Serra Automotive ranks among the top 10 privately-held retail automotive groups in the nation. With 51 car dealerships, representing 63 auto franchises, our guest today certainly has his finger on the pulse when it comes to popular emerging trends in the car business. Joining us now is the President of Serra Automotive, Joe Serra.
Serra begins the conversation by explaining how his stores have been managing the first half of the year. Serra says that the stores are performing amazingly and his partners do an impressive job of taking care of their people. He couldn’t be more proud of them.
Serra says the chip shortage has definitely been a factor at his dealerships. He says, it has been a blessing from a financial aspect.
Serra believes he’s one of the very few people who truly believe stand-alone dealers can remain forever. He says he personally doesn’t know the advantage large dealer groups have. He continues to say, the only advantage large dealer groups have, is the ability to attract talent.
At the height of COVID, Serra explains that he felt both ends of the spectrum with digital retailing. Some of his dealers were already prepared, while the other was trying to figure out what to do. He said, this experience allowed them to get ramped up, caught up, and get better for the future. Consumers today want ease, saving time, and convenience.
The nature of the business has caused Serra and others to look for different talents in creative ways. There isn’t much negotiating in the sales process anymore. The skill sets are more about explaining products and understanding customer service.
Serra says EVs are coming, but wish it was more consumer-driven versus state, government, and manufactured pushed. He says, he loves and enjoys driving electric vehicles. Consumers will eventually catch on but pricing is a factor.
In the last year, Serra says they made three acquisitions in 2020 and are continuing to expand. In order to grow, you need opportunity, capital, and people. He says they are in the market every day.
Serra ends the conversation by sharing his biggest takeaways. He says it’s important and extremely critical to surround yourself with people who have the same vision as you. 2020 was about people and that’s how they made it through. When you lead from the heart, that will get you through. Focus on the things you control.
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