One dealer principal out of Virginia has had quite the unique journey in the auto industry, which has led to the great success his group is currently experiencing. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Jarryd Carver, the owner and dealer principal of Winners Circle Automotive Group to discuss his career in the industry and some of the biggest challenges he has faced thus far.
The last time we spoke to Carver, he was a part of the executive management team for two Sheehy Auto stores based in Maryland. Today, he is now the owner and dealer principal of Winners Circle Automotive Group which includes one Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store and one Nissan store in Hampton, Virginia.
Prior to his start in the automotive industry, Carver was a gemologist working in the jewelry business. He made the transition to automotive in part because of the similarities between the two industries. After attending a NAMAD convention and being an Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree in 2018, Carver participated in dealer development programs.
Through the programs, he was introduced to many dealers looking to sell and acquired two dealerships. The second of which, closed one month before the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the U.S. Carver explains that while the rug had metaphorically been pulled out from under him, he didn’t waver. Carver’s dealerships managed to retain all of their employees and persevere through the hardships.
The conversation then shifts to the recent increase in minority-owned dealerships and what it will take to increase that number even further. While OEM influence does play a role, Carver says it really comes down to resources and access to capital in order to actually close a deal.
In regards to business today, Carver says that they are taking more factory orders than he has ever seen before, and they are optimistic about more typical conditions returning soon. It has also given Carver the opportunity to focus on training, employee retention, recruiting, and transparency.
“The team you have is your biggest opportunity to recruit,” he says.
10 years from now, Carver says he wants to keep expanding, but he takes it one store at a time. He adds that if COVID has proven anything, it’s that our predictions for the future can change overnight.
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