Posted by Steve Lettau on Jan 25, 2018

In 1978, with the ink barely dry on his college diploma, Wally Sommer began working at his father's side in the family dealership, Sommer's Buick-Pontiac in Mequon. One of the early tasks handed to him by his dad was to call customers to check the status of outstanding accounts. Wally completed the job with one exception. The elder Mr. Sommer, Wally Sr., took the account back and said he would look into it himself. Later, Wally asked his father if he had reached a resolution regarding the customer.“Well, yes,” his father replied, it turns out the family doesn’t have any money to pay. In fact, they don’t even have money to fill their tank with heating oil this winter.” “What did you do?” asked his son. “Why I called the fuel company and ordered them to go to their home and fill the tank,” replied Wally Sr. The answer was not at all what young Wally expected to hear. But it established for him, at that early date, the foundation of care and respect the elder Mr. Sommer expected regarding the people with whom they did business. It’s a bar that Wally, his family and employees still hold as high today.

Customer care is but one of the reasons Wally Sommer of Sommer’s Subaru Buick GMC has been chosen as your 2018 Wisconsin Dealer of the Year and the 2018 Time Quality Dealer of the Year nominee.

Sommer’s Subaru, the store Wally is representing as your TIME Quality Dealer nominee, is operating at record levels. A beautiful new facility and a growing staff have allowed the dealership to maintain their #1 Rank in the Minneapolis zone of 44 dealers and #2 ranking in the Central Region of Subaru consist- ing of 163 retailers. For four consecutive years the dealership has been recognized as a member of the Subaru Chairman’s Roundtable consisting of the top 25 of 630 national dealers. The award is not based simply on sales volume but on facility requirements and customer satisfaction. In addition, the Buick- GMC franchises have earned GM’s Mark of Excellence from 2013 to the present. Those, however, are only numbers. The real story lies in the atmosphere of the Sommers dealership.