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, Erin Park Lexus and Erin Park Toyota-Scion, Mississauga, Ontario|
Even as a kid growing up in Unionville, Ontario, P.J. Caletti knew he wanted to sell cars.
"Other kids were dreaming about being an astronaut or a fireman, while I'm there talking about being a dealer," Caletti said.
Today, Caletti has his dream job as general manager of Erin Park Lexus and Erin Park Toyota-Scion in Mississauga, Ontario.
After graduating from Toronto's York University in 2002, Caletti joined the Erin Park dealerships his father had bought a year earlier. Two years later, he was named sales manager. By 2009, Caletti had nearly doubled new and used retail sales and more than doubled net profit -- good enough to get him bumped up to general manager.
Caletti approached his job as a coach might, assembling a roster of salespeople who are not only talented but positive in their thinking.
Caletti has his sales team role-play different scenarios so they're ready to act on their own when dealing with customers.
He has worked with Toyota Canada over two years to develop a playbook for how and when to respond to Internet leads, which has been integrated into Toyota Canada's dealer training.
From 2010 to 2014, total new- and used-vehicle sales revenue at his stores rose to $140 million from $116 million as unit sales rose 15 percent.
"You get the right people first," Caletti said. "Once you've trained them, get out of their way."