Jheury Moran Vivas,
Sales director, Jones Junction
In 1998, when Jheury Moran Vivas was 12, his family emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the U.S.
His mother, a former schoolteacher, enrolled him in Baltimore’s public school system, where he learned English. She worked in a factory. When Moran Vivas was 14, he decided he wanted to work to aid her and his family.
“I realized that I had to start working because I needed to help my mom out and help her out in the sense of ‘I don’t have to ask her to buy me shoes,’ ” Moran Vivas said. “ ‘I don’t have to ask her to do anything for me’ because I was trying to do it all on my own.”
He pursued a weekend job at a restaurant and worked there through high school. In 2005, he came across an Internet ad for a seminar on car sales and borrowed money from his stepfather to take it.
He’s been in the auto industry ever since.
For the next five years, he worked stints as a sales representative at Maryland dealerships. The 2010s brought him to Jones Junction, a dealership group based in Bel Air, Md., where he progressed from sales associate to sales manager in 2011. He was promoted in 2016 to director of used cars and again in 2018 to director of sales.
In that role, he oversees six franchised dealerships and two used-vehicle stores.
Moran Vivas and his team are responsible for a years-long effort to digitally transform the group’s sales department. That included redesigning the company’s website, developing its social media presence from scratch and completely restructuring how it advertises vehicles online.
“From day one, we knew that we wanted to have a mobile-friendly website that customers can be comfortable” using, Moran Vivas told Automotive News.
He also wanted to distinguish between the dealership group’s new-vehicle and used-vehicle departments. A customer visiting Jones Junction’s website in search of a used vehicle should see clear well-lit pictures of available inventory, he said.
To achieve that, he pushed for the group to install a 360-degree photo booth for vehicles. Now the group aims to put 30 to 40 pictures of each vehicle on its website to showcase vehicle interiors and exteriors and features. It’s better than walkaround photos, Moran Vivas said.
Customers and dealership sales employees love the updated website, he said. And Moran Vivas loves doing his job.
“I just love putting cars on people’s driveways and making them happy,” he said.
— C.J. Moore