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The Executive Profile: How Corina Diehl overcame adversity to build a thriving 22-store dealer group

Welcome to another edition of the Executive Profile. Recently, anchor Jim Fitzpatrick traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spoke with the owner and CEO of Diehl Automotive Group, Corina Diehl.

Diehl is a remarkable dealer principal who has triumphed over some of life’s toughest adversities to get where she is today. After tragically losing her husband Matt in 2007, Corina had a choice to make. Either sell her family’s dealership or dive head first into the business without much experience in the automotive industry. Corina decided that preserving the family legacy was of the utmost importance and she went on to prove the naysayers wrong.

Fast-forward to 2024 and Diehl Automotive Group has grown to an astounding 22 dealerships and 8 collision centers, where her son and daughter are important parts of the group’s operation.

Key Takeaways:

1. Thrust unexpectedly into the driver’s seat of her late husband’s car dealership, Diehl had no roadmap or previous experience running a dealership. Yet, she navigated through her personal grief and professional uncertainty and turned a crisis into a display of her resilience and determination.

2. Diehl has faced skepticism and resistance from manufacturers on her journey in the male-dominated automotive industry. As a woman, she had to prove her capabilities in a field that has traditionally been led by men, showcasing the challenges faced by women and the importance of breaking down gender barriers.

3. Family plays a central role in Corina Diehl’s business philosophy. Her decision to continue and expand the dealership was driven by a desire to preserve her husband’s legacy and provide for her children’s future. Family values also play a crucial role in Diehl’s business decisions and strategies.

4. In an industry pulsating with change, from electric cars zipping into the market to the digital revolution in retailing, Diehl’s agility stands out. Her ability to pivot, and adapt to new technologies and shifting consumer desires, shows a leader in sync with the times.

5. Diehl’s story is more than business success; it’s also about giving back. Her philanthropic ventures and community involvement highlight a belief that true success comes not just from profit, but from the impact made on people’s lives. For her, business acumen and social responsibility go hand in hand, creating a legacy that extends far beyond the showroom floors.

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Anna Delvillar
Anna Delvillar
Anna is the editorial and programming coordinator at CBT News. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University. She is an enthusiastic and skilled media professional with high-caliber communication skills, and has five years of experience performing multimedia writing, editing, and publishing for automotive, tech, and small business media.

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