WILSON AUTOMOTIVE is a family of dealerships and related companies that specializes in the retail sales and service of vehicles. Included in these companies are seventeen automobile dealerships with locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico. These 18 international operations support more than 2,000 employees and produce over $2 billion dollars in retail sales annually, making Wilson Automotive one of the largest privately held auto groups in the nation. The organization is characterized by its emphasis on customer loyalty and retention, its outstanding reputation in the automotive industry, and its dedicated involvement in the local communities as a generous and supportive corporate citizen.
The Company had its beginnings in 1983 when David Wilson, the new general manager of Toyota of Orange, bought 25% of the dealership. Between 1983 and 1985, when Wilson purchased the dealership outright, sales volume increased from 2,500 vehicles per year and $30 million in sales to nearly 10,000 vehicles per year and over $200 million in sales. Since that time the organization has grown from that one Toyota dealership with 90 employees to encompass a group of 8 Toyota dealerships (including one in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), 2 Lexus dealerships, 4 Honda dealerships, 2 Ford dealerships, an Acura and a Mazda dealership.
The Company attributes it success and growth to its strong emphasis on customer loyalty. A large portion of the Company's business is due to return customers. Wilson Automotive realizes the necessity of building a relationship with our customers so they will return to our dealerships, and refer family and friends as well.
Of prime importance in building customer loyalty is first creating and maintaining employee loyalty. The Wilson philosophy is "take care of your employees; and they will take care of your customers." In an industry notorious for excessive employee turnover, Wilson Automotive associate retention is exceptional. As a result of our "Always Promote From Within" policy there is great opportunity for employee growth and advancement. The majority of management has been with the organization a minimum of 5 years, many as long as 25 or 30 years. Wilson Automotive believes and practices "treat employees as you want your customers to be treated. Satisfied employees create satisfied customers." The result of this philosophy is that Wilson Automotive is respected as a leader in the industry, and has been able to consistently grow while maintaining the personal relationships so important to employee and customer loyalty.
Wilson Automotive places strong emphasis on recruiting, training and retaining qualified professional employees. The Company's 401K plan and other extensive employee benefits are unique within the industry. This emphasis on taking care of our valuable associates increases employee motivation and satisfaction, which in turn promotes customer satisfaction. These quality associates continue to grow in knowledge, experience and value to the Company. As a result, there is always a need for management-level positions in which to place these individuals. While many dealerships are constantly searching for qualified employees, Wilson Automotive is searching for new dealerships in which to place its loyal, skilled, long-term employees. This is a benefit to the customer in many ways – including dealing with the same knowledgeable associates each time they return to their local Wilson dealership.
As more and more customers return to the Company's group of dealerships, the organization has expanded to meet customer demand. This has resulted in diversification to include an aftermarket distributorship, and domestic as well as import auto dealerships. As business has grown, the dealerships are upgrading showrooms and customer areas. Every facility is equipped with wi-fi for customer use. Several contain cafes and shopping boutiques (such as Tommy Bahama and Oakley) - one even features a putting green. These are just a few of the enhancements implemented at our dealerships in an effort to be a full-service automotive destination and to expand to meet all the needs of our customers.
In 2017 Wilson Automotive dealerships sold nearly 65,000 new and used retail units - and achieved the highest manufacturer awards for customer satisfaction. As it continues to grow and provide ever-expanding services for its customers and growth opportunities for its employees, Wilson Automotive is determined to remember that the customer is the lifeblood of any business, and that loyal employees and customers are any company's greatest assets.
A MILLION AND COUNTING
On August 15, 2015, at approximately 5:00 p.m. David Wilson became the first dealer in history to sell 500,000 (yes, that is half a million!) Toyota/Scion/Lexus vehicles. In typical fashion, Wilson celebrated by DONATING the 500,000th car, a Habanero Orange Prius c, to Orangewood Children's Foundation. Toyota honored David and his partners and corporate team for this achievement with a reception prior to the Toyota Dealer Meeting.
Less than two years later in August of 2017, Wilson Automotive sold their MILLIONTH automobile – of all makes and models. Once again, that milestone vehicle was donated to charity. It was auctioned at a fundraiser for children’s charities where David and Holly Wilson received the Golden Heart Award for their “leadership in doing good works and benefiting humanity.”
Wilson Automotive is a respected and prosperous business. However, its dealerships are also integral, generous contributors to their local communities. Each year they adopt worthy causes and charitable organizations – giving back to the communities that have made them successful. From sponsoring ads in local yearbooks and school programs, to building athletic fields and providing scholarships, to playing “secret Santa” and mysteriously paying off holiday lay-aways at local retailers, Wilson Automotive is known as a company that cares. Whether selling a car or feeding the homeless, Wilson associates care about their communities and are dedicated to making a difference.