Dealer Spotlight: Bryson Sales and Service of Washington
Interviewee: Robert Kanter
Title: Vice President
Q. What is your dealership’s approach to introducing alt fuels to your customers?
A. Our team at Bryson brings up propane as a school bus option with every school district we talk with. We’ve made alternative fuels our main area of focus. We recommend to our prospective customers that they speak with other districts that already operate propane buses in their fleets. Our current customers are open to discussions about the cost savings and dependability of propane-fueled buses.
Q. What type of maintenance savings can customers expect by adopting propane as compared to diesel?
A. There’s more maintenance required with diesel’s new emissions regulations. This is eliminated with propane. You don’t have any regen issues with propane, which makes bus drivers more at ease, according to many school districts.
Q. What other kind of feedback have you heard from your customers on their driver’s experience with propane-fueled buses?
A. We have received feedback that school bus drivers are very happy with propane buses. The three main driver comments we hear are that they love the power of the bus; they can’t believe how quiet the buses are as compared to diesel; and they can quickly start their propane buses in cold weather. That last point is really important in this part of the country.
Q. What are some of the tools you use to sell alt fuels?
A. We feel that factory tours of both Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech are incredibly valuable. It’s great to be able to show our customers how the product is manufactured so they feel confident in the product they’re receiving.
Another selling tool we always have available is a demo. We have four propane-fueled demo buses that we lend out. Our customers can drive one and see how it performs and operates. This takes it from us asking the customer to “just believe me,” to the customer being able to actually touch and experience the bus.
Q. How have you found the partnership between ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird benefits your sales?
A. The commitment and the partnership allow us to sell the product. When there are issues, it’s handled diplomatically — there’s no finger pointing.
I worked for another school bus manufacturer for many, many years and made the switch to Blue Bird. I appreciate the partnership that ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird corporate provides because it’s all one cohesive team.
So, my advice for other dealerships is to remember that your No. 1 selling feature is the fact that we are one dream team — Blue Bird dealerships, Blue Bird corporate and ROUSH CleanTech. If any of your customers’ buses go down, we have the experience of our team to help and make sure that the buses are up and running ASAP.