How to improve factory-retailer relations: A dealer’s viewpointDec. 11
Clint Newell says manufacturers need to address problematic dealerships individually, rather than react with 'broad-brush' policies that impact the entire retail network. The veteran Oregon dealer says while automakers have made significant strides in areas such as vehicle distribution and product mix, some factory programs are reducing retailers' fixed coverage ratios.
A maverick dealer’s formula for successDec. 4
Adam Lee isn't your prototypical dealer. He has promoted stiffer fuel-economy standards; he drives a Tesla; and he says he's not a “car guy.” But with his green focus, which has been shaped by growing up in Maine, Lee says his chain is the No. 1 seller of hybrids in the state.
In Maine, being green becomes second natureDec. 4
Dealer-contractor lays a foundation for the futureSept. 18
Dealer Liza Borches on learning from mistakes, handling OEM pressure, succeeding dad Carter MyersSept. 18
After working at Honda, Liza Borches joined the family dealership business just as her father, former NADA Chairman Carter Myers, was thinking about an exit strategy. He has stepped back enough to allow her to make her own decisions - some of them painful learning experiences. Those lessons have shaped a distinct growth strategy and helped her deal with pressure from automakers with inventory to unload.
S.C. dealer on factory mandates, grim outlook for small stores, 'saddest day'Sept. 11
Bill McDaniels has survived the scrutiny of manufacturers suspicious of the fact that he builds his own dealerships. But he doesn't see much chance for his smaller peers outlasting other trends. While seeking to expand his six-rooftop group, he foresees an automotive retail world governed by an Amazon-style ordering system and controlled by big chains. All this as he maps his own, emotional exit from the business.
Dealer Alan Starling on Tesla's Musk, GM's dealer-performance measure, the chains of quarterly resultsJune 26
69-year-old Florida dealer Alan Starling has plenty of advice for his retail and factory colleagues. The ex-NADA chairman is lobbying the trade group to advocate more 'forcefully.' He also weighs in on the flaws of General Motors' system for assessing dealer performance and some handicaps he sees confronting Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Stair-step plans 'are margin destroyers'June 19
A brutally honest take on 41 years as a car dealerJune 19
New Jersey dealer Steve Kalafer has survived recessions, product failures, brand-destroying incentives and self-destructing automakers. In this video, he reflects on his career with the same “fight for the customer” mindset he brings to his sideline as a documentary filmmaker. “I'm very proud that we are not afraid of any manufacturer when they are doing something wrong.”
Small dealer on battling giants for acquisitions: ‘Give us a chance’March 20
Fresh off a $12.5 million relocation of his Nissan and Subaru franchises, Iowa dealer Dave Wright is hiring and on the prowl for acquisitions. He believes smaller retailers can compete against larger groups in the hunt for dealerships by using seasoned talent and nimbly closing deals. With a focus on expansion and developing a workplace family, Wright insists: “We're way too invested now to die.”
How a dealer's reluctant son became hooked on the car businessMarch 13
Like many dealers' kids, Matt Laughridge was wary about a career in auto retailing. That changed after a fishing trip with his dad. Now at 29, he's putting his personal stamp on his family's Hyundai and Buick-GMC stores -- as well as other ventures.
Mass. dealer dishes meals to customers, leeway to employeesJune 27, 2016
At 75, former orphan Bob Moran reflects on a life in dealerships that has left him with a thriving Toyota store that serves customers hot breakfasts while allowing employees holiday time with their families and freedom to make decisions at work.