Treating People Well: The Foundation of a Strong Brand Perception

In an insightful conversation focused on Succession Planning and Strategic Considerations in Automotive Retail with Jason Stein from Flat Six Media, George Karolis of The Presidio Group, and Champ Rawls, a succession planner with The Rawls Group, George Karolis emphasizes the significance of creating a unique brand identity in the auto dealership industry. According to Karolis, a dealer’s brand image is shaped by the cars they sell and their treatment of employees, team members, customers, and the community. He underscores the importance of building dynamic relationships with all stakeholders, stating, “It’s not just about how you treat your employees and team members, but also how you engage with and serve the community and customers.” By prioritizing these aspects, dealers can set their organizations apart from the competition and establish a lasting brand reputation.

Owning Multiple Rooftops and Embracing Diversity: Creating Opportunities for Advancement

Karolis stresses the need for dealerships to separate themselves from neighboring competitors to thrive in a competitive market. He explains, “You’ve got a standalone store or series of stores, and you want to separate yourself from the guy down the street.” He encourages dealers to embrace diversity and own multiple rooftops, as this approach creates more opportunities for advancement and movement within the industry. Karolis highlights, “There are more roles for people to move into in bigger groups.”

Investing in New Technology: Gaining a Competitive Edge

The conversation also touches upon the significance of investing in new technology and the advantage of spreading the cost across multiple brands and locations. Dealers can leverage technological advancements to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry. Karolis explains, “We see that as a focus as these dealers are investing in this new technology that’s continually evolving and costing money, being able to spread that across multiple brands and more rooftops is also a mitigating factor that we see driving some of this growth.”

Fostering a Great Culture and Work Environment: Key Factors for Success

Karolis emphasizes that successful dealerships prioritize treating people well and providing a clear path for growth. He emphasizes the importance of fostering a great culture and work environment, stating, “It’s having a path, having a great culture and work environment for your people, and having the path for improvement.” Dealers and key leaders who focus on these aspects tend to retain their talent and achieve greater success as a result.

Retaining Talent and Achieving Greater Success: The Results of a People-Centric Approach

Retaining talent during challenging times is a recurring theme in the conversation. Owning multiple rooftops and embracing diversity creates more career advancement and mobility opportunities within the organization. This, coupled with investments in new technology, enables successful dealers to retain top talent and achieve even greater success. Karolis notes, “We see a lot of successful dealers retaining and being even more successful as a result.”

A New Era for Auto Dealerships: Reshaping the Industry Through Branding, Culture, and Innovation

The car business is undergoing a transformation, and branding, culture, and innovation are at the forefront of this change. Embracing a people-first approach, offering growth opportunities, cultivating a positive work environment, and leveraging the latest technology are key to revolutionizing the industry and staying ahead of the competition. The secret to success lies in building a unique brand fueled by excellence in interacting with employees, team members, customers, and the community. By prioritizing these values, dealers can achieve long-term success and differentiate themselves from the competition.

How We Help You:

Are you struggling to differentiate your auto dealership from competitors and establish a lasting brand reputation? Do you find it challenging to foster a positive work environment and retain top talent in the ever-evolving automotive industry? Contact us, and let us help you navigate these challenges.

Our team can provide valuable insights and resources tailored to your dealership’s needs. We support you whether you want to enhance your brand perception, embrace diversity, invest in new technology, or foster a great culture. Schedule a consultation today, and in just 30 minutes, you’ll gain actionable ideas to apply to your business immediately. Don’t let uncertainty hold your dealership from success—reach out to us now and unlock your dealership’s full potential.

For more insight:

Visit the “Strategic Considerations in Automotive Retail” discussion page or select one of the additional episodes of the series below:


  • The Presidio Group: an independent merchant banking firm focused on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, and investments in the automotive retail and consumer mobility sectors.
  • Succession Readiness Survey:  A 7-minute investment in time will put you in an informed position of opportunities many business owners overlook, impacting business value, growth, and lifestyle, and ultimately achieving your vision.
  • Contact a Succession Planner: The Rawls Group can help you with insights and other resources and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business immediately.

Strategic Planning

The only constant one can plan for is change.  Strategic planning positions the business to address the probable, possible, and potential contingencies impacting business success. 

Click the following link for more drill-down resources on Strategic Planning

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We can provide insights and other resources and assess whether it makes sense to work together. In just 30 minutes, you may gain actionable ideas that you can immediately apply to your business. Contact us via phone or email below, or fill out the “Ask An Expert” form.