About Us at Yellowstone Country Motors

Learn the History of Montana's Best Kept Automotive Secret

For over twenty years, the experts at Yellowstone Country Motors have been delivering quality automotive sales, service, and auto-financing support for drivers in Livingston, MT. One of Montana's best-kept secrets, Yellowstone Country strives to eliminate the stress associated with car-buying by providing friendly and transparent customer service.

Unlike other dealerships in Montana, Yellowstone Country is committed to not wasting your time so that you can prioritize your busy workday while you shop. We value your time and encourage you to spend it wisely by working with our sales staff to help you find the perfect new, used, or certified pre-owned vehicle online from the comfort of your home.

Benefits of Shopping at Yellowstone Country

When it comes to simplifying the car-buying process, the experts at Yellowstone Country Motors know best. To help you get started, we like to begin by showing you the true invoice of your favorite vehicles. Work carefully alongside our dedicated sales team to ensure everyone is on the same page and receives updated pricing info. While remaining transparent with vehicle pricing, we'll also help you apply for every rebate available to help guarantee you the best price.

There's a reason why so many customers come back to shop at Yellowstone Country Motors. In addition to being a small, family-friendly dealership with low overhead, our state-of-the-art facility is proud to provide many exclusive advantages over the competition, including:

  • Expansive new inventory of popular Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, and Jeep vehicles
  • Diesel pickup trucks for sale - including the Chevy Silverado 1500, Dodge RAM, and Ford F-150
  • Heavy-duty RAM commercial vehicles for sale - including the RAM 3500, 4500, & 5500
  • At-home vehicle delivery service available for drivers in Billings, Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Timer, and the greater Wyoming area
  • And more!

A Brief History of Yellowstone Country Motors

The history of Yellowstone Country Motors started with a vision from our founder Manny Goetz. A former consumer advocate for a local construction firm, Goetz spent his days trying to resolve and rectify issues between homeowners and company contractors. Manny immersed himself into a world of customer relations and, by doing so, created in himself a genuine desire to want to inspire change elsewhere. 

Manny's time spent advocating for consumers led him to become one of the founding members of Qualified Contractors USA - a free consumer referral service that helped consumers find licensed contractors who were bonded, insured, and had no outstanding customer complaints. Manny quickly realized that the problems he encountered with unethical contractors and poor customer service in the construction business also carried over to other essential businesses - like car dealerships.

Transitioning into the Automotive Market

For Manny Goetz, his vision to inspire change within the automotive industry came to fruition with the inception of Yellowstone Country Motors. His research into customer rapport at local car dealerships in Montana led to discovering that auto institutions in the state ranked amongst those having some of the most customer complaints.

Driven to figure out how to treat customers with respect and still make a profit, Goetz began dipping his own expertise into what's become Yellowstone Country Motors. Throughout the years, Manny has written many printed articles for consumers, explaining the colorful history of Yellowstone Country Motors in more elaborate detail. An excerpt of one of these books is below. You can learn more about Manny Goetz and our dealership's history by contacting us online, in person, or by phone!

Contact Us to Learn More

If you're in the market for a new vehicle in Livingston, MT, you owe it to yourself to contact the experts at Yellowstone Country Motors. A certified automotive dealership with your best interest in mind, our facility prioritizes the customer experience to ensure you leave with a smile every time. For more information, please call or contact us online at Yellowstone Country today!

Chapter 13
Yellowstone Country Motors: "Montana's Best Kept Secret"
By Manny Goetz

Carpenter to Car Dealer

It was January 1 of 1997, and I woke up and told myself it was time to do something different. I had been a carpenter, builder and land developer for 20 years, and I was looking for new challenges.

One of the projects I had been involved in was the startup and development of several Saturn dealerships in Northern Virginia. I was really intrigued with the one-price selling process and customer service that Saturn had developed. I always had dreamed of moving to Montana and living in a log cabin along the river; however I still needed to make a living. I had spoken to a friend, and he told me about a dealership that might be
for sale in Montana. So, I packed my bag and headed west.

I arrived in Livingston, a small town of 6,000 located near Yellowstone Park. The dealership was in an old building. I was looking for a place to raise a family where we could be a part of "small town America." Livingston had the Yellowstone River running through it and was surrounded by majestic mountains. The dealership owners agreed to let me work with them until I could decide if I wanted to buy the business.

Why the Car Business?

While I was growing up, my family and friends had always asked me to help them to buy cars; I was never too shy to ask the tough questions. I always wondered why buying a car had to be so stressful on the average person. I knew there had to be a better way to buy a car, but what was it?
I spent months talking to customers about what they liked and disliked about dealers. It was during these conversations with customers that I could hear and see the distrust that they had towards auto dealers. Boy, did I get an ear full. 
With all this information, I felt if we listened to customers' needs and treated them with respect, we could sell more cars. After all, the customer is the most important person in our business. l always tell our staff, "The customer is the real person who signs your paycheck." I was invited to a fundraiser in a neighboring town. As I was making my rounds meeting people, I met a dealer whose family owned several dealerships. He asked me what I did, and I told him I was looking at buying a dealership in Livingston. He told me that none of the dealers in Livingston were ever successful. I told him I thought we could improve the customer service and create a more affordable pricing structure. He was quick to tell me that it was not customer service that got people to buy but the hype about the sale. He said our plan would never work and that a good dealer had to know how to control the customer. In his parting shot, he said there was not a lot of money in Livingston but more money in his town so folks could afford to pay more.
As I headed home, I realized that we would be the underdog when it came to selling cars. However, I still felt that customers wanted to be treated with respect. Our goal now was to show we could compete with the bigger dealers both in price and unlimited customer service.

Getting Started

We committed to buy the store and started the process to get approved. We priced our cars so we could make a fair profit without the customer having to haggle to get a good deal. We committed to treat everyone with respect regardless of their income or negotiating skills. We met with the Chrysler dealer placement manager, and I told him we were going to take the hassle out of buying a car and allow customers to have fun in the process. He told me it would be hard to get accepted into the approval process with no previous car-selling experience but said they did like our business plan and attitude.

The Politics

Our first obstacle was the dealers around us who complained that we should not be approved because we had no prior car expertise. However, to our surprise they approved us and told us some new blood would be welcome to the industry. They liked our ideas; however, they warned us that the other nearby dealers were tough and that it would not be easy to compete with them.
We went to one of the local banks and discussed financing. The bankers told us that if the current owner, who also owned the largest dodge dealership in Montana, could not make the business (then called "Cranky Ranky") successful that there was no way we could. I told the bank about our plan to make the customer number one. He said they were still not interested. We went back to Chrysler and let them know what we were running into. Chrysler officials said they had told me that it would be tough. With nowhere else to go, I called a lender we had used back east. This lender knew our track record and our strong convictions about customer service and decided they would give us a shot. We settled the next week. Our first step was changing the dealership name from Cranky Ranky to something new. We decided to get the community involved, so we had a contest with the all the schools to come up with a new name. We would donate money to both the school and student for a scholarship for the winning name. The contest was a blast and a success. We chose "Yellowstone Country Motors." More than 300 names were submitted. Some favorites were "Get err done Dodge" "Manny Goetz you the car you want" and "Bear it all Dodge." The students and parents really enjoyed helping us pick a name.

Listening to the Customer

We found that listening to the customer and acting on their suggestions helped us grow very rapidly. The first thing we did was to relocate the customer lounge next to the service and snack area and install a window. This allowed customers to see the work the technicians were doing on their vehicle and discuss repair updates with their service adviser.

We then removed the big signs that said "No Customers Beyond This Point" in the service area. Our staff welcomed customers into the shop to see the progress of their car's repairs. We find if you tell a customer that they cannot do something or try to hide something, you put doubts into their minds. We want our customers to know and see everything. We also made it a point not to try to sell customers something they do not want or need. We listen to our customers and try our best to find the perfect vehicle for them. If they are unhappy with the vehicle, they'll be unhappy with us. There are several ways to purchase a vehicle with many different finance and lease programs. We train our team to find the best program for each customer.

Listening to the Customer

We do our best to be honest with the customer. We tell our customers we are not perfect and if we do something wrong, we apologize and fix it with no argument. We designed a 230-point inspection system on all used cars. Customers buy with the confidence that they will have a very reliable car. With this process, customer complaints are near 0 percent.

The plan paid off. The first month our sales went up. Within one year, the store went from selling 20 vehicles a month to selling 70 vehicles a month. Customers tell us they love the no-pressure atmosphere and that it was fun to buy a car from us. Chrysler has awarded us awards for service, fixing it right the first time and sales over objective along with the five-star dealership awards. AAA has rated us as a top shop. Our sales are made up of 60 percent repeat customers, which is far above the industry average. All this could not be done without a great staff of employees who understand that a customer's happiness is the heartbeat of our company.
Going the Extra Mile

When a customer is stranded and there are no parts available in town to fix a car, we will take parts off another vehicle to get the customer fixed and back on the road. No one prepares for their car to break down. To help the customer get through these unpleasant situations, we provide free loaner and rental cars. In bad weather, our service department will pick up customers who need help. Heck, I have seen the service guys shovel snow off the driveway and sidewalk to help customers get in and out of their homes. Yellowstone National Park brings in a lot of tourists with broken-down cars and they have a desperate need to get back to their jobs by a certain date. Our service staff will work overtime and weekends to get these folks back on the road. We do a lot to help our customers. I have personally towed customers in. Delivered food in snowstorms. Helped spread ashes of loved ones. Delivered firewood in cold weather. Delivered fuel and gas to empty vehicles, helped change tires, jump-start cars and even taken customers out to the river so they can catch fish. (That one is actually fun.) All in the quest to show the customers we are there for them. We have seen all these deeds rewarded with referrals, great thank-you letters and many vehicle purchases.

Yellowstone Country Motors: "Montana's Best Kept Secret"

Yellowstone Country Motors: "Montana's Best Kept Secret"

Yellowstone Country Motors has won many awards for outstanding customer service. They have been awarded Chrysler's Top Five Star award and AAA top shop award year after year. Manny contributes all his dealership's success to having a professional staff that understands that the customer is more important than the sale.

For more information call 406-224-4090

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  1. Yellowstone Country Motors

    1415 W Park St
    Livingston, MT 59047-3343

    • Sales: (406) 224-9514
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  • Contact our Sales Department at: (406) 224-9514
  • Monday08:00AM - 06:00PM
  • Tuesday08:00AM - 06:00PM
  • Wednesday08:00AM - 06:00PM
  • Thursday08:00AM - 06:00PM
  • Friday08:00AM - 06:00PM
  • Saturday08:00AM - 05:00PM
  • SundayClosed