Dealership Star

Hyundai Employee Wins First In National Competition

Michael Butterfield of Lakewood, pictured at center, holds his first-prize trophy along with other competitors following the final round of the 2018 Sonata Better National Walkaround Competition at Hyundai Motor America’s national headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., earlier this month. Butterfield, a 12-year employee of Ed Shults Hyundai and product specialist for the new Hyundai store on Fairmount Avenue, was named champion of the national contest and anticipates advancing to a worldwide competition to be held in the future. Submitted photo

LAKEWOOD — A recent West Coast journey has come to prove that one Ed Shults Hyundai employee is the best in the country at what he does.

Michael Butterfield of Lakewood put his skills to the test in the final round of the 2018 Sonata Better National Walkaround Competition at Hyundai Motor America’s national headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., earlier this month, and came out the national champion.

The annual competition invites Hyundai employees at all levels to showcase their knowledge and presentation skills with regard to the newly redesigned 2018 Hyundai Sonata. Held over various elimination rounds — including dealership, district, regionals and finals — contestants are given customer scenarios, complete with background information for fictional prospective buyers, and must tailor their presentation on the spot in order to make a sale. Presentations were limited to 10 minutes in length, with a 30-second buffer.

Butterfield, a 12-year employee of Ed Shults Hyundai and product specialist for the new Hyundai store on Fairmount Avenue, was one of six regional contestants to compete in the finals from Dec. 11-13. He said he was honored to have advanced as far as the final round in this year’s competition, let alone to have won first prize.

“It’s so humbling. The whole step of the way I just kept praying and believing in myself, and working really hard,” he said. “Late at night I’d focus for a while on different scenarios, and zone in and just practice skills to identify with people in an open format. People always ask what it’s like to be the winner but it’s honestly still sinking in. I have to sometimes sit and tell myself out loud, ‘I was crowned the national champion.'”

This year’s Sonata Better Walkaround Competition was the second in which Butterfield was a participant, as he had previously advanced as far as the regional level in last year’s contest. As the competition winner, Butterfield received a trophy.

He said he is now in discussions regarding his future participation in a forthcoming worldwide competition, and is eagerly awaiting the launch of his new store on the homefront.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be named the best at something that a lot of people work hard at in the U.S.,” he said. “I’m also really looking forward to opening the new Hyundai location in March. In the wake of the success of this competition, I hope this will bring a positive energy and environment to this new venture.”

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