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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|POSITION:||General manager of BMW of Cape Cod in Hyannis, Mass.|
Nicholas Laham says no-haggle pricing has helped boost his BMW store's sales and customer service scores.
"We show every customer the invoice, and we know there is nothing to hide. We want them to feel comfortable and to have the most information," Laham said.
"The biggest thing for us is integrity and loyalty. They come in and buy a second and third car and know what to expect every time."
BMW of Cape Cod in Hyannis, Mass., is part of the Premier Companies that owns seven stores in Hyannis and Middletown, R.I. Laham, 26, joined the family business in 2011 after graduating from college. All four of his siblings also work for Premier.
Laham's first job was running Premier Toyota of Newport in Middletown, which his family had just bought. Laham ran the store using the family's Pure Price philosophy: Vehicles are priced based on the market and there's no negotiating.
Laham said no-haggle pricing helped boost the store's low customer service scores. They rose quickly, he said, and the dealership was awarded the Toyota President's Award in 2011 and 2012 for sales and customer service.
"Every transaction is simple, transparent and negotiation free," Laham said.
The family bought a BMW store in April 2012, and Laham became general manager. The franchise moved to a new dealership in August.
With the change in ownership and selling philosophy, the BMW store's sales and customer service scores also improved. Of the 12 BMW stores in the regional market, the Hyannis store ranked No. 1 in new- and certified used-vehicle sales last year, Laham said.
In 2011, the BMW store sold about 200 new and 50 used vehicles. Last year, sales were 297 new and 317 used. "The target this year is to crack 800 combined," Laham said.
No-haggle pricing has fueled growth of the BMW store's used-car business. About 20 percent of sales are made online to out-of-state buyers, he said.
Laham's new mission is to increase the proportion of female staff members to 50 percent by year end. The BMW store already is at 42 percent -- all four service advisers are female -- compared with 20 to 30 percent at the other Premier stores, he said.
Why the emphasis on female employees? Laham said, "About 85 of the purchasing decisions are coming from women."