Mike Ratley Radio Commercial

Westside Ford Sales Manager Mike Ratley
Westside Ford Sales Manager Mike Ratley

Customer service and trust. Those are the two main ingredients in the formula for success that has driven Westside Ford in Firebaugh. According to Sales Manager Mike Ratley, the dealership treats their customers well and gives them a fair deal when it comes to buying a vehicle.

“We do things a little different here,” said Ratley. “During harvest season, when local farmers absolutely can’t be without a vehicle, we keep a few extras on hand to loan to them if they suffer a breakdown. That way, their work schedule isn’t interrupted by having to wait for a repair and we keep a customer in business.”

Ratley came to the Valley in 1970 while serving as an aviation ordinance man in the United States Navy. After a six-year stint he made the decision to stay, rather than return to his home in Florida. He took the job at Westside Ford in 1998 after working in the Fresno area and has built a reputation among Valley residents he prefers to call neighbors.

“Thirty percent of our customers are local customers from the Firebaugh area,” said Ratley. “The remaining come from throughout the Valley and are a result of our radio advertising.”

Ratley has become a familiar voice to KMJ Radio listeners from Redding to Bakersfield and California’s Central Coast with his southern drawl and down-home philosophy. Some of his ads have nothing to do with selling cars, either. If a particular subject is important to Ratley, for example election politics, he’ll record a commercial to let you know what he thinks.

But selling cars is his business and Mike Ratley knows that his business depends heavily on the farm economy. When crop prices are low or water supplies are insufficient to meet the needs of local farmers, the money isn’t there to buy that new pick-up.

“Farm-related business accounts for 50 percent of our sales,” he said. “When ag is hurting, our business suffers. A good economy leads to customers replacing vehicles more often. It’s as simple as that.”

A strong farm economy with dependable water supplies, and a friendly, relaxed way of doing business are the things that will make Mike Ratley successful. He reminds his neighbors of his philosophy with the phrase he is fond of saying in his frequent radio commercials, “No suits, no ties and noooo lies.”

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