Building Relationships For Life:
Ballweg Family of Dealerships
The Ballweg name has been associated with automobile dealerships for nearly 50 years. In 1965, Daniel and Darlene Ballweg opened Ballweg Chevrolet in Sauk City. The decision to purchase the dealership began as Daniel’s adventure while Darlene helped maintain the family farm and took care of their children. When Daniel passed away in 1984, Darlene became the driving force of the company. Her business acumen and passion for people built a foundation for success.
Today, the company is managed by Darlene, president, and Jason Brickl, chief executive officer. They share a vision for the company; they even share a birthday. “Darlene and Jason are truly partners. Their relationship is built on respect and open communication,” said Tammy Fitzpatrick, director of marketing. Under their leadership, the company has flourished into one of Wisconsin’s largest and most respected automobile dealerships. They offer a diversified line of vehicle franchises in six locations across Wisconsin including Sauk City, Wausau, and La Crosse. They’ve expanded into Minnesota with a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Rochester. They invest time and resources in their communities. “We consider it our responsibility to make a positive impact on the communities we serve,” said Jason Brickl. While the company has grown significantly in the last 10 years, it remains family-owned by Darlene and Jason and has focused on building lasting relationships.
While their partnership is essential, Darlene and Jason know people are the key to success. The retail automotive industry can have high turnover — not at the Ballweg Family of Dealerships. Employees have the opportunity to grow within the company. Jason started at Ballweg Chevrolet-Buick in high school. As CEO, Jason continues the tradition of promoting from within. The employee tenure is a reflection of celebrating success from the top-down in the organization. “We can’t do it without great people,” said Darlene Ballweg. She makes it a priority to stay connected with their team. She regularly visits the local dealerships and occasionally hand delivers paychecks. With a lead-by-example attitude, it is clear that employees are their greatest asset.
Within their group, they are focused on customers. From service to sales, their team strives to exceed expectations in every interaction. The company has developed and grown their day-to-day operations to the customer’s advantage. The new customer care center was developed to improve efficiency on the phone, online, and in the store. “Our goal was to reduce wait time and give our team the opportunity to dedicate themselves to the customer,” said Tammy. With advancing technology, the company has adapted how they do business. Many now rely on their mobile device when vehicle shopping. The dealerships have mobile websites, live chat, and VIP online appointment scheduling. People can even buy a car online with Shop-Click-Drive. “Finding the right vehicle and researching it, can be the hardest part. Our online process makes that easy,” said Tammy. With an inventory of nearly 1,500 vehicles, the employees at Ballweg are able to match the perfect vehicle to the needs of their customers.
When selecting a financial institution, Darlene and Jason chose a bank focused on relationships. They wanted a team with common values — and a passion for people. “Bank of Prairie du Sac has played a significant role in the growth of the Ballweg Family of Dealerships. As our partner, they understand our goals; and the unique aspect of the automotive industry,” said Jason. The partnership with Bank of Prairie du Sac for over 20 years has been built on respect and trust. Bank of Prairie du Sac and the Ballweg Family of Dealerships have built a relationship for life.