You Auto Know

The Official Blog of the Paul Miller Autogroup
  • This Year, Santa’s Sleigh is a Transit (Again!)

    11/7/2016 12:43:59 PM - by JP Miller

    The holidays bring many ways to give back. It’s a great time of year to reflect on our blessings and spread joy to others in our community. That’s why Paul Miller Ford is once again partnering with the Lexington Fraternal Order of Firefighters for their annual toy drive.

    We’re supporting this fantastic program in two ways. First, we once again donated the official toy transport vehicle—a 2016 Transit 250, custom-wrapped by the team at Zipie to look like the festive sleigh it is. With nearly 250 cubic feet of cargo space, it’s got plenty of room for toys as the firefighters go around town collecting donations. It’s my sincere hope that our great town will fill the van—over and over and over again—to bring joy to kids all across Central Kentucky this holiday season.



    Of course, we’re going to do our part to help with that effort, too. Starting in early November, we’ll have toy collection boxes located in all three of our dealerships: Paul Miller Ford, Paul Miller Mazda, and Paul Miller Auto Outlet. We’ll be collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys throughout the holiday season—like the van, I’m hoping these boxes will be filled many times over!

    This program is special to all of us here at Paul Miller because it benefits families in need right here in Fayette County. The holidays really are about the kids, and anything we can do to help make their holiday season magical is something we all need to do. The Firefighters Toy Drive is a tradition here in Lexington, and it’s heartwarming to see our whole community come together for such a great cause.

    The Fraternal Order of Firefighters has organized a toy drive for the children of Fayette County for the past 85 years. We’ve been partnering with the Firefighters Toy Drive for three years, and it’s been incredible to see the Toy Drive grow by leaps and bounds in that time. Last year, the program was able to give toys to over a thousand children for the holidays. That’s huge!

    To any families interested in signing up to benefit from the program, you can do so beginning Monday, November 7, at 442 Southland Drive here in Lexington. The hours for signups are 11 – 4, Mondays through Wednesdays, and 11 – 7 on Thursdays. Parents will need to bring a current and valid Kentucky State I.D. or driver’s license, proof of Fayette Co. residence that matches the address on the I.D. (i.e., a utility bill or lease agreement), proof of guardianship, and each child’s birth certificate. The last day to sign up will be November 23.

    I urge all our customers to give back this season, if they’re able. These toys will mean the world to local children and their families come Christmas morning. So if you find yourself in a toy store this holiday season, grab something extra off the shelf and drop it off in one of our boxes. And if you see the Toy Drive Transit 250 on the road, give them a smile and a wave—after all, they’re our own personal Santas this holiday season!

  • Family Safety Day and the Ford Escape

    10/14/2016 4:22:10 PM - by JP Miller

    Here at Paul Miller Ford, we’re all about supporting our community. We’ve done it for the past three generations, and we’re dedicated to continuing that legacy for future generations as well. That’s why we just celebrated our second Family Safety Day on October 1st.

    Last year’s inaugural Family Safety Day was a great success, and we were thrilled to have the support of our city. This year’s event was bigger and better, and I was so pleased to see the great number of vendors and local causes who came together to serve Lexington’s families.

    We cleared out our showroom and parking lot to make way for this year’s activities, and we had so many! Inside the showroom, everyone got a goodie bag at registration. Families learned about crime prevention and building positive relationships between police officers and the community at the Police Activities League booth. They could get biometric fingerprint and palm scans at Next Generation Child Safety; learn about preventing distracted driving with the LifeSaver App; explore home safety with Bates Security; experience drunk driving googles with the Kentucky State Police; and meet the author of the Safety Safari children’s book. Our showroom could barely fit everyone, but it was great to see such an incredible turnout. We welcomed over 250 attendees of all ages to our campus over the course of the afternoon—that’s a pretty big Saturday, even for us! 







    Outside the showroom, kids could explore a fire truck and a police car while meeting some of the first responders keeping our community safe. The Lexington Fire Department also brought their kid-friendly fire safety trailer, which simulated a house fire (complete with smoke!) so families could learn how to safely leave a burning building. Safe Kids Fayette County gave away 50 booster seats for free and taught children and parents about vehicle safety as a whole. And, of course, we had the Kentucky Strong BBQ truck providing free lunches to all attendees.









    We also had a Ford Escape set up for booster seat demonstrations. We needed a vehicle for the demos and the Escape was a natural choice. The 2017 Escape earned the highest five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five stars in front and crash side tests and four stars in the rollover crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Escape its highest rating for side impacts, rear crash protection, and roof strength. 





    The Escape also comes with a variety of standard safety features, including antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (perfect for driving in unpredictable Kentucky weather), front-seat side airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera, blind spot mirrors, and Ford’s MyKey, which enables owners to set electronic parameters for younger drivers, also come standard. On top of all that, the Escape is built in Kentucky, making it a great vehicle for our Family Safety Day demonstration and a great choice for any Kentucky family.

    I’m so proud that our dealership came together to make another successful Family Safety Day happen. When Mayor Jim Gray declared Saturday the second annual Paul Miller Ford Family Safety Day here in Lexington, it reminded me why we give back to our community—because protecting the next generation is the most important thing we can do. 



  • Coaches, Commercials, and Community

    8/31/2016 2:26:41 PM - by JP Miller

    Summer is always an exciting time for us. People are buying new cars, the lots are busy and beautiful, and we’re sponsoring all sorts of events around Central Kentucky. On top of that, summer is also when we shoot our annual commercials with the UK coaches. Why summer? Because it’s the only time they’re not busy coaching our teams to do great things! So for a day or two every July or August, we become a full-blown commercial studio. 


    Coach Cal giving our team a pep talk. Customer service first, always!

    Last year, we shot our commercials at the beautiful and historic Dixiana Farm. Driving fantastic Ford vehicles around some jaw-dropping scenery in the heart of horse country was a great time for the coaches and everyone else at the shoot, and the commercials we created were unforgettable. This year, we’re bringing it back to the dealership, focusing on what the coaches mean to Kentucky and to Paul Miller in a new campaign called Your True Blue Dealer.


    Coach Cal knows who Kentucky's True Blue dealer is--and he's happy about it.

    What does it mean to be Central Kentucky’s True Blue Dealer? It comes down to the values we all carry: family, community, loyalty, and tradition. It’s been our honor to serve our community, both in and outside the dealership, for three generations. We always keep our reputation as Kentucky’s trusted Ford dealer in mind, building it up in everything we do. We try to always do things the right way: treating customers the way we’d treat our own families, selling only the highest quality vehicles, and always giving back to the community that’s supported us for the past 60+ years. 


    Coach Mitchell wants to know what this red car is doing in his True Blue dealership!


    Ready--set--get the door!

    That’s why we sponsor UK Athletics. Being a UK Athletics Benchmark Sponsor is one of the many ways we give back to our community. UK sports are important to everyone in Kentucky (including us!), and we’re proud to support them and to have the coaches represent our brand. UK’s incredible athletics program is a legacy of building up young people into incredible leaders and athletes—the future of our community. It’s been a natural partnership for us for many years now, and I look forward to continuing it in the future.


    Who's on Santa and Coach Cal's naughty list?


    Those Christmas sweaters look great on Coach Mitchell and Coach Stoops, don't you think?

    We’re finishing up our commercial shoots this week, and you should be seeing the first Your True Blue Dealer spots on television, radio, and social media very soon. This is one of my favorite times of year, and I’m so excited for all of you to see the product of our hard work. Until then, and always, we remain committed to being Your True Blue Dealer, serving the people of Kentucky with quality vehicles and incredible service—just as we have for three generations.


    Coach Stoops relaxing between takes. Commercial shoots are hard work, but they're still fun!

  • 10th Annual Dads & Grads Car Show Draws a Crowd for a Good Cause

    6/28/2016 7:05:04 AM - by JP Miller

    What better way to spend a hot June afternoon than eating food and celebrating a great tradition?

    Saturday, June 19 was the 10th annual Dads and Grads Car Show, presented by Paul Miller Ford in partnership with the Bluegrass Mustang Club and hosted at Paul Miller Auto Outlet in Lexington. What a great party! We had an impressive turnout—so many people came that the Kentucky Strong BBQ truck ran through all 400 sandwiches and had to start offering hot dogs! Not only that, we had an awesome total of 143 fantastic vehicles of all makes and models: vintage cars, modern cars, and everything in between.

    But it wasn’t just cars we were celebrating. Even though it’s called a “car show,” Dads and Grads is so much more that just that. It’s members of the community coming together, it’s strangers becoming friends, and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful sight. Everyone was smiling, eating, and just having a good time, gathered together for the silent auction (124 bid sheets in total), raffles, door prizes, and of course, the cars.

    One standout car was a 75-year-old 1941 Ford Station Wagon Super Deluxe, restored by the dedicated and talented Mr. Martin R. Pitts.

    The Station Wagon, originally sold to Calumet Farm in 1941, is in beautiful condition. Mr. Pitts bought it from Calumet in 1963, when it had undergone a few repairs: a rebuilt motor, new varnish, a new coat of paint, a new clutch, and a new motor entirely, just to name a few. Mr. Pitts took this car and restored it to all its former glory, including a sleek black paint job--a new but much welcomed change from the original maroon. It’s a beauty, and it definitely doesn’t look like it has 117,000 miles on it. I can only hope our dealership looks as good when it reaches 75 years of age!

    Mr. Pitts started his long-time car-restoration hobby in 1958 with a 1930 Ford Model A, and has restored cars from just about every era since. We’re so honored that Mr. Pitts chose to showcase his vehicle at Dads and Grads, and we hope he continues his incredible work.

    Just like Mr. Pitts and his car, Paul Miller Ford has a long and respectable history. Ever since 1953, we’ve been helping customers find the car that’s right for them. And it all started with my grandfather, Paul E. Miller, selling newspapers on a Charleston street corner. Because of his passion for selling cars and for providing great service, we’ve been able to pass that tradition down to our customers. Because we wouldn’t be here without them, newcomers and regulars alike.

    It’s our honor to have served our community for such a long time, and part of that is giving back. So we partnered with the Bluegrass Mustang Club to give back through the Dads and Grads Car Show by donating all net proceeds to a number of local charities: Sweet Blessings Bakery, Boy Scout Troop 859, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill, and the UK Children’s Hospital, whom we’ve been supporting for quite a while now. These organizations have provided Lexington with amazing services and it’s only right that we give back to them for all the hard work they’ve put in.

    This year was the tenth annual Dads and Grads event; it’s something we look forward to each year. Mark your calendars for next June--we’ll see you and your family then!

  • The Story Behind the Shoes: Why I bought 50 pairs of sneakers for my sales staff

    6/7/2016 7:30:09 AM - by JP Miller

    Several weeks ago, I decided to buy shoes for my sales teams. A lot of shoes.

    This might strike some people as strange, but for me, it’s just another way to take care of our employees and in turn they take care of our customers.

    I believe in the difference a good pair of shoes can make. I’m on my feet just about all day, every day, so a pair of well-made, well-fitted, comfortable shoes is vital. Why do I move around so much? Part of it is because our campus is big—27 acres in total. And while I’m running around, helping out and attending meetings at our different dealerships, it’s nothing compared to what our sales teams do. We’re coming up on a busy time of year. We’re seeing more repeat customers than ever, and I know that everyone is going to be up and moving around a lot over the next few months. I know the difference good shoes make for me—why not provide that for my sales team?

    So that’s exactly what I did.

    I knew I wanted to get the best, and I wanted to support another local business in the process. That’s why the first thing I did was visit John’s Run Walk Shop, a locally-owned shoe store that’s been part of the Lexington community since 1978. They’re the experts when it comes to footwear. I told their salesperson that I wanted to buy about 50 pairs of shoes; he said he’d go get his manager. (Apparently they don’t have a lot of people walking in and asking for several dozen pairs at once—who knew?) I asked if they could help fit our sales employees with new running shoes; and being the accommodating folks they are, they said of course.

    It took a fair amount of planning—we’re not a small dealership, after all, and bringing enough shoe styles and sizes to find the perfect fit for everyone on our sales team meant essentially building a pop-up shop in the middle of our showroom. It took about two weeks to get everything together, but we finally unloaded several hundred pairs of shoes in our Ford showroom and I channeled my inner Oprah—“You get new running shoes! And you get new running shoes! Everyone gets new running shoes!”

       

    It took a few tries for the message to sink in, but once the team from John’s started getting everyone fitted, the sales crew finally realized what was going on. The surprise and delight on their faces was the highlight of my month.

         

    Now that we’re all rocking our new footwear, we’ll be able to serve our customers even better.  Our sales teams won’t hesitate to run across a lot to find the exact vehicle a customer is looking for, or head over to another one of our dealerships if a customer’s needs would be better met by another of our brands. Because the sales team now has their perfect fit, they can help our customers find theirs. We’re focused on helping our customers drive happy through extraordinary service; new shoes and happy feet are just one way I can help make that happen.   

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