40 Under 40 honorees find ways to stay flexible while navigating dual crises

Several 40 Under 40 honorees shared strategies deployed and lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic and new-vehicle inventory shortage. Here are edited excerpts.

“It’s just taking action. You have to be one step ahead of the problem. You hear something’s coming. OK, if it does come, what are we going to do about it? So, just being prepared.” — Xavier Cortes, owner, Bellingham Nissan, Cortes Auto Group, Bellingham, Wash.

“One of the biggest things I learned was to take the monkey off my back and hand it to somebody else. It’s being able to put the right people with the right skill set in charge of handling the right things. By doing that, I have found that we’ve seen such growth.” — Matt Raymond, director of digital operations, Team Auto Group, Salisbury, N.C.

“It’s just making sure we can survive until the new inventory comes back. Luckily that’s where our diversification comes in. We have the service centers and quick lanes and are making sure we keep it going.” — Shelby Reed, president, World Class Automotive Group, Texas

“These back-to-back crises have been a great time to reflect on how we conduct business and a chance to embrace the future of business. It’s also given us a chance to hone our skills and continue to improve ourselves.” — Mitchell Harris, corporate director of operations, Shaker Auto Group, Connecticut and Massachusetts

“We’ve learned not only to be flexible, but to be creative in our strategies. We have a great team, and it’s been proven though each crisis. The quality of our inventory and employees has shown to be most important over the quantity.” — Katie Segrist, sales manager, Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati

“You have to believe in the people that you have working for you. You have to listen to them, and, most importantly, you have to empower them. I believe they’ll do more when they’re empowered and led by vision.” — Paul Gomez, general manager, Audi Lakeland in Florida

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