Having worked at a dealership for 26 years in almost every capacity, I feel I bring a complete skill set to run a franchise dealership. The automotive retail environment is in one of its most challenging times. The ability to adapt to changing customer expectations and to market the dealership using traditional and emerging media are more important than ever. I have always considered myself to be a student of the industry by reading the many industry publications and e-newsletters as well as attending NADA conventions and 20 Group meetings to stay ahead of our ever-changing business.
While obtaining my degree, I worked in multiple positions in the dealership, lot tech, oil & lube tech, parts runner, parts stocking and inventory, maintenance and security.
March 1984- I started as a salesperson, selling new and used. As an owner's son, I was held to a higher standard than other employees, and felt I performed well as the youngest salesperson on an experienced staff.
February 1986- I became the Used Car Manager at the dealership, and was able to double our sales in used vehicles within the first 6 months.
Late 1989- I was given the opportunity as new vehicle manager after the hiring of my replacement. One of my significant achievements was the early adoption of consumer leasing. We were an early adopter of technology allowing accurate and flexible quotes (Lease-Link). I was responsible for the development of the first written polices and procedures, as well as our employee handbooks.
1990- At this time our dealership became involved with the manufacturers Quality Improvement Process. I was the Facilitator for the dealership and have retained this role for the other manufacturer initiatives such as Customer One and the 5-Star programs.
Mid 90's- Our dealership joined a Chrysler regional 20 Group. This was prompted by the need to train me for the role of general manager. I became GM in Sept. 1996.
2005- Our facility, which was expanded 3 different times, was outdated and in 2005 was upgraded to the corporate Millennium 2 look at our own choice, not the manufacturer. Our marketing was expanded by re-naming the dealership in conjunction with a branding program, supplying free rentals to new car customers, and the use of an advertising agency.
2008- A new management team consisting of myself, Catherine Zimmer and Rich Zimmer was installed, replacing Tom and Dick Zimmer. Our focus was to improve sales by better forecasting and goal setting. A consultant group, IPA was hired to train the new management team and supply a fresh look at polices procedures, forecasting, job descriptions, performance standards and financial controls.
2008- In 2008 as Chairman-elect, I went to Washington to lobby for the bridge loans for Chrysler and GM. I am part of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and am active in my local community.
2009- I have served on Chryslers Zone Dealer Council, as a district director as well as Chairman for the Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association
The roles and responsibilities of a dealer are many. I am including a list of these which I have shown competency.
Five Star- customer focused culture development
Employee staffing and recruitment- for sales and service
Performance standards and job descriptions
Forecasting and goal setting
Expense control- fixed and variable
Inventory control and analysis- new, used and parts
Finance-prime and subprime
Advertising- traditional as well as nontraditional
Performance based pay plan development
Customer Relationship Management
Leasing- emphasis on short term
Compliance- Federal and State requirements
Floorplan sourcing- multiple bank relationships
Product knowledge- new vehicle introductions, online training and Ride and Drives
Sales training- road to sale, word tracks, phone skills, appointment setting, internet skills, prospecting, follow-up, and customer focused attitudes.
Internet marketing- SEO and SEM, organic search, website development
Staff motivation and corrective counseling and accountability
Policy and procedure development