Automotive Dealership General Manager

In your role as an Automotive Dealership General Manager, you sit at the helm of operations, driving strategies that rev up sales and customer satisfaction. One key part of your job involves orchestrating a team—yard mechanics, customer service reps, and sales personnel—with the finesse of a seasoned conductor. You fine-tune the deals of the day and steer the business towards lucrative shores, all while keeping an eye on trends that might impact the automotive market. Such a role demands not just business acumen, but a love for all things automobiles.


In your role as an automotive dealership general manager, your responsibilities touch on several key areas to ensure the smooth operation of the dealership.

Overseeing Daily Operations

You’re at the helm of the dealership’s daily activities. This responsibility includes ensuring that all sectors, from sales to service and parts, are running smoothly. You make immediate decisions, solve problems, and coordinate tasks and responsibilities within your team.

Managing Staff

A crucial part of your role is managing the dealership staff. This includes hiring, training, motivating, and monitoring the performance of your team. It’s your responsibility to create a welcoming and efficient work environment where everyone is able to perform at their best.

Implementing Sales Strategies

As the general manager, one of your key tasks involves implementing effective sales strategies. Devising and executing these strategies can guide your dealership towards success by increasing the number of cars sold and maximizing profits.

Monitoring Financial Performance

Your responsibility doesn’t stop at sales. You’re also in-charge of keeping tabs on the dealership’s financial performance. This involves everything from setting annual budgets to pricing strategies to ensuring the dealership remains profitable.

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

Ensuring high customer satisfaction levels is another paramount aspect of your role. By creating a friendly, service-oriented atmosphere and resolving customer issues promptly, you can help ensure repeat business and solidify your dealership’s reputation in the automotive industry.


Becoming an automotive dealership general manager requires a specific set of qualifications.

Experience in Automotive Industry

Prior experience in the automotive industry is typically required. This experience equips you with knowledge about the market, sales tactics, and customer needs.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are crucial, given your task of managing a team. You need to inspire, guide, and support your team members to ensure your dealership’s goals are met.

Strong Communication Abilities

Given your regular interaction with staff, customers, and potentially even auto manufacturers, strong communication abilities are essential.

Problem-Solving Skills

Inevitably, issues will arise within the dealership that need to be addressed. Your ability to solve problems quickly and effectively will define your success in this role.

Business and Financial Acumen

Lastly, possessing business and financial acumen is crucial. It helps you oversee the dealership’s operations, devise strategies, and meet the organization’s financial goals.

Skills and Attributes

In addition to qualifications, a range of skills and attributes are desirable in an automotive dealership general manager.


Strong leadership abilities are necessary for motivating staff, setting a clear direction for the dealership, and driving the execution of strategies.


Excellent communication skills are equally important, as they enable you to effectively interact with staff, customers, and stakeholders.


Being an automotive dealership general manager also calls for strong negotiation skills. These skills will aid you in driving profitable deals for the dealership and ensuring customer satisfaction.


Maintaining organized operations in a busy dealership requires apt organizational skills. You’ll need to juggle multiple responsibilities and effectively manage your time.

Customer Service

Finally, excellent customer service skills are vital. Your ability to ensure high customer satisfaction levels can significantly impact the dealership’s reputation and bottom line.

Education and Experience

A combination of education and experience provide a solid foundation for an automotive dealership general manager.

Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Related Field

Many dealerships require a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. This gives you a strong understanding of business principles that will aid in your role as general manager.

Previous Experience in Automotive Sales or Management

Having previous experience in automotive sales or management positions you well for the role of a general manager. This experience provides a working knowledge of the industry and the practical skills needed to succeed.

Automotive Dealership Certification

Some dealerships prefer or require general managers to have automotive dealership certification, which is designed to enhance your proficiency in managing a dealership.

Job Outlook

For all aspiring automotive dealership general managers, understanding the job outlook is essential.

Growth in automotive industry

The automotive industry continues to grow, which means opportunities for capable general managers also increase.

Demand for Skilled General Managers

As dealerships compete for market shares, there is a growing demand for skilled general managers who can drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Competitive Nature of the Job Market

Given the rewards of this position, the job market is highly competitive. Staying informed about industry trends and continuously improving your skills will keep you competitive.


Your salary as an automotive dealership general manager varies based on several factors.

Varies Based on Dealership Size and Location

Pay scales can fluctuate depending on the size of the dealership and its location, with large, urban dealerships typically paying more than smaller, rural ones.

Additional Performance-Based Bonuses and Incentives

In addition to a base salary, you may also receive performance-based bonuses and incentives. These bonuses directly relate to your dealership’s sales performance and profitability.

Challenges and Rewards

The path of an automotive dealership general manager includes both challenges and rewards.

Navigating a Highly Competitive Market

The automotive industry is highly competitive. Remaining innovative and adaptive amidst market shifts is a constant challenge.

Building and Maintaining a Strong Team

Building and maintaining a strong team that can deliver high performance and outstanding customer service is another challenge in this role.

Satisfaction of Meeting Sales Goals

Despite the challenges, there are several rewards. One of them is the satisfaction achieved upon meeting or exceeding sales targets.

Opportunity for Advancement and Growth

Additionally, the role offers excellent opportunities for career advancement and professional growth within the automotive industry.

Industry Trends

Trends in the automotive industry present both opportunities and challenges for automotive dealership general managers.

Shift towards Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

The shift towards electric and autonomous vehicles is a major trend in the industry. As a general manager, you need to stay informed and adapt to these changes.

Increasing Importance of Online Sales Platforms

Online sales platforms have become increasingly important due to changing customer preferences. Taking advantage of these platforms can significantly boost your dealership’s sales.

Digital Marketing and Advertising Strategies

Lastly, digital marketing and advertising strategies are shaping how dealerships reach out to customers. Staying current with these strategies can help attract more customers to your dealership.

Job Responsibilities

Let’s revisit your job responsibilities as an automotive dealership general manager.

Overseeing Daily Operations

Your day involves overseeing all dealership operations. From sales to service to parts, you guide the team in executing daily tasks efficiently.

Managing Staff

As the leader, you manage your team, providing training, supervision, and motivation to ensure top performance.

Implementing Sales Strategies

A key task for you involves implementing strategies to boost car sales and profitability.

Monitoring Financial Performance

Keeping a close watch over your dealership’s financial performance is another crucial part of your job.

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

At the heart of all activities, ensuring customer satisfaction remains a top priority.

Customer Satisfaction

Your role emphasizes heavily on customer satisfaction.

Ensuring a Positive Customer Experience

Ensuring a positive customer experience is paramount. You strive to create an atmosphere where customers feel valued and well taken care of.

Resolving any Customer Complaints or Issues

Addressing any complaints or issues swiftly and effectively is essential in maintaining customer satisfaction.

Implementing Strategies to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Additionally, you constantly seek and implement strategies to improve your dealership’s customer service, contributing to high levels of customer satisfaction.

As an automotive dealership general manager, your role involves a wide array of responsibilities and duties. Navigating this dynamic and ever-changing industry is both challenging and rewarding. However, armed with the right qualifications, skills, experience, and knowledge, you can steer your dealership towards success, ensuring customer satisfaction and a healthy bottom line.

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