Dealer Speaks

How dealer Hoehn creates work force that flourishes

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
California dealer Bill Hoehn says his 500 employees need more than a decent salary and a stable place to work if they are going to truly flourish. Wellness benefits at his 12-franchise chain include free yoga and Pilates classes. In addition, a full-time chaplain provides counsel for challenges big and small. Hoehn's tenet: If workers thrive in their personal lives, they'll thrive as professionals, too.... Read More »

 

Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014
At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, Ray and Rik Fregia are seeing sales boom after million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. They are boosting Internet business, using contractors to deliver cars across the U.S. All the while, the brothers, who defied their father's advice and went into the business anyway, are creating fun workplaces with what they call a 'get to' versus 'got to' attitude.... Read More »

 

Q&A WITH GREG JACKSON | CEO, PRESTIGE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

Minority dealers still don't reflect minority purchases

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 11, 2014
Today, Prestige CEO Greg Jackson owns four dealerships in southeastern Michigan that sold 10,177 new Cadillac, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz vehicles last year.... Read More »

 

Q&A WITH GREG MILLER | CEO, LARRY H. MILLER GROUP OF COS.

Miller learned from his dad and learned how to delegate

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 11, 2014
Greg Miller, 48, learned a lot about the car business from his father, Larry H. Miller. But he is a very different leader from his dad.... Read More »

 

Ford dealer Kenley calls every car buyer

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
Making personal thank you calls to "every single sales customer" and practicing a soft-sell approach are some ways Utah dealer Jewel Lee Kenley ensures her Ford store stands out – even if it means being known as "a little bit laid back." Her strategies are helping to create loyal buyers.... Read More »

 

Dealer Daniel Hodges: 'We are so different now'

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2014
A shift to no-haggle pricing has sparked a cultural overhaul at the Duval family of dealerships in Jacksonville, part of the Scott-McRae Group. The purchase time is shorter. The stores have no general managers. And Sunday is a day off. One of many payoffs: happier customers.... Read More »

 

Q&A WITH GEORGE NAHAS | GEORGE NAHAS CHEVROLET

Bouncing back in 'a different world' of car sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
Florida dealer George Nahas, the 2002 Time Quality Dealer Award winner, lost two General Motors franchises: Oldsmobile in 2004 and Saturn five years later. Nahas, the current treasurer of the National Automobile Dealers Association, is running for the vice chairman's post.... Read More »

 

Q&A WITH DAN FIELDS | PRESIDENT, FIELDS AUTO GROUP

Dealership group invests for 'nice, exciting, fun' stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
Merit Earl Fields was sales manager at Cadillac before becoming a Cadillac dealer on Chicago's North Shore in 1971. After his son, John Fields, quit a career as a contract-law attorney to join the car business, the duo began adding franchises: BMW, Saab, American Motors and more.... Read More »

 

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 »

 

Special Report
How #1 store scores with employees

How #1 store scores with employees

Texas dealer Greg May encourages staffers to provide input and solve problems on their own. Mon., October 20
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