Entries in Buffalo (39)


Ford Officially Marketer Of The Year

Ford Credits Technology and Marketing For Ad Age Award

It's been an interesting few years for Ford and the auto industry as a whole.  However, Ford recently took home the "Marketer Of The Year" from Ad Age thanks to an emphasis on technology and a unqiue marketing approach. 

Ford recently established itself as a leader in in-vehicle technology – with products like Sync – and that transition is starting to pay dividends. Between 2008 and 2009, Ford’s revenue per vehicle jumped 14 percent to $26,100, with much of that attributed to new vehicle technology.

“Technology has been fundamental to our improved brand and business,” Ford’s vice president of product development, Derrick Kuzak, said. He added that technology is responsible for about 33 percent of that revenue increase.

Ford’s Sync hands free system has proven to be popular among buyers, with the Blue Oval now rolling out its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems. Ford plans to offer 80 percent of its vehicles with MyTouch by 2015.

Ford is now firmly entrenched back in the No. 2 spot for U.S. sales among automakers, with 17% of the U.S. auto and light-truck market in the first nine months of 2010, behind GM, according to Automotive News, an Ad Age sibling.

Industry insiders credit Ford's marketing transition with the installation of Jim Farley the VP of Marketing. He changed the culture with fresh ideas and innovations. 

"Jim Farley has done a superb job," said AutoExtremist.com's Peter DeLorenzo.  "He took some risks with the advertising, and Ford's products are getting better by the month. It worked out. The marketing and advertising has all come together nicely."


West Herr Is Expanding To Rochester

The West Herr Automotive Group is proud to announce that they have acquired two new dealerships in Rochester, NY from Holtz House of Vehicles.  West Herr will now be operating Mercedes-Benz of Rochester and BMW of Rochester on West Henrietta Road.  This marks the group’s first major expansion outside of the Buffalo area.    The new locations open on October 11th.

“We’re looking forward to doing business in such a diverse, historic and warm community,” said Scott Bieler, West Herr President.  “We’d also like to thank all of our Buffalo customers for helping us get to this point.”

West Herr recently opened brand new facilities for their Toyota dealership in Williamsville, their Ford Lincoln dealership in Amherst, and their used car facility in Getzville.     

BMW and Mercedes-Benz operations will continue on West Henrietta Road, "Rochester's Automotive Row", in the Town of Henrietta. Mercedes-Benz of Rochester will remain at 3883 West Henrietta Road until construction is completed on the new Mercedes Autohaus facility, which will be located next to the BMW dealership at 4250 West Henrietta Road. The projected completion and opening for this multi-brand complex is anticipated for late 2011.

This acquisition brings to 20 the number of new vehicle Brands West Herr represents. Together with Cadillac, Lincoln and Jaguar, the addition of BMW and Mercedes strengthens West Herr’s luxury offerings.

“Mercedes-Benz and BMW are two of the top brands available, and we know their customers expect top of the line service,” Bieler said.  “We are committed to upholding the standards set forth by these fine brands.”

This acquisition also means the addition of nearly 60 new hires to the West Herr organization, growing their ranks to over 1200 total employees in Western New York.  Further expansion is planned for both Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

West Herr delivered 26,591 retail vehicles in 2009.  Year-to-date in 2010, the group is on pace to exceed last year’s figures.  They are the largest automotive group in New York State and 22nd largest in the nation.  West Herr is also one of the largest privately owned dealer groups in the country.   

West Herr started as one Ford Dealership in Hamburg, NY, just outside of Buffalo, in 1950.  They currently operate 15 dealerships in the Buffalo area selling new and used vehicles.   The group won the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics 5 times and was named one of the Best Places to Work in Buffalo by the Business First Journal 6 years straight.

Visit Westherr.com for more information.


Rumble In The City

Southside Kustom Hosts Bike Show For Charity

Southside Kustom has found a way to support two great causes with one event.  The Rumble In The City bike and car show will support both Toys for Tots and the Buffalo Central Terminal.  That's something even non gearheads can get behind. Register to win this bike!

"It's a fun event and we're proud to support the causes involved," said Jim Oliveri, Parts Director at West Herr Ford Lincoln Mercury in Amherst.  

The Rumble In The City will feature loads of customized motorcycles and muscle cars.  Pinstripers, hot rods and choppers are just some of the vehicles that will be on display.  South Side Kustoms will auction the Hitman, a much hyped new motorcycle.  See the picture to the right. 

All proceeds benefit Toys For Tots and of course the Central Terminal, a historic Buffalo location. 

The event takes place this Saturday July 31st from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Aside from the customized vehicles, there will be BBQ and other food plus entertainment. The full band list and set times is as follows:

  • 1 – Bravuras 1pm-1:45
  • 2 – Blue Ribbon Bastards 2pm – 2:45
  • 3 – Morgue Riot 3pm-3:30
  • 4 – Royal Crowns – 3:45pm – 4:30
  • 5 – Lords of the Highway 4:45-5:45
  • 6 – Krypton 88 6:00 – 6:45
  • 7 – The Rabies 7:00 – 7:45
  • 8 – Blue rocket Trio 8:00 - 8:45
  • Car/Motorcycle Show Awards at 6:45pm (infront of outside DJ booth)
  • Hitman Raffle Drawing at 8:00pm (infront of outside DJ booth)

Tickets are $15 and are available at South Side Kustom's website.  Stop by and support two great causes!


Buffalo Ford Dealers Donate To Good Causes

Boys and Girls Club and Homespace Inc. Get Keys To New Vans

Ford dealers in Buffalo and Northern Pennsylvania teamed up to continue a 15 year tradition.  As part of the Ford's Friendship Express program, the Boys and Girls Club and Homespace Inc. each received a 2010 Econoline Van Thursday at Delaware Park. 

This is the 15th anniversary of the program.  Since 1996, the Friendship Express program has donated over 60 vehicles each year to different charities.  

West Herr President Scott Bieler was on hand along with other Ford representatives.

"We try to pick organizations with a positive impact on the community and that affect a lot of people," Bieler told the Buffalo News.   

The vans will be used to help charity participants learn about the Buffalo area and meet their basic needs, according to charity representatives.

The Boys & Girls Club of America is a national organization serving underprivileged children between the ages of 6-18. Homespace Inc. is a local charity aimed at assisting pregnant teens and teenage mothers.

This is just one of the many charity ventures West Herr is involved with.  Recently multiple West Herr Employees set up a rest stop with food and beverages at the Ride For Roswell. Pictures are available here.


Starry Night In The Garden 

Erie County Botanical Gardens Benefit Gains Massive Local Support

The Erie County Botanical Gardens were rocking last night with help from some fine Buffalonians.  Local radio station Star 102.5 sponsored "The Starry Nights In The Garden" concert to raise money for the gardens.  West Herr also sponsored the event and had 5 different  Toyota vehicles on display.  

"We just want to support the area and help rejuvenate the look of Buffalo," said Tom Fogarty, General Manager of West Herr Toyota and Scion in Orchard Park.Western New Yorkers enjoying food, music and refreshments at the Botanical Gardens.

National recording artists Collective Soul headlined with support from Alex Band of The Calling, Serena Ryder and Melanie Fiona. 

Concert goers also indulged in food, wine and other beverages.  Local brew JW Dundee's was on serving their Summer Wheat Ale.   

West Herr had 5 different cars on hand including a brand new 2011 Toyota Sienna, a Prius and a 4 runner. 

One lucky contestant even got to sit in the back of a Toyota Tundra pick up for the entire concert.  The "Best Seat In The House" contest winner was also served food in the pick up during the concert. 

Since 2000, Star 102.5 has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Botannical Gardens.  The Gardens are considered by many to be one of the crowning architectural jewels of the area.  They were designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, over 100 years ago.


Social Media Day In Buffalo 

Locally Organized Gathering Part Of Worldwide Event

What could Buffalo possibly have in common with Leon, Mexico and Dublin, Ireland?  On June 30th, 2010 that answer is they will all be hosting Social Media events. 

Social Media Day is an event organized by Mashable.com, a technology and social media themed website.  Over 500 meet ups are scheduled worldwide and many will even be streaming live online.  Some are even  linking together through Skype, a long distance phone and video tool. 

Buffalo's Social Media Day meet up will take place at Merge Restaurant and Bar on Delaware Ave in Buffalo from 8-10PM.  DJ Lo Pro will perform and prizes will be awarded through a raffle.  Prizes have been donated by West Herr, The Buffalo Bills, FC Buffalo and many others.  A full list of prizes can be found on the meet up's event page found here. 

See the full list of meet ups and steaming video on Mashable's site here. 

"This is a day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming a social dialogue," Mashable said on their website. 

Local social media professionals Katie Krawczyk and Keith Stephan organized the event using Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. Over 140 people are confirmed on the event's Facebook page, with close to 200 expected. 

West Herr will be on hand to celebrate the growing use of social media in Buffalo.  For those not in attendance follow the hasthag #smdaybuf on Twitter as many will tweet live from the event. Follow West Herr on twitter at twitter.com/westherr.


Celebrate Buffalo This Weekend

Citybration Festival To Showcase Buffalo's Best

This weekend is the time to celebrate the great city that is Buffalo, NY. 

The annual Citybration Festival will bring together people from all facets including business, the arts to highlight what makes Buffalo unique.  There will forums, city tours, award ceremonies and even hot air balloon rides over the city, among other events.

"We want to showcase the region’s many assets, highlight the opportunities here and celebrate our many successes," said Citybration representatives. 

The Citybration festival will take place starting this Thursday June 24 ending Sunday June 27th.  Each day has a diverse mix of events focusing on a different aspect of Buffalo life.

The festival starts off on a strong note as the Buffalo Spree "Best of WNY" party will take place at Sheas Performing Arts Center.  The event will featured food from nearly 20 local Buffalo restaurants including Sample and The Snooty Fox

Friday will feature a career fair at ECC City Campus and a free live interactive forum discussing Buffalo's successes at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Auditorium. 

"The forum will first frame our regional successes in terms of where we’ve been over the past year, tell the stories of where we are now, and will connect the dots needed to generate even more successes over the coming years," said Citybration representatives.

Saturday will feature an indie marketing in Bidwell Park off of Elmwood avenue.  Local artists will display their products and goods, most with a Buffalo theme.

The event will cap off on Sunday with hot air balloon rides starting in historic Delaware Park. 

For a full list of Citybration events, visit them online today. Get out and celebrate Buffalo, the city deserves it. 



Ford Thinking Safety First

New Sync System Features Free GPS Location With 911 Assist Service

When you're in an emergency, the last thing you need to worry about is technology not cooperating.  That's why Ford's new 911 Assist option will feature a GPS locator to help emergency workers find the scene of an accident faster.  

"Ford is committed to continuously enhancing the owner experience, and SYNC is a key part of that strategy," said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services.  "Synch 911 Assist is free for the life of the vehicle, and now we're making it perform even better.  That adds unexpected value and peace of mind for the customer." 

The SYNC system allows users to have their electronic devices such as phones and MP3 players connected to the car and controlled by voice. For a quick demo of the SYNC system, see the video below taken at West Herr Ford in Hamburg:

911 Assist with GPS will be available on most SYNC-equipped 2011 vehicles, including the Ford Taurus, Focus, Flex, Fusion, Escape and F-150; as well as the Lincoln MKS, MKZ and MKT.

What sets it apart from the competition is that it is no extra cost.  Other services in the same vain often require monthly subscription fees. 

“The new system is designed to provide coordinates through the onboard GPS receiver in addition to assisted GPS, which adds an even greater level of location accuracy,” said Dave Hatton, global product leader/electrical engineer with Ford Connected Services.  

Ford continues to look for other ways to improve the overall driver experience.  Ford representatives are currently at the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2010 conference in Indianapolis until June 10th.  They aim to work with NENA and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and develop future enhancements for 911 Assist.

For more information on the SYNC system visit syncmyride.com 

For new and used Ford vehicles in Buffalo, visit West Herr online today. 


Support The Gus Macker Tournament

West Herr Proud To Be Involved with Annual Basketball Tournament

It's summer, meaning it's time for 3 on 3 basketball.  The Buffalo Police Athletic League (PAL) and Kids Escaping Drugs will again be hosting the annual Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.  The event will take place June 26-27 at 65 Niagara Square in Buffalo. 

See some highlights from last year's event

This tagline for this year's event is "Making The World a Better Place to Live" and the PAL aims to hold true to that promise.  They said:

100% of all proceeds from the event will directly benefit the children of our community through the programs of PAL. The focus and goal of PAL’s core programming it to build strong athletic, cultural, social and recreational opportunities that area youth are attracted and held to; while adding age appropriate prevention and education to each activity.

All tournament games are 3 on 3 and there is a bracket system in place until a champion is crowned.  The PAL provides board certified referees for the games and Wegman's will even sponsor a warm up fitness routine to help players avoid cramps and injuries. 

In addition the cocession stands will be expanding to include Applebees, Just Pizza, and Sahlens’s Hot Dogs

West Herr is proud to be involved with the event yet again.  Few people know how much volunteer work goes into the event.  As we noted in a blog post from last year's event, there were over 700 volunteers.  Truly a testament to the generous people of Western New York. 

The tournament started in 1974 in a Lowell, MI driveway as Scott and Mitch McNeal found 18 friends and played for an $18 purse.  Today the tournament takes place in over 75 cities and draws a total of 1.7 million spectators attending.  The Gus Macker site says the tournament continues with the following objectives in mind:

  • A Wholesome, family-oriented event.
  • A tournament designed by players for players
  • A value to sponsors.
  • An outstanding fund-raising event for the local community.
  • A major media sporting event.
  • Entertaining for the spectators.

For more info about the history, rules, and regulations visit the general tournament website here.  For more information on how to register a team or Buffalo specific questions, visit the local site here. 

We hope to see you there!


Ford's New Consumer Approach Boosting Sales

Interaction and Engagement Translating Into Customer Loyalty

This isn't your father's Ford Motor Company.

Ford's new Fiesta Project campaign shows they're taking a youthful, digital media driven approach with their newest Fiesta models.  The Fiesta Project gave cameras to consumers and allowed them to shoot their own experiences with the car.  See the link below for an example. 

In addition to inventive marketing, Ford is also benefiting from a fresh lineup of new, fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles that deliver industry-leading levels of safety as well as smart design and value.

Ford continued to post strong sales and market share gains in May, with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers delivering 192,253 new vehicles in May – a 23 percent increase versus a year ago. It marks the sixth month in a row Ford sales have increased more than 20 percent. Year-to-date sales totaled 783,845, up 31 percent.

“Our laser focus on fuel efficiency and quality is paying off for our customers and for Ford,”
said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service.

“Our customers are rewarded because Ford resale values continue to increase at a rate higher than the overall industry – and they are rewarding us with increased purchase consideration, ” he continued.

Once again, sales were higher throughout Ford’s lineup in May – continuing a trend that began in December. Trucks paced the year-to-year results with a sales increase of 48 percent, while cars were up 9 percent, and utilities were up 18 percent. Year-to-date, car sales were up 29 percent, utilities were up 30 percent, and trucks were up 34 percent.

“Our results reflect Ford’s balanced portfolio of products,” said Czubay. “Our goal is to offer customers class-leading fuel efficiency, quality, safety, smart design and value in every product and category.

In addition, Ford is offering a customizable options through a new website aptly titled www.fordcustomgraphics.com

Essentially, customers choose their vehicle then pick from an array of colors and designs to add on. They can sample how it looks on the vehicle before making any major decisions.  Approximately 50 designs were created specifically for each vehicle. All are available in a variety of colors and sizes and were designed with the target customer in mind.

"Ford knows that customers want a vehicle to be all their own,” said Jim Abraham, Ford’s Licensed Accessories manager. “The Ford Custom Graphics website complements our strong accessory portfolio and enables customers to put a personal stamp on their vehicle.”

To experience all the exiciting things going on with Ford in the Buffalo area, visit West Herr Ford in Hamburg or Amherst today.  Or just visit us online.