Mike Marcotte, 36
President, Marcotte Ford
Mike Marcotte started selling cars in high school, without even trying.
His first vehicle — a black and tan Eddie Bauer-edition Ford Explorer — was an inadvertent advertisement for his family’s dealership in Holyoke, Mass. A couple of teachers at his school asked about the new SUV in the parking lot and ended up ordering their own.
It’s no surprise, then, that from a young age he wanted to enter the business his grandfather founded in the early 1960s.
“It’s always been in my blood,” Marcotte, 36, told Automotive News. “My grandfather started it, my father took over and now I’m continuing on the legacy.”
He became president of Marcotte Ford in late 2015, shortly after the family broke ground for an $8 million renovation. In addition to doubling the showroom space, Marcotte oversaw the addition of a commercial truck center, commercial service department and car wash. The project also included renovating a highly acclaimed cafe that sells Ford-themed food, such as the F-150 sandwich and Model T breakfast.
Revenue jumped roughly 16 percent from 2017 to 2019, but Marcotte credits more than the upgrades.
“You can have the nicest facility around, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right team,” he said. “And we have the right team.”
Since he took over, his staff has grown by a quarter to about 150 employees. Marcotte tries to create a welcoming atmosphere, hosting his employees’ families for holiday parties. Staff members pride themselves on their relationships with customers, and Marcotte said a majority of business comes from referrals and repeat buyers.
Those relationships have been tested in recent months due to the coronavirus, although he said operations had largely returned to normal after a difficult spring. The newly opened commercial sales division kept the business steady.
Marcotte said he feels pressure as a third-generation leader but that a small amount of pressure is healthy.
“You’re always adapting and trying to get ahead of stuff,” he said. “It’s never comfortable where you can just settle down and take it in. You’re always looking at numbers, making sure the team’s in good spirits and making sure we can adapt.”
— Michael Martinez