Dealer Speaks

Dealer Shuman does 'stupid' ads, wins ratings

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2014
Bob Shuman writes his own 'stupid' radio ads touting transparency and commission-free sales to draw customers to his no-frills Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store in Walled Lake, Mich. The lawyer-turned-dealer scoffs at rivals who offer haircuts and teeth whitening. Selling and fixing cars well is 'enough on anybody's plate.'... Read More »

 

Dealer Ron Rossi's electrifying crusade

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 17, 2014
Honda retailer Ron Rossi has never forgotten what he learned in his family's grocery business in the 1970s: Save money by saving energy. With that in mind, in 2012 he spent more than a million dollars installing solar-paneled canopies on his sales lot in rural Vineland, N.J. According to Honda, he's the nation's first car dealer to go 'electric-grid neutral.' Rossi expects his 'solar system' to produce $2 million in profit over its 25-year lifetime.... Read More »

 

'Resilient' Fiat dealer Lisa Copeland's rise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 16, 2013
Lisa Copeland faced adversity as a young woman in the car-selling business. But today she's leading a thriving Fiat franchise in Texas by hiring people with no prior auto experience and employing some of her customers. Copeland's success even prompted a visit from Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and earned her the title of top-selling Fiat dealership in the U.S.... Read More »

 

Ohio dealer shuns status quo

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2013
Bernie Moreno defied conventional wisdom and expanded his Ohio dealership group amid the recession while fostering a culture that aims to create a 'place of delight' for consumers. His new $20 million Mercedes store near Cincinnati and its 'technician heaven' service shop are a showcase for his vision.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: DOUG MORELAND

Message to Chrysler: Let dealers handle local marketing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 2, 2013
The very first car Doug Moreland sold was a Chevrolet Corvair in Reno, Nev., in 1969. It had belonged to the woman who would one day be his wife.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: MICHAEL CANNON, CANNON MOTOR CO., OXFORD, MISS.

Football star's journey from the gridiron to the showroom

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 2, 2013
Michael Cannon, a Memphis State college football standout who dreamed of being a head coach, had just gotten his first big break when the death of his father, a small used-car dealer in Calhoun City, Miss., made him rethink his life's path.... Read More »

 

Staten Island store rallies after Sandy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 29, 2013
On Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy rendered Manfredi Kia-Mazda-Mitsubishi useless. Seawater spilled into the Staten Island, N.Y., dealership and destroyed more than 100 vehicles. But in the days and months that followed, Manfredi Auto Group employees cleaned up the mess, moved the store and connected with customers through a shared experience: Loss... Read More »

 

Dealer group rattled, renewed by Superstorm Sandy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2013
New Jersey dealer Adam Kraushaar and his employees at the Lester Glenn Auto Group turned “therapists” for each other and the community following Superstorm Sandy last year. They put customers in rental cars until new cars could be sold. And local police officers whose vehicles had been destroyed made their rounds in pickups supplied by Lester Glenn stores.... Read More »

 

Hyundai store creates a culture from scratch

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 24, 2013
When Andrew DiFeo opened a Hyundai store in St. Augustine, Fla., in 2008, he saw a chance to create a culture. Earlier experiences at Toyota Motor Sales and his New Jersey-rooted family dealership group helped forge three founding principles. Those practices – including aggressively managing his online reputation – have helped spur sharply higher new-car sales. And, as the 37-year-old explains, so has being a little frugal.... Read More »

 

Dealer O.C. Welch's big-truck turnaround

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 17, 2013
After Mercury's demise, South Carolina Ford-Lincoln dealer O.C. Welch had to find a way to replace lost revenue. He decided to load up on Super Duty pickups – and sell them online. It was a wise bet for this lifelong Ford guy, whose 80-hour workweeks allow him to reveal plenty of trademark traits. Among them, keeping an office on the sales floor, personally selling hundreds of vehicles a year, crusading for America and, lately, stamping out crime.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: ANDREW DIFEO, HYUNDAI OF ST. AUGUSTINE

Customer data, online tools are key to dealer's strategy

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 3, 2013
Andrew DiFeo opened his own store, Hyundai of St. Augustine, in Florida, in 2008. By focusing on Internet marketing and online reputation- and customer-relationship management, DiFeo has increased average monthly new-vehicle sales from about 50 in the first year to about 115 through April this year.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: O.C. WELCH, O.C. WELSH FORD-LINCOLN

'All this Bluetooth stuff' is a time-suck for dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 3, 2013
From the time he started his own car-cleaning and -detailing operation in Savannah, Ga., at age 20, O.C. Welch knew he was going to be a lifer in the car business.... Read More »

 

'Service is everything' at BMW of Sterling

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 25, 2013
Tom Moorehead peddles the nation's top-selling luxury brand in its richest county. But the heart of his BMW-Mini business lies in what he does after the sale. His repair bays have stayed open 22 hours a day to handle demand, and his technicians routinely replace parts in owners' driveways. In addition, customers who fly out of nearby Dulles Airport can have their cars picked up, serviced and returned while they travel.... Read More »

 

Dealer Don Forman's slick service strategy

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 18, 2013
Don Forman says providing a quick oil change is his most important service-retention tool. So the owner of United Nissan in Las Vegas pushed technicians to provide an oil change and car wash within 25 minutes. That paved the way to a 23% increase in customer-pay repair orders last year. Forman is now boosting that number by refining service-drive strategies – complete with bonuses for staffers who sell timely products.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: TOM MOOREHEAD, OWNER, BMW OF STERLING AND MINI OF STERLING

NAMAD chief: Minority dealers must help increase their ranks

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2012
Tom Moorehead is the owner of BMW of Sterling and Mini of Sterling in Sterling, Va. -- as well as two hotels. So he's used to working with several business models. Now, as chairman of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, Moorehead wants to find ways to get more minorities into the auto business.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: TOM PRICE, CEO, PRICE FAMILY DEALERSHIPS

After selling out to Sonic, Price builds another empire

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2012
Tom Price built the First America Automotive retail empire in the western United States through the 1990s before selling it to Sonic Automotive Inc. in 2000. But Price chafed under the public-company structure, and after three years, he bailed out to start anew. A decade later, Price Family Dealerships is gaining momentum in northern California.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: BRUCE BENDELL, MAJOR CHEVROLET

Brothers run lean to survive in the big city

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2012
Bruce Bendell, 58, hopes his kids won't follow in his footsteps. He loves the auto industry but says it's getting harder to survive with ever-shrinking profit margins, growing costs and increased competitiveness.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: TIM WHITE, WHITE FAMILY DEALERSHIPS

After 98 years on duty, White Group is eager for century No. 2

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2012
When a public dealership group recently approached Tim White and his brothers about selling several of their stores, the family sat down to consider its future. "We decided we really didn't want to get out of the automotive business," said Tim White, whose grandfather, Hugh White, founded the business. "It's a wonderful base."... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: LARRY MORGAN, CEO, MORGAN AUTO GROUP

Larry Morgan built Tires Plus, now builds a dealership empire

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2012
Larry Morgan, CEO of Morgan Auto Group in Tampa, Fla., became a car dealer seven years ago after selling his 600-store tire and auto-service business. He is building an automotive empire in Florida and grooming his 32-year-old son, Brett, to take over the business.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: DUANE PADDOCK, OWNER, PADDOCK CHEVROLET

Emphasis on leasing helped Paddock boost his Chevy business

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2012
Duane Paddock landed a sales gig at an Oldsmobile store at age 20, and sold 10 cars in his first 10 days. By his mid-20s, he had assumed day-to-day operations of Paddock Chevrolet in Kenmore, N.Y., because of his father's health problems. Over the past 25 years, Paddock has quadrupled the store's sales. He now is the No. 2 Chevy dealer in the country.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: DICK, RICH AND BILL MULLEN, MULLEN MOTORS

Small-town dealer: Our service keeps customers loyal

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2012
Mullen Motors Inc. is a family-owned dealership. In business since 1927, the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store serves Southold, N.Y., on the north fork of Long Island. Nearly every workday, dealer principal Dick Mullen, 75, still comes into the store, where sons Rich and Bill run the day-to-day operations: Bill, 42, in the service department and Rich, 49, in sales, administration and accounting.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: GREG GOODWIN

'Skin in the game' philosophy guides Kuni

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2012
After acquiring the five-dealership Pioneer Centres group in December, Kuni Automotive foresees its biggest year ever in 2012. Revenues should jump from around $600 million in 2011 to more than $800 million, CEO Greg Goodwin said. "The way business is looking right now, I'm convinced that's very conservative," he said.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: CHADWICK MARTIN

A veteran auto dealer at 26: He stepped in, stepped up

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2012
He grew up the son of a prominent car dealer, but Chadwick Martin had dreams of becoming an entertainment lawyer or an agent. But in 2006, the death of his father, Cornelius, in a motorcycle accident changed everything. At age 26, Martin now leads the company his father founded, Martin Automotive Group, a unit of Martin Management Group of Bowling Green, Ky.... Read More »

 

THE DEALER SPEAKS: ALAN STARLING

Dealer has a fairy-tale career in the shadows of Disney

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2012
Dealer Alan Starling, 64, thanks Walt Disney for some of his success. His three Florida stores are in the shadow of Disney World. That has created pressure to keep up showroom appearances and customer service.... Read More »

 

DEALER SPEAKS: CARL SEWELL, SEWELL AUTOMOTIVE COS.

Sewell prospers, looks to grow in Texas luxury market

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2011
Dealer Carl Sewell of Dallas celebrates his family company's centennial this year. The last few years of the Sewell family's first century in business have been among the industry's most challenging periods. But Sewell Automotive Cos. is prospering, despite losing Hummer, Saab and Pontiac stores. It's a long way from the beginning in 1911 when Carl Sewell Sr. and his father began selling cars while running the family's hardware store and movie theater.... Read More »

 

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