News by Brand
Home>Topics>>Dealer Bob Rohrman: ‘Never give up’

Dealer Bob Rohrman: ‘Never give up’

Get Adobe Flash Player to see this content.


  1. General Motors6:21
  2. new car0:50
  3. Lafayette Indiana1:12
  4. Schaumburg Illinois1:58
  5. Tom Moore0:11
  6. GM4:01
  7. Automotive News0:30
  8. steady stream1:50
  9. cigar chomping1:10
  10. Customer satisfaction4:19

Fri, 7 Dec 2012|

The 'Dealer Speaks' With Bob Rohrman


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.

Related Videos:

  1. Brembo CEO on N.A. Growth

    Fri, 17 Apr 2015

    Global sales at Italian brake maker Brembo grew 15 percent last year. And the biggest market for those brakes is North America, led by Daniel Sandberg, 55.

  2. Valet Car-Hauling Program Fills Service Bays

    Thu, 12 Feb 2015

    Welcome to a new season of best practices. I've Tom Moore back. Throughout 2015 will visit dealerships across the country showcasing innovative techniques taking place both inside. It outside of stores. And will begin our track in Dublin Ohio near Columbus. Many big firms are headquartered in Dublin including Cardinal Health Wendy's and Stanley steamer. According to the US Census Bureau from 2009 for 2013. Dublin's median household income was it had over 113. Thousand dollars more than twice the state average. Wire we disgusting these demographics. Well there is a thirst for iconic cars in the region. That's where the sixteen franchise mid western auto group or bag fits it. Over the years bag this whole mainstream vehicles such as many ups and volkswagens to its customers. Many of them grow into more luxurious BMW's. And Audi. And some graduate too exotic cars we're talking Aston Martin's Bentley Lamborghini. And more. And as you see mag is intensely focused on servicing those super cars both now in in the future. So the growth is opening its doors in two key area. First to high school students who are eager to become technicians. And second. High line rides themselves. I love this job it's. Like that like I've said before it's like an amusement park it's a new ride every day. On this frigid February afternoon. How low key is getting behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB. He carefully accelerates the gas didn't creeping over a fresh blanket of snow. Moments later O'Keefe pulled over to ramp of a long car carrier. Positioning his head outside the driver's side window hope he pulls the pricing automobile inside. No room for error here the worst. Ignited burning car that we have is the leverage any event adored that cleared on that cars are very slim between indoors you have inches between each side. It can get loans to Iraq. Once loaded O'Keefe hops in the truck in transports service cars back to their owners. He also that's your experience he rides that he'd oil changes in other maintenance. It's all part of megs of ballet program for highlighting driver. They. Tried to keep these cars beautiful life they are. So that's what we strive to do for them to keep things nice as you can see you mid western auto group uses covered car hauling trailers. And there are few good reasons why. You know gets no rain bird dropping acid rain. Stone chips. Anything hazardous dropping off of other semis. And open carrier court sure. Open to any of those road hazard. Begged general manager Barry Lester says the group charges a 250. Dollar fee for each round trip. That's on top of normal service does it costs. Since debuting in the valley program in Dublin in 2009. The number of monthly pick ups and drop offs has doubled to nearly sixty. And meg recently added a second carrier they have driver to handle the increase in business. The program is now offered in more than five states. It's word of mouth pretty much most of these people talk to each other. And you know it's been well well I communicated up amongst the high line customer. Fixed operations boss Bob crow shores is the service program. Is luring new car shoppers from other regions. Maybe wouldn't buy a car from us. Because it too far away. Now we have transport services easy for them to do business that makes a big difference and the ability to sell cars that are maybe in Cleveland or Indianapolis or even removal because it's easier for them to do service office. Bags sold 3900. Knew it used vehicles last year. A 15%. Jump from 2013. In the service department is hopping. Filled with porches must erotic Bentley Ferrari in Lambert. Mean since the inception of this or service department has game in the last four years. Periodically by your about 13% per year so. If you put that in a four years they were up about. 52%. Over the last four years in service gross and parts so a good job. Lester says recruiting and retaining service staffers is a top priority. We have 225. Employees here at this facility now. In. 65%. Of those or after sales technician parts and service so about three years ago. Bag develop a service apprenticeship program. We have kids coming here from high school. Around between one to a clocked at working before 5 o'clock in the evening. After you're done with their classes soul and more pain and means there's so you're earning a paycheck in. Some tenure here high school senior Johnson Cuevas. You learn so much more hands on me do actually have school. Pulled out dollar. On this day John C is working alongside certified portion attack and mentor Nicholas abundant ball. It's very important to feel pass on the knowledge to younger. Not that get passed on every Angela dial off there'll be. History anymore so far seven apprentices have been hired as tax. Back to the man who helps keep the base busy most of my customers. Well first name basis Tom OK you've had some amusing wrote stories. One was entered customers' card back and got cornered in a car for about a half hour by three of his dogs. And they didn't quite like me being on the property whole or you're able to resolve it. The current client got his daughter on the phone we've but the phone on speaker he talked to the dogs they went McGraw played down I was able to walk out of the driveway. Good hail in the Tom is proud to say he's never had a payroll deduction due to a scratched or dented car. He's not looking forward of one. Thanks so much for watching everyone will see you soon.

  3. John Bergstrom on Buffett, Musk and Life as a Dealer

    Thu, 4 Dec 2014

    Hi and welcome to the latest installment of our series the dealers speaks and Jennifer bond. John berg Strom has not only made an impression in Wisconsin. But an automotive circles across the country. The dealership group that he co founded with his brother thirty years ago. Is this State's largest auto retail chain representing some three dozen brands. By year end perks from item I don't expect to hit one billion dollars in revenue. And Daschle here today. Berg drums and higher all started with a piece of paper on it. A sincere request to begin a career in the retail auto industry. After being rejected. At least twice and maybe three times. Wrote a letter to Roger Smith and nurture that mr. Smith sought for the secretary and and she. Set up a chance for someone from General Motors to come and visit with a us here Nina. Virtual appealing to that then GM chairman. After the automaker blocked a birth strums request to opening dealership due to a lack of capital. But that letter was a turning point. GM AC office in Milwaukee. Change their mind and decided that they would give us four plan. Approval and those very helpful force and got us started. A local bankers got us from building. Found a local. Construction company to build a Butler building 121000 square feet. So we were up to the races in September of 1982 and I will forever be appreciative of General Motors. He says Smith even came to the grand opening up his store. Today and this 67 year old birth Tron is still mindful of the opportunity GM gave him. He drove a Chevy to work at the morning we visited. And his office remains in the GM's store Britain business began. This is the office we started it and well everybody gives me a little bit challenge about that now and then because we do have a corporate offices through blacks that way. I don't want to lose track of the business and wanna be on the ground. Outside the store per term stays well connected he's panel slip that billionaire investor Warren Buffett. There relationships spans fifteen years. First from a pleased to see about this and turn the auto industry with Berkshire Hathaway's recent purchase of the band tiled dealership group. I think he's gonna find it to good business but he says the buffet might face some challenges. He'll also find that it's that is consistent is a public company. Might like. The people have gotten their business in the public companies tremendously challenging for them to get quarters. And for the private side I think if you have a difficult quarter you can smooth from quarter to quarter which is an accepted in public hearings at all burst from. Also aligning himself with Fella dealers such as Carl Sewell of taxes. Their friendship grew under the same conviction. That putting people before profit is critical. It started from the fact that. He believes that how you treat that gas and get to come back the next time as far more important than how you treat them to get him. By cart today and get to our service with him today I believe that. Wholeheartedly. Their customer first mentality also was an approach the birds from chain cultivated. There GMs and now shuttered Saturn brand. And get to walk around through without looking over your career. His fellow named skip portfolio that was just a fascinating later today. Taught us that this business wasn't so much of that cars. It was about building relationships with people and went Saturn was closed. We lost 35% of our business six stores. In. Literally overnight. That culture that we developed through shattered now. We live with the everyday so today. Despite losing those stores for Hummer dealerships into Pontiac a franchise is in the aftermath of GM's 2009 bankruptcy. Birth Shaun kept his head high and still does today. I don't live in regret bill. When you put it all in a pile we've won more than we lost in the key is not to lose too consistently and went straight. He acknowledges that the business isn't it for the faint of hearts. In cautions of some of the perils. I think the biggest risk in this business is. The fact that I mean chilly in early July up if you don't stand up of all of the different pieces that go into it. Whether whether that's. The cost of carrying your four planned. Whether it whether that's health insurance. Whether it's receivables. All of those challenges if you don't keep your finger on me in trouble. But he believes auto retailing is it rewarding business. His advice to anyone who wants to join that world until I have that. And as a member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Green Bay Packers. Berg Strom pass along best philosophy from the highly successful NFL franchise. You don't lose those games and Russia quit my run at a time but. If if you don't quit you keep hanging in there you're gonna prevail eventually. No wonder he respects at Tel plus CEO. Who burst from says has worked hard for the EV makers plays in the industry. Get a bang Hannity on Moscow I think he's an incredible marketer. But he isn't worried about mosques and direct sales approach shaking up the traditional franchise landscape too much. Reality is you got it at some point you've got to manufacture car. Marketed and and distributed. And sell it for more than what your expenses are. I personally believe that he's come a long way as far as teaching us about electric cars he's made our car business fun in some ways. If you think that he's taking a Mercedes efficiently that. That doesn't let that cry. I firmly believe that at some point somebody buys it and put it through the normal system. Very strong clearly not giving up unconventional brick and mortar stores. But he seems the possibility. Of shrinking structures. This this building is 80000 square feet we use every inch of it today. Are we gonna need it one way and cars don't break. And and when. You know or is it in a scenario where where maybe it's except to boldly carry an inventory of ninety days or cars did the business model election. So maybe they'll be smaller. But they'll be some more and when it comes to business one thing's for certain. You that your life. Every day and we look at opportunities to grow we have to be real careful that we have to grow the team to run the place this would bar. But there's a whole bunch of people in the boomer era that are getting tired. And would rather play golf and Tucson or Phoenix serve her time teacher or pro area. And so we look for those opportunities that we look at those opportunities here was. And birth some sense that that's a big plus for a local residents. That's because as part of its corporate philosophy. They change it really best point 5% of its annual pretax earnings in area charities. Each August customers can test strike a fleet of luxury cars. For every mile trip and it burned from donate a dollar to breast cancer research. The program well charitable. It's also good for business as folks often return to make a purchase. They might buy a modest instead of a Mercedes but there by instant. But her son doesn't fight the thought of leaving that business. I have no intention of retiring. That's kind of God's plan and my plan I love this business and wanna do but the person who work with they sent him is better at this than I ever that. And so when god takes me these people are Anchorage and and he'll do a better never than he's got a great team around him. By the way Bertram also attributes his relationships with customers and employees. To his Norwegian mother. He firmly believes she taught him how to make people feel good. Thanks for watching the dealer speaks take care.

  4. Ford’s Fields on quality; Nissan’s Ghosn on regulation

    Tue, 25 Nov 2014

    It's nice to see you again I'd Tom Moore back. Our talk from the top series featuring chief executive officers from global automakers continues. But with a twist. In this installment will hear from both the newest CEO of a major car company. One of the longest serving leaders. Carlos known as the Renault Nissan alliance he was name he's on CEO in 2001. And was appointed that position at Renault in 2000 pot. On the flip side forwards mark fields has been captioning the blue mobile for less than six months. He's following in the footsteps of the popular and successful Alamo lolly. In this field tells us he's not going to deviate from the well known corporate strategy built by his old boss. It is my attorneys around. Our one Ford plan continuation and acceleration of the plan but fields has made big personnel moves since taking the help. Last month he announced Ford's global marketing chief Jim Farley. And European boss Stephen hotel will be swapping jobs on January 1. Oh culturally monster its North American marketing boss in 2000 the same year fields was named CEO of the automaker. But senate controlled by Ford at the time. Stephen brings first a fresh perspective. He brings a wealth of marketing experience and global experience. In the shift gives Farley a shot at directly running one of the company's regional operations. In the struggling one adapt. Ford lost one point six billion dollars in Europe last year in the has withdrawn its forecast. Of a 2015 profit. He's going into Europe I think it exactly the right time building on the foundation that Stephen has built with the European transformation plan. And yeah. These three elements of that banned product branding cost we've got a lot of work on costs a lot of work on the other two. And Jim is really gonna bring his skills particularly on product and brand. And I think it's a great moment in time for him to us to go there. Fields also discussed an issue that's been a thorn in port side in recent years quality. Launch problems hurt the rollout of the fusion and Lincoln M please see. So field says the auto maker has slowed aggressive ramp up time today. All's we did have some difficult launches into 2012. And some of the things that we learned around. The acceleration curve how quickly you get up to occur refer for a new product particularly a new product potentially new platform in a new plant and sometimes of the new workforce. We've adjusted. We've learned some things around how many vehicles do you build. And at what point do you say well let's stop building before we have to do a lot of re works in the yard. The result. Smoother launches of the new Lincoln MPC. And F 150 pick up at least so far. Meantime field spent many of its first 100 days as CEO. Visiting the company's operations. Including its growing Silicon Valley office. That's because he's as the automaker. Is also becoming a tech company. It's really important for us to spend the time and be part. Of the Silicon Valley community so that we can learn about the latest trends. Learn about the latest opportunities. And also be viewed as part of the community and build not only. Relationships. But also be viewed as not just a transactional customer. Staying with technology. Renault Nissan boss Carlos cone is among the industry's biggest supporters of electric vehicles. US sales of the Nissan leaf are up 35%. To more than 24000. Units through October. We ask known if the recent plunge in the price of gasoline is a threat to the evening sect. Price of forty is unpredictable way knows what goes island will uphold all so. I don't think this is going to be that remain. Drive there all the UV sales the main driver of the US is gonna come from radiation on emissions. It is going to be very important factor. In the growth. All of your emission cars. Goad says future rules may vary from region to region. Therefore it's crucial for Renault Nissan to have different propulsion systems in its line up. Go cites a current benefit of being flexible. One of the main reason for each diesels are so important in your musical. This apartment fracture in Europe guys is that at bat. So it's it's the same technology which is available. It isn't that what I think percent of the policies bureau what. Taxes or Japan that present that's 1% of those of the courses. While the big difference is an organization. That incentive. That. Different governments are looking behind. The promotion on technology pulpit of. Speaking of backing this specific technology. Nissan rivals Toyota. Honda and Hyundai are making big push is into the hydrogen arena. Go and says he'll be monitoring to key areas the cost of building fuel cell vehicles and the development of an infrastructure. To fuel. Having that's about well on charges. That's that's something that who feel they're being very quickly I understand that some apartment our job more borders that others. About the solution to these problems. Our case we are facing already. Does she know. Beat up all of this is a predictor. Jewel partly to the fact that they're charging infrastructure. Is one of the main plaza. While so you can imagine that what you will tool you itself yes. But coach says that there is no doubt these and it will eventually offer a fuel cell vehicle we think it's a very promising technology. You know we don't think it's youth but for the future it would column. And put affordable technologies that we want to in order face a global action. In fact golden fields have more in common than just the title. Mean sob in forward along with Tyler working together to develop a line of affordable fuel cell cars. They so much for watching is always and we'll see you soon.