NJ CAR would like to congratulate Robert Sickel, Vice president of Pine Belt Enterprises in Lakewood, NJ, for being featured in the Automotive News’ fifth annual 40 Under 40 list of up-and-comers in the automotive retailing industry. Rob was selected from several hundred candidates nominated, and is the only New Jersey retailer on this year’s list. Automotive News staff reviewed career information supplied by the nominees and created its list.
Rob is a third generation dealer. His grandfather, Leon, founded the dealership in 1937. His father, David, is still the Dealer Principal but is handing more and more responsibility for day-to-day operations to Rob, who worked at the family’s Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep and Subaru dealerships from 2003 until 2008, when he opened an athletic clothing store. He found his way back to the dealership chain in 2012, following Hurricane Sandy and a health issue with his father.
Rob has helped Pine Belt increase net profit, sales of new and used cars and service and parts gross profit by tightening control of expenses, using customer relationship management tools on employee cellphones, and making every employee responsible for following leads and generating business. Rob also set up a business development center that has salespeople, business development specialists and managers all working together.
Pine Belt has also taken advantage of technological advances, and began sending videos to service customers via email or text message in early 2015. Customers love the personalized touch, and it has resulted in more people keeping their appointments and an increase in service sales. Rob is looking to utilize video chat more in the future so potential customers can speak “face-to-face” with a dealership employee.
Please join NJ CAR in congratulating Rob on his inclusion on the Automotive News’ 40 Under 40 list.