World Class Automotive Group
Spring , TX
Overall Rank for 2012: 93
When World Class Automotive Group bought the former Northwood Lincoln last year, the new owners brought Tim Harless over from nearby Planet Ford and promoted him to general manager of the store, renamed Planet Lincoln, in keeping with the company's promote-from-within policy. Most of the Northwood employees kept their jobs and accrued vacation time.
"We have a lot of tenured employees getting four to five weeks off a year," Harless says.
Harless convenes a sales meeting every day at 9 a.m. to go over the previous day's events. "Rerunning the game film," he calls it. "Every day you come in, you definitely know what page you're on," Harless says. "Nobody wants to be guessing what's going on."
Planet Lincoln's sales staff does many of its deals outside the showroom, similar to an approach Lincoln is adopting nationally.
"We do everything upfront. We get the customers approved before they ever get here. We'll sign the documents at their house or business. My salespeople absolutely love that," Harless says.
Employees contribute to a Super Fund, used to bail out employees who find themselves in crisis situations. It's a common feature at owner Randall Reed's World Class Automotive stores. The fund is administered by a committee of employees.
There's a wheel of fortune at the back of the store that employees who have won spiffs can spin, maybe earning trips to see the Houston Dynamo soccer team or for a frolic at SplashTown, a nearby water park. The latter is especially fun for employees, since the water park is so close by that the dealership is clearly visible.
"Every time they go down the slide," Harless says, "they can wave at the people working at the dealership."
-- Bradford Wernle