knew that we’re here,” says Amaker, who previously worked for Mercedes-Benz North America for nearly 19 years and was retired for a year and a half until Moorehead called him. “I connect with students at Virginia State University, Hampton University, and Norfolk State University to let them know that there are opportunities in the automobile industry.”
In the Right Direction
Whether it’s having his wife, a seasoned lawyer, act as in-house counsel; his son, Tony, serve as MINI general manager; or Joffe lead the profitable service department, Moorehead understands the importance of hiring knowledgeable and loyal staff to support the organization. He points to Jack Welch’s book Winning (Collins; $12.95), which stresses the importance of hiring the right people in the appropriate positions to drive success. “The product goes without saying. So hire people with the skills that serve the job, give them the direction and the philosophy of the organization, then just get out of their way.” And what organizational philosophy does he give them? Always take care of the boss. “Not me,” Moorehead jokes, “Mr. and Mrs. Boss–our customers.”
General Manager Carroll Stewart is a faithful steward of the company’s core values. “I’m his eyes,” says Stewart. “Our goal and mission is to make our customers feel valued and make our customers feel that they are a part of our organization.”
Together, Stewart and Jordan are now helping Moorehead hammer out his strategy for continued success, both in and outside of BMW of Sterling/MINI of Sterling. In the works are several deals to acquire more dealerships, including a Harley-Davidson dealership. Moorehead, in a joint venture with Marriott International Inc. and Integrated Capital L.L.C., is investing $39 million to build a Marriott Residence Inn Hotel in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which will open in April of 2008. Moorehead says that real estate will be his focus once he’s ready to retire from the dealership.
Retirement, however, is not pending. “My first goal is to run this dealership in a way that my fixed expenses will be covered out of my parts and service operation and I won’t have to depend on new car sales to make a profit. I think if we can just do the renovation and keep our costs in line, and if BMW continues to produce the right product for us–and so far they have been–we should be able to do that,” reveals Moorehead. Next, he wants to be in a position to sell 1,000 new MINIs and at least 2,289 new BMWs next year. He also hopes to increase used-car sales, which he hopes will be easier once the city extends a road past his dealership. “Drive-by traffic really helps used-car sales. With them opening up the street, the city estimates that 21,500 cars will be passing the dealership per day. I know once that happens we’ll be able to move our monthly used cars sold from around 43 to around 100. Lastly, Moorehead hopes to bill at least 10,000 service hours by the end of the year and