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.
40 Under 40 Video
|POSITION:||General manager/ partner, One Toyota of Oakland|
It was not the kind of grand opening Brad Barnett had in mind. The day he opened One Toyota of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., in January 2010 as a partner and general manager was the same day Toyota stopped both the sales and production of eight of its models.
The automaker's unintended-acceleration crisis was intensifying at the worst possible moment for Barnett. TV news crews were on hand, but all they wanted to talk about was why anyone in his right mind would open a Toyota store at that time.
Five years later, the store is one of the top 10 dealerships in Toyota's San Francisco region. New- and used-vehicle sales for 2014 were 4,056, more than double what they were in 2010, and last year's profits were up 75 percent from 2012, Barnett said.
Barnett, a married father of four young daughters, claims to have no secrets or shortcuts to his success -- just a simple approach he says even his kids would understand.
"It just boils down to what we're taught in kindergarten: Treat your neighbor with respect, don't lie, cheat or steal, and do your very best."
That creed is key to the store's One Price One Person no-haggle approach, which Barnett and his dealer partner, Brian McCafferty, brought over from their group's other dealership, in Avondale, Ariz., at Toyota's request.
"We don't care if you're the mayor of the town or 18 and buying your first car," Barnett said. "Everybody pays the same price for a car or for service."
Additionally, every salesperson is trained to handle the entire buying process -- including F&I.