The key to a successful multigenerational business starts with trusting the next generation.
That theme emerged from a series of panels with family-run auto retailers at the Automotive News Retail Forum: NADA.
"It can't be 'I'm really smart and you're an idiot,'?" said John Bergstrom, CEO of Bergstrom Automotive Group in Neenah, Wis. "The relationship Tim and I have is very much mutual respect."
John's son, Tim Bergstrom, is COO of Bergstrom Automotive. Tim oversees day-to-day operations and digital strategy, while John handles much of the corporate legal and financial responsibility.
As the elder Bergstrom transitions his 30-store dealership group to the next generation, he said, he has worked with his son on securing the company's financial future, establishing a culture of caring and mutual respect and giving the next generation space to grow their leadership skills.