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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 I think we as men would you like the meeting you know is offices right so we know now. I just wanted to see if it was true deceived them. And any time around one. But perk was undeterred. I wasn't going to give up because it was my lifelong dream and that's what I really wanted to do. Perk was moved to Detroit in begin working for another dealer Bob Murray and who became a mentor. When I approached him about coming to work for him. Bomb he welcomed me with open arms he gave me the opportunity. That a lot of people wouldn't give me. And all I had to do he says to me just make a commitment from me when you leave them when you get your second chance because I'm quite sure you will. Just don't picking him out people and I said you've gotten word. Perkins a second chance came in 1993. When he acquired a tiny at Nissan store in Dearborn Michigan. Along the way other dealers took him under their wings schooling him and how to successfully network with influential dealers in factory representatives. Eventually he's pulled that store and acquired his current shut its doors between 1998. And 2001. Since that time he's helped others get into the business. Perkins has guided and trained it takes people to become dealers. He's an excellent mentor and if that meant that will be his 27 year old son Monty he's now the general manager of Perkins moralis Chevrolet store in East Point just outside to trite. Montes started in the family business around the age of ten pulling weeks. Eventually he earned a degree from north point university in 2010. And completed it dealer training at the NE DA dealer academy. Monty talked about a key principle his father taught him. The one thing that these guys so they keep in mind is that that you run a business. And you know you have to you know sometimes you gotta take personal out of it it's it's got to be a business decision. And making good business decisions that means keeping an eye on expenses. Perkins that says that those he has advised it would probably describes him as frugal. I don't waste a lot of money admired manages half court watchers under 25 dollars but it is over point five dollars one. And the reason I wanna know is because I don't want chick put in front of me for a thousand dollars and I don't know anything about it. Perkins carries little debt all other real estate is stores that sit on is paid for them. But he does invest in advertising and personnel. Bob Murray on top Perkins about both. Help. The other profanity if it he explained to me feel. You may have the right products sometimes. You've you've you've got to attract people you've got to have people coming in the door. And to do that it takes two things you've got to have on target market. And you have them good people they can do something with those people when it comes to do. Between his two dealerships Perkins at spends around 200000. Dollars a month on advertising. Nearly half a each store ad budget is spent in the digital space. You know and he makes it a point to create a positive atmosphere by expressing an interest in employees' lives outside of work. Perkins also hold contests for sales people to help keep them motivated. I realize that people spend more time here than you do. So therefore I have to make this pleasant environment I have to make this environment that they want com. And they wanna participate. I have to make this the type of I want to do. I want you to Bible I want you in my house I want you about everything you want to because once you pick on that responsibility. Were you a month. So that's my philosophy adults in the film but hey I'm Duncan I wonder if they'll think about oh good. Good. For you wanna go help you pick it out you know. Perk that says he seems to be approachable. And he tried to stay as visible as possible to his staff and fellow dealers. For example he was the 2012 chairman of the North American International Auto Show. And as part of that role he was named black enterprise magazine's auto dealer of they year. By assuming leadership roles Perkins hopes to assist him more young people in becoming productive members of society. They need to see people in leadership roles in different industries industries that they may not knowing anything about. But all of a sudden they see you you know I'm one of these positions you know they're thinking of themselves well you know. If he can do that I can do. In addition Perkins believes it is imperative that minority dealers train other minorities. And create a mutual support that's down I have. Found that giving in these groups and interacting. With other people were of the viewers with people in the community it helps not only myself but it also helps them and exposes them. Hey you know. The black guy but I. Yeah it's not all that bad you know something about this thing and and you know he blanks something to the table. So I think that that's another responsibility that we have to take honest my party we have to get out there and show people. Bet you an omen audit all of my not carpetbaggers. They're not here with a hand out. Now there's a lot of minorities in this world today that are willing to work and no good at working and good at doing what they're supposed to do. Kirk says he's easing into retirement. Is son Monty will eventually take over the business. Things are watching take care.

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If there's something that he doesn't want this Sonoma that vehicle in which might determine but it might lessen the value of it. He Mina tells the good times we wanna give them an opportunity elsewhere doesn't make any differences are and he's already done he's happy he's gotten away. Tell me as anything you know to make it more transparent from guest in my car. The file is labeled by the last eight digits of the vehicle identification number. And this they've done a shared hard drive for easy updating and access. So that when it comes time to present that we go to the next guess it's all in front of me its own that don't and we can. That hello valued experience but again. Stone started the program at eight months ago. He is telling the truth creeds customer loyalty. And a better transaction for both sides. Thanks so much for watching this addition of best practices. We'll see you soon.

  3. Ford’s Hinrichs on UAW Talks, Squeezing Plants for More Cars

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    Well thank you season of talk from the top interviews and Jennifer bond. At this time North America if they profit engine for most automakers. The US auto market alone is poised for a fake three annual sales increase in 2015. This month you'll hear from North American chief who are gearing up for a busy second half of the year. One of those executives is Joseph Hendrix Ford's president of the America. This is suing net posted 2012. Hendrick has spent a great deal of time working to improve Ford's vehicle launches and quality. And it shall hear and those efforts are continuing. All this Ed Henry prepares to address the concerns of the men and women who build the blue oval cars crossovers and trot. It's always a good time to listen to your key stakeholders and certainly our employees in the unions in the key state caller business. The UAW's current four year contracts with Ford General Motors and yes Chrysler automobiles. Expire in September. At the union bargaining convention in March delegates may clear they want higher pay. Andy rollback of the entry level here to pay scale. This summer labor negotiations. Come as Detroit automakers are once again making lots of money. Ford recently reported its 23 consecutive profitable quarter. When you look at it we'd always rather be making profits than not. And it's always a good time to talk about how improved business together both for employees and for the ongoing success the rabbit. Here it says that since when he less fame board has added more than 151000. US factory jobs. In invested more than think the billion dollars in its US plan. Along the way union employees have each received more than 40000 dollars in profit sharing and lump sum both benefit. What we've done together over the last 789 years here in North America has worked for everybody's benefit. Wanna make sure we learned from the past but also maintain competitiveness going forward also make sure all of stickler for sharing in the success of Ford. While hindrance to won't divulge details of Ford's bargaining plan. Some analysts say Detroit auto makers want to keep annual labor cost increases to about their rates of inflation. As for his message to those on the other side of the table. It'll be all about let's listen to each other and find solutions there's always a solution ample pars 12 were defined it and and I'd investments at my jobs were created about Procter and we've had all been a part of this successfully working together. The united with a big part of our transformation here in North America report them in a big part of our future. In the months ahead Henry is also looking to squeeze more products out of the automaker's plan. The Ford brand that's in April record in the U wet for suvs and crossover sales. Despite the fact that company is capacity constrained and several nameplate. Including the expedition and explore in this case. Hendricks telling us quote we're selling August 8 and and Casey's that we can produce. We work and really arbatov supply base and our manufacturing plants to increase our capacities especially in the truck and SUV system which is where the industry has been hot. We don't have any plans to introduce a new plants were working really hard on getting more out of what we have. As a result Hendrix says Ford is getting creative on the factory floor. So especially our truck plants or should be plants have been working on increasing line rates going to tag relief for or working in different shift patterns. Or doing other things cutting equipment to be able to produce more and so far he's been delivering that but how much more. It's hard to get to the point percent out of out of line rate when you've already made improvements but we certainly can get more than 12%. Cameron that ranges and on what plant but product to where we need it. And Hendrick and vehicle that had been rolling out the outline our meeting expectation. Of buyers. In the first quarter of the model year 2015. Quality with that you've ever seen and measured by the data we get. From our customers or contains some very good progress on the quality here in North America. Anything you compare. In recent years the Ford brand of ruffled with infotainment system glitches. Which hurt the marks scores in the highly regarded it JD power initial quality study. But it hit Eric says last year may have been eight turning point. If you look at 2014. In the data all right you have survey that we can you move from 27 sixteen actually works tightly about. Industrial average and the Ford brand Lincoln brand actually made the top ten so we are pleased that progress. Not satisfy the court because they wanna continue to move toward the top and our expectations will be based on the data we're seeing in the quite level we're seeing today though continues to progress. In those kind of external surveys while they were seeing internally. The next IQs study is scheduled to be released in June meantime hit Eric says there's still room for four to grow its sales in the US market. Thanks to low interest rates in dropping unemployment. And the potential for wage growth nationwide. They were watching both the US news and.

  4. Smart Use of Phones, Sales Teams Lift Wash. Stores

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    Our best practices series continues I'd Tom Moore back. In our last installment we talked about the value of face to face discussions at Auburn Volkswagen just south of Seattle Washington. And that theme of exchanging information. Carries over to this report. Today we're heading north of the emerald city to check in with two dealership groups. At Dwyane Lane's family of auto senators many of the group's top communicators are greeting clients in this service drop it. But will begin at Hyundai of Kirkland and Ford of Kirkland. That's where employees and customers are spending time together in front of a camera lens. It's all in an effort to grow the companies fail. When you buy cars not just playing carbon divine relationship. And dealer Jim wall and says those bonds begin to blossom immediately after the sale. Is the coolest and I regret that. Eight. It again this time. Mind you are. About six months ago Wallin teams started using the Smartphone cameras to capture happy customers during the delivery process. The chronicles of form and it makes the relationship special. Employees quickly post the pictures and videos to the group's social media platforms. And they. Dropping leaves. Staffers also use the hash tags FO OK for Ford of Kirkland and H okay. For Hyundai of Kirkland to help users find messages with dealership. In the of course our customers are invited to then take that picture isn't so pencil in his car and the viewership fluent background. And cheer them on their social media with their friends and and so forth and again does that answer grams is there. Twists of them pounding. Integrate with social media is that winners FaceBook. With almost covered including of course the YouTube approximately 50%. Of buyers pose for the camera. We have something that they can share with their friends they can see themselves and you know. There and with my new car and there's a chance part of the sales process was handled on this a Microsoft surface tablets. Let's talk computers. I've become. Ups and it seems like in a matter of months these things so late last year wall and said he'd split the cost of the tablets with staffers. Roughly 300 bucks a sales employee can purchase of surface for use at home. And work. Who have business development and ensure that. Says that the basic parameters of what we'd like to see which answer might have wallet is seeing increase productivity in the show world. You can have interaction in any way you won't customers so there immediately connected to the Internet and we run them through about 12100 vehicles and unused and you know where that vehicle might be located. Description of the vehicle. What's coming in. That part of it taking the moon. Please some pressures fifteen of 45 sales employees are toting the tablets. Now from the show room to service and that. Tunneling is president of Dwyane Lane's family of Ottawa Senators in Everett Arlington and seeing globally. He was recently discussing growth plans with his team. As you know we have a lot of people and our service drive puck we're not capturing those people that are automatically coming in fifty to sixty people a day during one month. Vehicles coming in for service averaged 70000. Miles on the odometer. So those people need a car. And they know where we are they drive our brands and they like doing business with so late in decided to approach service customers differently. They realize that the best service advisor in the world is probably not your best salesperson your best salesperson will probably who would be your best service advisor. And so we. Mandated and schedule. Our sales staff into our service drive it as as breeders' lane says it is time well spent. Finally after asking people to do it for a long time we finally tied to their compensation plan and rewarded them positively. For doing that for spending time inside powers are mr. And our reasoning was to sell more cars because of I did have a sales who has trained. To meet and greet and inquire and qualify. He kept a customer on the on the sales lot and why can't they do it. In the service plane and preparing them for their service experience after welcoming service customers and offering them a lot today. Sales staffers often asked the question. What are your plans for this vehicle. What we found out is that there's a lot of people who come into a service department but will kind of stay away from the showroom floor because it's not their favorite experience. And this allowed us to break down those walls. And find the customers weren't looking to do something and they were just asked in an unassuming friendly way and it's led to a number of our deals. Lane says there is and other benefits of integrating the sales team in the service. What that did for the service advisor by the time the consumer. In the service customer got to their service advisor. Appointment there was no adversary relationship. It was welcome we are gonna fix this they're happy with their coffee they were relaxed. Six months into the process. Lane is seeing benefits across the war. My hours Ferraro. Without any other real changes other than effort and focus always on your hours Ferraro and injured and your customer experience. If it's gone up about four tenths of an hour. So we we liken to that just to the customer experience and that's the major change that we've done is that greeted by the sales staff. So we think that is quantifiable about four times now. The new core business pressures up about 25%. Are new car business the last six months is up about. Thirty to 40%. Lane says sales consultants now have a greater appreciation of the volume of customers who role in the service. Especially during the morning hours. He says employees in both departments truly values this program. Many thanks for joining us we'll see you again soon.

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