With 25 years of experience in the automotive dealership industry, Gary Flom, a former financial analyst at Gulf & Western and decorated United States Marine, truly understands the role that strategy plays in the retail business. With an astute understanding of consumer driven operations, Flom has proven himself an expert in creating profitable businesses run by highly motivated well-trained personnel. Flom has an extensive background running automobile showrooms. In 2010 he opened Bay Ridge Ford, in 2012 he opened Kings County Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and he recently opened both Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan and White Plains Nissan to complete his portfolio of automotive brands.
How did you get into the industry?
Prior to joining Manhattan Automobile Company, I had built a distinguished track record as an executive manager working with luxury and sport brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti, Jaguar and Porsche. As a former financial analyst at Gulf & Western and decorated United States Marine, I truly understand the role that strategy plays in the retail business.
Are there any emerging industry trends that you’re seeing right now?
The auto industry has been buzzing with developments surrounding the “self-driving” car and with Ford Motor’s recent report – the company predicts these cars will be best suited for city life.
Are there any industry opportunities or challenges that you’ve faced?
I had to overcome the major financial crisis of 2008. So many people lost jobs and sales dropped, but fortunately we recovered by 2010. With our sales team’s hard work and dedication, we reported a 55% growth in sales volume. The company was consistently recognized as the national and northeast region sales leader for Land Rover and Jaguar and Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan is currently the highest ranked volume retailer in the country.
What was the inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
Prior to BNF, I managed significant multi-brand auto businesses to great success. Through my hard work, and the hard work of my team, we shifted the way consumers approach leasing and purchasing automobiles. These efforts gave inspiration for the businesses we currently are operating.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
I am currently renovating our flagship property at 787 Eleventh Ave, which will include new state-of-the-art showrooms and service facilities for Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan and new flagship showrooms and service for Infiniti of Manhattan and Nissan of Manhattan. The new facility will include the largest capacity service center for Jaguar Land Rover in the nation, and will continue to offer clients an unrivaled experience for purchasing, leasing and servicing luxury vehicles.
What are your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Customizing the way you serve your local market is imperative. It is important to stay ahead of the competition and explore new ways attract customers. The model of selling a vehicle has not really changed in decades; however, now with the internet and a lot of information available, our staff must be extremely knowledgeable and offer great customer service as added value to each transaction.
What was your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
When I took the helm of Manhattan Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Inc. at the end of 1998, the company’s rank in overall customer satisfaction was nearly at the bottom 10 percent of the competitive group. By reinventing the process and retraining the team, that ranking jumped to the “Top 10” percent. Over the next 8 years, total sales revenues increased 227%, P(L)BIT increased by 82% and unit sales volume by 200%, including a double-figure percentage gain during the recession-year of 2001. I learned that training a team in leadership can help to move mountains.
What is the ideal experience for a customer/client?
As communities change, you need to continuously learn, train and adapt to the newest trends and most importantly communicate well with the client, to exceed expectations I found that catering to the lifestyle needs of your clients is essential to offer the ultimate car buying experience.
Can you share some career advice to those in your industry?
As the automotive market landscape continues to change, you have to learn to adapt to provide vast offerings to find success and meet the needs of consumers.