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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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You can see that the traffic stop here around you know 4 o'clock 3:34 o'clock. And which something we like by the way. Head Porter Javier helps new Hyundai he's up to the bridge. But determining the location of this heavy duty elevator was a challenge during the planning phase of the project. didn't want to an unsightly exterior lift for all to see so. We figured that we put in the blue box this box bearing a big Hyundai logo. You can still see the cars going up and down its visual but it's not an if you don't see any of the mechanics of the list. So that was a very nice clever design when the sun sets up programmable LED system kicks him. Projecting in a of colors against the bridges white background. We have. Design that took advantage of the traffic there's 600000. Vehicles that drive this freeway on a daily basis and we want it to us. Bill that in a way that they remember that there is on the story here so how is this door impacted drivers. Instances of one story in particular comes to mind. There was that element that bought a car from us and he he said I've been driving this freeway for twelve years. And I've never. Knew there was and they store here. And he he then you man and I end up buying a car. NASA says there's a good reason why many drivers zipped by the dealership in the past. This is what it looked like when massive in his business partners acquired the store in late. the eleven we would call it a glorified. Trailer we had to add a couple of trailer just to conduct business while we are designing in that building. This building. It was a big big change. From what it was and what it is today. The same can be said. For the dealerships significant turnaround in sales. The Hyundai store was selling about. Some are around eight to ten cause a month's new cause of months. And now we're currently selling around hundred parts of. The old facility presented another problem. We had a difficulty hiring the right people when we were in a trailer but that hasn't been an issue since the new building opened its doors. It features a massive show room filled with flat screen televisions in plenty of workspace. If you people like. To be here. They will treat your customers rights and we try to. Create the culture that this is your home. A total of 39 employees worked at the Hyundai store in a nearby Chevy dealership. When asked if it is business partners bought them in 2011. Today 105. Employees worked at the dealerships. About a third of those staffers share their time between the two stores. Quite a few jobs that were added to the community. Back to construction. if it is team broke ground on the new Hyundai store in of 2013. Our goal was to. Opened stores before Thanksgiving and we did the project also came in 800000. Dollars under budget. Due in part to win Hyundai serving as general contractor. In in in the house consultant coordinating work on the project. The move gave more control in terms of spending choosing subcontractors. In design flexibility. For example the source conference room looked good on paper. And then when we looked at its. It was too small and we had to redesign it and the ability to have the contractors. Working for us it was we were able to do that fairly easy we had to. a couple of walls and and it was. Done the fifteen year old massive was born in Egypt and moved to LA as a team. He's held numerous dealership positions over the past thirty years. Including market president for about a dozen AutoNation stores in Southern California. He says other retailers looking to rebuild. May want to consider adding the title of general contract. This is my first dealership and this is something that. It's something that every penny counts in the end. NASA believes he's made when Hyundai in Carson a destination. People make choices every day. People make is that where they gonna work where they can five. What are they gonna buy. And our job is to be Detroit's. You might wonder where the dealership groups in came from. NASA for in his team like sports and decided early on that they like to win. Thanks so much for watching we'll see you soon.

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