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January 12, 2015

The Detroit North American Auto Show is on.  I'll be adding content on social media with links on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Kirk Just

Dec 31, 2014

Looking Back, Looking Forward

It's New Year's Eve with about 1 hour left on the work clock for me so let's do this!

I am an advocate for change.  I don't believe there is anything you do in your life that is exactly how one would want it to be.  Sure there are the routine things that come up but there is always room for improvement.  It's not a matter of changing something for the sake of change but analyzing what is being done and where the improvement might be.
  • Is there a way to save time in your morning routine?
  • What is the best way to play a game so you win more consistently?
  • Could you be a better parent/friend/significant other?
  • Can you run a better business?

2014 saw the groundwork being laid for some positive changes in 2015.  Some of the things that you may see going forward:
  • A better website and mobile.  Straight talk we use an outside firm to help manage our sites.  It's easier to manage but loses some of the unique feel of the business.  We now have tools in place to take a much more active role in the management and you may see some changes.  No timelines as contracts and such need to be reviewed.  Plus I would need time to write the code for the site from scratch.  I also have a few tools I want to add to the new site you may not have seen before.
  • Bringing in the right vehicles.  Some don't like to order vehicles for themselves from the factory due to the time involved and such.  What we want to do is bring in a better mix of vehicles by really taking personal bias out of the process and listening to what customers are saying.  Saves us money in the long run too.
  • Video.  We still have to get a better area to shoot vehicles in but that shouldn't stop us from getting a bit more active with video.
  • Faster service times.  I used to work on computers with a highly developed system of getting work down in a timely and efficient manner.  I'm seeing the development of this process starting to take shape here.  This will mean quicker repairs for you and a better turnaround time for us with less chance of errors.  While everyone likes the human touch, in the repair process this can lead to human error.  Building a system will help eliminate this.
  • Just be better.  From the front end to the back just get rid of everything that doesn't matter and be more valuable to you.  Switch the focus from our problems to solving yours.
I could go on but I think you get the idea.  Some things might work, some might not.  Only time will tell.

Happy New Year,

Kirk Just
Resolution Revolutionary

Dec 24, 2014

Keep Calm and Toque On

We will keep this short and sweet as I am sure there is stuff that needs doing during the holidays.

Upcoming we are planning to have a give away for some embroidered toques.  It's a nice symbiotic relationship, we keep your head warm and you give us a shout out to the general public.  I like free swag, it's something tangible I get from my relationship with something.  I've mentioned it before that is what we are interested in here, building relationships.

Going forward you are going to see more of this if i have anything to say about it.  Not just toques but other things as well.  My dad still talks about the custom calendar he received with a picture of his new F-150, so that might be something reintroduced.  I have a few other ideas as well.

It obviously costs us something but if it is valuable to you why wouldn't we do it?  It's not a contest where we try to take all the money and keep it for ourselves.  That is what many think Capitalism needs to be but I think you are going to see a growing movement to more sharing.  We have seen flashes of this already and I think it will only improve as communication and understanding improves.

Happy Holidays,

Kirk Just
Holiday Haberdasher

Dec 17, 2014


So if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you may have noticed a few unruly penguins now and again.  It's a little project I put together just really for fun.  Because let's face it, you know we sell vehicles, you only need to click one of the links on this page alone to see that.  While I could just post the current specials every week what is really the point?  I want you to know what is going on so you can take advantage of the rebates being offered but how interesting is it to see that spammed all over Facebook.  Everyone has some access to the information through traditional channels or by just visiting the manufacturer or (hopefully) our sites.  What I would like our social media to be is you know, social.

I didn't expect it to go viral or to get thousands of likes but I was interested in how people were surprised that an auto dealership would do something this somewhat random.  I think this really speaks back to what is being created here.  We could do the usual, the Royal Auto Group dealerships have been in business for some time now but why stick to the same old thing?  There is always room for improvement and new things to try.  Plus it makes coming to work more fun.

Hopefully it makes your day more enjoyable too,

Kirk Just
Penguin Wrangler
Royal Auto Group

Dec 10, 2014


It's interesting when I talk to people about my work.  Usually they don't quite understand when I say I work for the Royal Auto Group.  Many know the history of Royal Ford so perceive what I do in that context.  Others know the brands of Ford and Honda and come with preconceived notions of what that entails.  If someone really does not have any bias based on the previous perceptions saying it sells vehicles has a perception to it.  All these things are attributed to past experience and humans are trained to react according to our past experiences.

I've talked about how the Royal Auto Group is trying to present a different way of shopping for vehicles.  Even right now we are assessing how we do things and challenging our own perceptions on what we do.  There is discussion (sometimes animated) but hopefully there is progress.  Will we come to a consensus and be finished?  Not possible as the philosophy we are pursuing is constant improvement.  We will make our process more efficient and effective in every area possible.

For you this will mean faster appointments, better service, having the vehicles you want, the parts you want, and maybe some extra swag you want.  We can be the most well run company in the world but if it does nothing for you we fail.  We could be the cheapest dealership out there but with limited support how much value is there?  We all love Bill or John or any of our other team members but we feel you shouldn't have to seek them out to get that killer deal.  If you like them by all means come in and talk to them, I don't think Bill is ever going to retire.  We understand these perceptions as you can attribute it to the way an industry appears to operate but we want everything we do to be valuable to you.  Terry wants to run a dealership that does not conform to the perceived norm in the industry.

Hopefully I've explained this properly, if you spend any time on the internet you can quickly see how the intent of what you communicate can quickly spiral out of control.  I don't have to put this out there but I want to try and create progress in any small way possible.  Hopefully I will get my act together and start putting these posts out a bit more consistently.  Wednesdays good for everybody?  Email at is there if you need.  Check out our social media if you want more content.  Drop us a like if you want.

2 out of 3 penguins can't be wrong,

Kirk Just
What is it I do again?
Royal Auto Group

Dec 2, 2014

A few things to share this week:
  • Over at Royal Ford the Year-End event has started today.  I've posted a few deals on (or click the link above) with more potentially incoming.  Come on down and see what rebates apply to the Ford you have been looking at.
  • Over at Royal Honda the Bring Home a Honda event is in full swing.  What has been especially fantastic is the incorporation of toys as spokepeople?  spokesthings?  personalities?  Skeletor took over the Honda twitter, Jem and G.I.Joe have interpersonal issues, Gumby and Pokey also make an appearance.  We have been sharing some of the goings on in our social media channels so check it out.  They beat me to the punch with using toys in this fashion but they have a larger budget than i have to do it ;)  Some penguins around here have been giving everyone a hard time so expect to see something soon.
Short and sweet, like the holiday goodies we eat too much of each year.

Kirk Just
<Insert Title Here>
Royal Auto Group

Nov 26, 2014

Black Friday
I've been involved in the service/retail environment for a few years now and nothing has more infamy attached to it than Black Friday.  Ford has decided to bring the Swap Your Ride event to a close with the offer of an additional $750 rebate for Black Friday running from November 27th to December 1st.  Not so much a Black Friday only event but you get the idea.  For full disclosure Royal Ford is also being offered an incentive to sell certain models.  It is this I wish to share today.

So I mentioned in last week's blog post that the Royal Auto Group and by extension Royal Ford and Royal Honda want to be a different experience.  For most people, walking into a car dealership is a stressful experience.  We know people dread the salesperson, expecting coercion and tricks to sign on the dotted line.  This is fostered by many dealerships offering incentives through commissions or sales goals.  If this is unpleasant for you it is also unpleasant for us.  The focus becomes more of a Dealer vs Customer relationship rather than a partnership.  Coming to work everyday under these conditions can be very stressful.  Luckily at the Royal Auto Group everyone is on salary and our focus is on delivering what you want, not what is the most beneficial to us.

This brings us to the incentive Ford is offering.  The salespeople are to receive a bonus if they sell a certain model.
Is this in your best interest?
Is this in ours?
Myself and the Royal Auto Group would say the answer to both questions is no.
You feel you are being coerced by the salesperson towards the specific model and the salespeople compete with each other for customers.  Neither of these outcomes are desirable and does not add value to the experience.

So as an organization we have decided to ignore this bonus.  If we sell one of these units, the money will be put into a fund to be put to a better use.  The Royal Auto Group is always looking to help out the community so there will be good use for the fund.  We also have a few freebies we plan to give out so that fund may be used for that as well.  Do we have to do this?  We could just throw a party but is that any different than just paying the bonus out?

So let's make a real deal:  If you find that we are not adding real value to your experience call us out on it.  We take these responses very seriously as this points to something in our process that is not performing like it should.  Believe me, we will take steps to correct it as we are all invested in keeping the doors open and contributing to the greater good.

This takes us back to the whole premise of Black Friday. I personally have a strong distaste for all things related to Black Friday.  People competing to get the best deal on limited quantity, putting others at risk just to say they were the first to get the item.  Vendors having to control the throngs from destroying the business and each other.  It is not healthy for the community and victimizes it's members.

So am I saying that you shouldn't come in for the $750 bonus rebate if you are ready to buy a new Ford?  Of course not, take advantage of Ford's offer and view it as an act of generosity if you wish.  We will help you solve your need regardless of outside factors.  We will still keep working to add value to your experience.

Just please don't elbow old ladies out of the way when you do it ;)

Kirk Just
Communications Commando
Royal Auto Group

Nov 17, 2014

One thing at my short time so far with the Royal Auto Group I've noticed is Terry's focus on continually trying to improve the Dealerships.  Last week we brought in Gordon McGlinton and Heero Hacquebord from APT leadership over to Royal Ford for over a week to train some of the staff in Dr. Deming's philosophies.  This week more of us have traveled to Regina for another seminar.

Why does this matter to you, my dear reader?  In your own workplace or home you may have found that things could be better, more efficient, etc but have never really developed a plan or aim.  Hopefully by making the Dealerships more effective and efficient we can deliver to you the best product at the best possible price.

I'm sure that when you set forth to purchase a vehicle there have been doubts at the aim of the Dealership.  You may have encountered a commission styled Dealership who seem more interested in the sale.  With the Royal Auto Group we are more interested in the relationship.  We strive to be an easier experience without pressure.  Sales staff are on salary and are trained to deliver solutions, not a hunk of steel (or aluminum) with wheels.  We want you to be happy with the vehicle and have the support for maintenance down the line.  Because life happens.

Hopefully we are delivering, if not let us know on our Twitter, Facebook, Google +, or carrier pigeon if you prefer. is always there too if you want the more direct approach.

I'll try to stay on top of your requests in a timely fashion while in training, hopefully Gordon and Heero don't have access to meter sticks.

Kirk Just
New Media Manager
Royal Auto Group

Nov 12, 2014

Well it looks like winter has decided to start rolling in with all the cold weather we are currently experiencing so it is a good time to update everyone on the specials going on to make your winter driving experience better:
  • Currently at Royal Ford you can get a Winter Safety Package for free when you purchase a new vehicle during the Swap Your Ride event going on.  This package is also available for purchase from Service.  Just get in touch with our Service professionals to find the right mix of products for you.  Winter wipers are also available for $19.98.  These really help keep ice from collecting in the wiper blade.  Winter tire specials are also on.
  • Royal Honda has the It's Your Choice special going on right now where you can get the choice of either snow tires, remote start, extended warranty or even a snow blower with the purchase of a new 2014 Honda.  See the Honda Service professionals if you need advice on getting your vehicle ready for winter.
Winter is also forcing me to head inside in order to keep putting up content of our new and used inventory.  Quarters are going to be tight but there may be a new way to view the vehicles if everything works out.  As interesting as the Quicklane walls are to look at in the backgrounds hopefully this will look much better.  I also have a few tricks in mind provided the new software delivers as expected.

Keep warm,

Kirk Just
New Media Manager
Royal Auto Group

Nov 3, 2014

Hopefully everyone survived Halloween intact and are coming down from the sugar high.  If you follow our Facebook or Google+ (links below) you would have seen our posts of a couple of things from this past week:
  • We Scare Hunger donations were dropped off at the Food Bank.  Thanks to the Yorkton Regional High School for their contribution and all those who came down to Royal Ford with their donations.
  • The first annual Pumpkin Walk went off at Jaycee Beach.  See pictures from the walk taken by the guys at Honda on our Facebook.  It's posted to both Royal Ford's and Royal Honda's timeline so just pick your flavour.
  • Royal Ford's Mustang page should be going up shortly.  I'll provide a link here once it is ready.  Speaking of which the 2015 Mustang is available for viewing in the Royal Ford showroom and pictures should be up for viewing as soon as possible.  Keep watch on our Facebook, Google+ and Twitter for details.
I'm sure I'm missing something but I'll update the blog if it comes up.

Kirk Just
New Media Manager
Royal Auto Group

Oct 28,2014

For this week we have a few things to share:
  • Swap Your Ride at Ford is in it's Bonus Week.  Get an additional $500 off on top of the clearance pricing and the $1000 for Costco members!
  • The Gummie contest is still on at Honda and the Buy a Honda, Get a Honda event.
  • The 2015 Honda HR-V is on preview.  Read all about it here.
  • Get a preview of this week's Ford New and Used Specials here.
Stay up to date with what is going on by clicking the links to our Social Media channels below.  It's slippery out there today be safe and consider some winter tires, they really help!

Kirk Just
New Media Manager
Royal Auto Group

Oct 21, 2014

Currently at the Royal Auto Group we have a few new items to share:
  • Royal Honda just started up a new contest with the 2015 Honda Fit .  Come in and guess how many gummies are in the Fit for a chance to win a lease for a year!
  • Also at Royal Honda the Buy a Honda, Get a Honda event has started where if you purchase a new Honda you can receive a new Honda Snowblower!
  • At Royal Ford the Swap Your Ride Event is on (some details on the sidebar) with $1000 off for Costco members and a free winter safety package available.
  • We are still taking donations at Royal Ford in conjunction with the Yorkton Regional High School to donate to the local food banks.  Bring in any non-perishable foods to the new Accessory Truck in the showroom and we will take the donation over at the end of the month.
Click the links on the sites for our Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and Twitter pages.

Royal Decrees... it makes sense in my brain but I may work on that.  If you have any suggestions you can always drop us a line @  If it's 3 in the morning we might be asleep but that shouldn't be a barrier for a good idea.

We Make it Easy,

Kirk Just
New Media Manager
Royal Auto Group