TORONTO — Michael Croxon, the president and CEO of NewRoads Automotive Group, said dealers should concentrate on controlling what they can, despite facing an uncertain future.
“That’s what I remind my team of each and every day, and that’s what we work towards,” said Croxon, whose company has five dealerships, including General Motors, Chrysler, Mazda and two Subarus.
“In our small microcosm of the automotive business north of Toronto, what we affectionately refer to as Northern 905, we’re working in a couple ways to control what we can control. For the last five years or so our group has operated fundamentally around four pillars, and those pillars are employee engagement, customer enthusiasm, community and performance. It’s what we live and breathe every day.”
Croxon said for his company it all begins with employee engagement.
“And it’s likely the biggest challenge we have as an organization,” Croxon said. “I’ve heard other people here talk about the same thing. You can imagine if the auto parts manufacturers and the banks are having trouble attracting quality people, how difficult is it for the automobile dealer? I can tell you it’s very difficult. We do all sorts of things in our group to differentiate ourselves from others and try to be the best place in the industry to which people aspire to work.
“These include working with an outside consultant, on people development, annual leadership conferences and many social events and encouraging our initiatives to work within one of our other pillars, which is community.
“My job is to continue to figure out how we can make NewRoads the absolute best place to work and how we can keep employees engaged by creating a fun and inspiring place for them to work. If we do that, the customer enthusiasm comes a lot easier. It’s obviously going to keep us in business over the long term, and we’ve directed a considerable energy over the past 24 months towards this particular one of our pillars.”