Findlay Chevrolet fixed operations director Tony Smith knows firsthand that the service department is a key component of the car business.
Affiliated with the dealership for the past 14 years, Smith grew up in the retail business before jumping into the car business as a service writer in late 1996. From there, he was in commercial car sales before joining Saturn of Henderson in 2005.
“Once I got to Saturn of Henderson, I gained the most respect of anywhere I have worked,” Smith said. “Kevin Hicks gave me a chance to become parts and service director at Saturn of Henderson, and both of us came to Findlay Chevrolet.”
Over the years, Smith has had several positions with dealerships, but the service end of the business has been his most enjoyable.”
“I really enjoy getting to know the people whether we’re talking about service or sales,” Smith said. “You learn over the years that treating customers correctly is the utmost of importance. If and when they are having a bad day, we work hard to get their faith and their trust.
“You just need to sit and listen to people. It’s very psychological. I believe in the Findlay family so much that I’m sure I will conclude my career here.”
Smith predicts the car business will face major changes in the near future.
“I see some changes in the industry,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is finding technicians. In addition, I see the car business moving heavily to electric cars. It’s going to change so much over the next few years.”
Findlay Chevrolet General Manager Doug Fleming praises Smith.
“Tony is a true professional and a major asset to our dealerships and team,” Fleming said. “He is an extremely qualified professional who knows and understands fixed operations. He is also a veteran who has earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix.”
Smith has no problem finding happy customers in the Findlay Chevrolet service department.
“We go back quite a while at the old Saturn dealership in Henderson,” said David Ruffino, a retired crime scene analyst supervisor with the Metropolitan Police Department. “I have always liked Tony and the people that work for him. When he moved to the position he has now, I went to him for my service at Findlay Chevrolet. They have always provided me with excellent service.”
“I really think they’re probably the best,” said George Kelesis, a tax attorney for 37 years. “I was born and raised in this town so I know all of them, and I can tell you that there’s nobody better here than Tony and his people. All we drive in Las Vegas are Chevrolets, and we go to Tony for all of our service work. Tony demands excellence and expects a high standard of all of the people there. If you’re not satisfied, Tony will make it right taking care of us.”
About the dealer
Situated just south of the 215 Beltway near Jones Boulevard, Findlay Chevrolet is part of Findlay Automotive Group founded by the late Pete Findlay in 1961. The umbrella of 33 dealerships now includes stores in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California and Arizona.