Dealerships Have a Problem with Gen Y Workers

According to a recent Ward's Auto report, many dealerships are having difficulty adjusting to a Gen Y workforce (Gen Y will be operationally defined as workers in their 20's). The report makes a few interesting points namely-

Dealership turnover hit 62% for salespeople specifically. Overall, it dropped a percentage point to 35% in 2012 compared with the year before. But it's expected to increase as stores hire more Millennials, many of whom end up disliking aspects of the work, particularly the long hours.


"They value their free time," Kraybill says. "They won't work a schedule that goes over 45 hours a week. For many of them, a valuable spiff isn't money, but rather time off. Dealerships traditionally rely on money to motivate people, and Gen Y is less motivated by it."

Wards goes on to say that some more progressive dealerships are adapting with more flexible hours and incentives.

Here is my take...Like I have mentioned before, management philosophy needs to be the driving force behind adjusting to not only a different generational workforce but a different generation of buyer. GM and BMW are currently experimenting with online ordering and sales. Most buyers, especially millennials do not want to go through the traditional circus of buying a car the "old-fashioned" way. I can purchase practically anything I want from Amazon 24hrs a day 7-days a week, and their customer service is available always.


If dealerships really want to adjust to the new market, they need to start taking some cues from the online industry. Yes, you will still have to go to the showroom to test drive. But what about hiring internet salespeople to work a variety of hours, not just "traditional" dealership hours? If I want to order my Corvette at 2 a.m. I should be able to do that. Or how about incentivising customer satisfaction rather than unit sales?

Now again, selling cars can't possibly be the same as selling practically every other product on the planet (as Amazon does).


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