Dealer’s Preparation Helps Local School Districts Quickly Wade Through VW Funding Process

O’Connor Bus Sales’ Cliff Chase is working hard to educate his school districts on Maine’s cut of the Volkswagen Settlement’s Environmental Mitigation Trust funding. When the application period opened up, his preparation helped many school districts apply for funding in a short window of time.

One thing that helped Cliff get the word out about funding was being on the board of directors for the Maine Association for Pupil Transportation. Being active on the board introduced him to numerous contacts. This enabled him to interact directly with decision-makers about funding.

As soon as the funding application period opened, Cliff followed up with all of his customers letting them know it was time to take action. He gathered as much information as possible upfront, making it easier on the customer. He also helped with total cost of ownership information to show that propane was the right choice.

“Disbursement of information was key,” Cliff said. “Any time I heard something, I’d do an email blast to my customers to keep them informed and stayed on top of the information.”

His customers were responsive and interested in taking advantage of the funds. And, he didn’t keep this information to propane customers only. He focused on all of his current Blue Bird customers — propane or not. Because of this, he had districts reach out to him that are now willing to switch to propane!

Cliff also visited a lot of customer throughout Maine to talk about Volkswagen’s Environmental Mitigation Trust funds. He asked ROUSH CleanTech’s Chelsea Jenkins to develop a one-page summary so that customers would have all of the important information at their fingertips.

Because of his ongoing communications with customers, Cliff has the potential to sell up to 40 propane units.

Great job, Cliff! We look forward to hearing how many propane school buses are sold through your efforts.