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Auto retailing thrives on new. New vehicles. New marketing methods and advertising campaigns. And new blood. Meet the men and women who make up the fourth annual Automotive News listing of 40 Under 40 Retail: 40 up-and-comers who already are making their mark in dealerships. These individuals are applying the lessons of the past with the techniques of today to carry vehicle retailing into the future. And they're delivering astounding results.

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Automotive News 40 Under 40

Richard Dimmitt Jr.

POSITION:Co-president, Dimmitt Automotive Group, Clearwater, Fla.

As the heir to a successful luxury automotive group, Rick Dimmitt probably could have spent his summers in college doing slightly more glamorous jobs than wrenching on cars in the service bays.

But that's where he wanted to be.

Now, Dimmitt and his brother, Peter, are running Dimmitt Automotive Group after taking over as dealer principals this year from their father, Richard Dimmitt Sr. Rick's comfort with the fixed side of the business is a natural fit with Peter, who likes the front of the store.

"My brother is sort of the gregarious, outspoken guy," Rick Dimmitt says. "I prefer to be out back getting my hands dirty."

The setup has been good for the bottom line at Dimmitt Automotive Group, which sells Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, McLaren, Land Rover and Cadillac. Rick Dimmitt has focused on building the group's high-end accessories business from almost nothing a few years ago to generating more than $200,000 a month in gross revenue.

One recent example: A carbon-fiber body kit from luxury German outfitter Mansory, which Dimmitt's shop installed on a Bentley GTC Speed convertible. The $150,000 kit, rarely installed outside Germany, took several months to complete.

Rick Dimmitt also has helped to more than double the store's used-vehicle sales over the last two years, to more than 90 per month. The key: hiring an assertive reconditioning manager who monitors all trade-ins. Casting a more discerning eye on those incoming vehicles has boosted the number of pre-owned units that Dimmitt opts to sell retail, rather than wholesale. In-house financing of used cars also has grown from the effort, to about 25 a month from 10 before Dimmitt made it a focus.

The Dimmitt group employs 265 people and posted revenue of $283 million last year.



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