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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to a slumping local economy and GMs preferred pricing offer, I've been laid off.

I was with a 3 line GM dealer for nearly 12 years. I had 11 great years. I saw sub par products improve into class leading vehicles. I met a lot of good people from GM Canada over the years. Their training staff were great. They were passionate about their products and the dealership treated me well. I was lucky to have a job I loved.

Sadly, the preferred pricing agreement GM had with numerous organizations decreased my commissions to unacceptable levels. I could no longer negotiate with most of my customers. GM dictated the selling price. Profits dropped and so did my commissions. I sold a Sierra Denali in October. $150 commission. I should have made $650. I can't live off of those numbers.

Eventually a slumping local economy got the best of me. I was working daily for little or no income. I requested a layoff.

For the first time since I was 15 years old, I am unemployed. It's been fun while it lasted. I know I'll find another job but I'll miss the business.

It's time to move on.

Cheers
 

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I sold Ford's when I was a young lad (18) from 97-99. Funny industry, dealership flooded the floor with salesmen, dealership made ~500-800 on each deal. "flat" commission was $100. The place was a revolving door with huge turnover. They did a very high volume and most guys would sell 15-20 per month. Guess they valued that high volume more than profit, and didn't mind the turnover. Certainly a racket I wasn't willing to stick around in, even though I had a huge interest in both cars and the industry.

Our local small town GM store has three salesmen, all have been there for 10+ years. They sell much fewer, but much higher profits. That business model is rather dated though and hampers growth. I've noticed the new trend is dealer networks, investment groups that own several dealerships that focus on the sales numbers. Very few Mom and Pop dealerships exist in my area anymore.

If I had money enough to quit working, I'd LOVE to sell cars (particularly Cadillac) However, I don't think I could survive on the pay. I think it's very hard nowadays for dealers to make decent profits on new cars.

Good luck on your new ventures Truckster! It's sad that the dealers/industry are going in this direction, good for consumers I guess, but it sure takes the fun out of sales.
 

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Man, sorry to hear. Layoffs are never good. Is there any chance they'll recall you (pun not intended...) back if sales improve?

Or, like Jesda said, would you want to perhaps jump to a different brand and stay in sales?
 

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That sucks, truckster. Really sucks. Times of unemployment/job search are downright weird for someone who's accustomed to going to work every day. I hope you find a good place to hang your hat.

Are you more a salesman or more a car guy? That would indicate a direction to go in.

I'm sure you'll get oodles of excellent expert advice here at GMI. :cool:

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas. Santa, bring me some job search inspiration!! :drive::drive:

Are you still planning on staying in sales? Ever consider moving upscale to a BMW or Lexus shop or downmarket to Kia/Hyundai where there's lots of growth?
LOL. Not sure just how downmarket H/K are any more. True up until maybe 2009 or so, not so sure today.

I sold Ford's when I was a young lad (18) from 97-99. Funny industry, dealership flooded the floor with salesmen, dealership made ~500-800 on each deal. "flat" commission was $100. The place was a revolving door with huge turnover. They did a very high volume and most guys would sell 15-20 per month. Guess they valued that high volume more than profit, and didn't mind the turnover. Certainly a racket I wasn't willing to stick around in, even though I had a huge interest in both cars and the industry.

Our local small town GM store has three salesmen, all have been there for 10+ years. They sell much fewer, but much higher profits. That business model is rather dated though and hampers growth. I've noticed the new trend is dealer networks, investment groups that own several dealerships that focus on the sales numbers. Very few Mom and Pop dealerships exist in my area anymore.

If I had money enough to quit working, I'd LOVE to sell cars (particularly Cadillac) However, I don't think I could survive on the pay. I think it's very hard nowadays for dealers to make decent profits on new cars.

Good luck on your new ventures Truckster! It's sad that the dealers/industry are going in this direction, good for consumers I guess, but it sure takes the fun out of sales.
Your first paragraph is a perfect example of why SOOO MANY PEOPLE, especially women, absolutely despise going car shopping.

I've seen many ads, over the years, "Need 12 salespeople!" Etc. etc. I'd see those ads monthly.
Little Rock Dodge used to feature a pack of four to eight young guys, all wearing white shirts and most smoking, out in front of their dealership, ready to pounce on any poor soul who foolishly ventured in.

I drove through there on numerous occasions. I bought a lot of Chrysler LH products in the 90s.
But with that pack of wolves there, I always continued to drive and NEVER shopped their store.
I can deal with an a-hole on an individual basis, but I refuse to be descended on by a pack.

My experience at Chevy dealers was unpleasant, though on an individual basis. The sales guys were all drab foolish grey men in their 40s-50s-60s, none of them knew jack shee!^^ about their product.

I still remember one of them telling me if I didn't like the spoiler on the trunk, I could just cut it off and repaint the deck lid. On a brand new car. :confused:
JC, I don't know how much more idiotic or customer-unfriendly you can be.

I hold corporate ultimately responsible. They can say all they like about having no control over individual dealers, they are the company, they better figure it out.

We've bought five KIAs since 2008, two for D-I-L and three to satisfy my collecting urges. While the salesmen were not what I'd grade as A--more like C to C+ basically--they were not offensive or obnoxious or full of BS.

edit: Let me amend that. Prior to leasing the 200, we did our best to cop an Optima lease. Between the DF salesguy and the sales manager, who gave us different numbers every time we spoke with them, they figuratively drove me right over to the Chrysler dealer. That salesguy was good, though his product knowledge was fuzzy as it typically is with salespersonnel.

The KIA salesguy, Phil, was a friendly enough guy. When I went in later to buy the Souls, I dealth with the internet guys. Neither of them was a whiz but they knew enough to get by.
Phil OTOH looked quite steamed after my latest Soul purchase and refused to look at me when I dropped by the dealership.
Well, sorry, guy! If you're an A-hole who can't keep your story straight, what do you expect?


With new Caddy management making big noises about marketing and dealerships, it will prove interesting to see if they know what they're doing or if this is just much sound and fury, from a different direction, signifying nothing.

From their narcissistic airhead millenial girly who they've installed in marketing, to deN"s multiple grandiose speeches, I'd expect the latter. That is typically what such folks produce.
Their TV ads are still idiotic. Change. Change we can believe in. Yeah, I've heard that story before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the kind words.

I won't say that I'm done in the car business. I really enjoyed it up until the last year. However, it won't be local. It is possible that the dealer could recall me but I don't expect it any time soon. I expect the market will be slow for the next 2-3 years.

If I do go back into the business it'll be in the F&I office or somewhere else rather than sales.

My wife has a really good job that pays well so we won't be moving. I'm also interested in exploring a new career that's not commission based.

Within hours of my layoff I already have a promising prospect for future employment. After 12 years in car sales a lot of people know who I am.

As for now I'm going to enjoy the Holidays. My goal is to be working again before the end of January. Hopefully this will be a pleasant vacation.

And another thing, my wife wants to trade in the Avalanche for an F-150. Lol - still not sure if I can switch. I still truly prefer a GM truck.
 

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Sad, but GOOD LUCK in your future endeavors!!
 

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I feel your pain. Left the car biz after 6 years sales and service desk in '89 to own some road const equip for 12 years. Went back to the same store with partially changed ownership and worked sales for 6 mos before going to parts where I thrived. Laid off for 10 mos in Sept '07, then again in Mar '10. Read the writing on the wall as every dealer in the St Louis area had parts guys laid off. Now driving 18 wheelers for a small private fleet and making more money than ever in my life. Yeah, had a couple tough years getting here, but it can be done so there is hope for others.

When I sold in the 80's the car biz was just perking up from the dismal Carter years so I hit it at a good time. Made Legion of Leaders twice, and Truck Sales Honor Club three times in my four years selling, but made my income selling used. Making a decent income selling new has always been a tough way to go, so I was lucky to be at a small town Chevy store where everyone sold everything. I did ok but knew I didn't have the attitude to ever be great at car sales, too empathetic. Our two top guys, one was half owner, would screw you in a heartbeat if you weren't watching. Saw them both regularly make $1000 profits on pickups and large cars, you couldn't do that on small cars, and had the customers laughing all the way to the front door. Guess that was "the good old days". No Internet, and rarely did you see an Edmunds Pricing Guide in a customers grasp.

After I retire I could see selling cars as a way to get out of the house part time. Maybe sell one of the luxury brands, goodness knows I have no use for any of them myself but Ive noticed over the years that the guys who don't care that much about what they're selling seem to do well. Knowing product is good, but knowing people is better. Not that many car buyers know or care that much about the product it's self. Seems like most of the luxury buyers just want to be seen driving them.
 

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That's not good news at any time, but especially not at this time of year - I feel for you.

The only advice I can give is to focus on the positives - what you can do, the skills you have and the successes you've had - not on the negatives.

It may not feel like it right now but it's not all doom & gloom - I got made redundant 4 times over my working career and still managed to retire 13 years before pension age - it's down to determination.

Take care.
 

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Sorry you have to make the change, but it sounds like you're in the process of turning it into a positive.

The underlying problem is that anyone who's been to Canada will notice that Canadians prefer Japanese cars just like most of California and the Northeastern U.S.
 

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Sorry you have to make the change, but it sounds like you're in the process of turning it into a positive.

The underlying problem is that anyone who's been to Canada will notice that Canadians prefer Japanese cars just like most of California and the Northeastern U.S.
Actually we bought Pontiacs more than any other GM brand before the Great Moronic Meltdown at GM. Lots and lots of Sunfires and Cavvys.

Now it's KIAs and Hyundais I see recently. Less Civics and Corollas, more Korean cars.

All the best, Truckster. Being away from GM will be a huge positive for you in the future I'm sure.
 

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FamilyTruckster, I wish you the best as you seek out a new employment opportunity in F&I. Your experience in sales should translate well in an F&I role or in any other automotive retailing occupation for that matter.

I too have just quit my full-time job, a third shift assignment at a food manufacturing and distribution facility. I actually loved my job role; I quit only to become a full time student at Purdue University starting in January. My employer was very supportive (in fact, my supervisor repeatedly encouraged me to get my Purdue application submitted ASAP :D). Yesterday was my last day at this job.

No matter what happens with General Motors Canada, the dealership-manufacturer relationship paradigm, the economy in the Maritime/Atlantic provinces, or anything else beyond your control, your positive attitude will go a long way. Merry Christmas to you and your family, and enjoy the vacation!
 

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Man, sorry to hear. Layoffs are never good. Is there any chance they'll recall you (pun not intended...) back if sales improve?

Or, like Jesda said, would you want to perhaps jump to a different brand and stay in sales?
The way I read it, he basically quit, but probably for financial reasons (unemployment insurance), it's classified as a lay-off.

I sold a Sierra Denali in October. $150 commission. I should have made $650. I can't live off of those numbers............... I was working daily for little or no income. I requested a layoff.

----------------------

Sounds like you've been preparing for this truckster, wishing you the best, but do need to ask is this a "GM Thing" or is it with all the makes/manufactures?
 

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Due to a slumping local economy and GMs preferred pricing offer, I've been laid off.

I was with a 3 line GM dealer for nearly 12 years. I had 11 great years. I saw sub par products improve into class leading vehicles. I met a lot of good people from GM Canada over the years. Their training staff were great. They were passionate about their products and the dealership treated me well. I was lucky to have a job I loved.

Sadly, the preferred pricing agreement GM had with numerous organizations decreased my commissions to unacceptable levels. I could no longer negotiate with most of my customers. GM dictated the selling price. Profits dropped and so did my commissions. I sold a Sierra Denali in October. $150 commission. I should have made $650. I can't live off of those numbers.

Eventually a slumping local economy got the best of me. I was working daily for little or no income. I requested a layoff.

For the first time since I was 15 years old, I am unemployed. It's been fun while it lasted. I know I'll find another job but I'll miss the business.

It's time to move on.

Cheers
Sorry to hear you are without work for Christmas. The good news is, you have a skill set you can transfer over to another sales job. Especially business finance loans sales.
The same skills you use to sell vehicles will transfer well to things like equipment financing and the likes.
 

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Enjoy the break bud....you deserve it. Best time to call it quits- it'll give you time to relax and spend time with family.

I know you will find something you are passionate about again soon and can't wait to hear where you end up. Good luck and Merry Christmas!!
 

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Sorry you have to make the change, but it sounds like you're in the process of turning it into a positive.

The underlying problem is that anyone who's been to Canada will notice that Canadians prefer Japanese cars just like most of California and the Northeastern U.S.
Canadians might prefer Japanese cars but the American big three (if we can still consider Chrysler as American) outsell the rest of the brands in Canada. The American big three are outselling the Japanese big three by almost 70% this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Once again, thanks for the positive messages. I've already had two meetings with a potential employer. It's giving me some hope.

I do have a Business Degree and plenty of experience plus I'm well known in the community. Everybody is shocked that I was laid off.

I did see it coming and was prepared. I requested the layoff. The dealer did treat me well for the most part.

I'm hoping that I'll find work before I have to apply for employment insurance benefits.

Merry Christmas everybody. And for those who may not celebrate Christmas, a Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, have a merry Kwanzaa, and have a Merry Festivus for the rest of us.
 
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