Overseeing multiple dealerships with hundreds of employees is certainly not an easy task, and requires precision management. In this segment, Jim Fitzpatrick talks with Jarryd Carver, executive managing partner of two Maryland dealerships, Sheehy Hyundai of Waldorf and Sheehy Ford of Marlow Heights. For three consecutive years Jarryd has overseen seven-figure net increases, and one of the most profitable Hyundai dealerships in the country for 2017, as well as being named one of Automotive News 40 under 40.
Jarryd originally started in the jewelry business working in sales and then became a gemologist, until one day he met a client that was doing very well in the car business. After building a good relationship with that client over a number of years, he offered Jarryd an opportunity in the automotive industry.
As Jarryd moved through the ranks into upper management, one of his primary goals at the dealerships was to create what he calls a ‘culture of infinite learning’. By investing a lot of resources into various new technology, the dealerships offer a broad range of training and learning programs in order to sharpen up their processes.
However, it takes more than offering learning opportunities to be a successful dealership. Jarryd reminds us that dealerships also need to have capable and reliable management. It’s crucial that the manager believes in the vision, is decisive and has a willingness to navigate through whatever the day brings in order to be successful.
Jarryd also believes that the auto industry is more a people business than a car business. He explains, “This is one 100 percent about the people. It’s less about the product and more about the people. It’s really easy for me to recruit in this market, and success brings good people.” Once your location starts performing and gains a good reputation, you can usually attract really good employees and customers.
The dealerships Jarryd manages also lead their staff with a lot of vulnerability in order to build a good culture at a dealership. Its necessary to learn from your mistakes, and grow from them, but you can simultaneously celebrate the victories.
As far as setting up a convenient way for shoppers to make transactions online, Jarryd says the Sheehy dealerships are definitely heading that direction. In terms of a model like Carvana, Jarryd believes that the majority of customers still want to test drive a car and put their hands on it before making a buying decision. However, there is also a good middle ground that can be reached between the two.