La Porte Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM SRT’s Parts Department has found the perfect blend of experiential knowledge and family values in Parts Manager Julie Somerville and Parts Advisor Clay Manering.
Somerville has been a member of the La Porte Chrysler team for twelve out of her thirty years in the Chrysler business and she has loved every minute of it. Originally taking a fill-in position, Somerville was happy to permanently become La Porte Chrysler’s Parts Manager.
Her thirty years with Chrysler have allowed Somerville to witness many positive changes and technological advances within her department. For example, the parts department has always provided customers with spare keys for their vehicles. Today, however, the department also works with Chrysler’s new key fobs that do not require the driver to physically insert and turn a key to start a vehicle. Instead, drivers now use push-start buttons.
Although Manering has not been an employee at La Porte Chrysler as long as Somerville, he certainly knows a lot about La Porte Chrysler’s dedication to serving their community. As the grandson of owner Bob Magnuson and nephew of General Nanager Matt Magnuson, Manering was exposed to the community-based passions of La Porte Chrysler from a very young age.
He wanted to have same the chance to connect with community members as his grandfather and his uncle, so he joined the family business. Manering worked at the dealership for three years while in high school and then joined the team again after he graduated from Parkland College and Ball State University.
“I wanted to get my feet wet in the family business, and parts was the way to go,” said Manering. “I had an interest in car parts and I liked interacting with people.”
Together, Manering and Somerville make it their duty to emulate La Porte Chrysler’s family and community values through the parts department’s interaction with customers. “I see so many people on a daily basis. Just interacting with them, seeing how their day is going: I love it. I love talking to people and helping them get what they need,” said Manering.
Compared to other dealerships, Somerville believes that La Porte Chrysler’s staff’s experience and knowledge of Chrysler products also makes their parts department unique. The staff’s experience with parts mirrors their experience with customer service - each customer is just as much of a member of the La Porte Chrysler family as the company’s employees.
“We have a nice, friendly atmosphere. I personally like to get on a first name basis with our customers,” said Manering.
The camaraderie and professionalism between Manering, Somerville, and their customers surpasses La Porte Chrysler’s high expectations for customer service and community involvement.
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