Innovation has long been the name of the game for Trevor Gile and family as they have sought to expand Motorcars Honda’s standing as a leading trendsetter in one of the most competitive marketplaces.
For the last 18 years, Gile and his brother have run the family business that their father started roughly three decades ago targeting the Cleveland, Akron and Euclid areas. In a changing industry, the ride hasn’t always been a smooth one, but the family’s commitment to success has largely proven to be its saving grace.
“About eight years ago we noticed our traditional revenue streams getting squeezed and began to look for new ones,” Gile, the dealership’s general manager, told Mega Dealer News. “We now have a flourishing car-wash business that is currently netting more than most new, used, body shop or service departments, with only two employees per shift. We are now focused on helping more dealers do the same.”
The company, now boasting a staff of around 300, has continued to move a vehicle or two along the way, with the brothers bagging such honors as being among Automotive News' “40 under 40” in 2018, named “Innovative Dealer of the Year” by Fixed Ops Business in 2018, and “Dealer of the Future” by World Shopper in 2017.
Gile said operations at the company are now running so smoothly that parts of the company have come to feed off other areas in building out the overall business.
"With the car wash, we’re now about to open a second wash about 45-minutes away from the original spot and we’ve got our eye on opening a third one soon after that,” he said. “In this age of ride-sharing businesses and the like, we feel like these car washes are recession-proof and future-proof businesses. With the washes, we see up to 15,000 customers a month and many of these people that are visiting our dealerships can ultimately be new clients. We’re changing the structure of what business can look like for dealerships.”
And the innovation doesn’t end there. Motorcars Honda also recently opened a consulting business to help other dealerships get on the same path they are on, along with a marketing company that handles social media design for clients. Edge of the Box currently has a staff of around 10 and upwards of 50 clients.
"We're looking toward the future and doing everything we can to make and keep our path a stable one," Gile added.