“The good news is you can only go up” || Mario Benedetti, CEO, South Dade Toyota and Kia

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Manage episode 346455745 series 3005753
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Mario Benedetti proved his acumen with decades of success in the automotive industry in his native Venezuela, then proved his resilience with his move to the US. Mario’s family has been in the car business for nearly a whole century, with three generations managing Venezuela’s Prosperi Cumana dealership since its founding in 1924. Mario worked as a mechanic and in accounting at the family business before taking the reins, but in 2009, feeling bad prospects for business under Venezuela’s government, he moved to the United States intending to start a new dealership from scratch. Thirteen years later, Mario owns dealerships across Dade County - and Prosperi Cumana is still up and running.

On this episode, Mario talks with our host Derek D about the differences between the Japanese (and Venezuelan) car sales business model and the American one, what a stint selling vehicles door-to-door taught him, and the challenges that came with starting a new business with a recession in full swing. Plus, he discusses navigating a major Toyota recall, what happened when he asked to buy a dealership on a whim, why one of the models sold at South Dade Kia dealerships is one of his favorite-ever cars to drive, and more.
South Dade Toyota | South Dade Kia
Episode Highlights:

  • Why Mario compares his work to being an orchestral conductor
  • The philosophy of kaizen - continuous improvement - and how to make it work at a car dealership
  • The shortsighted tactic Mario calls a “bread for today, hunger for tomorrow” move
  • Why the current situation of low vehicle supply is a good opportunity to change customer perception about the dealership

“Even though it’s the same brand and the same business model that we had in Venezuela with Toyota, it’s two different markets.”

— Mario Benedetti

|| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production

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