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Dealer Bob Rohrman: ‘Never give up’

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Fri, 7 Dec 2012|

The 'Dealer Speaks' With Bob Rohrman

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Welcome to the latest installment of our series the dealer speaks. I'm Tom Moore back. He's employees describe him as hands on a mentor and above all a salesman. We're talking about Bob orbit. President and owner of the Bob warm and auto group. This operation is big -- to number eighteen in the latest Automotive News top 125. Dealership groups list. In 2011. Warm and sold 191635. In new retail units. In group revenue came in at more than 905. Million dollars. The company portfolio currently includes a 24 new car dealerships covering fifteen brands in two states plus. For use car superstores. In as we learned doing our recent visit to Chicago land those numbers are growing. The charge being led by warming himself. Whose first boss was a cigar chomping Ford dealer in Lafayette Indiana. In 1955. These. Obviously. You think maybe you've been so harsh I said yes sir again. Where you'll start I said right now he said OK your hired. And he was often running. In 1963. Warm and opened his first used car lot. In in 1969. He started selling -- Toyota's. Relatively unknown mark in some parts of the country. As Lafayette it and how to pronounce Tonioli Khaled. Priority after adding a steady stream of brands in his hometown including Honda. Warm and looked north to the booming town of Schaumburg Illinois. Where friend was selling 200 -- a month. And I -- who I should -- the dealer here there was at one. So warm and built it in 1984. His first store in the Chicago area. -- who himself isn't one to -- it actually my office probably is my car. That's him in the red Lexus. Likes to move franchises around like pieces on the chess board. The car business for me -- just been. A game. Woman's Honda store will soon move to the site of his nearby -- dealership. Use condoms will be sold in the key to show room in -- 140000. Square foot addition will house new Honda's next door. As for the -- distort well that's moving into the existing Honda dealership. And warm and it is moving his suburban Chicago Lexus store less than a mile down the road. Into a two story 200000. Square foot building in his business park which even has its own traffic -- I concentrated on the -- been so much that. We do well with and so we can. We can build buildings like the -- storm it doesn't hurt that warm and owns 51%. Of a construction company. In virtually his entire operation. Except new vehicle inventory is paid for all self funded. Never give up. Has been my model he could have went one store was three million bucks in the whole ice that with us stuck with -- me to three million dollar back. And I -- -- about 800000. Today. And that is just one of the many lessons he's passed along to his children and grandchildren who -- in the family business. Grandson Ryan is the GM at Schaumburg Honda. He takes presidents David teaching me how to sell cars and as like -- lose you know what do you mean by that is -- -- -- the very first day we emphasize it and you. And I just -- told me he said you got to love the customers and they'll let you back. Customer satisfaction is so important to warm -- that he established his own university. For new and existing employees. Where. He's he -- people. The car business. Not only in sales for news service. How we wanted to take care of the customer. How we won't be noble want the serious side. Son JER well and Arlington Nissan. As is always told us you know you could inspect what to expect. Not many dealers are routinely signed autographs but Orban does. After starring in countless TV ads over the years often in -- He says the goofy spots drive business. I have people tell me and the source. I just had coming in. Because really advertising. And they say. You're crazy. But I love it. New ads were suggested by employee looting Garcia. Who realized mormons advertising. Wasn't targeting a key audience. The area's growing Hispanic population. The two now star in this spot spoken in Spanish. -- I take all of biases. From employees good or bad sometimes as I was Lugo was this game is Maria Orman is also bullish on the Internet. He predicts 40% of its sales will soon come through that media that doesn't mean. When he now walks in the door how'd you hear of us. You should Washington and that's not -- fail. He had access. Contacted. By the end. And then we really can't say that there's an and -- sale. Meantime warm and is building a -- store in Wisconsin. And negotiating. For a General Motors franchise. His grandson chase who runs a Ford store -- growth is a motivate -- He's still going after everything facility got -- mentally -- wants to grow. I hope when you know -- Not only not only isn't healthy but this fun. Warm and employees 14100 people do stores throughout Indiana into Illinois. And like many dealers he is charitable. During our visit he presented the Red Cross a check for 100000. Dollars to the super storm sandy relief but. Next week we'll hear from -- Monday and asked co owner of the Monday advanced automotive family will see that.

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And as we get that business went up quite a bit because they split in the as far as their knowledge of the cars. And we had experts on east eat each particular manufacture. Displaced face increased at both sites. Before we knew he had eaten for a aren't directly to bloom who is our customers come yeah. Probably out acts of the while. is that I don't know what it does. Is the easy online. Or. Courtesy addict Chrysler and the Dodge Ram locations years ago. Meantime in crystal lake the Buick GMC store was also renovated. It had been a Pontiac site it changed the Buick GMC just before the free days the dealership in began the overhaul. The payoff from all that work we went from. Years ago is that courtesy groups on eighty. 400 cars so everything is going going in the right direction. new sales are up 30% this year repeat and referral business are also. We have to attribute to the the remodeled the dealerships and they and they wanna come back we wanna be apart of the courtesy. And the big thing we've heard is that customers that we went. I played a reinvestment of the community they they can see it they can see the investment community. And the three days aren't confining themselves to the prairie state they built a national customer list thanks to Internet sales. A month ago one of the drivers drove all the way to. Phoenix to deliver call. David Perry is one of 100 private contractors that deliver pick up cards for courtesy. It's about trust. I've had I've I had customers to tell me. Bad. They would never deal. Would anyone else. But the three days some are old customers another free day. senior worked for Ford Motor Co. for nearly two decades before opening up Ford dealership in house legal Illinois in 1991. He kept it for nineteen years. But that didn't exactly pressure that hits the follow his example. Obviously last that education that he did that is the way to school. When when the talent and they said Africa you know you guys who have do but don't sell cars in the first thing we did with cutters. We could've taken away give bag I would be excited I don't think went by that. It was in we can wait to get back. Spent about ten years working for their father he now works them as a consultant. To strengthen their work family the free taste promote from within managers Chris bell tee and Jeff they only work both started in Internet. Fail. To see the potential almost of bringing other people in to develop us and have must rise up. Throughout the dealership. Community service is a priority for the business. As is maintaining a work atmosphere. That's a much work has more and there than you'd like to be right now is we do. If that's the good thing is my thought we'd have yet to count. We get to do we get it. And people get their cars going Alive though it is a great thing that we get to go to work. With Rick focusing on crystal late and right and then they'll have the time they is that a little sibling rivalry. Well we did wild today on the you guys It. But the type. little spring. Without that we that we all he did tonight as simple problems that we are adamant be sixty. The three days are growing again. They say four. It is in the works reporting from there and bill and crystal lake Illinois I'm Leslie Allen.

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Is between little weight and that kids. Continuous improvement and respect. principles which have been deployed. Really on on a global level which include. Open door policy always promoting fair competition. And maybe the key point is ensuring that we develop long term. Mutually beneficial relationships based on trust. Young says the automaker is just beginning accord development work on its new global architecture platform. The goal is to boost the number of parts shared among vehicles to improve quality and lower cost. Young says engaged in suppliers early in that process is vital. We're trying to front load up our collaboration with suppliers design and develop. You know the best commodity based solutions. For the vehicle programs is to look at the future of the uber successful. Over the next two years and we truly will have mutual benefit. By the end of the decade. Young says the challenge will be coordinating efforts both regionally and globally. We've done it before we've never done it really to this magnitude. And of that at the peak work load time that's something I'm a little concerned about. But we've been talking to our suppliers have linked how we prepare we improve our processes. Young also talking about initiatives under way at Rio to promote risk management. This all the supply chain disruptions from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami three years ago. We can only mitigate risk of we understand where those points are. And so based on that were working with our suppliers. As best we can and try to visualize supply chain through the tears. we understand where our product is coming from and we can identify where risk areas are. Both tank and young agreed that the overall goal is to achieve profitable growth for both automakers and suppliers. And speaking of profits is Harvard study by planning perspectives a researcher John hanky. Concludes that a good working relationship with suppliers can boost and auto makers the bottom line. Thank you seeing close relations with suppliers lifted Toyota's profits by 2400 dollars per vehicle. Sold from 2008 2013. Ford gained almost 2000 per vehicle. Thanks for watching our special reports from the planner for on a motive resurgent management briefing seminars. To see all four go to auto news.com slash Trevor city take care.

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