The numbers are in for the calendar year of 2014 and both Lexus of Kendall and Lexus of West Kendall have once again won the most prestigious prize the luxury car company offers its dealerships — the Elite of Lexus award.
To earn the distinguished status, dealerships and their staff must meet a series of requirements that place them above their peers for comprehensive excellence. Those requirements include reaching at least 95 percent of company sales goals on both new and certified pre-owned vehicles, certifying all personnel to meet the company’s stringent standards, timely financial reporting and receiving a high Customer Service Index (CSI) report based high survey ratings of broad owner support.
One of the original Lexus dealerships, Lexus of Kendall opened in 1989 and has won the Elite of Lexus award 12 times in the last 14 years, missing only in 2006 and 2007. This year they ranked among the top 10 stores in volume in the country and finished third in overall CSI rating.
“What I concentrate on is the customer experience, making sure every customer leaves here extremely satisfied,” said Lexus of Kendall general manager Armando Ibanez, who has been with the dealership since 2011. “That assures me — because I’m not in it for the short term; we want to grow this business and have grown it considerably over the last several years — that the only way to grow a business is to make it so your customers don’t even consider going anywhere else.”
Comparatively new, Lexus of West Kendall opened in December 2005 and initially had difficulties reaching Elite of Lexus’ lofty standards. That all changed once general manager Ralph Nerette arrived in 2011. Since that time, the dealership has won the award every year.
“Reaching this goal every year requires a balanced approach that goes far beyond volume of sale,” said Nerette. “We concentrate on making sure the customer is completely satisfied by doing everything it takes to provide an unparalleled experience from the day they purchase their vehicle onward. We treat them as if they are guests in our home rather than just a number.”
Understanding that the neighborhoods where they do business are just as important as the number of cars they get off of their lots every year, both of these topnotch dealerships are involved heavily in their communities. Lexus of Kendall sponsors many local organizations and schools including the Actors’ Playhouse (with whom they have an eight-year relationship), Spring of Life Fellowship in Doral, Temple Beth Am, Gulliver Schools, Riviera Preparatory School and Palmetto Senior High School. Lexus of West Kendall is partners with Baptist Hospital, hosts a monthly military dinner and participates with the Miami-Dade Police Department in events to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Service to the community outside of our business is very important to us,” said Nerette. “They pay us back with their patronage. We’d have nothing without them.”