“I’ll Meet You at 2 AM….”


I keep seeing this ad on the local Dallas-area cable system, for Lewis Chevrolet in a small town, Canton TX. It's a folksy car dealer ad, not shouting like most car ads. The ad features a guy who must be the owner, he's at least 80 years old, it appears, and has probably had the dealership forever.

What jumps out is his statement, “I'll meet you here at 2 in the morning if I know you're coming.”

Now, THAT is customer-focused. I wonder if anyone ever takes him up on that offer? I'm not commenting on it as a “lean” issue, other than it's great to see someone so customer focused, I guess I will call that “lean.”

You want to buy a car on your schedule?? How rude.

By comparison, I remember growing up in Detroit, where the auto dealers conspired in the 1980's to not stay open evenings or weekends, when most people might want to buy a car, but it was inconvenient for the dealers' employees, I suppose. This was later ruled to be an illegal restraint of trade.

So, we wonder why the American automakers are in trouble… it's not just lack of customer focus on the product side, the dealers, other than bend-over-backward small-town Texas dealers, didn't necessarily do them any favors either.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Several years ago I bought a Tahoe from Henry Lewis. I dealt directly with him, as he has/had ( I don’t know if he is alive anymore, I haven’t seen any of his commercials recently) no sales staff. He only has a boy working for him that will get you the keys if you want to test drive a vehicle. After we finished the paperwork and the deal was done he gave me a silver dollar from the 50’s, if i remember correctly. I asked him if he would really meet someone at 2 in the morning and he said he definitley would, and I believed him.


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