Tag Archive | "hiring"

EFG Companies: Dealers Must Embrace Industry Paradigm Shift


DALLAS, Texas — Staffing and customer engagement models are the top issues impacting the future health of the retail automotive industry, EFG Companies President and CEO John Pappanastos said today.

The F&I product provider’s chief executive delivered his comments as part of a state of the industry address the company posted on its website. Pappanastos encourage dealership principals and senior managers to quickly address those issues or risk becoming a dinosaur in today’s rapidly changing consumer car-buying mode, noting that digital buying habits, millennial and Gen Z consumers, and women are forcing industry change.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2017 Workforce Study, retail automotive suffered from a 43% turnover rate — up two points from 2016. Additionally, the automotive industry experienced an 88% attrition rate among female new hires, and a below average rate of millennial new hires when compared to other industries.

Pappanastos said many retail automotive businesses lack a comprehensive plan to become an employer of choice, and instead rely heavily on traditional “bell-to-bell” hours, commission-only payment plans, and limited training. He urged them to immediately develop a strategy for hiring, training, and promoting the best and brightest employees to operate in a world where consumers are demanding a more digital process with a better customer experience.

The executive noted that a single poor hiring decision in F&I can easily result in up to $75,000 in lost profit due to onboarding costs and lost production, adding that the retail automotive industry’s focus on daily operations also hampers leadership development and obscures the growth path for millennial hires who, as a group, require opportunities for promotion.

The F&I product executive also touched on recent research from Cox Automotive, which showed that 80% of consumers want to complete at least half of the car-buying process digitally. He also cited a 2018 Deloitte study showing that “dealers create a fragmented and inconsistent approach to the customer,” which leads to inefficient customer contact, inconsistent messaging, and ultimately failure to sell and build loyalty.

“While I realize change is difficult, dealership principals must incorporate greater consumer-facing digital platforms into their dealerships,” said Pappanastos, adding that hiring employees who are experts in online customer engagement and digital sales approaches represents one solution. “Failure to do so will result in lost revenue. We must remember the old adage of ‘meet the customer where they are.’ And today’s customer is clearly online.”

Pappanastos also encouraged dealerships not to lose sight of compliance. “Job skills are easy to assess. What’s difficult is finding candidates who have solid character,” the executive said. “During these tumultuous times, dealerships must maintain a high degree of integrated compliance. The resulting fines, and damage to reputation, can result in significant business loss due to very clear and public online postings and reviews.”

Pappanastos remarks during his state of the industry address focused on the future health of the retail automotive industry and sounded a wakeup call to dealership principals to quickly embrace changing consumer buying preferences. He also encouraged future millennial and Gen Z employees to seek out careers in retail automotive, noting that exciting changes and their opportunity to make industrywide impact.

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Ex-Cox Automotive Executive Joins National Credit Center


LAS VEGAS — Sackett National Holdings Inc., a provider of lending data, energy, employment screening and automotive products and services, announced the appointment of Robert Granados as president of its automotive subsidiary, National Credit Center (NCC).

As president, Granados will be responsible for providing executive leadership and overseeing the company’s day-to-day strategy and operations. Additionally, he will be responsible for identifying potential merger and acquisition opportunities, developing budgets to ensure the company meets its corporate objectives, working closely with NCC’s senior management and finance teams, and cultivating an environment of strong relations with the company’s employees.

“I am pleased to welcome Robert to his new role as president of NCC,” said Jevin Sackett, CEO of Sackett National Holdings. “Robert brings with him an extremely impressive and extensive history of leadership within the automotive sector, and I am confident he will be a significant addition to our senior management team as NCC expands its national footprint.

Prior to this appointment, Granados served as senior vice president of strategy at Cox Automotive Inc., where he led the assessment of new growth opportunities and expansion of business offerings. He also ledthe divestiture required for the completion of the acquisition of Dealertrack Technologies by Cox Automotive.

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Former AutoNation Direct Head Joins CU Direct


ONTARIO, CALIF. — CU Direct today announced the appointment of Ron Frey as chief strategy officer of its automotive solutions. He joined the company this month.
Frey will oversee the planning and direction of automotive solutions as it relates to product and market expansion. This includes oversight of existing products, including CUDL, a credit union auto financing platform, and AutoSMART, an online vehicle-shopping site for the credit union industry.

“Ron’s expansive leadership, partnered with strategic planning, has led him to succeed in implementing cutting-edge technology solutions,” stated Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of CU Direct. “We are excited to have him join our team, as we continue to evolve our innovative automotive products to better serve our 1,000 credit unions and more than 12,000 dealer partners.”

Before joining CU Direct, Frey spent 30 years serving in the automotive and credit union industry. His most recent position was chief strategy officer and president of AutoNation Direct. He has also served as CEO of Autoland and COO of TrueCar.

“I am pleased to be joining the CU Direct Team, where I can leverage my background in technology innovation, deep automotive experience and credit union experience,” said Frey. “I look forward to digging in and looking for ways to bring innovation and value to our credit unions and dealer partners.”

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NADA Hires Digital Media Director


TYSONS, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has hired Abram Olmstead as its digital media director. Olmstead will oversee the NADA’s communications efforts across all digital platforms, as well as lead the development of the association’s strategy for using online platforms to communicate with and market to both internal and external audiences.

“In order to be successful advocates for our dealer members, NADA has to be able to engage and influence the conversation wherever it is occurring,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “Having an experienced communicator like Abram lead our strategy for engaging across the entire digital and social media landscape will do wonders for NADA’s ability to remind consumers, regulators, and other critical influencers of the numerous benefits that franchised new-car dealers provide their customers.”

Before joining the NADA, Olmstead served as the senior manager of digital strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There he lead the chamber’s social media and digital marketing efforts managed the day-to-day messaging, crafted and implemented long-term strategies and expanded the reach and sophistication of the chamber’s digital media presence.

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J.D. Power Appoints New Senior Director of Auto Finance


DETROIT — J.D. Power has appointed Jim Houston as senior director of its auto finance practice. In his new role, Houston will use his 30-year experience in auto finance to help guide the industry through a potentially volatile period of new-vehicle sales and declining used-car values, the company said.

“I’m very excited to be joining J.D. Power to lead the auto finance practice, especially at this critical time for the automotive market and lenders,” Houston said. “The combination of new-vehicle sales tapering off and the growing volume of off-lease vehicles driving down used-car values creates some potential business concerns for auto lenders. It’s not a doom-and-gloom scenario, but it does require banks and captive lenders to remain diligent in order to stay competitive.”

Houston most recently served as the head of major account strategy and business development at TD Auto Finance. He’s he’s also held leadership positions at both captive companies and banks.

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NADA Announces New Senior Vice President of Dealership Operations


TYSONS, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced that it has found its new senior vice president of dealership operations: Peter L. Fong.

Fong expressed that one of his key areas of interest will be to accelerate the process of moving dealerships toward the “0online to in-store” car-buying experience for consumers.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to the automotive industry, particularly now given the ongoing digital transformation of both the automotive manufacturing and retail sectors,” Fong said. “My primary goal will be driving value-added changes in all areas of dealership operations, so that the next generation of products and services provided by the NADA to dealers and their employees is second-to-none.”

Before joining the NADA, Fong was the executive vice president and CMO at The Judge Group, a firm specializing in technology consulting, staffing solutions, and corporate training. He has also held multiple executive-level sales, marketing, and brand management positions at Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. He brings a cumulative 20 years of industry experience.

“Peter brings tremendous understanding and a wealth of hands-on experience to the NADA,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “With Peter at the helm of Dealership Operations, the NADA will be able to continue providing our member dealers and their employees with innovative educational and training programs designed to meet the challenges of automotive retailing both now and well into the future.”

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