Dealer Spotlight: Cardinal Bus Sales
Interviewee: Tony Rumer
Title: Dealer Principle
Q. What has made you successful with alternative fuels?
A. To make Cardinal Bus Sales successful with alternative school bus sales, we reach out to our customers and invite them for tours of ROUSH CleanTech and to attend ride and drive events throughout the state. By putting a fresh spin on our marketing events, current and potential customers experience the buses in an interactive and interesting way.
Q. How do you approach your ride-and-drive events?
A. Each year, we host a few ride and drives throughout the state. Our goal is to introduce propane- and gasoline-fueled buses to as many people as we can. We choose multiple locations throughout the state and schedule events. We invite local decision makers, such as school board members, school transportation directors and maintenance personnel. We give presentations on the alt fuel buses and allow the attendees the chance to ride in or even drive demo buses. This past year, every participant who drove a bus received a Cardinal pullover. Our recent event brought in more than 100 qualified customers and prospects over three days.
Q. How do you attract such great attendance for ROUSH CleanTech facility tours?
A. We drive current and potential customers to Livonia on a propane or gasoline bus. Recently, we brought 30 people in from 15 different school districts. Not only does this make our participants feel appreciated, it also gives them time to discuss their alt fuel school bus goals with other Cardinal customers during the drive up to Michigan. Those who are interested in alternative fuels can speak to their peers who already have direct experience.
Q. What can a customer expect during a tour?
A. Our attendees get to learn more about propane and gasoline school buses and also experience ROUSH — making the trip both educational and fun. We arrive in Michigan the evening before the tour. In the morning, we check out ROUSH CleanTech’s manufacturing floor to see firsthand the engines, fuel tanks and fuels rails that go into our buses. Our customers hear a presentation about the available school buses, learn about bus service and operations and see a fueling demonstration. Then, we head over to the ROUSH Museum to learn more about the company and to see Jack Roush’s really cool private collection of automobiles. We also get the opportunity to tour ROUSH Performance.
Q. What is your opinion of alternative fuel buses in the future?
A. I believe there will continue to be customers who will stay with the diesel product, however, with all the emission challenges associated with diesel, the outlook for alternative fuels buses looks very bright!