The team at Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge, 10 S. 25th St., has a new leader. Scott Kranz, has been named general sales manager.
Kranz is new to the local automobile sales and service world, but is far from being a novice.
"I'm lifetime automotive," Kranz said. "I grew up in the business."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kemna Auto general sales manager Scott Kranz, left, stops to chat with sales consultant TJ Pingel recently in the showroom.
Kranz spent his childhood years and early professional life in South Dakota. He was born in 1970 the same year his father started selling cars. Subsequently his father became the General Motors dealer in Mitchell, S.D. The younger Kranz bought that dealership from his father in 1996 and between 2004 and 2006 expanded the business.
"In 2004, I bought my first dealership other than the one I was buying from my dad," Kranz said. "At one point, I had five dealerships - two in Mitchell, two in Worthington, Minn., and one in Oskaloosa, Iowa."
The recession and subsequent restructuring of General Motors in the automobile marketplace caused Kranz to sell off those dealerships.
"In essence, what happened to me, I got caught in the economic meltdown," he said.
Recognizing that Kranz had vast industry experience, Ken Kemna recruited him to take a leadership role at Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge.
As general sales manager, Kranz said he wears multiple hats, but basically is charged with keeping the team focused on strengthening the Kemna presence in the local automotive marketplace.
"In essence, working with the different departments and the different managers of the departments and the employees of the dealership to ensure that we're striving to meet the goals and customer satisfaction goals," he said.
It's a role that Kranz said he relishes.
"I love it," he said. "I like talking to people. I like helping them get what they want. ... I like helping employees grow. I like training sales people and mentoring them to be sales managers. A lot of my former sales people, I groomed into managers and they are running stores now. No. 1, I like working with people and growing them. And then, No. 2, I like working with customers and I like taking care of people."
Kranz said "a dedication to customers" is a fundamental part of the Kemna business philosophy.
"We're going to work hard to earn their business," he said. "We're professional. We're performance-driven. We're nice people. ... After the sale, I'm performance-driven to keep you satisfied. Selling the car is just the beginning. It's the lifecycle of the ownership that matters most."
He stressed that at Kemna the goal is to make each new customer a lifetime customer.
About Kemna Auto
Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge is owned by Ken Kemna and his son, Carey Kemna. The Kemna Auto Group also has dealerships in Algona and Jackson, Minn. The company also operates AutoSmart used car outlets in Algona, Fort Dodge and Spirit Lake.
Customers looking for just the right new or used vehicle benefit from the large number of units in the Kemna system. Kranz said that on the day he was interviewed for this story the company has 281 new cars and 368 used cars in its systemwide inventory. He said that on a typical day the Fort Dodge store is likely to have 100 used and 60 to 70 new vehicles on its lot.
Kranz said the company has about 120 employees, 30 of whom work at the Fort Dodge site.
Looking to the future, there are big plans to enhance Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge.
"We're building a new facility in the next 18 months to two years," Kranz said. "We want to grow our business. We're been running about 70 to 75 units a month. We'd like to grow that to 100 plus."
He said the company hopes to start construction on its existing property of its new Fort Dodge home in spring 2013.
Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge is open for auto sales from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Friday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The selection used vehicles features an ever-changing mix of models and brands. New car sales feature General Motors products.
"We have everything but Cadillac, so we're Buick, Chevrolet and GMC," Kranz said.