Episode 27: Preparing for Uncertainty
12/07/2022 / Secret Sauce
As he finishes his term as the 2022 NADA Chairman, Mike Alford, President of Marine Chevrolet in Jacksonville, North Carolina, reflects on his experiences with GMF and looks toward a bright future amid economic uncertainty: “I want to be with my captive during that journey.”
- Uncertain Times
When times get tough, it can be hard to find people in your corner. During economic unpredictability, Mike has found that banks can often have “selective amnesia” and are more interested in pulling out of bad situations than preserving strong relationships with their dealers.
Mike has been able to withstand market volatility and economic pressures over the years due in part to his steadfast commitment to working closely with GMF. Mike’s experience with banks made him realize “a captive has a different set of imperatives,” and GMF “keeps their dealers strong and vibrant and able to meet the needs of the customer.”
- Cornering the Market
Building community ties is an important part of every dealer’s job. “You have to be a big part of your community, you have to understand the nuances of your community and you have to work together with your business partners to make sure that they understand.”
Mike’s stomping ground is certainly a unique place. His dealership’s name, Marine Chevrolet, isn’t for show – Jacksonville is a major military hub with a strong Marine presence. Over the years, Mike has found the perfect place for his dealership in his neck of the woods, working with GMF to fulfill customer needs and capitalize on buying military paper in Jacksonville’s niche market.
- A Look to the Future
Nobody can predict the future with complete certainty, but current economic trends are making many dealers brace for a downturn. When looking ahead, Mike emphasizes the importance of a strong connection between dealer and captive, confidently stating that he thinks “GMF is positioned exceptionally well for what may be ahead."
“They push us, and we push them. I like that tension. It's a good, healthy, open and honest, productive relationship. To date, it’s been phenomenal, and I’m just looking forward to seeing where we go next.”