Nick Anderson, 30
General manager, Chuck Anderson Ford
Nick Anderson's first experience in the car business involved a grade-school assignment to shadow his father and write about what he did.
After spending a day at the family business, Chuck Anderson Ford in Excelsior Springs, Mo., Nick dutifully reported to his first-grade classmates: "My dad goes to work and drinks coffee and talks to people."
His father, Mike Anderson, the store's dealer principal, still has that paper.
"He obviously does so much more than that, but those are the things I pulled out," Nick Anderson said. "I always thought that was the coolest thing ever, to be able to chat and solve people's problems."
Today, Nick Anderson is in charge of solving his customers' — and the store's — problems as general manager of Chuck Anderson Ford. And there have been many in the past 16 months, from the coronavirus pandemic to the inventory crunch brought on by the global semiconductor shortage.
Amid both crises, the store's profits have soared, thanks in part to initiatives Anderson implemented.
They include moving used inventory through the dealership at a quicker pace as well as growing the company's off-the-street purchases through the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program. During the pandemic, he added home test drives and deliveries and bolstered the store's online sales program.
One stat he's particularly proud of over the past year is that none of his 44 employees was laid off, in spite of the pandemic and chip shortage.
Anderson eventually wants to follow his father as the store's dealer principal, while also helping to remove the stigma that dealers are shady businesspeople just in it to make a buck. His key to doing that goes back to his elementary school report about his father: talking to your customers and treating them well.
"I love building those relationships and showing them that we are people, too, and you can trust us," he said. "I'd rather not sell you a car than to sell you a car and tomorrow you'd be upset at me for selling it. There's no reason for it to be a negative experience."
— Michael Martinez