Comment, Dealerships, Management Workshop, News ,

A SENIOR motor industry executive in the UK is warning that the agency sales model may see the loss of the “rare and special breed” of entrepreneurial players in dealerships along with their skills.

Dale Wyatt, director of Suzuki in the UK and Ireland, who has been a critic of the agency model (click here), said that as OEMs and dealers are scrambling to restructure their business model, “the winners will be those who can evolve and build organisational capability”.

“This is a challenge and it is becoming clear that when implementing the agency model OEMs will need to fill the potential void left by the traditional dealer model and develop an entrepreneurial mindset themselves.

“This can only be achieved if they employ entrepreneurs or seek out existing employees who become the intrapreneurs in the business,” Mr Wyatt said on social media.

Dale Wyatt, director of Suzuki in the UK and Ireland during a video presentation to Suzuki dealers urging dealers to ‘burn their boats’ on agency

“Typically entrepreneurs feel trapped in a corporate environment and often decide to tread their own path.

“In the automotive sector they go on to become dealers, consultants, trainers and suppliers.

“These people are a rare and special breed. They are difficult to manage and support in a corporate environment.

“This is the core reason why I champion the franchise model and actively choose to work with entrepreneurial dealers in a way that enables them to express themselves.

“Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are not afraid to shake up their surroundings and they are constantly looking for new ways to change how their workplace is run.

I enjoy the challenge of working with them because they are…

  • Results driven
  • Ambitious
  • Creative
  • Original
  • Self confident
  • Risk tolerant
  • Persistent
  • Influencers
  • High energy
  • Action orientated
  • Innovative

“These special individuals are the engine to our future company success,” Mr Wyatt said.

“They are the drivers of the new and exciting ideas that hold the potential to reshape and revolutionise our industry.

“However these people can ignore advice, make mistakes and upset the status quo.

“They can be disruptive, disrespectful of the management chain of command and in the corporate world they are often fired because of a perceived lack-of-fit.”

Describing their “rare and special traits”, he said they were:

  • Ambitious = over-zealous
  • Creativen= will not follow the crowd
  • Persistent = pushy 
  • Self confident = egotistical
  • Innovative = dreamer
  • Risk tolerant = bends the rules

“So, if you are about to part company with a difficult-to-manage dealer, challenging supplier or a disruptive employee, my advice is to take a breath and make sure that you have not misjudged the situation.

“You could be about to lose the very type of person or business partner your organisation needs right now,” he said.

Read more:

UK dealers urged to “burn their boats” on agency

By John Mellor