Recently, Jim Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to visit the Serra Automotive headquarters in Fenton, Michigan. On this episode of the Executive Profile, he is joined by the President and CEO Matt Serra, and Chairman Joe Serra in commemorating 50 years of incredible accomplishments for the auto group.
Serra Automotive is ranked number 12 overall on Automotive News’ Top 150 Auto Groups list. However, it’s the country’s sixth-ranked privately held dealer group. Serra Automotive employs approximately 3,000 employees across seven states and manages a network of 54 dealerships, 66 automotive franchises, and 25 brands. However, this group’s outstanding workplace culture and capacity to attract and retain the greatest individuals is the most astonishing. While many dealerships struggle in this area, Joe and Matt will tell you it makes all the difference.
1. Matt Serra plays a part in two different roles within the Serra community. The first position is that of a dealer partner for the Grand Blanc, Michigan-based AL Serra Automotive Plaza, a campus of 12 franchises supporting its fellow dealers. The second position is president of Serra Automotive, which is structured with 20 dealer partners that oversee their individual storefronts throughout the campus.
2. Serra Automotive’s decentralized organizational structure allows each partner to conduct business as they see suitable. Each leadership team has the authority to determine choices regarding the dealers’ vision, strategy, process, pay plans, and other decisions.
3. According to Joe Serra, “Majority of our A+ partners comes from within our own organization.” Obtaining partners from within is beneficial because they get to work with these partners since they understand the cultural expectations and examine how they lead and treat others firsthand.
4. Serra Automotive uses three distinctive career paths to help its dealerships retain new hires by assisting them in their ongoing growth. The paths are as follows:
- Sales associate career path
- Advisor career path
- Technician career path
5. The industry’s explosion of technology has improved the way Serra dealers allocate their more urgent responsibilities. They can utilize technology, like AI, to devote more time to serving their clients and staff.
6. Joe Serra observes that the auto group’s campus allows members to rely on one another for support and resources during uncertain times, like the economic struggles over the years.
"Our business comes down to the quality of your people." – Matt Serra