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Interviews


Lessons from dealers' online parts ventures

In a bid to attract new parts customers online, Ed Morse Delray Toyota launched TheToyotaPartsDepot.com, solely for parts sales. Fixed Ops Director Eric Silcox says dealers should treat parts websites like a separate business that requires patience, commitment and possibly even more employees if they want to see growth.


How a dealer's reluctant son became hooked on the car business

Like many dealers' kids, Matt Laughridge was wary about a career in auto retailing. That changed after a fishing trip with his dad. Now at 29, he's putting his personal stamp on his family's Hyundai and Buick-GMC stores -- as well as other ventures.

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Lessons from dealers' online parts ventures

In a bid to attract new parts customers online, Ed Morse Delray Toyota launched TheToyotaPartsDepot.com, solely for parts sales. Fixed Ops Director Eric Silcox says dealers should treat parts websites like a separate business that requires patience, commitment and possibly even more employees if they want to see growth.


How a Chevy dealership became an oil-change juggernaut

Nurse Chevrolet Cadillac in suburban Toronto has transformed itself from the 'king of the three-hour oil change' to a 29-minute-or-less lube, oil and filter destination, thanks to a NASCAR-like pit crew. The change has drawn more customers, accelerated the careers of workers and lifted the store's bottom line.


Small dealer on battling giants for acquisitions: ‘Give us a chance’

Fresh off a $12.5 million relocation of his Nissan and Subaru franchises, Iowa dealer Dave Wright is hiring and on the prowl for acquisitions. He believes smaller retailers can compete against larger groups in the hunt for dealerships by using seasoned talent and nimbly closing deals. With a focus on expansion and developing a workplace family, Wright insists: “We're way too invested now to die.”


‘It’s about giving back’: Mixing purpose and profit at a La. dealership group

Louisiana-based dealer Troy Duhon thinks doing good is good for business. His 22 dealerships funnel $25 from each sold vehicle back to local communities, and employees get paid days off for volunteer work. While such efforts have blossomed into a global foundation, they've also helped create loyal employees and customers, leading to a more-profitable dealership group.


A front-seat look at Toyota's tough test drive

For three days in November, Automotive News Asia Editor Hans Greimel joined the Argentina leg of Toyota's Five Continents Drive, the automaker's audacious seven-year gambit to reboot its mindset toward making better cars for a new era.


FCA dealer expands kingdom by taking shoppers off-road, selling custom-built rides

It's in Ralph Mahalak Jr.'s 'Dodge-red' blood to stand out from other Fiat Chrysler dealers. That's why he's built a unique 'Low Payment King' brand, off-road Jeep course and line of custom-made vehicles. Mahalak says his deviate approach and investment in employees has helped the family-run group double its number of dealerships since 2011.


Dealer Morse survived 'trial by fire'; now charts future without mentors

Third-generation dealer Teddy Morse always believed he would lead his family's Florida empire of stores, but not quite so soon. The 41-year-old took the helm of Ed Morse Automotive Group in July after the death of his father, Ted. Morse believes a 'trial-by-fire' entry into management, family input and focused employees will advance the group's legacy.


How a Houston Ford dealership creates 'magic' through selective hiring

AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway's committee-based hiring system holds managers accountable for engaging, training and promoting employees so that 'everybody rocks.' The effort at the Houston store has created a workplace where sales are soaring and 40 percent of staffers are previous customers.

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