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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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Regulation of dealerships. There is you know on human resource issues there's so many you know discrimination harassment all of these rules it's impossible. You know you try to comply with everything it really is hard to to do it all there's so much going on. And again I I can because of my legal background I don't know when I need to get outside help and when I don't lot of things I can do on my own. Or and save some time and some money that way. Humans says that parallels exist between his past career and his process and one this is the retail. Car business. Just like practicing law again if you wanna be alert just going from nine to five isn't gonna cut it. He means that clear to potential hires that long workdays are the norm. He's also upfront about the dealerships unique paint plan that's because human employs a non commissioned sales and a. It's a little bit harder to recruit experienced sales person. From another store someone who's been in the business for awhile because they're just not used to it you know maybe don't see how it would work for them. That's that's human staffers don't work on commission is not any focal point in its advertising. His radio are known to be fast paced and sometimes a little off the wall. And commission fully transparent answer all questions that stands. He voices that the spots and sell at a local CBS radio station just a short drive from his store. And he even writes it for a thirty seconds and at their contents usually topical. Marches here the film actually milk and the fields are small and people like. Most US don't change or add that often they I was as surprised my answer we're taught when they're stupid but there were talking about. About something that it is happening in the community. The changes all the time. And don't believe humans can talk that fast. Option mentioned president that you the biggest pressure that he regularly walled lake in the best presser that you've been given America. For generator to account. That lying about being the biggest Chrysler dodge Jeep brand dealer in walled lake. Is something issuing drives home to assess his apart from the competition he explains why. My biggest problem when I came here in 97 where people that live two miles from here that didn't know there was a car dealership in walled even though we've been here since 55. So that's why its biggest and wolf lake over and over again is that. But they gag line it's the only Chrysler dodge Jeep brand store in this city. And messaging seems to have resonated with buyers. In 1990 the dealership roughly 100 new cars a month. And when he thirteen about 160. Per month. And this year's goal. Really trying to get to 200 new cars and can't expanded that facility by about 30% to seven years ago accelerate the growth. So we can get. Thirteen or fourteen and fifteen cars in here. But she metal is just part of us now equation. Shooting continues to cultivate its handling a lot of the port customer service. We are here to help people. If you have that that we're not here to make money obviously recently we have to make proper of the dealership won't be here but the the number one thing is. We're here to to help people. That principle cemented it when the storm one at the highest honor nationally. From car dealer review website dealer dot com last year. In the overall dealer of the year and when he thirteen issue Chrysler dodge Jeep brand. That announcement made at last year's NET convention in Orlando Florida. At the time the store earned an overall star rating of four point nine fine. Also critical to running a successful business. Human it's all about expense control at a car dealership take that's fine bring. Sample I want Ed dodge and ram through it I'm too cheap to spend the money to to fix the sign so we just leave it like that. Human and his ads that he keeps his overhead loan. And that the mortgage on single point store has been long paid for in addition. I have ever dies and we hot off is that a fairly good but it. I don't understand I don't I really do not understand barbershop teeth whitening I've seen a mall that they go one in dealerships. It is hard enough. To sell cars and fix cars and keep everybody happy that's enough on anybody's plate. Assuming clearly not afraid to speak his mind and tell a few jokes. You got to try to have fun you got it and you got to try and work hard you can have fun and work hard to I really believe that. And so that's that we try to do mean it's it's it's it's a business where you've you've got to work and you gotta hustle or you're not gonna make it retail harvest. And issue was certainly hustling in 2013. 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