In the car business, running a dealership can be a challenge.
Veteran automobile executive John Saksa faced that challenge, and recently doubled his efforts.
With 30 years of experience in the industry, Saksa has been the general manager for Findlay Cadillac for the past seven years. In July, he was appointed to the same position with Findlay Fiat.
The two dealerships are only a few yards from one another (the Cadillac dealership is at 993 Auto Show Drive while the Fiat store is at 210 N. Gibson Road, both in the Valley Automall).
The dealerships are part of Findlay Automotive Group, one of Nevada’s largest independently owned operations.
The Cadillac dealership has an underground service area and a 200,000 square-foot facility; it is the top producing store of its kind in General Motors’ Western region.
Saksa, who has been with the Findlay group for 13 years, tackled his new assignment with enthusiasm, just as he did when he ran the old Findlay Oldsmobile dealership several years ago.
“There’s no question that running two stores is a major challenge,” Saksa said. “But I can tell you that I’m really enjoying it especially since we have a great team in both stores.”
He said overseeing Cadillac and Fiat products presents him with the best of both worlds from a philosophical standpoint.
“This really appeals to two price categories. On one hand, I have vehicles in the $60,000 range for the Cadillac brand and on other end of the spectrum, we have Fiats starting at $16,000.
“You might say that the two stores present a unique pair of challenges, but I think it’s assignments like these that make the car business so fascinating. There are no two days alike in the car business and you could say that’s really the case with being general manager of two stores; and I never turn down a challenge.”
Those who know Saksa expressed their faith in his talents to run two dealerships. Findlay Automotive Group Chief Operating Officer Tyler Corder made the decision to put Saksa in charge of the two stores and said he has the utmost of confidence in him.
“John has been with the Findlay organization for over a decade,” Corder said. “He has grown Findlay Cadillac into one of the top Cadillac dealerships in the Western U.S. He also has put together a great team of loyal employees. The results have been outstanding at Cadillac and we wanted to give John the opportunity to do the same for Fiat. We’re expecting great things at Findlay Fiat under John’s direction.”
Among Saksa’s fans and customers is Bernadette Carrizzo, who traded in her 2008 Cadillac for a 2013 Fiat Sport.
“I love my car,” said Carrizzo, a local hotel executive. “John found me a really good deal on the Fiat and I couldn’t turn it down. There’s not a nicer man than John Saksa.”
Findlay Automotive Group was founded more than 50 years ago by the late Pete Findlay, whose son, Cliff Findlay, now spearheads 27 automobile dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Arizona.