Toyota of Merrillville receives prestigious President’s Award

2014-05-02T11:38:00Z Toyota of Merrillville receives prestigious President’s AwardBy Diane Poulton Times Correspondent
May 02, 2014 11:38 am  • 

MERRILLVILLE – Toyota of Merrillville has received its third prestigious President’s Award.

Each year Toyota Motor Sales recognizes its top dealerships with the distinguished award. According to the company website, only those dealerships who have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining Toyota’s high standards for customer satisfaction in service and sales have this honor bestowed on them.

The President’s Award or Customer First Honors is for Toyota dealers who excel in all facets of their operations. It is recognition of dealerships that continue to go above and beyond at each customer touch point and represent the best of the best.

In order to qualify as a President’s Award winner, dealerships must excel in each of a series of categories, including customer sales satisfaction, customer service and parts satisfaction, high-level facility standards, sales efficiency and retention, and sales and service delivery satisfaction.

“You have to outperform the other Toyota dealers in the area,” New Car Manager Julius Mays said. “We are part of the very competitive Chicagoland Region.”

General Manager Mike Bauner said earning the honor is a credit to his entire Toyota of Merrillville team.

“I am of proud of everybody at the dealership because it takes a culmination of all of our efforts, not just one single person or one single process, to make everything work so well so that we can achieve this distinction,” Bauner said.

General Sales Manager Ed Earley said Toyota of Merrillville goes the extra mile for their customers.

“We do whatever is needed to make sure everyone is a happy customer,” Earley said.

Earley said his team tries to greet everybody promptly, listen to and address all their needs.

“From their first cup of coffee to the handshake goodbye, we just want everybody treated like we would want to be treated,” Earley said. “We set the bar high every day and strive to always try to exceed our customers’ expectations. It is just an everyday thing. That is how we conduct ourselves. If they consider us the best of the best for that, than we are grateful.”

Earley said Toyota is getting ready for a national sales event during May called “Toyota Time.”

“It is one of their biggest events of the year as far as sales and there are many great incentives and rebates available,” Earley said.

Toyota of Merrillville has an “awesome selection,” including the new Highlander Earley said.

“With gas prices rising, Toyota has the biggest line of fuel efficient hybrids and we have a great selection of them,” Earley said. “From your purchase through the servicing of your car we know that your business means everything to us and you are truly part of our family.”

We cater to our customers’ needs,” General Manager Mike Bauner said. “We are respectful of their time and try to be as efficient as possible. We adapt our processes to what works best for our customers. We provide the price, payment, interest rate and the trade-in value as quickly as we can so they can make the best decision for their family.”

During the delivery process, Bauner said, as much time as needed is spent making sure each customer is familiar and comfortable with their new car.

“We introduce them to the service department and schedule their first appointment,” Bauner said. “We want our customers to know we value their business and want them to always feel welcomed.”

Toyota of Merrillville’s offers convenient hours for their customers. The service department is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sales department is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wi-Fi and laptops are provided along with coffee and snacks.

“If a customer can't or doesn't want to wait while their vehicle is being serviced, we provide free shuttle service,” Bauner said. “We make it easy.”

With new or used vehicle purchases, customers receive a car wash club card entitling them to 20 free car washes.

“We have a loyalty rewards program,” Bauner said. “When customers come in for service, they earn points that can be redeemed for free oil changes, discounts, movie tickets, gift cards, or even airline tickets.”

Toyota of Merrillville, located at 4450 E US 30, can be reached at (219) 947-3325 or visit their website at

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