Dealers Voice: Visit your Local Dealership for Holiday Gifts
The dealership is a bountiful source of products and services that would make any car lover on your shopping list happy.
At this time of year, people start shopping for gifts for the holidays for their friends and loved ones.
To eliminate the stress and uncertainty about gift giving, consider visiting your local new-car dealership.
I am not suggesting that you go out and buy a loved one a new car (although it does happen). Rather, think of a dealership as a bountiful source of products and services that would make any car lover on your shopping list happy.
Start with the parts department, where you will find an array of branded merchandise, such as coffee mugs, apparel, watches, die-cast model cars, pens and hats.
Automobile accessories are popular gift items. Alarm systems, chrome grilles, wheel locks, roof racks, seat covers and remote starters are some of the items that make great gifts or stocking stuffers.
Many dealerships and manufacturers feature branded merchandise on their websites, with photos, descriptions and easy payment options.
Some manufacturers, including Ford (the brand that I represent) have websites dedicated only to merchandise. At merchandise.ford.com, products are offered for each of the specific brands (F-150, Escape, Explorer, etc.) in several categories.
The service department is also a great source of gift ideas. Gift certificates are available for oil changes, engine-tune ups, performance wheel packages or scheduled maintenance.
Detailing packages are a novel gift item. Most dealerships offer detailing packages starting in the $50 to $70 range that can be purchased in the form of a gift certificate.
Gift cards are available in any denomination, and they can be applied to the purchase of all goods and services at your local dealership, including new- or used-car purchases, service and maintenance, parts and accessories, and merchandise.
If you know a friend or family member who is buying a new vehicle, any number of add-on purchases would make a welcome gift. These include an extended warranty, a prepaid maintenance plan, paint and fabric protection or an anti-theft security system.
As winter approaches, a practical gift idea is a set of winter tires. Some dealers sell out of winter tires by mid-December, so why not install a set of winter tires today for a friend or family member as an early holiday gift.
The 2020 Canadian International AutoShow (February 14-23) is just three months away, and car lovers would be delighted to receive the gift of attending it. Early bird tickets are now available online at autoshow.ca.
The theme of the 2020 AutoShow is “transformative times,” which will focus on evolving automotive technologies, how our relationship with automobiles is changing and how automobiles are becoming more integrated with our lifestyles.
This year’s AutoShow will feature fan favourites as well as all-new features that will excite car lovers and casual enthusiasts alike. More than 20 electric vehicles from global auto manufacturers will be on display and available for test drives in both the north and south buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Visitors to the 2020 AutoShow can also view the latest concept cars coming from the minds of some of the world’s leading car designers.
If, by chance, you are thinking about buying a car for a loved one, December is the perfect month to buy. Dealers and manufacturers offer generous incentives, such as low finance and lease rates, cash credits and factory rebates. Incentives may end on Dec. 31.
Good luck with your holiday shopping, and please drive safely at this time of year.
This column represents the views and values of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to tada.ca. Cliff Lafreniere is president of the TADA and is president of Pinewood Park Motors (Ford) in Kirkland Lake. For information about automotive trends and careers, visit carsandjobs.com.