Yark thrives in spite of industry’s fluctuationsWritten by Kristine Hoffman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustaining an automotive retail business through market peaks and valleys is no small task. It takes talent, leadership and business acumen. Market trends such as dealership and brand consolidation as well as successful foreign products have made competition intense.
Automakers such as the now-privatized Chrysler are implementing strategies to boost efficiencies, including decreasing the number of models, combining dealerships and cutting jobs. The company’s relationship with its dealers continues to evolve, with anticipated changes on the horizon.
Yet names in the Toledo auto dealership industry like Yark, Kistler, White, Brown and Schmidt have sustained an area market presence for generations. What gives them staying power?
Jim Yark, president of Yark Automotive Group, has been in business in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan for 35 years.
“This business takes a little bit of luck and a lot of experience,” said Yark, who attributes his ability to stay competitive and successful over the long term to a solid business strategy.
“I have a really good business plan and have stuck to it. Nothing is broken, so I don’t plan on changing what I’ve been doing.”
What Yark has been doing is hiring a strong staff.
“I’ve been working on cars since I was a kid. I love the business. And, I am surrounded with people who love cars — that’s how good things happen,” Yark said. “We‘ve excelled at this business because we have good people who have been with us for a long time.”
Yark Automotive Group has grown through acquisition. Yark runs GM, Subaru, Nissan, Chrysler and BMW franchises.
At the end of the day, keeping customers satisfied is what Yark strives for. He enjoys the challenge of the business and looks forward to the following month when can focus on hitting his sales numbers once again.
“I like selling cars, getting customers back again, and selling them another car,” he said. “It’s a rewarding business.
“Our success shows in our customer satisfaction. Of course we’ve made mistakes, but we retain our customers.”
And it doesn’t hurt when you love your work.
“I enjoy coming to work every day,” Yark said. “I like my people and it’s a fun place to come to work. It has been rewarding personally and financially. In 35 years, we’ve accelerated our sales and I’ve never looked back.”
Kristine Hoffman is host and producer of “Business 360,” which airs every Monday and Friday on WGTE-TV, during PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” at approximately 7:45 p.m. She can be reached at email@example.com.