The FORT Podcast: Will Churchill

Will Churchill is the Owner of Frank Kent Cadillac, as well as several restaurants in Fort Worth, including Heim BBQ. Frank Kent Cadillac has been awarded GM Dealer of the Year for 2012 – 2014, an honor given to only the top 2% of GM dealers throughout the country. In this episode, Will and Chris discuss the family history of Frank Kent, how the automotive industry has been hit by COVID-19, how Frank Kent has battled the pandemic’s effect, the specific impact on Fort Worth, and more.

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02:08 — How did you become involved with Frank Kent and the automotive industry?
03:25 — Did you always know you would get into the industry, or were you forced to join the family business?
04:22 — Can you shed some light on what a car dealership would’ve been like in the ‘20s and ‘30s? Were the leading manufacturers the same?
06:33  — What are some of the manufacturers that you own and operate?
07:20 — What is the process of becoming ‘worthy’ to take on a new car brand?
08:50 — Can you shed some light on accessories / distribution and how you’ve become successful with that side of the business?
10:35 —When did you begin to see demand decline due to COVID-19?
13:28 — Are cars still selling?
16:05 — Do you have a person in charge to monitor changes from COVID-19? How do you distribute information to your team?
17:23 — Has demand actually decreased? Is the automotive industry included in the stimulus package?
18:45 — Is there a difference between the 2008 recession and the current situation?
21:27 — If more people are buying online, do you think this will permanently change the car buying process?
25:10 — How do car dealerships make money?
28:06 — The Lack of Auto Technicians
30:16 — You were Chairman of the Cadillac Dealer Council and sat on the GM Dealer Advisory Group Board, what did you learn through that experience?
33:04 — Are there silver linings in this situation that will make the auto industry better?
35:10 — There was a $1B acquisition that fell through today, do you expect automobile mergers and acquisitions to be on hold?
36:43 — What are you looking for that will indicate the industry is picking back up?
38:08 — What makes a great car salesman? What makes the best, the best? Why does that role get a negative reputation?
41:43 — Is the car dealership postcard actually effective? How often does someone show up to a dealership to browse and end up leaving with a brand-new car?
45:53 — The food and beverage industry is on life support, can you shed some light on what you’re hearing?
49:21 — How many of these restaurants do you think will close indefinitely from this pandemic?