What is innovation? Webster's defines it as 'the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device: novelty.' That sounds like what every auto dealer is looking for - something new and different to attract more business.
The 10 dealerships featured in this section are run by people who have their own definitions, as you'll read, and who are working all the time to bring innovation to their industry.
Two of the dealerships, Armory Automotive and Planet Ford, approach automotive retailing as if the facility were a theme park, a tourist destination unto itself, where people come to have fun regardless of whether or not they buy.
Then there's Midwestern Auto Group, whose luxurious decor attracts shoppers with less splash and more class.
These dealers seem to be ignoring the Internet - that off-site alternative - but that's not the case at all. Rather, they are fighting it with the novelty and appeal of their physical sites.
Far from ignoring the Internet or fighting it - and focusing on a different sort of site altogether -are dealerships such as Thomas Motors and AutoNation USA-Cleveland, bustling e-commerce centers that cater to the growing army of Net shoppers who don't particularly care to enjoy the experience; they just want to make a quick deal.
Rounding out our field of 10 innovators are dealers who hire staffers with disabilities, reduce management friction, focus on employee education and reach out to the community.
Whether Internet foes or friends, all of these dealerships draw on the creative energies of the people who sell for them and reach out in novel ways to the people who buy from them.