Mitsubishi Motors Dealer Partner Spotlight – Reflecting on Blessings with Apple Auto Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is celebrating dealer partners who go above and beyond for their communities. They provide more than just a great place to buy a car – they help their hometowns thrive in the good times and heal in the challenging times. They rise to the occasion in support of the community, whatever the occasion may be. This month, we are proud to feature Apple Auto Mitsubishi General Manager Shawn McLaughlin.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH SHAWN MCLAUGHLIN
General Manager, Apple Auto Mitsubishi, Elkton, MD
- Elkton, Maryland is a small town – give us a quick tour, and introduce us to the locals. Elkton is located three minutes from the Delaware line, 15 minutes from the Pennsylvania line and 15 minutes from the New Jersey line. I grew up an hour down the road. The people here are hardworking, strong-willed and values- and family-oriented. Many of the locals, like us at the dealership, were deemed essential workers during the pandemic, and they continued to step up, and drive into work, day-in and day-out. It is a very proud community, but it has also been through a difficult time. Since the day we opened, Apple Auto Mitsubishi has prioritized community service and support, and we are very proud of that. Hopefully, everyone is a little stronger for it. We are also proud to have been named the Best New Car Dealer by the Cecil Whig – the local paper in Cecil County.
- Tell us about some of the ways Apple Auto has given back to the community and why you've made it such a priority. As a small business, our resources go farther if we focus on our immediate community, so we are very careful that everything we do – whether partnering with a small, community nonprofit or a large, national nonprofit – has a visible, positive impact locally. We know the need is great during the holiday season, so in November, we donated $25 to the (local) Cecil County Chapter of United Way for every test drive taken, and we were able to donate $5,000. Additionally, we partnered with United Way and the local chapter of the National Head Start Association to identify a local, single mother who needed reliable transportation, and we donated a car to her. Many members of our team, myself included, are raising families in this area. We're not interested in selling cars for the sake of selling cars – we are interested in the long term, in building better places to live and work.
- You mentioned United Way and Head Start – it really is all about finding the right partners to expand your impact. Tell us about your partnership with the local radio station. Shout out to our friends at WXCY! Apple Auto, like many local car dealerships, advertises on the local radio. I mentioned earlier that many of our owners and customers commuted to work during the pandemic, so we have found radio is an effective tool for us. What many car dealerships don't understand is how to leverage their partnerships, or spend, with local outlets to increase the reach and effectiveness of their programs. For example, in the case of the United Way partnership, we approached the radio station first about wanting to give back during the holiday season, and they connected us with their partners at United Way and Head Start. The result was a program that was three times bigger than we originally planned, and the impact was three times bigger as well. We all felt good about that.
- Before the relationship with Mitsubishi Motors came along, Apple Auto was a used-car business only. How did that relationship change the game? It changed everything. I am a car guy, through and through. I refurbed my first car (pulled it out of the weeds in a neighbor's back yard) at the age of 12. The amount of technology and features – the value – packed into a Mitsubishi vehicle is incredible. We've been able to put our former used-car customers into brand-new Mitsubishis for less – with better warranties. You can see the pride on their faces and hear it in their voices, and it reaffirms why we do what we do. And of course, Mitsubishis are solid, reliable vehicles. If it weren't for new product – like the all-new 2022 Outlander – and the fact that we offer free oil changes, car washes and tire rotation – our customers would never have a reason to come back.
- You have been married for 32 years, and have two beautiful children and two grandchildren. How are you planning to spend the holidays this year? And how will the Apple Auto employee family celebrate? I will spend this Christmas celebrating with family at home. Last year, COVID dampened everyone's holiday celebrations, and it devastated the store. It made us realize that life as we know it could change in an instant, and we should appreciate every day for what it is. The Apple Auto family will celebrate with a potluck lunch on December 23, to reflect on the past year and the good fortune that every employee was retained through a very challenging and stressful year. With Christmas falling on a Saturday, we will close on December 24 to allow everyone a three-day weekend. As you can imagine, that is rare in the car business!
About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Through a network of approximately 330 dealer partners across the United States, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service of Mitsubishi Motors vehicles in the U.S. MMNA was the top-ranked Japanese brand in the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study, ranking third overall and tied with Lexus. In its Environmental Targets 2030, MMNA's parent company Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has set a goal of a 40 percent reduction in the CO2 emissions of its new cars by 2030 through leveraging EVs — with PHEVs as the centerpiece — to help create a sustainable society.
With headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and corporate operations in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and Virginia, MMNA directly and indirectly employs more than 8,000 people across the United States.
For more information on Mitsubishi vehicles, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at 615- 257-2698 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
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