General manager, Porsche Larchmont
Ashley Harris’ transition into her role as general manager of Porsche Larchmont outside New York City was immediately interrupted by the pandemic, forcing her to establish relationships with her new team virtually.
But Harris never saw that as a setback.
“I’m very grateful for the fact that when I did come in, they allowed and embraced my changes and worked alongside me,” Harris said. “We were able to make the changes that needed to be made in this store during the coronavirus to get to the numbers that we got to.”
But having to shift to remote work so early in her time at Porsche Larchmont allowed her to spend more one-on-one time with each department, she said. Learning with them allowed her to bring her past experiences to the store and implement a basic approach to customer care.
Despite being in the epicenter of the pandemic last year, the store was able to maintain its employee count, improve both new- and used-vehicle gross profit, increase certified pre-owned sales and improve finance and insurance income. The store’s net profit improved by 400 percent from 2019. And in fixed ops, the dealership bested the averages for both its region and Porsche nationally with customer-paid labor sales at 3.2 hours per repair order, and $538 per repair order on customer-paid part sales.
Prior to her role at Porsche Larchmont, she spent seven years at a South Carolina dealership as a salesperson, sales manager and general sales manager. But being from New York, Harris chose to look for opportunities closer to her family.
Joe Pepe, CEO of Pepe Auto Group, which owns the Porsche store, offered Harris the general manager position and gave her an opportunity to work with a store whose values aligned with hers.
Harris credits Pepe for giving her the support and guidance to succeed at Porsche Larchmont. She credits her disciplined work ethic to her stepfather, who also worked in the auto industry and was a role model.
“He showed me hard work and dedication and how that can translate and pay off with a successful career,” Harris said. “Because of him, I immerse myself in my work. I push to work harder and also surround myself with and learn from other successful people in this industry.”
— Wendy Guzman