James Greene, 39
Sales operations manager, Planet Subaru
With initiative, the right software and, in the last couple of years, help from sky-high demand for used cars, James Greene turned wholesale sales from breakeven at best into a substantial profit center for Hanover, Mass., dealership Planet Subaru.
“Planet was liquidating all of its wholesale vehicles by selling them to local used-car lots,” Greene said. “Wholesale profit was essentially zero” when Greene was promoted to sales operations manager from finance manager in 2017, he said.
“We now generate approximately $100,000 in monthly wholesale profit, and we are able to give our customers more for their trades, so we sell more cars at retail,” he said.
Greene says he also stepped up efforts to buy more lease returns that were originally leased at other dealerships and more “street purchases” from sellers who weren’t also buying a car. The result has been “several hundred” more used-car purchases annually, he said.
Subaru is a hot franchise around the country, but that’s nothing new in New England, where the snow and mud make the brand’s all-wheel drive a constant draw.
Greene joined Planet Subaru, located south of Boston, in 2009. It’s the only dealership where he’s ever worked.
As sales operations manager, Greene said he opted to work with a software vendor for an online wholesale auction instead of trying to create it from scratch. He said the online process increased the number of potential buyers and the dealership’s geographic reach, and therefore increased the final price of each vehicle sold.
“We definitely draw people from all around us,” both wholesale and retail customers, he said. “We have a large selection of pre-owned, one of the largest for Subaru. We grab a lot of people from all over, from New Hampshire, from Boston, from north of Boston, all the time,” Greene said.
“I never want to work anywhere else but at Planet,” he said. “So I aspire to grow with the dealership over the years.”
— Jim Henry