Below is a Q&A with Marti Eulberg, director of brand management at Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive and a 2017 Women in Remarketing honoree.
Auto Remarketing: What was your path to the automotive industry, and what do you enjoy most about working in the car business?
Marti Eulberg: I don’t think it has necessarily been a path as much as it has been a journey. I enjoy the fact that cars connect people and everyone has a story. This journey has allowed me to travel the world and experience mobility on many different levels. It gives you a great appreciation for fulfilling basic transportation needs, as well as someone’s dream to own a luxury sports car.
AR: How is the remarketing/used-car segment of the business most different from when you first started out?
ME: That was a long time ago! I would say that retail has changed significantly — the way people research, shop and buy is significantly different than it was 20 years ago; so, it’s not just about “our” business, but how people shop today online/virtually, as well as in brick-and-mortar locations.
What has been exciting is to integrate innovative retail strategies, looking outside our industry and being part of a team that designed a technology-infused experience that evokes all the aspects of great retail and hospitality.
AR: How would you describe your leadership style and approach to problem-solving?
ME: My leadership style is very much situational: adapting leadership style to the performance readiness and willingness of the individual or team I am attempting to lead or influence.
AR: What have been some of the top keys to your success in the car business?
ME: Passion and the ability to engage a team to develop a brand’s story, capture its essence and persuade the audience to come along for the ride. Typically, that ride includes innovative change. I have been really lucky to work with people who share that passion.
AR: Who are some folks, whether in the auto industry or not, that you admire professionally, and why?
ME: Inside the industry, I admire the team I work with led by Jeff Dyke (Sonic’s executive vice president of operations). Primarily because of the entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risk. What we are doing is not easy; it takes vision, time and investment.
AR: When you are able to get away from the office or work, what do you enjoy? What are your hobbies, interests, etc.?
ME: I live by the Pacific Ocean: jogging along the beach reminds me just how lucky I am. Most weekends, you will see me taking advantage of the weather and being outdoors. There is an organization called Volunteer Match; if you check out their website, you can find all sorts of great opportunities to help out in your local community, from beach clean-up to feeding the homeless on a Saturday morning.
One of the core values of EchoPark and Sonic Automotive is our role in the community is bigger than buying and selling cars. I think personally and professionally we all have a responsibility to fulfill our role in the community.
Read about all of this year's Women in Remarketing honorees in the April 1 issue of Auto Remarketing.