Foundation Automotive

5 Essential Tools to Build Your Career in Automotive

Interested in climbing the automotive ladder and furthering your career? We spoke to some of the leaders at Foundation Automotive and compiled a list of the most important components to becoming an automotive leader. 

  1. Become a lifelong student 

When you think you’ve made it, you’re only just beginning. There’s no such thing as knowing it all when times are constantly changing. Go to the conference, take that course, ask those questions. There’s always something new to learn, and as leaders, it’s most important that we stay on top of it. 

  1. Learn about all facets of the industry

It’s all too common in automotive that “GSM’s drop the “S” and try to become a general manager. The true definition of a GM is that they generally know everything about the car dealership,” Chuck Kramer, COO of Foundation Automotive. It’s extremely important to understand the ins and outs of fixed operations to run a successful dealership. Find training programs, ask questions, do what you can to learn about the areas where you don’t have as much experience. Foundation has some amazing training programs and specialists that are willing to help give you the tools you need to succeed. Find a mentor to teach you what you don’t know. The variety of podcasts and courses out there can be overwhelming, it’s important to find something that speaks to you and that you’re willing to learn from. In the dealership, every facet should be able to stand alone as its own business, as leaders we need to do our best to learn about all of those departments. A supportive organization will welcome any desire to learn, you just need to ask! 

  1. Take something from everyone 

Similar to being a lifelong student, there’s so much to learn in places you wouldn’t expect. Talk to the porters, talk to the techs, learn more about finance. Everyone sees a different side of the industry, and it’s important to have a well-rounded view. There isn’t someone out there that you can’t learn something from, take advantage of that. It’s amazing what we can take in when we listen to the people around us. 

  1. Be an innovator 

In an industry like automotive, it often changes quicker than we’re ready for it. Thinking one step ahead is the only way to stay alive. Have brainstorming sessions with your team to get some insight and different perspectives. As much as possible, try to stay two steps ahead of current trends. With so many vendors out there offering ground-breaking solutions, dealerships can save thousands by understanding how these services can be best utilized, or how the problems can be solved internally.

  1. Focus on the business of people 

It’s not just about customer service, a happy employee makes a happy customer. Many companies believe they are treating their staff fairly, but very few do the proper digging to find out what their employees want and make assumptions instead. It’s ultimately about listening to the needs of your team and customers, and acting on that information to create a positive environment with a strong culture.