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How technology is changing auto dealership recruiting and retailing strategies

Technology and the global pandemic have accelerated much of today’s customer and employee expectations. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Adam Arens, President of Patriot Automotive Group, to share how he’s continued to adapt in today’s market and land his stores on the list of best dealerships to work for.

Arens says, “you can have the highest compensated associate with the best benefits if they’re the most productive. So when you look at the associates on your team, revenue per associate should be increasing as a valuable production measurement”. 

Within today’s market, digital retailing makes the shopping experience more accessible if the retailer already has the technology. In other words, if the resources are already there, Arens claims, “it just makes sense.” Therefore, digital sales are through the roof for retailers like Carvana because customers can’t physically sign in person. 

Whereas for Patriot Automotive Group, their inventory is now brand specific from the manufacturer, and dealerships attempt to earn as much as they can. Subaru has increased by 10% in production but decreased by 20% in pre-pandemic output for the fourth quarter. Resulting in 20-25% short of pre-pandemic for the year. 

More: What is the future of digital retailing in a post-pandemic world? 

With the “new normal,” there is a shortage of products, dealers and retailers are begging for vehicles, and the allocation systems are being reviewed with retailers on an ongoing basis. Manufacturers such as Toyota, Subaru, and Lexis need help to reach their pre-pandemic quota during their fourth quarter.

Arens’s key economic indicator is shopping at rental car prices to see what is available. The automotive industry is a complete supply and demand industry where most companies are selling cars to rental car companies at a significantly lower price than MSRP. Which, overall, takes the bubble out of new car pricing. However, for Patriot, 2022 has been the most profitable year in the automotive industry’s history. 

Arens describes the turnover rates as “catering to the training of a new associate for a month to solidify their basic skills when it comes to knowing what to do when they’re not with a customer.” How management and staff treat a new sales representative sets the attitude regarding the longevity of their tenure. “Sales representatives mimic someone already working here; if my associates are doing what they’re supposed to, so will the new guy/girl.” 


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CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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