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Monday, February 10, 2014

"This is a Dictatorship, not a Democracy".. Ugh! - Automotive Professionals

"This is a Dictatorship, not a Democracy".. Ugh! - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

In regards to Timothy Martell's comment posted on ADM to the article linked above; I disagree with Tim's assertion that America's best and brightest will inevitably either not be attracted to the car biz, or if they get a job in a dealership will soon leave in disgust. I've been privileged enough to have worked in well over 1,000 dealership facilities across North America over the past 33 years, thanks to my years as a consultant and trainer, so my perspective is based on a fairly good sample size. I agree with Tim that there are dealerships where what he describes could, and would occur... However, not only are there many dealerships where America's best and brightest could thrive and be the platform from which their success is launched, there are dealerships where the culture and leadership is so conducive to entrepreneurial spirit and creating value that the opposite effect occurs... I know this to be true because I have witnessed these great dealerships on a first hand basis. There are too many great dealerships which have the opposite effect on their new hires than what Tim describes to list them all, but let me mention just a few of them:

  • Rick Case Honda in FL
  • Ken Grody Ford in CA
  • Ancira Auto Group in TX
  • West-Herr Auto Group in NY
  • Cavendar Toyota in TX
  • Melloy Nissan in NM
  • Power Ford in NM 
  • World Hyundai of Matteson, IL
  • Germaine Auto Group of OH, FL, AR
  • Courtesy Chevrolet in AZ
  • Findlay Auto Group in NV

As I stated, there are many more of these types of dealerships and organizations than the few I listed off the top of my head, where people that are not normally attracted to the car business manage to get themselves hired, and then thrive at a level where their success stories are launched and they become highly successful in either the auto industry or something connected to the car biz.  I have seen and participated in far too many powerful success stories that originated in America's car dealerships to accept what Tim describes as being the prevalent situation... I've hired college students at my dealership who went on the become senior executives at car companies and successful entrepreneurs, such as the creator of Mazda's Retail Revolution and several successful authors and well known auto industry speakers... I have seen on a first hand basis where young people come on board with a dealership that has such a dynamic and positive culture that there entire outlook on careers in the auto industry changes to the positive and they go on to become inspirational success stories of their own...

I know the auto industry has a lot of room for improvement, as Tom Vann certainly describes well, but for Tim to believe that his own first hand experience working in a dealer group run by his father is either typical or the predominant dealership culture is simply unrealistic. I have seen too many opposite types of dealership environments and work places to accept a wholesale conclusion that all dealerships suck! I have seen too many incredibly powerful, upbeat, inspirational and personally rewarding places to work that also happened to be a car dealership, to accept that this positive impact cannot become more widespread or even the prevalent American dealership work place environment... So, let me just say that for every dealership that is run like a dictatorship or Siberian Labor Camp, there is another where employees thrive, create value and self fulfillment and go on to reach their own success potential. I believe in this enough to have recruited my own family members into the car business and not regretted doing so... I also see people like myself, Danny Alkassmi, Richard Bustillo, Tom Vann, Kurt Maletych, Joe Webb, Eric Nichols and yes, even Tim Martell along with hundreds of others who have grown up in the car biz and become success stories in their own right. 

So, lest we toss the baby out with the bath water, let's recognize what a great business we are in and committ ourselves to amplifying and spreading what we do right at the same time in which we self criticize and reach for making our industry a better place to work and reach professional fulfillment.