Nick Price named to Automotive News’ Top 40 Under 40 list
From Automotive News
July 13, 2022
Nick Price might have his name on the side of the building, but the second-generation California dealer began his auto retailing career humbly — as a shuttle driver.
Over the past decade, Price has cycled through detailing, service and sales roles at the family-owned Price Simms group’s dozen stores.
That experience, he said, makes him a better leader.
“You learn not only how to do every job, but what everyone is thinking in each role,” said Price, now vice president of the Marin County, Calif.-based retailer. “That’s imperative so you can relate on a deeper level. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
The young dealer has proved to be a natural in the business.
In 2015, Price took over the group’s failing Ford Fairfield store. “It was kind of a broken store for us from a profitability standpoint,” he said. “Customer relations and employee relations just weren’t up to our standards.”
Price turned the store around in three years. The Northern California store went from a money loser to a profit generator and won its first Ford President’s Award in 2018. The store has won the award every year since.
“I’m a huge believer that happy and purposeful employees equal happy customers, which lead to financially successful dealerships,” Price said
More recently, Price expanded the group’s portfolio — helping launch Volvo-affiliate Polestar’s U.S. retail network.
Price, who opened Polestar’s first two domestic stores, said the decision to gamble on the Swedish EV startup was strategic. In Polestar’s Tesla-like online sales model, he saw the future direction of auto retailing.
“We wanted to get in that sandbox and learn how to operate in an online-first retail model,” Price said.
The Polestar franchise was a way for the dealership group to look at new digital retail models early and transfer those learnings to its other franchise stores.
While Price has taken after his dad, a self-made entrepreneur, he had different career aspirations.
A point guard on the University of San Diego basketball team, Price at one time wanted to become a college athletic director. But his experiences on and off the court now guide him in the showroom and boardroom.
“I was never the best player, but I always had a great sense of how the locker room is doing and how to pick people up who were having a bad day and find a way to make the team better,” Price said. “That’s something that I bring to our dealerships.”
By Urvaksh Karkaria
Via Automotive News