Dealer Magazine had the privilege of talking with Ryan Sodikoff, the General Manager and President of Steven Toyota in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The Sodikoff’s have been in the car business for three generations. They have a total of seven locations—three franchise dealerships in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which are Toyota, Kia, and Nissan, all under the name Steven, and four non-franchise used car points in Richmond, Virginia; Winchester, Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Tampa, Florida.
During the interview, Ryan provided insights into what makes a successful dealership in a smaller market and the universal traits of dealing with customers.
DEALER MAGAZINE: What is your approach to handling advice or suggestions from others in the industry? And what advice would you offer to someone managing a dealership or looking to enter the automotive industry?
Ryan Sodikoff: While I value different perspectives, I firmly believe in following my own path. When faced with decisions, I often hear various suggestions, but I choose to do things my way. This approach stems from my upbringing and the unique worldview imparted by my parents. My own experiences have shaped my ability to make informed decisions, even if they sometimes go against conventional wisdom.
For those managing a dealership or considering entering the industry, it’s crucial to be transparent and ask the right questions. Understand the dynamics of the place you’re entering. Not every operator is the same, and finding a good fit is essential. If you can’t connect with the right people or get the answers you need, it might not be the place for you.