Don Harley III has a deep retail automotive family background. A passion for the car business was driven in him by his grandfather and father.
He started as a lot porter even before he was legal to drive. When Don turned eighteen he went to work in the family business selling new and used GMs and became the dealer group’s number one salesperson. That’s an outstanding accomplishment in a General Motors town of Lansing, Michigan. Don never received special favors working for his father; but, what he did receive was a wide variety of knowledge of retail automotive. Mr. Harley II, Don’s father, was highly respected in the auto industry and collaborated with General Motors/GMAC executives to roll out subsidized lease programs.
Don was hand-picked by the auto group to open and operate Mid-Michigan’s first Hyundai franchise. Successful as he was, Don left the organization after eleven years and became a General Sales Manager for a Honda dealership outside Detroit, Michigan. After a few years, Don’s father enticed him to return to his hometown of Lansing and rejoined his father’s organization as the Used Car Director, instantly tipping sales over thirty percent in the region.
He credits his used car success to treating every customer the same. If a customer has credit issues, Don will find ways to get the customer financed and not make them feel uncomfortable. Don knows how to buy vehicles that tailor to his market. Michigan has gone though some tough times, it’s not an easy market to sell automobiles; however, Don has always been able to overcome market hurdles and sell in a depressed economy. That’s where Don learned his finance skills and became an expert in subprime financing. No matter how difficult a deal might be, Don will find a way to get the car down the road.
Don went back to Detroit and was a General Sales Manager for a Cadillac dealership for many years. He credits his success to his sales team. Don understands the importance of a great team and will always credit them first. His experience there, combined with previous auto retail experience, opened up the opportunity to be the General Manager for a Chrysler Jeep Ram franchise. Don’s leadership helped the store climb the national ranks with record high sales.
Don understands sales processes and strongly believes in order to be successful in automotive retail a realistic training approach is a must. He has a comprehensive method of consulting salespeople and management. Don understands how important it is to motivate the sales floor by leading from the front. Don has the drive and competitive characteristics that give him the advantage over his predecessors. Don created a one-to-one used car management training course. This management growth process helps break-in newly promoted used car managers and reenergizes current used car mangers who need a jump start.
The Car Sharker is lucky to have a team member like Don Harley III. He adds not only decades of experience but also common sense when it comes to making industry decisions.