Daylyn Turner, 38
Vice president, JK Chevrolet-Subaru
Daylyn Turner’s knack for selling vehicles at a young age earned him a nickname: PT, short for “part time.”
That’s because Turner got his feet wet selling vehicles part time at JK Chevrolet while he was a full-time college student.
“I had a good rapport with customers,” Turner said. “I was able to build such a great rapport with them that I set appointments. I usually had one appointment when I came in to work every day, and they usually ended with a car deal.”
He would go on to average 11 vehicle sales per month as a full-time college student and part-time salesman.
“That earned me the nickname PT,” he said, noting that the general manager at the dealership used him as an example to motivate the full-time sales staff whom Turner often outsold.
After graduating from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in 2007, Turner took a brief hiatus from the industry. Equipped with a finance degree, he became a licensed banker with J.P. Morgan Chase.
But Turner — whose father is an auto retail veteran and became dealer principal of the Chevy store during Turner’s senior year of high school — returned to the business after one year.
“I was very eager to get back and get involved in the store,” he said. He returned to JK Chevrolet in Nederland, Texas, and became a training manager before becoming director of the store’s Internet department.
And then a big change occurred. The dealership’s owners acquired a Subaru franchise in 2009 and built a new store in 2010. Turner became more involved with the Subaru store and ultimately became vice president and general manager, the roles he’s held for the past five years. While he’s still involved at the Chevrolet store, he spends the majority of his time at the Subaru dealership.
Subaru has seen its popularity and sales take off in regions of the U.S. such as the Northeast and the West Coast, but Turner said it’s been a challenge to get the brand off the ground in a rural part of southeast Texas. When the store opened, there were about 36 vehicles in operation in the area, he recalled.
“It’s 10 years old, so it’s been here for a while,” he said. “You’d think it would be more established and farther along. But it’s still a little bit of a challenge only because the branding part of the business has been difficult in an industry town. This isn’t a place where people drive a lot of fuel-efficient cars.”
Instead, Turner said much of the local population is “into big trucks, big SUVs and they’ll drive anything with a Hemi,” he said.
But the drive and passion Turner had when he earned the PT nickname has helped the Subaru franchise find its footing.
In the beginning, the store’s local market share was around 0.3 percent. Today, that number is closer to 2.5 percent, he said.
Turner credits this growth to grassroots marketing and getting involved in the community by sponsoring events. The Subaru store averages 25 new-vehicle sales per month, but Turner is aiming to boost that figure to 35 or 40.
“Our retention ratio is really high,” Turner said. “We keep people. Once they become Subaru owners, we typically sell four, five, six, seven-plus vehicles as they stay.”
— Jack Walsworth