Part II – Interview with Don Hall, President & CEO of Virginia Automobile Dealers’ Association

Interview With Don Hall – Part II February 1, 2017 by Chuck Barker As mentioned in the January issue, Don Hall and I spent numerous hours together attempting to take a look at the various aspects of the automobile industry for this two part interview.  Several people have asked how Don and I got together on and the idea of this article came to be.  In  June of last year, you may recall the torrential floods that devastated West Virginia and in particular Greenbrier County where there were 27 deaths and many families left homeless.   I went to the Greenbrier Resort in August, met with Don and the past president of VADA, William Farrell.  Don invited me to his meeting with the owner of the Greenbrier and now Governor Jim Justice whereby Don and William, on behalf of VADA, awarded a $75,000 check to be distributed to the families who lost everything in the flood.  I was quite taken with the heartfelt  generosity and compassion this gesture radiated.  From there, Don and I became friends and as that relationship developed, I more clearly understood what a dynamic and intelligent man Don represented and that his story should be told. Don came from a very broken family, a rough childhood and left to learning on the streets of Los Angeles.  At 16 he left home. At 17 joined the Marine Corp where he, to this day credits his salvation and discipline.  After a brief stint in banking he began his auto career in 1979. He has held several auto retail positions; salesman, F&I, sales manager, GSM and GM.  The long...

Google – Friend or Foe to Auto Dealers

As someone who has worked in the auto industry for a few decades now, I have come to respect the job that auto dealers do every day.  As technology has grown and become an important part of our sales and marketing process, I am concerned that some dealers have gotten away from the traditional marketing strategies and tactics that made them successful for years. I have observed a growing dependence on Google by dealers and wanted to do some research to see if this was a good long term strategy or not. What I discovered during the course of my research was “eye-opening” to say the least.  My goal is not to diminish the value Google provides to consumers and dealers but to share what I learned with dealers, vendors, ad agencies and others whose goal is to help dealers improve their marketing and sales performance. The information in the report about Google’s past activities has been taken from various media outlets, and the reader can link to these sources to see the actual articles. My conclusions and predictions are based on my years in the business and the knowledge that I have accumulated by working with auto retailers to improve their operations.   I invite you to read the report, evaluate the information presented, and use it as you see fit. You can preview the introduction to the report here (opens pdf file). To receive the full report just go here and complete the report request form. This report is available at no cost to dealers, vendors, trainers, social media consultants and other...