It's a busy Tuesday afternoon and Findlay Toyota Used Car Manager Rob Martin has a phone on one ear and a pile of paperwork in front of him. A 25-year veteran of the car business, Martin is running at a drag race pace in a business that is not only demanding but addictive at the same time. The hours are long, the demands are numerous and his door is swinging open every 30 seconds as fellow executives and sales consultants fly into his office seeking prices or appraisals.
"It gets in your blood, that's for sure," said Martin, who was born in Ohio and grew up in San Diego before moving to Las Vegas almost three years ago. "The car business is all about people and making sure they get what they want in a timely fashion, whether it's employees or guests."
It was Martin's wife, Kim, who led the family around the country while she was a college athlete and softball coach. With stops in Madison, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, S.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and finally Las Vegas, the pair has seen its fair share of the United States.
"My wife is the star of the family," said Martin, who landed a job in the car business in every city. "She was one of the top five hockey players in Canada in the early 1990s and she's also a four-time All-American in softball.
"The car business looks easy, but it's not," he said. "I have been doing this for a long time and I think I have good energy. When I moved to town, someone from UNLV told me I should call (Findlay Toyota part owner and General Manager) Rich Abajian. I started the next day and haven't looked back since. When someone works as hard as Rich does, you can't help but want to have the same level of pride."
When Martin accepted his latest position, he immediately set goals, a definite requirement when working in the car business.
"This is a goal-driven dealership. My goal is to be No. 1 in Toyota Certified in the region that includes more than 70 dealerships. This is a team goal because we cannot reach our goals without teamwork.
"We have a great staff. Our dealership strives for top customer satisfaction and we have strong backing that starts with Cliff Findlay, Rich and General Sales Manager John Barr. We have a great core and an outstanding service department.
"You have to have a great service department. To get to be No. 1, you have to do things the right way - no short cuts. The path of least resistance gets you nowhere."
Findlay Toyota, at 7733 Eastgate Road in the Valley Automall, is part of Findlay Automotive Group, which was founded more than 50 years ago by the late Pete Findlay, whose son, Cliff Findlay, now spearheads new and used car dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Idaho. For more information, call 702-566-2000 or visit www.findlaytoyota.com.
Further information about the Findlay Automotive Group can be found by visiting www.findlayauto.com.