Career Opportunities for an Automotive Business Manager

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The automotive industry is projected to reach a value of $5.1 trillion by 2015. It employs millions worldwide, in roles ranging from manufacturing to sales. So where do you fit in this growth? If you have personality, drive, a passion for customer service and would love to tackle the challenge of steering an automotive dealership to success, the answer might just be as an automotive business manager.
An essential part of sales and the leasing-based industry, the automotive business manager has transportation operations training from an auto mechanic school as well as a background in customer service and financing. The ideal candidate possesses:

  • Professional manners and appearance
  • A friendly and likeable personality
  • The ability to think on his or her feet
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Energy!
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Good work ethic
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Willingness to be a team player

High Stakes, High Rewards
The automotive business manager is a high-responsibility position. Not only will the person in charge have to interact with account executives, high-level clients and different levels of managements, but he or she will also be responsible for the development and implementation of all sales plans. Since the general cost of a vehicle is, for most customers, not a small transaction, you will also need to be well versed in sales laws as well as legally binding business contracts.
Learning to work collaboratively with other departments at the dealership, including training the sales and leasing team, or coordinating with service managers or the parts and services department, is bound to be one of the most rewarding aspect of the job. The overall goal of your team should be to transform your clients into “customers for life,” returning to the same dealership over time for repairs or additional sales needs.
Working your way up
Of course, an automotive business manager rarely starts at the top level, usually working his way up from a lower position, gaining valuable experience while doing so. Whether you study management or first become a mechanic and then specialize your training, there is a wide range of positions available for someone with a business-oriented profile, such as:

  • Sales & Leasing Specialist
  • New Vehicle Sales Manager
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Financial Controller
  • Service Advisor
  • Operation Service Specialist
  • Account Manager

Your background and expertise could also make you an attractive candidate for positions at finance companies, aftermarket companies, or insurance and credit companies.
Future career prospects
The career prospects for these positions are fairly optimistic overall, with Service Canada projecting that over the next five years, more than 45% of retirements will come from the business, service, sales, finance and administration sectors. The right candidate can expect aggressive pay plans with benefits and bonuses for meeting sales objectives.
Depending on your preference and overall career path, you may end up at the head of a franchise dealership, or managing a privately owned company, specializing in either used or new vehicles. As automotive business manager, you’ll be directly at the centre of a dynamic and constantly evolving industry, with your decisions having a direct impact on a dealership’s bottom line.

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