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
Nicole Robins Boukather
|POSITION:||Internet director, Theodore Robins Ford, Costa Mesa, Calif.|
Nicole Robins Boukather intends to be a dealer.
Within a year, she plans to attend the National Automobile Dealers Association's Dealer Candidate Academy.
Her goal is to be a fourth-generation dealer principal of the Ford dealership her great grandfather, Theodore Robins Sr., opened in 1923 in Southern California.
"I'd like to run the store," she said.
Vehicle shopping continues to move online, and the Internet department at Theodore Robins Ford has been Robins Boukather's training ground.
She started the department in 2008. Today, it has four business development center staffers to handle inquiries and five Internet salespeople, she said.
The store's digital marketing and website attract about 60 percent of its vehicle buyers, Robins Boukather said. The dealership sells 130 to 150 new and used vehicles per month, she said.
Robins Boukather has been directing more money and efforts toward the Internet. The dealership spends about $20,000 per month, or about 68 percent of its advertising budget, on digital marketing, she said.
The store has two iPads with an app from vendor Vboost that enables salespeople to take pictures of buyers with their vehicles, Robins Boukather said. The salespeople send the photos to the buyers to be uploaded as a slide show to the buyers' Facebook and other social media pages, she said.
That incorporation of social media into marketing is the way the industry is heading, she said.
Within a year, she expects each salesperson to have an iPad in-store to continue a trend that is only expected to get stronger, she said.