My guest this week is Kent Ritchey.
For over 50 years, Kent has been in the automobile business. Kent’s company, Lander’s Auto Group, has 15 Automobile Franchises with over 450 Associates in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
I wanted to have this conversation with Kent to understand all the changes taking place with the automobile industry and how he adapts to them. Additionally, we discuss:
- Checking your ego and going from an owner to a salesperson when you need a job
- What he’s learned about people and what they want after 50 years of selling automobiles
- What’s ahead with electric and autonomous cars
- How the USA compares with China and India with automobile sales
- How he navigated the 2008 Financial crisis right after he bought his first dealership
- And more!
Please enjoy my conversation with Kent Ritchey!
1:01 The love of basketball, competing, and Hendrix College
2:30 The challenge of being Married while being a College Athlete
5:12 Growing up in the auto business
6:07 Only as far as word and credit will take you
6:42 The most important things: stress, cash, and people skills
7:42 2008 Financial Crisis
8:36 Covid similar to now
11:01 New blood coming into organization
11:26 Buying money losing dealerships
12:03 Mr. Penske had Unwavering discipline and unwavering consistency
12:39: Have a plan, execute that plan, know what everyone’s role is in that plan
12:45 Too many people spend too much of their life getting ready to get ready
13:28 Lack of drive, personal discipline, and expectations
14:33 Convinced key people with equity position
15:55 Ups and Downs
16:08 Greatest fear is the unknown
17:54 Still learning like my first day in college
20:22 Failure is our greatest teacher
22:00 I wasn’t getting ready to get ready
23:18 Absolute refusal to take no for an answer
23:45 So afraid of failing
24:19 Ability to relate to people
24:57 Positive attitude, goals and objectives, path to get there, measured, and compensated
25:20 talented people once they make money leave them alone
26:30 This is what I enjoy and this is what I do for a living
26:33 Do whatever it takes to sell the car and our volume went up exponentially
34:01 Electric and autonomous vehicles here to stay
35:16 Someone has to be looking beyond the horizon
37:25 Building scale
39:39 Two or one will rise to the top and one will be an equity partner
44:10 What auto sales looks like in india and china
48:40 We don’t take dividends until debt is done
50:19 I think people can only do two to three things. We won’t fix all overnight. But we can do one today and never have to do it again.
58:50 Don’t hide, don’t sweep under the rug, get to the root of the problem, solve it. First loss is the least loss.
1:01:12 You better ask people exactly what they want. People have to tell you.
1:04:20 What would you do if you had to start over tomorrow?
1:05:20 Find something you are passionate about
- Matt Haaga State Farm: https://www.matthaaga.com/