October 23, 2017 – Walser Automotive Group, which operates 23 dealerships in Minnesota and Kansas, has restructured its senior management team to focus on growth, new opportunities and unique customer experience initiatives. Paul Walser, who has led the company as CEO for 20 years, will shift his focus to acquisitions and OEM relationships. He will also continue his work on the Board of Directors of the National Auto Dealers Association as the representative for Minnesota auto dealers.
Under Paul’s leadership, the Walser business model evolved from a traditional negotiating model to a ‘one price’ model starting in 2000. In subsequent years, Walser changed its recruiting strategy for sales professionals, focusing on non-commission compensation, 40-hour work weeks and an improved work- life balance. Additionally, Walser eliminated the traditional finance office and developed a new operating system whereby a customer works with only one team member from greeting to final vehicle delivery. Walser knows customers expect transparency, fairness and speed, and all of the changes it has pioneered through the years are based on finding new ways to help customers with all of their automotive research, buying and servicing needs.
In light of Paul’s transition, Andrew Walser has assumed the role of CEO. Like his brother Paul, Andrew grew up in the family business and has held nearly every position in the company. He has been the chief visionary behind Walser’s digital marketing initiative, new and used vehicle operations, and the company’s leading end-to-end service experience. Andrew’s primary focus has always been on eliminating customer aggravations in the sales and service experience, with the goal of reducing transaction times while enabling a more transparent and “Customer First” process. This unique focus has produced continued market share growth, industry-leading customer satisfaction scores and record-setting used car volumes. Andrew is currently heading an internal team developing proprietary technology that overhauls how Walser’s sales professionals guide customers through the buying process in-store with the expectation that soon such technology will also allow customers to purchase vehicles online and complete all necessary paperwork from the comfort of their home or office.
The result of all these initiatives continues to be a world-class customer experience that is unmatched in the automotive retail world. Full pricing transparency on the internet, on the sales lot and in the dealership, along with a no-hassle returns policy, makes shopping for vehicles fun and stress-free at Walser.
Aided by acquisition in 2016 and 2017, Walser has doubled in size and plans for further expansion going forward. To guide the company and manage such organic and acquisition-driven growth, Walser is proud to announce that several new members are joining its Senior Management Team:
• Candice Crane returns to the company as Chief Talent Officer. Previously, Candice headed Recruiting and HR and was responsible for designing the sales compensation and recruiting strategy. Most recently, she was VP of dealer solutions at Hireology and is an active nationwide speaker about innovation and change in the automotive industry.
• Fiona Lennox has joined as Walser’s Chief Strategy Officer. As a specialist in business design and development, social/cultural assessment and employee engagement, she brings a wealth of knowledge working with small startups as well as large multi-national companies.
• Charles Marentette joined as the Chief Financial Officer. He has held various financial leadership positions including Investor Relations and FP&A for Delphi Automotive and Best Buy. Most recently, he was the controller for a leading SaaS-based HCM provider Ceridian.
• Robert Miller has joined the team as Chief Operating Officer. Robert most recently was Senior Vice President at Advantage & EZ Rent-A-Car in charge of fleet buying and selling, as well as operations. He has also held SVP positions in inventory optimizations and services at Best Buy, been a CFO of multiple business units, and worked for several investment banks in New York City providing merger, acquisition and restructuring advice to retailers worldwide.
In support of the Senior Management Team, Jessica Monson joins the Walser team as General Counsel and Secretary. Jessica spent over 10 years serving as legal counsel at Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company, most recently as VP of Business Development & Legal Affairs. Jessica provides legal counsel to the company on a variety of areas including commercial transactions, consumer protection, intellectual property, advertising and marketing, real estate and finance.
About Walser Automotive Group
Walser Automotive Group is a family owned business started in 1954 by Jack Walser. Walser operates dealerships in Minnesota and Kansas, representing Acura, AMG, Audi, Buick, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mini, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Sprinter, Subaru and Toyota.
PR and Communications Director
Walser Automotive Group
7700 France Ave S Edina, MN 55435
Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.