Brian Spangler, Karl Chevrolet Buick GMC Webster City and Karl Chevrolet Stuart

November 30, 2022
ASOTU was on the ground with Brian Spangler during the 2022 800% Elite Automotive Club Retreat.
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Brian Spangler is the Managing Partner at Karl Chevrolet Buick GMC Webster City and Karl Chevrolet Stuart.

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In The Dirt with ASOTU.

Paul Daly: 0:04

Got a new friend Brian Spangler. Welcome to In The Dirt with ASOTU.

Brian Spangler: 0:08

Thanks for having me guys.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:09

Glen Lundy said you're the largest car dealership in the in the world.

Paul Daly: 0:13

Not quite. Oh, he said going to be going to be, which is what he says about everyday works. You are going to be the largest. I'll do my best when Monday. That's pretty good.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:24

Okay, a little too gritty. Brian. So tell us a little bit about your store where you're at in the country, like give the people the background.

Brian Spangler: 0:32

So, Carl Moyer, he has Carl Chevrolet out of Inc, in Iowa, and been in business for over 40 years, and opened a second location in 2018. And then I was just a young car guy that bought a lot of cars from him. And he asked if I told him I told him, I was gonna go purchase a Chevy Buick GMC dealership, and I asked him if I gotta have His blessing to get the Buick and the GMC customers to come my way how they use so much having that, but like, oh, I liked you until you said that. So he said, How about how about you just come over and run a Chevy store. And I had three used car lots at the time and closed one one used car lot down went over with no idea really 100% what I was doing in the new car world and just jumped into a general manager role. And here we are today. And it's grown into a partnership that I appreciate greatly. We've had to use car stores plus the plus the Chevy dealership and come to me one day and said hey, what are we going to do with these used car lots and I said, seems to be going okay, and long story short,

Paul Daly: 1:51

I think they might be worth $1 Or two.

Brian Spangler: 1:54

So long story short, we just we went back full circle, and we bought the Chevy Buick GMC dealership that I wanted to do so. So we closed the close to the used car lot and Webster City push my people over to that store. And now we get to Chevy dealerships and the used car lot and he's bought a Ford dealership and a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and another Buick GMC Wow, all in four years. I mean, from one one dealership to seven, so I'm just a managing partner of three of them with them. And it's a it's two paths crossed, you know, it was fire and fuel that just, he's at 81 years old. And and he's probably the best mentor in the car business I've ever had. So it was just ran into a really good opportunity and hard work paid off. Okay, so

Kyle Mountsier: 2:45

you've been you know, started as independent used cars, that type of thing, and then it got in the franchise have gone back and forth and still have legs and both what are the learnings that like cross or that cross or that were the hardest, maybe on the franchise side to kind of like, bring some of your experience to.

Brian Spangler: 3:04

So so when I was when I was at the used car dealership, I was just a used car guy, I'd go to the auction, I bring the cars back, I didn't have a full service department. So I kind of did that independent service stations around the area there. And then you know, when you go into the new car world of it, you go from owning one business to now owning five businesses, right? I have a used car store, I have a new car store, I have a body shop a parts department and this department in the service department. So it's like, I never

Paul Daly: 3:37

thought of it that way. Yeah, so five businesses,

Kyle Mountsier: 3:39

sometimes they run almost too much like that.

Paul Daly: 3:44

Right? Shrek is the real secret.

Brian Spangler: 3:49

So that's true. So luckily, I don't I don't really have a problem with that my guys do work pretty well together. And it's, you know, all the way down to just new cars, selling accessories, getting those guys to understand that, that helps your service department in your parts department. It's just and then, you know, it just all comes hand in hand. So that was quite the learning curve for me because I ran one business and I pretty much knew exactly what was going on in that business day to day front to back, buy and sell and servicing. I knew exactly what was going on. And now, you know, now you go to you know, you have 80 employees at one store and I just got guys I trust to do the job and then they do it and then you know, their funding then comes up on the deal. We talk about it, we figure it out. And we have meetings weekly. So, you know with all the general managers and they're all great guys. I learned stuff from him every week. We sponge off of each other and you know, it's a Glenn was right when he said we're going to be the biggest we are on our way to do that. But gratulations we haven't got there yet, but we got big, big goals ahead of us. And you know, I think that But what setting up to be a nightmare for others is setting up to be a great future for us. We've

Kyle Mountsier: 5:06

heard that theme through a few people in this in this series of like 800%. Club dealers, it's kind of like, it's kind of like everybody else is like, in my mind really might be in for it in 2023. And it's not because of any it's actually not because of anything else. But us because of like, we're the reason why they're in for it. And I love like everybody kind of smirks Exactly. Like if you listen to the audio, there's this kind of like, we're ready, we've put down the work we've put, so what what is the last especially year look like for you in putting down the bricks that are prepping for this, like, we're ready, we're gonna take advantage of this next season.

Brian Spangler: 5:46

People when we got good people in all areas of the dealership and communication with each other. It's not perfect. I mean, nothing's perfect, but it's what we do with the parts of it that aren't perfect. I mean, it's what we're learning from today. And, you know, there was even, you know, with being involved with Glenn here in the past, probably, oh, I'd say probably nine to 12 months ago, I was telling my team that, you know, the process, we have to dial it in, we have to make sure stuff strong. And, and we're good. And I mean, we had meetings last week on this word, good. Everybody sees us as great. But we have to understand internally, we're good. But we we we have a brand that deserves great. And everybody needs to understand that. And it's only one way of doing business. And that's the right way. So it's gotten Carl really far. It's taken our dealerships to numbers that, you know, are off the chart and continuing to grow. So it's a it's a bright future ahead of us. So you said

Paul Daly: 6:48

that you have big plans for 2023. And beyond what are the big plans? Or what is the summary the big plans, so the other dealers out there can hear hear about the swing and why.

Brian Spangler: 6:58

So so my Stuart star 200 has always been the number and we pre COVID Hit 160. And then give me every excuse, it's inventories, people, yeah, whatever, whatever. You want to hear what everybody else says too. But if, if there's a will, there's a way and we're gonna hit 200 at that store, we the Webster City location. You know, we bought that 17 months ago, and they were doing 30 a month, and we're gonna hit 100 and probably 30 this month. Oh, yeah. So, so that store there, I just set a five year goal of 300, we want to get that and then the used car store. I mean, we're pretty consistent at 40. But we'd like to get that up to 100. We just built a new facility. So there's a lot of irons in the fire, a lot of things going on, but it's fun, man, keeps you

Kyle Mountsier: 7:51

busy. You know, Glenn was saying earlier, it's like, it's just time once you get to that once you know where you're headed. It's like tiny little levers like you know, what then needs to be pulled. And maybe you're gonna test things here and there. But it's just, like, tiny little levers as you go. Is there a tiny lever that you're pulling this month or next month that you're like, I'm just testing this thing out?

Brian Spangler: 8:16

Yeah, I've pulled some accountability levers.

Paul Daly: 8:22

Like he's like, My people feel like they're getting accountability lever.

Brian Spangler: 8:28

It's more so just because, you know, I know, when we hired the people that we hired, I know, I got great people. And if they just aren't living up to their potential to be great. That's not leverage, you know, it's Let's go boys. And ladies, it's just time to win is what it is. So that's kind of where we, where we, where we stand with it. It's just, you know, it's full speed ahead. And I do look forward to the times ahead. I mean, I do some dealers probably don't, but I, I just look, I look forward to being a dealer among people that might not be dealers, and like right now, everyone, everybody thinks they're dealers right now. And it's there's a lot of people that weren't dealers before, and there's gonna be more dealers that aren't dealers after

Paul Daly: 9:17

Wow, that's pretty good shot.

Brian Spangler: 9:23

In your efforts that you put in are gonna shine down the road here. So it's gonna be a refiners fire, for sure. Yeah. And I look forward to I think there's a lot of good guys in this group that are going to grow 800% Over the next three to five years. I can see it happening. So

Paul Daly: 9:38

Well, Brian, I think you just put a little steel and a lot of people spine by Just Your confidence. And you're saying like, hey, everyone's not going to be standing at the end of this, but I will be and you can be too. Yep. Right. And that's good. I feel that like the accountability and the message of like, you gotta want it. If you want it, you can get it. Exactly. Well, thanks for spending some time with us. Best of luck to you can't wait to see what you do in 2023. Thanks. Traveling.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:01

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 at 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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