Ashley Cavazos, Director of Digital Performance, Walser Automotive Group

February 23, 2023
ASOTU was on the ground during the 2023 NADA Show and caught up with Ashley Cavazos.
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Ashley Cavazos is the Director of Digital Performance at Walser Automotive Group.

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In the Dirt with ASOTU. Ashley Cavazos here standing with me at the Automotive News retail forum. Ashley is a good friend of the ASOTU community. But also, congrats to being a 40 under 40 winner this year, right? That is a big deal. Tell me how that whole process is felt. And just like everything wrapped up in being in that ecosystem.

Ashley Cavazos: 0:27

It's very surreal to be here today. So I'm from Texas, right? We're in my home state of Texas, accepting 40 under 40, my hometown is five hours away. It's a seven month university, my grandma passed away. So there's so many emotions going on right now. And it's just very surreal. Like, you know, God puts us in places for a reason. And this whole process has been incredible. And the cheerleaders that have been here through this journey and throughout my, you know, just years in automotive, it's been pretty, pretty awesome. Like, I have no words. I just feel super blessed right now.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:57

That's awesome. You shared in our Saturday highlight of your email of yours, this kind of journey from Texas to Minneapolis and, and just the change that you've had to go through and then the discovery of kind of new business patterns and things that you're encouraging the Walser group with, what, what are some of those key things over the last couple years that you've just been so celebratory of and what you've been able to impact that organization?

Ashley Cavazos: 1:23

It's a crazy time for the industry. I joined Walser right before the 2020 pandemic. And it was it was insane. For a lot of people, I actually relocated to Wichita, Kansas, right when everything happened, we needed some help in our luxury campus. They never had any digital process implemented. They weren't texting customers, they weren't sending videos. And so I moved and relocated like on March 30, to Wichita, when everybody's like, buckled down at home, right. I'm like, Nope, I'm going to Kansas. And, and we work through video, we work through texting our customers communicating with them with where they are, which is a lot of what I've done through this whole journey over the past few years coming back to Minnesota overseeing our Minnesota stores and helping them do digital transformation. For one point of contact, we expect a lot out of our salespeople. Yeah, right. Like there was there's heavy jobs, or they have to do when they're the most important people, them and technicians. So those are your revenue drivers, right? So we have to give them a lot of care, we got to wrap our arms around them, help them, you know, just shift with the market. And so that's what I've been working on is just, here's where our customers aren't, here's what we need to do. So

Kyle Mountsier: 2:26

Now that's the business side. But I know that Walser cares so much about the people side, and you've been fortunate to help lead the women. And while Women of Walser initiative, which I love so much, can you just tell us a little bit about what that is what it does for your company? And then what it also is doing kind of for the industry?

Ashley Cavazos: 2:41

Yeah. So you know, we talk a lot about DEI, you know, what are we doing, and in an automotive group, you really got to put your money where your mouth is. And that's where we're fortunate with our owner and our leadership, they really invest in Women of Walser, and our Drive with Pride. We also have our Faith and Understanding group and now we're getting ready to launch an Agent Alliance group as well. So I mean, we're just we're wanting our people to know that we see you, we hear you, we want you to bring your whole self to work. So as Women of Walser are like, I've been overseeing the Business Development Committee for our board. And so one of my big initiatives was bringing up our leaders and developing them and helping them see also like, who can you help to be here? Somebody helped me be here. Can you do that same thing for somebody else? So

Kyle Mountsier: 3:23

yeah, I love that. So what are you right now kind of you're at NADA, you're, you know, seeing what's around. But also, you've probably got things that you're working on headed into 2023? What are your What are your big objectives? What are you trying to accomplish, to work with the group to make sure that business stays like the top of class next year,

Ashley Cavazos: 3:42

It's a little hard for me to be at NADA, to be honest, because I am working on such a huge project right now. And I had to walk away from that while also we get back on Sunday, we're opening up a new point, this coming week. So like I've been working on that behind the scenes, I'm launching a whole new digital showroom process with our stores, working really closely with our good friend Erika Wells on this and just trying to understand the customer. We've gotten things have been easy for us, right? And we've heard a lot before, good times, you learn bad habits and bad times you learn good habits. And so we really have to dial in our process. We have to dial in our people and help meet our customers where they are and help educate them too right interest rates are high. Used car market is changing. So we have to make sure that we're shifting with that. And that's what I'm working on is just how do we deliver that experience to our customers?

Kyle Mountsier: 4:28

Awesome. Well, you are constant encouragement to me and to the automotive community. Thanks for hanging out with us today. And again, congratulations on on winning the 40 under 40.

Ashley Cavazos: 4:36

Thank you for all that y'all do in ASOTU and bringing us all together like this. A lot of times I think we're all left apart, right? We don't get to know each other Thanks to ASOTU. We're all connecting. We all get to share our minds and kind of just make the industry a better place.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:47

Thank you for listening to In the Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for ASOTU dot com that's a s o t We put our heart and soul into it every day thanks again for listening join us next time for more Conversations in the dirt with ASOTU.

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