Car Selling Secrets - A Walser Podcast

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Well, it’s the coldest week of the winter so it’s a perfect time to talk boats with Dan Chesky from Dan’s Southside Marine. We explain to Tom that it’s called ‘Dock Sailing’ not ‘Deck sailing’. Dan discuses Mercury’s new 600 HP V12 outboard that costs $80,000 and can drinks three gallons of gas per mile. Tracy Morgan shows up at the end of the show.



Guest free episode where we talk about Apple and Hyundai making AV’s, Caroll Shelby’s AC Cobra selling for 12 million dollars, the ongoing chip shortage hurting production and the jaw-dropping Cadillac Blackwing…. Along the way we hear from Officer Dave and Joe from Louisville, Marvin Gaye and the Beatles.



Leading automotive journalist Cliff Banks joins us to talk about the future of automotive in these changing times including EV’s AV’s and Hydrogen powered cars.
The last 10 minutes inadvertently turned into a commercial for Fuse AutoTech, a software company that will allow a complete digital automotive transaction. For those interested in learning more about the automotive business, I highly recommend subscribing to



Dayna Landgrebe is our guest this week. Dayna has worked in PR and Communications at Walser for 3 years. She talks about the work done creating an interesting and vibrant culture within the company. She is a founder of the ‘Women of Walser’ and was instrumental in the creation of the ‘Drive with Pride’ initiative. She’s helped build something very different in the automotive space. She talks about her early work in TV news production and a desire to get into radio where she thought the big money was.



Angel Gonzales, General Manager of Walser Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram joins us in studio. Angel talks about his family moving from Panama to escape Noriega, getting talked into joining the army and his accidental recruitment into the car business. We also discuss the Hell Cat Pacifica (not going to happen) and the electric Wrangler (which is going to happen).



After a 3 week break, we are back with the first show of the year. We discuss Elon Musk becoming the wealthiest person in the world, David Hasselhoff auctioning off Kitt and the impending demise of the internal combustion engine.



How do you know when your advertising is effective? When someone flies in from New Mexico to buy a car. We are joined by long time KQ and Podcast listener Charlie ‘n Albuquerque. Turns out he and Tom likely crossed paths in the record business in the early 70’s. Some great stories for the last show of the year. We will return on January 7th. Here’s to hoping for a better year. Happy Holidays to one and all.



Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Mark Meier and Bill Dehkes, founders of the Face It Foundation. They started the foundation over 10 years ago because of battles with depression. We talk about how the issue disproportionately effects men in their 40s and 50s. Despite the somber topic, it’s a very interesting episode and a must listen if you or someone close to you is suffering with this terrible disease.



A super rare episode where we talk about cars. Winter driving tips for parents and children and when it’s cool to do doughnuts with your parents in the car.



As special pre-Thanksgiving edition of Car Selling Secrets. We are joined in studio by Minneapolis mayoral candidate, Philadelphia native who is curiously call L.A. Nik. La talks about his first car, a triple black 64 GTO, his infatuation with Benelli motorcycles, and his love for Walser car rental service which has allowed him to travel the country in search of the rare and collectable.



Due to recent COVID restrictions, both of our guests joined us via Skype. State Representatives Pat Garofolo and Ryan Winkler join us to talk about COVID vaccines, helping small businesses and the chess game behind the possibility of Amy Kloubuchar joining the Biden administration. We all model adult behavior by having a Democrat, a Republican, a used car salesman and a DJ all get along with no yelling or screaming. This likely due to having Andy Barnard in the room.



Larry ‘Moon’ Thompson from KS 95 makes his return to Car Selling Secrets. It’s a rollicking conversation the covers the election, SNL, getting fired from radio stations and getting DWIs. We congratulate Moon on 32 years of sobriety which was clearly a good decision.



Twin Cities Radio legend John Hines re-joins us in studio for the November men. Tom, Doug and John are all born in the first few days of the month. We tell stories about when the auto world was centered in Minneapolis along with 90 years of combined radio history in Minnesota. Tom gets mad when he finds out that John has been the recipient of two declarations from the Governor proclaiming “John Hines day.”



Jerry Eaton, our friend from Walser Toyota joins us to talk about new Toyota product and lays the groundwork to sell Alex a new hybrid all-wheel drive Sienna. Along the way we talk about bumpers falling off Tesla, 67,000 Bugatti lease payments and the future of on-line retailing.



Episode 68. We are joined in studio with John Heinen and Nick Nichols who are the pilot and co-pilot of A 440 studios. They are promoting their six week live concert series at Southern Theatre. Staples as both performers and behind the scene gurus of the local Minneapolis music scene, A-440 fest serves both the musical community as well as supporting the 30 day foundation which helps families in need. If you need a break from politics and just want to talk about music, this episode is for you.



Larry Moon Thompson joins Doug in the studio to tell stories about growing up on a family farm in Nebraska and how he started a 45 year radio career.



We are joined in studio by Sarah Sprinthall and Reverend Dana Fath Strande. We talk about Dana’s journey growing up Catholic in a small western Minnesota farm town and eventually becoming an Episcopalian Priest. Along the way, Tom gets some advice about how God works in the world.



Mike Bilski from North American Bank and our Walser friend Tom Ryan Jr. join us for a rollicking episode where we talk about graft in the UAW, suing people who rear end Ferraris and the most dangerous banking investments.



In this episode, we discuss California’s announcement banning the sale of gas powered cars in 15 years. We talk about Elon Musks announcement of 25K all electric cars with a 250 mile range in three years. Tom is shocked to learn that Telsa stock has risen from 80 dollars per share on January first to almost 400 dollars. Tire Carver calls in to plug what is probably the only garage in the state that works on Ferraris.



Congresswoman Angie Craig calls in while sitting in her car, looking at the Capitol in Washington. She talks about growing up in a single parent household, working her way through college and what led to her decision to run for Congress after a successful career in the private sector. She talks about what’s right in Washington and also the challenges of working across the aisle. We are pleasantly surprised to learn that the Jeep Rubicon she drives in the commercial is hers and was purchased at our partner store in Bloomington. In addition, her son bought a Subaru from Walser as well. Obviously, a woman with great automotive taste.



Tiffany Norton returns to a raucous episode where we talk about Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield and the dangers of bachelorette parties heckling musicians and stand-up comedians. Along the way Tiffany discusses poorly translated Japanese home market auto names.



Tom and Doug are joined by Steve Hucovski, Steve is the owner of Sabre heating and air conditioning but his real passion is dirt track racing. He talks about how he got started and what it’s like to drive a 900 horsepower car, full throttle, for an entire race. In addition, Tom tells the story of how a homeless dog gets adopted by a Hyundai dealer and becomes a media star with 150,000 followers.



Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Paul Walser. We start out with Paul talking about contracting Covid……what it was like and how he bounced back. We discuss his chairmanship of NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) and we make some murky predictions about the short term future of sales. We also talk about the value of the franchise system from the customer’s perspective.



Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Minnesota House of Representatives Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. We talk all things politics from the race in the 5th, Biden’s likely VP pick and the possibility of legalization of marijuana in Minnesota. Tom decides to start the ‘Shut Up” political party and contemplates a run for Governor. We went the entire show without mentioning automobiles.




Tom Ryan Jr returns as a guest and we talk about the history of cars and the future of sales. Who invented air conditioning, cruise control, airbags, the turbocharger and how does a young man whose only previous job experience was Chili’s sell 90 cars in one month? You’ll have to listen to find out.




Our famous guest, Antone Melton-Meaux had a conflict so Tom and Doug resort to actual car content including a Tesla that automatically stops at Burger King, a 1,400 horsepower Mustang and a list of cars that will disappear in 2020. A caller tells stories of working at a Lake Street used car lot as a 13 year old and the questionable practices of the day. We wrap up with a nostalgic tour of the old highway 12 from the Pearl Diver to Amalgamated Mining.




Tom and Doug are joined in the studio by John Kriesel. John served in the Minnesota National Guard and lost both of his legs in Iraq as the result of an IED attack. He talks about how his life changed as a result and how he started a career as an author, motivational speaker, and politician. Tom tries hard to get him to announce a gubernatorial run on the air.




A rare episode where we talk about cars. We field questions from listeners about the best time to buy a car, trading strategies and leasing vs buying. Officer Dave, Tire Carver and Wendi the super fan all call in and share stories of their first rides. Fun in the summer time.




This week, hosts Doug Sprinthall and Tom Barnard are joined in studio by the gal of many talents Tiffany Norton. She’s worked in Twin Cities TV and radio for years. She talks about the beginning of her stand-up comedy career, opening for Mr. Delightful (Dave Mordal) and what it feels like to bomb.

She also graduated with a degree in law enforcement to prepare for law school and weighs in on the current situation between police and the communities they serve.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by the CEO of North American Banking Company, Mike Bilsky. It’s an interesting discussion of how banking works, including a lot of positives about banking regulations. We talk about the history of the FDIC, Federal Reserve and the current level of the national debt. Mike also talks about how to start a bank. Step one? Raise 10 million dollars… we never got past step one.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by John Hines. Tom and John were roommates in the 70s at the start of their radio careers. Between the two of them they have over 90 years of broadcasting experience. It’s a show devoted to radio stories and fun times in south Minneapolis.




A rare episode where we discuss cars. Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Rhett Dressel and Andy Swanson from Walser Hyundai. Rhett pulls into the top three first car stories relating the tale of a night time race without headlights that ends with a roll over. We discuss his transition from being a bar tender to selling cars and the ease of transitioning from being a server to sales professional. We also talk about the really hot new Hyundai line up.




A rare two guest episode this week. First we interview Bogie Letiner who, after graduating college, decided to pursue a career in automotive repair and worked for 7 years as a BMW tech before starting her own repair business staffed predominately by women. In addition, she hosts a show on Motor Trend called Girl Gang Garage. We have an interesting discussion about the difficulty of hiring service technicians in general and women specifically.

Our second guest is Michael Bryant, a partner in Bradshaw and Bryant. We attempt to untangle the legal ramifications of the COVID crisis, what it means to employers and employees alike.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Mike McGowan. Mike’s father started a landfill operation in the 60’s that straddles I 35W in Burnsville. Coincidentally, the property abuts Walser Experienced autos and would have been a great site for the new Subaru Dealership. The problem is that despite following the state and federal rules, the state and more specifically the PCA has waged a multi-generational war against the family. We talk about a similar problem Walser faced with an arbitrary eminent domain issue forcing us to relocate from our Richfield campus to our current facilities in Bloomington.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by MN Rep. Pat Garofalo (58B) this week. We dive deep into a discussion of the Minnesota budget in light of the coronavirus and his views on Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order. Along the way, Pat talks about getting fired as a young man as a result of calling into the KQRS morning show in the 90s and blowing off Frank Sinatra. Never a dull moment.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Mick Sterling who has been a band leader in the Twin Cities for 40 years. In addition, for the past 11 years, he’s headed up the 30 Days Foundation, which helps people in need by covering utility bills, car repairs and the like to keep working people out of what can be a downward spiral.

With everyone tired of talking about COVID-19, Tom, Doug and Mick talk music both local and national. Minneapolis is an amazingly small town and it turns out Doug and Mick were at many of the same parties and concerts. Most don’t know that James Brown played at Minneapolis’ Cabooze club in the late 70’s. Doug and Mick were at the show.

Tune in next week when we interview Tesla-driving MN Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington.




Episode 45. Tom and Doug are joined by the wizard of the St. Paul Saints, Mike Veeck. It’s a show all about baseball and a welcome respite from COVID-19. Mike is a 3rd generation baseball owner and regales us with some of the worst failures of his marketing career including, but not limited to, getting thrown out of pro ball for 10 years after blowing up a pile of disco records at Comiskey Park. He talks about donating Saints marketing funds to local businesses during the crisis. Then we take a trip into baseball history talking about how his father signed both Satchel Paige and Larry Doby to pro contracts. Mike is a great storyteller and his skills are on full display here.




This week on Car Selling Secrets, Tom and Doug are joined by Walser’s SVP of Minnesota Operations, Charlie Swenson. The show starts out with Charlie talking about some incredibly bad decisions made by teenage boys, including, but not limited to: learning how to drive a semi at 90 miles per hour.

Along the way, we discuss Walser to You and how a customer-centric business model has allowed some success in these most difficult of times. Tune in next week when Mike Veeck, the mad scientist behind the St. Paul Saints, will be our special guest.




A guest free episode with Tom, Doug, Melissa and Andy. We talk about Melissa’s experience with Walser to You (which was excellent) and the refunding of the payroll protection program. Tips on how to care for your car while working from home, All State insurance rebates, Honda’s program for first responders and Health care workers. It devolves into a discussion of 70’s late night AM radio and Tom gives tips on how to get fired as a 20 year old DJ with a 19 market share.




We were excited to have Andrew Walser on but unfortunately he had to cancel at the last minute. It had to due with the Federal Payroll Protection Program which we discuss at length. Cash for clunkers was a 3 billion dollar program the Payroll protection is 350 billion. We also discuss the success of ‘Walser to you’. Finally, long time listener and guest Officer Dave calls in to discuss the dramatic drop off in crime, the insanity of the Seattle Washington police chief and the possibility of fan-less major league baseball.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Sarah Sprinthall and Colton Ray. Sarah starts out with her Francis McDormand influenced story about her 1985 Mitsubishi Mirage. Then we get down to brass tacks and talk about how Walser is dealing with the Corona virus outbreak. Colton Ray, Walser Automotive Marketing Director, talks about their brand new service, “Walser to you” which allows customers to purchase vehicle from the comfort of their homes. When Andy and Melissa discover it also includes free service pickup, we book our first two “Walser to you” service appointments.



Tom and Doug are Joined by the Mayor of South St Paul (Jimmy Francis) and his Grandfather Carl. Jimmy wins the internet with his ‘my first car’ story involving a dead deer, a Dodge slant six and a retired farmer who wants to trade titles at midnight and calls him ‘Dutchman’ for no apparent reason. Carl talks about his days as an 80 year old debt collector and the Minnesota Polka circuit of 1947.




Tom and Doug are joined in studio by Eddie Spadino. Eddie is an over the road truck driver with more than two million miles under his belt. We discuss costs, accidents, road hazards and how truck drivers are paid. Eddie also talks about pet peeves. Pro tip, don’t try to cut off something that weighs over 40 tons and also, don’t drive a pickup truck into a semi that’s stopped.




Scott Lambert, President of Minnesota Auto Dealer’s Association, join Tom and Doug in studio to talk about the Twin Cities Auto Show. We discuss the new Corvette, Mustang and give away some free tickets to the show. Scott explains what auto dealer lobbyists do and why this work is important. To Scott’s mortification, Tom admits to Tesla ownership.




This week’s Car Selling Secrets recaps a week of technical difficulties and tardy guests. First, we interview MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who is on to promote his podcast.
Doug completely ignores the purpose and asks Chris about his days speech writing during the Carter administration and being Tip O’Neill’s Chief of Staff. Next up we visit with the tardy local music legend Mick Sterling who talks about the charity he started, 30 Days Foundation, to help Minnesota families in need.




Previous Episodes


Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a car dealership? Car Selling Secrets is a weekly podcast hosted by Doug Sprinthall and Tom Barnard. Listen live every Thursday at 12:05pm. Call or text 612-295-1526 or email Doug ([email protected]) with your car related questions.


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