There are numerous future career paths students starting out in Georgian College Automotive Business School of Canada can take, but an industry executive told them working in a dealership may be appealing if they are motivated by making money more quickly than working in a corporate administrative position.
Chris Schulthies, President of Wye Management and a contributing columnist to Canadian auto dealer, addressed the first-year students this month and said he was providing “an honest pitch” on the real opportunities inside a retail dealership, in particular the earnings that can be made.
“The money is kind of ridiculous, it’s really good at a dealership these days, and it’s definitely going to be a lot more and faster than if they go the corporate route,” said Schulthies. “The amount of money that salespeople and sales managers have made over the past two years is just incredible for a whole bunch of reasons. So if they are money motivated or motivated by upward mobility, it’s definitely unequivocally the faster path is through the retail dealership world as opposed to corporate or OEM.”
He told them they may not be aware at this stage of their education the different channels in which they can choose after graduating. He broke it down into four categories in which they can work — a head office of a manufacturer or parts company, a financial institution that works with the automotive industry, suppliers that sell products and services to dealers, and the retail dealership.
He said he understands working in a dealership is often lower on the list for graduates because it may not be considered as prestigious or sexy as going to work for a head office of a major manufacturer as opposed to selling cars in the showroom.
“I’m sort of the salesman there trying to coach them to consider opportunities within a retail dealership environment,” said Schulthies.
He said some dealerships have programs that allow general managers to become part owners.
“That’s a big deal,” said Schulthies. “Whether it would be anywhere from ten- to 20 per cent ownership, they are millionaires as a result of their ownership equity positions. Very few industries would offer that kind of fast, upward, climb.”