Casey Best, 32
General manager, Capital Chevrolet
Growing up, Casey Best often set up his Matchbox cars and pretended he owned a dealership.
“I’d get a little spray bottle and clean them up and line them up perfectly,” he said.
Today, Best is general manager at Capital Chevrolet in Wake Forest, N.C.
“Being able to do this is like a childhood dream," he said.
He became enamored with the dealership world after watching his grandfather, father and uncles run Best Used Car in his hometown of Mount Olive, N.C. Inspired by his mother, an accountant and college professor, he earned a master’s degree in accounting. He then went into auto retailing, but this time on the new-vehicle side.
Tim Michael, president of Capital Auto Group, offered Best a job and sent him to the National Automobile Dealers Association Academy. At age 24, he was asked to lead the recently acquired Capital Ford of Hillsborough as general manager. In four years, the store’s monthly sales nearly tripled for new vehicles and quadrupled for used vehicles, while net profit rose almost sixfold.
In August 2016, Best was named general manager of another new acquisition, Capital Chevrolet of Raleigh, which ranked 90th out of 91 Chevy dealerships in North Carolina for sales effectiveness. By January 2019, after moving to a new facility eight miles away in Wake Forest, it became the brand’s No. 1 dealership in the state by that measure and among the top 250 Chevy stores nationwide.
Best’s strategy for turning the stores around comes down to cultivating a positive culture, he said.
“Positive reinforcement is key. Give them a pat on the back, build them up in front of their peers,” he said. “I don’t like calling people out in a crowd. If they make a mistake, pull them to the side and have a one-on-one conversation about what they’ve done and how they can improve. Don’t belittle them. Our job as managers is to inform them of what they don’t know.”
Best is most proud of seeing his employees improve and earn enough money to make big life changes, such as buying a house for the first time.
Best wants to continue to grow Capital Chevrolet, but down the line he hopes to make his Matchbox dreams of actually owning a dealership come true.
—- Hannah Lutz