By Navar Watson
Dealership owner Terry Lee always has a plan, and he always sticks to it. Now, he’s one of the most successful businessmen in Indiana.
For the third year, Terry Lee Honda in Avon has ranked in the Top 100 car dealerships to work for out of 17,000 in the United States, according to Automotive News. And he anticipates his new Noblesville business, Terry Lee Hyundai, to make the list next year.
He attributed his Automotive News Awards to the family-like culture he strives to portray.
“We talk about treating people like family. … It’s kind of a common thing that people hear, but it’s again practicing what you preach,” he said. “It’s not a marketing slogan. It’s really a culture.”
Terry Lee Hyundai in Noblesville, which opened in March, has already become the number one Hyundai dealership in the state. The $8 million facility had a planning potential to sell 400 cars per year, and Lee estimates selling from 800 to 1,000 this year.
What separates Lee’s dealerships from others, however, is not price or vehicle quality. Instead, it’s the focus on customer satisfaction, a lesson he learned from mentor and late Cadillac dealer, Freda Lockhart.
“I think today people love to buy, but they hate to be sold,” Lee said. “We try and adapt to the way they want to buy the car rather than make the customer adapt to the way we want to sell it.”
Lee started off at Tom Wood before opening up a Chevrolet dealership in Cincinnati. In a market of 32 stores, Lee’s store made it to number one before he sold it in 2008 and began work on Terry Lee Honda in Avon.