GM Nick Anderson discusses how COVID-19 transformed the customer experience at his Ford store

This year marks the tenth annual, 40 under 40 list from Automotive News. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome one of their honoree’s Nick Anderson, General Manager of Chuck Anderson Ford, who’s no stranger to the industry and spent many of his early years shadowing his father.

Anderson starts the conversation by talking about how his business is doing today. He says business has been really good, even throughout the pandemic. Their service business is growing, double digits. He believes the pandemic, has leveled the playing field against competitors. It has also shown customers travel for the experience, not necessarily the car. It has benefited them significantly, says Anderson, allowing their market shares to go up tremendously.

One of the key takeaways Anderson has learned from the pandemic is, every day you have to be ready for something new. There are new speedbumps, they are having to figure out how to get over. The focus of keeping our employees safe and happy has led to happier customers, says Anderson.

Anderson thinks you always have room for better people and more people. He also says, they didn’t lay anyone off last year and they are happy with their staffing level, but he also says, he would hire the next best big thing that came through town. From a dealer standpoint, Anderson says, you need to focus on the experience. When people are buying from outlets such as Carvana and Vroom, they aren’t buying because of the best deals or best cars, but because they get an experience out of it.

Until the infrastructure is there within the states to support the sustainability of driving an EV on a daily basis, Anderson doesn’t think the (year) 2040 or 2050 will be accurate. He also thinks even before 2030, we’ll have two more presidential administrations and who knows how far that will get kicked down the road? Everyone wants to do better by climate change, but until a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill is passed, Anderson doesn’t think it’s sustainable.

Anderson ends the conversation by discussing one of the factors that threaten the auto industry. He says over the next few years, manufacturers will be looking at direct consumer purchase options. When it comes to competitions, the argument he says he’ll stick with is, everyone should have to play by the same rules.

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