on.
For nearly as long as Detroit’s been building cars, Twin Cities-based Lube Tech has been filling them, supplying area auto dealers with 16 million gallons of oils, fluids and greases a year.
“If they’re not selling and servicing vehicles, our volume potentially is going to drop down too,” said Lube-Tech’s Bob Palmgren. So as the new car business sank deeper into recession, the petroleum vendor decided to act.
It’s now offering all 200 of its employees $2,000 in cash if they go out and buy a new car.
“We’re up to six now, and from all phone calls that we’re getting, we’ve got a lot of employees out there shopping as we speak,” said Palmgren.
“I almost did a back flip,” said Randy Jenson as he looked at his new 2009 Ford Taurus.
Jenson was tempted by all the new car deals but he wasn’t quite at the point of jumping into the new car market. But when he heard about his company’s offer he snapped up the car.
“It feels good to be able to go out and help stimulate the economy, but also help your customers as well. In this day and age, we all need to be doing what we can to help each other out,” he added.
Totaling up, the federal tax incentives, dealer rebates and the $2,000 from Lube-Tech, Jenson figures it saved him over $8,000.
At the Lupient GMC dealership in Golden Valley, manager Rob Stewart knows all too well the trouble his industry’s in. He applauds Lube-Tech’s incentive as a bold and confident step to recovery, one deal at a time.
“You know, that’s fabulous. I wish more companies in the Twin Cities would start taking an active role in that because I think automotive is a major player in what goes on in the Twin Cities business,” said Stewart.
Perhaps no one feels it more than Lube-Tech, a long time supplier of automotive fluids.
“We hope so, we’re trying to do our part,” said Palmgren.