Two racing legends talk dealer shop

by admin January 29, 2017 at 3:36 am

Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, left, and Roger Penske, right, during the closing general session Saturday. Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS

Roger Penske and Helio Castroneves have teamed up beyond racing.

Penske, the chairman of Penske Automotive Group, and Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, are co-owners of the New Holland Auto Group in New Holland, Pa. Penske’s nephew, Geoff Penske, convinced Castroneves to become a car dealer last year when they bought the group.

“There are only so many opportunities in life and when you have Roger Penske and Geoff on board, well, I am still learning, but I have a lot of respect for car dealers,” Castroneves told Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain during the closing general session of the 2017 NADA Convention on Saturday.

Penske is the No. 1 selling premium luxury car dealer in Europe. For the most part, he said, U.S. car dealerships are far ahead of European dealerships in terms of customer service, quality facilities and technology. But there is one area that U.S. dealers can learn from.

“The majority of our business payroll in sales is variable, in the U.K. it’s more salary,” Penske said. “The turnover is less, because of the salary. I think we need to consider that here.”

Penske said it’s crucial to reduce turnover rates because his “biggest fear” is figuring how to pay for continual training of new hires as technology continues to advance.

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