Tony Lucas

October 3, 2023
Tony Lucas and Jordan Cox sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2023.
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Tony Lucas is the Pre-Owned Director at Casa Automotive Group.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

Paul Daly: 0:02You're listening to a soda con sessions by effective live from a soda con 2023.

Jordan Cox: 0:09

Thanks for tuning the next episode of a soda con sessions presented by effective and we had a chance to catch up with Tony Lucas, who is the pre owned director over at Casa Auto Group and you've got a really cool history. So you were born and raised in Brazil, born in Brazil, and then you you move to the United States at what age 18 years old. Okay, and one of the things that really resonated with me that, you know, kind of hit home was everything you do is to prove that others can do it, too.

Tony Lucas: 0:39

Yeah, I mean, third world country born and raised in Brazil, first language, Portuguese come to United States without knowing English. I started as a as a porter restaurants and cars, you know, picking up cigarette butts and all this stuff. And now, and very quickly with this dream of, man, if I can just learn enough English to sell a car that seems pretty cool, you know, yours fun to me just like a fail cars and share. You know, I got to do all your changes and moved on to learn a little bit of the body shop and sanding Bondo. And so you really have done a lot. Oh, yeah, yeah, I fell in love with the business so fast. And honestly fell in love with the opportunity to be in a great country. And, you know, a great business I just thought was so cool. You know, I was born in Brazil seemed like this cool cars and stuff that we don't have down in Brasilia. Now all of a sudden detail on them.

Jordan Cox: 1:35

Yeah, I was too eager to see all the cool cars all the time. I know,

Tony Lucas: 1:38

you're just too exciting to me. And I fell in love with the business. You know, and just, I was born that dream of like, Man, I just want to sell cars and you know, get involved with all the businesses and very quickly notice, like, I won't be able to do that if I don't learn English. So that was kind of like a challenge. And

Jordan Cox: 2:00

how did you learn English?

Tony Lucas: 2:03

By doing it caches, you know, going out and doing on the beginning of gesturing and like, in you know, in learning music and movies and things like this, and friends, and I just really want it really bad. So, to your point. Throughout my life, I very quickly realize or lead on whenever I accomplish all these things. And, and, you know, done a lot. I realize my existence I exist to show people that everything in life is posture, you know, like, it doesn't matter where you come from doesn't matter. What you don't know, you can learn. You know, everything's possible. Yeah.

Jordan Cox: 2:42

So what about your experience? Like, was there a culture shock when you first came to the United States?

Tony Lucas: 2:48

Absolutely. You know, a lot of challenges there. Being an immigrant, for whatever reason, the very beginning, there was things that knew, but I couldn't explain. I couldn't see him, you know, can walk through the subject, whatever. And very quickly, people like he doesn't know. And I was like, Well, I know, I know how to explain this in Portuguese. But nobody, you know, at the time, there was sometimes there was, you know, struggle and upset and like calm and like, you know, but now I'm very grateful for the for that journey, that it was a great last and legal journey. And life is good.

Jordan Cox: 3:31

Yeah. So Tony, one of the things obviously we stand for here to SOTU is collaboration, not just like on your own team, but also throughout the industry at automotive retailers across the country. Yeah. One of the names you brought up was David Long. Yeah. All things use cars every Friday. Yeah. And you tune in every week, don't you? Yeah. But it's cool that you can get together with a couple 100 people, every Friday morning. Let's see for you. It's 8am. Right. Yeah, yeah. So

Tony Lucas: 3:55

8am or 7am? Or seven past so Mountain Time? That's right. Yeah. So 7am

Jordan Cox: 3:59

your time? Yeah. Everybody can get together for an hour, every week and just grow together. Yeah. And kind of like learn new things. So what what was it first that got you into clubhouse for all things used cars,

Tony Lucas: 4:10

you know, to the same my whole path and career in life. I believe that you can always learn you feel when you can learn from anybody. You know, like, I'm sure if I go out to my lot right now and get in my Porter and ask him some questions about my sales operation. I bet I can learn some things from him. So whenever I heard that, man, some people getting together to talk about use cars, and you know, like people from all kinds of like, you know, vendors and dealers and commenters with a new comment that does a ton of different people. It just got me really excited because that's what I believe in. It's like a man I want to hear. I want to learn. I want to hear what people have to say. It's what you stand for. And it kind of kind of kind of get addictive where it's like man, I can't wait for Friday to tune in and see if I can pick up something you No. Yeah, you know, I think it's like everything else. Less things are not all that great. And they things are like this jams are like, Oh man, that was so good. You know, you play mentum and I mean, I've learned a lot out of the out of the clubhouse. I think probably David or any of those folks know

Jordan Cox: 5:19

Yeah. And it's also cool Tony to have all things use cars every week and then to have an event like this we can get together in person and meet people you've been connected with online for like ever. Yeah, so I mean, I've always seen you in all things use cars. I've been tempted them LinkedIn for a while, but it's so cool to like officially meet you and be with you. There's just something about like the impersonal aspect that I love. The growing the networking, the true collaboration, like, I don't know, I just I feel like you're my brother and I just met you, you know,

Tony Lucas: 5:44

I feel like even David Long and I never met him in person. early on. It sounds like we'd like hugging. It's like we know each other for a long time to

Jordan Cox: 5:52

go crazy, though. Right? That's and it's always that growth and collaboration together every week. Yeah, yeah. Well, what has been one of your favorite things about a soda con so far? I know. We're only about halfway through day one. We still got the rest of today and then tomorrow. But what has been one of the favorite things you've had or a key takeaway you've had?

Tony Lucas: 6:08

Honestly, I I've been in a lot of these conferences and I've spoken some podcasts like this and I think what it's the most attractive to me Yeah. When I'm going to another state of the union it's division. Right? love people more than you love cars I that's what I believe in. That's why I exist so love people show them that everything in life is possible. That's what a company value we value of people, you know, we we we do business to redefine the car business by respecting people loving people do a try. So I think the message of just capture me love people more than you love cars. I mean, it's just so simple. But, you know, every every conversation I have with anybody from from automotive to union, you always the message has always come back to people in that's just fantastic to me.

Jordan Cox: 7:00

Yeah. So obviously, there's a lot of things there. It's, it's the fact that people really, they might seem like problems most days, but they're not. It's actually they're the solution to everything they are and the fact that you can go through and connect with them. And I'm not even talking about building your team, but like the customer experience to you look at the entire customer experience from the moment that they contact you to go through with that and even have the right vehicles. So I gotta ask you this too. As a pre owned car director, what does your day look like? What is your week look like? What is your month look like? Man? That's That's because every there's a lot Porter out there right now that just start in this industry. Yeah, that wants to be where you're at?

Tony Lucas: 7:38

That's right. That's a cool question. I get asked that a lot, especially when they heard Oh, man, like from Brazil, no English reporter to use codirector and all these things. You know, like, they asked, How do you get there? I'm not gonna lie to you, I never really have the silver bullet answer that people typically expect. It's a lot of hard work. Sure. You know, it's a lot of hard work and dedication. So my day looks just like that. It's, it's busy. It's a lot. I don't sleep as much as people do. Or you should. But, you know, I'm just so passionate about the business. I spend my time. You know, like, a lot of people will disagree with me on this. I really don't have a balanced life. I really don't. It's all mixed up. Like my personal life with car business life. It's all mixed together. Yeah. It's because you love it. So you won't work any other way. For me, you know, like most people, I think in life, they find jobs. And they they jump from one job to the other and, and when they they die and they live life like this or some other people find a career, right which is beautiful, they some volume that you they stick with it, and to grow it and they some people define a calling and and I think that's what I am life. I I think that's my calling to build people up your two careers. Like you said, you know, a port is important to me, because that's why I started. I know, you know, whenever I talk to a port, sometimes they don't even know they don't even know what's possible in life. You know, like they don't know their gene. You know, I think I exist to show that to people like you, you know, you can't they some more in life, they scream out there graders always available. So my day to yeah, I'll wake up in the morning. Very passionate about this first thing I do. I'm looking at emails and looking at some wholesale transactions and things like this and I drink a lot of coffee. You know? You know, I just we have a stores and just last week we just acquired for more. So like I'm all over the stores from El Paso to New Mexico and drive around and you know, he's just he's just very busy all throughout the day.

Jordan Cox: 9:50

Yeah. And that's what your day looks like your week looks like Wash, rinse, repeat. What would you say? Let's say look back on your entire career transition from order now. pre owned vehicle directors. So what were some of the hardest struggles during your entire career, and then we're also some of the highest highs you've seen,

Tony Lucas: 10:08

highest high and most struggle, I think, break through the barrier of those a place there, where I really believe that a porter in United States without knowing English was the very best that could do. And I was very grateful for faith grateful. I think Gratitude is the first step on that on this whole thing. And I was very grateful for, but that was a barrier right there. Right. And I think that was the biggest struggle is just to maybe I can learn this language. And maybe I can learn some things about this business, and maybe I can become better than everybody else. Yeah. Right. And breaking through there was it was a challenge and very passionate about I think a lot of people, a lot of people out there have the show in and then some folks have a beautiful life, you know, the warning a good family, they go to college, I've talked, we have we have a big college in town, I get to talk to some college students, sometimes we see some resumes and stuff and, and sometimes I talk to them, they just graduated from college, they still don't know, they still don't know what they're going to do with life. They don't know, they don't have any trainings, and they don't know what you can do with it. So I think they struggle with most people is knowing that greater is available. I mean, maybe your dream is too small. You know, like, you know, I remember I remember, I used to journal in the beginning of the year, and like everybody else, you do this new New Year's resolutions and stuff like that. And I used to put something down when I had a few my heart's like, Man, if I just get close to this, you know, if I just get close to this, it's gonna be cool. I'll be very honest with you nowadays, like, especially on if I'm doing my New Year's resolution and writing down my on my journal, I write down something like Go ahead for the year. And the feeling that I have now is like, maybe this is too small. Maybe can be better. Very true. It's a mindset that changed. There was a very big thing in my life. I think high high if I will To be honest, they some great things that happened in my life. Those are 40 under 44. Magazine and and graduated from nada Academy a year ago. Yeah. Some cool things, but if I be honest with you, I think everyday that wake up, and I just realized what a what a life I leave now and the opportunities that have in life, the opportunities I have to, you know, to pour into people and build some careers and everyday is a high.

Jordan Cox: 12:48

That's right. I live a very high it's so hard to pick because there's so many.

Tony Lucas: 12:52

Yeah, it's a beautiful life. I love it. Yeah. I love it.

Jordan Cox: 12:56

That's great. So one final question. There's a lot Porter out there that may be listening to this or maybe someone that has lap porters at their dealership that just started. What advice would you give to yourself? Day one is a lap Porter.

Tony Lucas: 13:12

Don't limit yourself and whatever you think you are, right. Understand that greater is available. Whatever you think there is, there is a place that gratitude, live live a life of gratitude is really special. And you know, my mom taught me this in Brazil with all the struggles that we had. She always told me like, man, the best ROI, it's on gratitude, you know, like it. It's good. But there is a there is a place that you just limit yourself as like, I'm grateful with this. I'm content with this. And maybe it's not gonna get any better than this. That's a lie. That's a lie. That's a lie. Stop lying to yourself. It can be bad or it can be greater.

Jordan Cox: 14:03

Just do it. Just do it right. Dream bigger, you can go out and get it done bigger. Tony, thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day here to sue con. It's a huge honor to officially meet you. I'm looking forward to seeing you in clubhouse every week. But man thank you so much for

Tony Lucas: 14:17

Thank you for having

Paul Daly: 14:20

Thank you for listening to this. So to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday. Here on podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collapse auto collapse. And if you just want to go a little deeper into this community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to us We'll see you next time.

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