(Note to readers: Our complete interview with Mike Marcotte will be included in the January 2018 issue of Modern Dealership.)
At 33, Mike Marcotte may seem to be on the young side for running a dealership, but considering he got started in the business at age 14 and worked in all but two positions (“I never worked in tech or parts, but I still want to learn!”) before being named president, his age is just about right. Read on to see how Mike is continuing the legacy started by his grandfather at Marcotte Ford more than 50 years ago.
1. What was your first car?
In high school, I had a 2000 Eddie Bauer Explorer. Black, with a tan trim. Bucket seats in the back. I was lucky!
2. How long have you been in the business?
My whole life. My father had me working in a different department every year in high school: the wash bay, rental, service advisor, F&I, sales, sales manager, so I learned every aspect of the business and can really put myself in the shoes of the person I’m talking to.
3. What’s it like running a dealership at age 33?
You learn a lot as you go. At 25, you think you know everything. At 33, you realize you don’t know what you don’t know. Every day, I’m learning new things so we can run smoother. And we have an unbelievable staff. We really do.
4. What changes have you made at the dealership lately?
We moved across the street this summer and we’re waiting to remodel over there. So we’ll be back across the street next summer. We’ll make this [temporary] location our commercial sales. And we’ll pick up more bays space.
5. Didn’t you used to serve food for all your service and sales customers?
It’s coming back! We have Lug Nuts Café, in the showroom: “Eat and bolt” [laughs]. They’re eating breakfast and their oil change is done. My dad started it, and he’s always going over how much bigger we can make it. It’s like, “Can we still fit a car in the showroom?”
6. How did your grandfather get into the business?
He bought it with a partner in New Hampshire, and he ended up buying him out and moved to Holyoke. And then they were coming through with the highway, so they moved down to the lower road of Main Street. Then we added a service addition to that place and we’ve been growing ever since.
6. Is Marcotte Ford involved with the community?
Community is huge for us. My father ingrained that into us—we’re all here to help out the community. We’re in a lucky spot, without a doubt. Right in Holyoke, we have the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club; I’m on the board, and my father’s also on the board. We also do Kate’s Kitchen … we get the family involved and the whole staff involved. We go down monthly and cook for them and help serve. You forget how good you have it, and then you see [people in need], and it reminds us. It’s great to be able to help out.