A Day in the Life of the Picture Guy

Parts of a Car Dealership You May Not Know About

Chris Smering playing the role of clean up man with stickers and photos.

On an April day with temperatures nearing 70 degress in Buffalo, used car inventory specialist Chris Smering sees a special opportunity to do some tanning while he works.

"It's a good day to get the head gold," Smering says referring to his shaved head.  Smering, a West Seneca, NY native, works outside all year round. 

Smering's job is to take photos of West Herr used cars for online purposes. He also ensures the window stickers and information are intact for customers.   It's not a job that is at the forefront when someone thinks "car dealer" but in a digital society, it's vital. 

"You don't want any ordinary photo on there, customers want to see the real thing," Smering said.

Smering can be seen around West Herr offices cracking jokes in between taking pictures and managing stickers. 

"When talking to Chris, count how many time he says the word 'yeah' when he talks," said lost opportunities specialist Jill Wheeler.  "You'll be shocked." 

Like any other organization or team, West Herr has it's share of behind the scenes type of staff.  Chris Smering is just that type.  He's also the type who works outside in a blizzard if need be. 

"People that do my job, we're like the postal service," Smering said.  "Rain, sleet, snow, it doesnt matter. We're out there."




West Herr Voted One of Buffalo's Best Places To Work

Buffalo Car Dealer Honored For 6th Straight Year

The West Herr Auto Group would like to extend a thank you to the Western New York community.  Buffalo Business First announced their annual "Best Places To Work" for 2010, and the West Herr Auto Group was on the list for employers with 401 or more employees. 

"Our employees are our family," said Scott Bieler, West Herr President. "We care about their lives, their personal growth and above all their careers."

West Herr has won the award consistently since 2005 for companies with over 401 employees.  We are the only car dealer in Western New Yorik with this distinction.   

West Herr employs over 1100 Western New Yorkers and was recently named the 22nd largest auto group in the nation by Automotive News.  We are also the largest auto group in New York State.

The announcement came at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Thursday March 25th.  Other Buffalo businnesses to win include Freed Maxick and Battaglia CPAs and ad agency the SKM Group. 

West Herr would again like to thank our employees, customers and friends in the Buffalo area for their continued support.  We are proud to serve Western  New York and recognize the community is why we are the business we are today. 


Buffalo Business Focus: Media Pros

Local Media Agency Thriving in Western New York

It could be a radio ad. It could be a billboard.  It could even be a street team.  Pick the medium, and Media Pros of Western New York have a hand in it.  Thats why they've become a prominent Buffalo business with both local and national clients. 

"We like to be presented with challenges on the best way to reach an audience," said Matt Dobmeier, Media Pro's VP.  "We'll use all forms of media to get the job done." 

Media Pros are the minds behind the West Herr ads featuring Buffalo Bills legend Steve Tasker.  The agency boasts a diverse group of other local clients including Beachwood Continuing Care, Martin's Fantasy Island and Faherty's Bar on Elmwood. 

On a national level, Media Pros handles the Mentholatum Company and their multiple product lines.  The national business has given Dobmeier and his crew opportunities to travel and gain new experience.

"This line of work is never boring," Dobmeier said. "Last year I got to go from the Duke campus to Las Vegas all within a few weeks.  It was amazing." A sample of Media Pros' work for the Mentholatum company

Established in 1993 and based in Orchard Park, Dobmeier and his father Ken run the business.  Dobemeier points out that advertising agencies are rarely a family business. 

Given the family focus, Dobmeier finds his roots in Western New York despite all the traveling and national exposure. 

"It sounds cliche, but the people in Buffalo are amazing," Dobmeier said.  "People here truly care and they love to live here.  It lends itself to the work they do." 

Media Pros has recently done work for The United Way and SABAH as well.  For more information on Media Pros visit them online today.



Why Now Is the Time To Buy A Car

Personal Testimonial On Some Unprecedented Car Deals

Full disclosure; yes I do work for West Herr.  However, I have a choice in where to buy my car.  I personally would not have known about the unqiue  deals going on in the car industry without working here.  Some follow car news, I myself did not until recently. 

For those unaware, the current deals being offered on certain cars are simply historic.  The U.S. News and World Report recently outlined the best deals in the month of March.  If you have a car you want to trade in, now is the time.  Most of the deals will be over by the end of this month or next. Me and my 2010 Toyota Camry.

 Toyota is offering some of the most aggressive deals around. I was not even in the market for a new car but once I learned about the Toyota deals, I simply could not let them pass me by.

Until March 31st, you can get a 2010 Toyota Corrola for $189 a month on a 36 month lease with no money down.  A 2010 Camry can be had for $219 a month.  You dont need a car expert or an accountant to tell you that's a steal.

"People should know that these are some of the best deals we've ever seen," said Joe McEachin, sales consultant at West Herr Toyota in Williamsville. 

U.S. News and World Report recently voted the Camry as their "Best Midsize Car For The Money" in a recent poll.

They said, "The Camry is known for its comfortable interior and gentle ride quality."

Ford is another company offering great deals.  For a 2010 Taurus, you can take advantage of the 0% APR financing for up to 36 months plus a $1000 cash back rebate.

 Another U.S. News and World Report article voted the 2010 Taurus as one of their best deals for the month of March.  It was also voted as the best large car for the money. 

I now am a proud driver of a 2010 Toyota Camry and couldnt be happier.  I was able to unload a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix and turn it into a brand new car with a full maintenance package. 

West Herr has experienced their best February and March in company history.  These aggressive deals are a huge part of the reason why.  Many deals end March 31st, so if you're even on the fence, come by and talk to someone.  There's definitely something for every budget and style this month.

"I've been in the car business for over 20 years and I have never seen deals or sales like this in my life.  It's amazing," said Kevin Leigh, Director of E-Business. 

For more information on the deals we have to offer to Western New York, visit our specials page now. 



Found Money Benefits Charity

Parking Lot Discovery Leads to Surprise Charitable Donation

JakeThe used car lot at West Herr Toyota at Williamsville Bednarz, 21, has been a lot attendant for West Herr Chevy in Hamburg for two years.  Last month, the Derby, NY native was making a routine car delivery to West Herr Toyota in Williamsville when he came across cash laying in the Used Car parking lot. 

"I knew I was going to turn the money in right away, it wasnt even a thought in my mind," Bednarz said. "I guess it's just the way I was raised." 

Bednarz turned the money into Joe Manganaro, used car manager at West Herr Toyota. The money was held at the store for a month but went unclaimed. 

Afterwards,  it was decided the money would be donated to a charity of Bednarz's choice. He chose the Kids Escaping Drugs charity.

West Herr will be matching the amount and giving the donation in Bednarz's name. 

"Thats great to see, and its not something that happens a lot in this day in age," said Bill Loecher, West Herr Vice President.

Thank you to Jake Bednarz for his honesty.  For more information or to make a donation to Kids Escaping Drugs, visit them online today


Behind The Scenes With Steve Tasker

Buffalo Legend Living Life With A Smile

In his playing days, Steve Tasker dealt with opposing blockers, wild road crowds and NFL officials.  In his retirement days, his biggest worries are the loving fans of Buffalo offering up speaking advice.Steve Tasker delivers his lines with enthusiasm.

"I've got nice elderly ladies coming up to me in church,  telling me about how to pronounce the word 'vehicle' correctly," Tasker joked at at a recent commercial shoot.  He also mentioned Western New Yorkers approaching him in the grocery store and other venues curious about his pronunciation of the word. 

Tasker takes it all with a sense of humor and cherishes the response he gets.  He's not afraid to crack jokes about his Kansas dialect or the possiblity of making "vehicle", with strong emphasis on the 'h", his catch phrase. 

We caught up with Tasker at his recent shoot for a series of commercials promoting West Herr's upcoming Biggest Sales Event of the Year.  While taking his time on camera seriously, Tasker managed to discuss the NCAA brackets and even throw around some quotes from "My Cousin Vinny" with creative director Steve Briscoe.  He also spoke of his time with West Herr.An autographed footbal for charityl by #89

"West Herr is a great company, they really do everything for you," Tasker said to a new West Herr employee. Tasker also took time to autograph a football for charity and ask each person at the shoot about their lives.

Keep an eye out for the soon to be launched Steve Tasker Facebook page, and for more information on the West Herr Auto Group visit


Kia Winning Over Customers On The Web

Kia's Digital Overhaul Coincides With Car Redesigns

With features such as the CGI Powered "virtual garage", its not hard to see why Kia's website is bolstering their business.  Kia was recently ranked the #1 automobile manufacturer in J.D. Power and Associates' Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study (MWES). 

The evaluation ranks sites based on such criteria as navigation, speed, appearance and relevancy of information and content.  Playing around on the site for just a few minutes makes it obvious why they were ranked #1. 

“We took a big risk with a major Web site redesign, but this proves that with the right approach and attitude, good results will come from which the consumer benefits,” said David Schoonover, national manager, CRM & affiliate marketing, KMA.

The site also shows customers their ideas for the future, including the futuristic looking Kia Ray plug-in hybrid.

Kia's website is an engaging user experience, and the company looks to apply this concept to their future car designs as well.  New designs such as the highly-customizable Soul and stylish two-door Forte Koup are signs of a dynamic company.  

The 2011 Sorento CUV is the official vehicle of the NBA and the first Kia vehicle to be built at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Kia’s first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia.

For all your Kia needs in the Buffalo area, visit West Herr Subaru Kia in Orchard Park today. 



Honda Thinking About Dog Owners

Buffalo Honda Dealer Goes Pet Friendly

As the weather changes in Western New York, West Herr knows dog owners will be traveling more.  Honda knows this too, which is why dog owners will be pleasantly suprised with a new add on package available with the 2010 Honda Element.  

New Element models offer an add on package designed specifically for dog travel.  The full package includes:

  • A soft-sided crate with a built-in, spill-resistant water bowl
  • An electric cooling fan mounted in the cargo bay
  • A portable ramp to give dogs access to the crate
  • Dog-patterned rear seat covers
  • Dog bone-patterned heavy-duty floormats
  • A swag bag with accessories like a collar, leash, and ID tag

Extra enthusiastic customers can even get paw print stickers to put on the back of their Elements for the ultimate display of dog appreciation.  The ramp accessory will make easier for older or heavier dogs to get in and out of the vehicle with ease.  The Element is spacious enough to store at least two medium sized dogs or one large dog.

West Herr Honda in Lockport is proud to offer the add on package to Western New York dog owners.

"We've got them here ready for pet owners in Buffalo," said Joe Rizzo, General Manager of West Herr Honda. 

Visit us today and have your dog traveling in style. 


Save Money With Help From Your Buffalo Car Dealer

Understanding Car Maintenance Myths Can Be Good For Your Wallet

We know saving money is high on everyone's agenda.  When it comes to car maintenance, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep cash in your pocket. 

We've all heard old adages about cars such as "buying premium gas is better for your car."  Not true. Unless your vehicle is specifically tailored to take advantage of the higher octane level in the fuel, it's simply a waste of your money  Your best bet is to put in whatever fuel is reccomended in your car's owners manual.  With current gas prices you can save over $150 per year by purchasing unleaded gas instead of premium.

With some help from the Ford Motor Company, West Herr is debunking other car maintenance myths to help Western New Yorkers spend their money elsewhere. 

MYTH: You need to let your vehicle engine warm up in cold weather.

Not true.  Since the engine warms up while you drive, you really only need about 10 seconds of warm up time.  Running your car any longer is just a waste of gas and, in turn, your money.  If you can brave the cold, dont run your car any longer than needed.  By not idling for too long in the morning, you could save more than a gallon a month – $32 a year or $416 over the life of the vehicle.

MYTH: Buy gas in the morning and you’ll save money.

This popular adage is also a misnomer.  The old adage said filling up in the morning would give you more for your money because the gas is the coolest and most dense.  The only benefit to filling up when it’s cooler is that it cuts down the release of vapors, which is better for the environment. 

MYTH: The number listed on the sidewall of your tire is the recommended tire pressure.

False as well.  Typically, this is the maximum pressure allowed for that tire.  The recommended amount of pressure is usually listed on the inside door panel, always check your owner’s manual to be sure.



Dressing Down To Support A Cause

5 Ways To Support The Variety Kids Charity

Around the West Herr Toyota Williamsville offices on Thursday, customers may have noticed employees dressing a little more casual than usual.  That's because West Herr employees wore jeans and special pins to support the Buffalo Variety Kid's charity.

Toyota Williamsville employees organized an internal fundraiser called "Dress Down Thursdays" for the charity.  Employees gave personal donations of $10 and wore special pins dedicated to spreading the Variety Kids message.  

Dress Down Thursdays also allowed employees to wear jeans as a show of support and unity.  The second of two Dress Down Thursdays will happen next Thursday March 18th.  So drop by Toyota Williamsville and check out our great looking pins. 

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support the annual Variety Kid's telethon which will take place Sunday March 28th. Channel 7 WKBW will broadcast and sponsor the event.  The theme of this year's telethon is "Help Our Kids Smile."

"It is always great to see a smileon the beautiful face of a child and with the continued generosity of the people of Western New York," said Variety Kid's representative Stephen Podosek in a press release. 

Dress Down Thursdays is just one way to support the Variety Kid's Charity. 

Prior to the telethon, the Variety Club will also host a corn beef dinner Sunday March 14th to coincide with the Buffalo St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Other upcoming events include:

-The Women's Club Kick Off Cocktail Party

-The Sattelite Division Dinner

-The Lunch with "Mr. Food" at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. 

To make a donation or get involved with the Western New York chapter of the Variety Kid's Charity, visit them online today.