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Suffice it to say that after a 35 plus year career in the car business starting as a salesperson followed by positions as a General Manager, Executive Dealer and Dealer Principal I am a "car guy" with the successes and failures to prove it!  I am used to fielding questions from friends and family about my career choice - since most of my family are either business/real estate owners, doctors or lawyers.  Fortunately, I have always held my own in these competitive discussions when we compare W-2's, K-1s, financial statements and other often referenced guages to determine success.

Fortunately, I guage my own success on a different scale which includes the network of friends that I have made over the years, the families that I have helped solve their transportation needs, the diverse challenges of my occupation and more relevantly when advising the next generation regarding their own career choice and the future potential of my beloved auto industry vs. other more conventional professions.  (Yes, a career in the car business is a profession as long as you conduct yourself as a professional.)

In recent months I have received an amazing amount of requests to counsel family and friends who are either considering a career in the retail auto industry because they are graduating college with no job offers or coincidentally friends who are presently in retail operations who are considering leaving retail in favor of working in the vendor sector serving the auto industry.  My answer to all is the same -- the future of the auto industry is bright but career opportunities in it are not limited to a position at a dealership and it is certainly not limited to a sales or service position.

IT positions in dealerships are becoming more central to operations as software solutions are being introduced into sales and service processes.  Vendor partners are taking on more integral roles at dealerships as their technology based solutions continue to provide efficiencies in sales and service operations challenged by increased facility and human resource expenses that are limiting profit margins.

The purpose of this post is to spark a discussion and provide support for my ADM friends that are considering a career change but who don't want to sell real estate or leave a career that they are already invested in.  Any feedback confirming - or perhaps challenging - my confidence in the next generation of opportunities that exist in the auto industry that aren't tied to the showroom floor would be most appreciated.

After all, what are friends - and ADM - for!

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