“The industry’s fun,” she said. And she’s using skills acquired in her decade in certified public accounting to boost profitability for the family dealership group, Wyatt Johnson Automotive Group, and help it grow. Wyatt Johnson represents nine brands at seven dealerships in Tennessee. The group, which posted $320 million in revenue in 2018, sells an average of 800 vehicles a month, split evenly between new and used.
Cannata is dealer principal for the group and shares operating duties with her brother and brother-in-law in an arrangement the family figured out after her father, Sid Johnson, died in 2007. Her philosophy as a dealer: It’s more important for retailers to focus on their own profitability than on market share pushes from automakers. Motivating employees and holding them accountable is a big part of that profitability puzzle.
Cannata spoke with Retail Editor Amy Wilson this month on the sidelines of the Automotive News Retail Forum: Chicago. Here are edited excerpts.
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