How Hiley Volkswagen of Arlington became Sales Effective for the first time since 1990

Picture This: A family-owned and operated dealership since 1990, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro, became sales effective for the FIRST TIME at the end of 2023. 

After 33/34 years of being in business, what changed to finally get this dealership over the hump and become sales effective? 

Keep reading to find out… This blog will highlight the story of some of the recent success GM Mark Welch has found with the Hiley Volkswagen of Arlington store.

What happened?

Hiley Volkswagen of Arlington has been family-owned and operated since 1990. 

Mark Welch is the General Manager at Hiley VW of Arlington & Hiley Mazda of Arlington. He has now been with the store for 15 years and is well respected by thousands of happy customers. 

Mark has had great success with the Mazda store and it’s clear why. That culture has been instilled throughout his team and the stores. This is one of many reasons the Mazda store has dominated their backyard and owns their market. 

In 2022, Hiley VW of Arlington averaged 51 new sales per month, and the store was not sales-effective. 

In Q1 of 2023, Mark reached out to Fountain Forward to take a look at the Volkswagen store. Mark was adamant about his objective – to increase sales, dominate his backyard, and become sales effective. He just wasn’t sure HOW to get there. 

At the time, they were the lowest website lead producing website in all of DFW. They were pissed off about that. The store was not broken but they believed they could really grow and make some noise with the factory. 

Mark felt good about the team he had in place at the store. They just needed more opportunities. 

We realized that Hiley VW’s digital strategy did not align with their objectives, and Hiley VW was a great candidate for our proprietary Automotive Accelerator. 

Mark was ready to go into “ALL GAS, NO BRAKES” mode.

A Perfect Storm Was Brewing…

After COVID & the chip crisis disrupted the automotive industry, new inventory was finally starting to build up on Mark’s lot. While the Fed was busy hiking rates at the fastest pace in 20+ years, incentives began to improve from the manufacturer throughout 2023. 

On April 20th of 2023, Fountain Forward implemented the Automotive Accelerator with Hiley VW of Arlington. 

The store had a new media mix (marketing budget) and a refreshed, aggressive strategy focused on increasing opportunities.

Within 7 days of launching the Automotive Accelerator, Mark emailed us the report shown below. “Is the Fountain Forward magic already happening? This is the 1st time ever we have had more unique leads than any other VW store in the district!!!! We were 3rd most leads just over a week ago!! Now I need my team to execute!!”. 

Mark and his team were PUMPED about the increase in lead volume and traffic at the stores. Remember that culture that we had talked about? The team at Hiley VW leveraged that and was able to capitalize on the increase in opportunities and turn them into sales. 

The efforts continued and the store rolled the momentum into May of 2023. The store found it’s stride and continued that throughout the entire year. In the following months, sales trended higher, consistently scaling. 


Here’s what 2023 performance looks like visually, in graph form. 

1. New Media Mix (Marketing Budget) aggressively targeting in-market demand

2. With great merchandising, aggressive pricing, and growing inventory levels, lead volume followed. 

3. With the right team and culture in place, opportunities turned into sales. Prospects turned into happy customers. 

FINALLY, in December of 2023, the store became sales effective for the FIRST TIME!

In Conclusion:

There wasn’t ONE thing that caused Hiley Volkswagen of Arlington to become sales effective. This accomplishment didn’t come overnight. 

Instead, it was a beautiful culmination and timing of many “fundamentals” coming together with one, clear objective. 

  • Inventory Improved
  • Incentives Improved
  • Right People in the Right Places
  • Aggressive Media Mix

Mark and Fountain Forward remain in “ALL GAS, NO BRAKES” mode, and have no intentions of slowing down or moving backward. Proud to have played a part in the store’s success… And eager to keep moving forward.