Aubry Padilla, 38
Executive general manager, Garcia Subaru North, Garcia Cadillac
Aubry Padilla’s foray into automotive retail started with a newspaper ad.
That’s where she saw a listing for a dealership sales position.
Padilla was new to selling vehicles but not to retail and customer service, having worked at a record store through high school and college and at a call center for America Online.
“I had always done some sort of retail, so it prepared me to be able to talk to customers,” she said.
Combining that experience with a quick learning curve, Padilla adapted fast and began generating significant sales volume at the store, Lexus of Albuquerque in New Mexico.
“I was averaging 20-plus units a month,” she said. “And in the last sixth months of my sales career, I was doing 30-plus units in a store that did between 90 and 120 units a month.
“I was a major producer for that dealership.”
Padilla worked her way up to the finance department and then was contacted by Garcia Automotive Group, with stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., and El Paso, Texas.
She said the group’s robust support of philanthropic organizations in the community drew her in, but so did the group’s executives.
“One thing that really stuck out to me was Sheilah Garcia,” Padilla recalled. “She was the first New Mexican and first woman to receive Time Magazine’s Quality Dealer of the Year in 1992. That example and demonstration of empowered women and that she could succeed in a traditionally male dominated field really, really caught my attention.”
Padilla said she received strong mentorship from the group’s owners and enrolled in a program to further develop her skills as a general manager and executive.
After just two years, Padilla was promoted to her current position.
While climbing the dealership ladder, Padilla said she became even more involved in the community through organizations including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Animal Humane New Mexico.
Padilla and the Subaru dealership have been recognized by Subaru of America for their involvement with the Subaru Love Promise as well.
“The group feels a deep responsibility to give back to their community,” Padilla said. “Same with Subaru and their ideals of customer experience, philanthropy. It’s a match made in heaven.”
— Jack Walsworth