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Checkered Flag has a book! – “We All Win”

I just wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention that those retail fanatics at Checkered Flag have a book written about them now.  Aside from learning more about that organization, and where Alex Snyder came from, all the proceeds from the book’s sale go to charity:  the United Way to be exact.

James D. Power (JD Power and Associates), Jim Lentz (President of Toyota USA), Tom Purves (President of BMW North America), and Edward Lapham (Executive Editor of Automotive News) have all written praise about it.  Not bad for a group of dealerships down in Southern Virginia!

“We All Win” tells the story of a 12 year old boy who had the courage to leave his family in Poland to search for a better life in the United States.  He began the tradition of excellence in customer service, for the Snyder family, in 1894 when he opened a department store in downtown Norfolk, VA.  Three generations of Snyders ran the store, until 1969.  While running Snyder’s department store, Ed Snyder was also running Checkered Flag; which he founded in 1964.  Ed started Checkered Flag with British automobiles and introduced lines such as Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, MINI, Scion, and smart to the Southern Virginia market.  Today,
we think of Toyota as a sure thing, but it wasn’t when Ed was awarded the franchise.  You’ll have to read the book to learn more about that, and the ridicule that came with it!

The story is quite inspiring, and definitely worth picking-up.  There isn’t much about our side of the industry in it, but I think you’ll get a good idea of what fuels Checkered Flag to do the things they have done on our side of the industry.

You can buy “We All Win” on Checkered Flag.com or find it on Amazon –  We All Win (links to hardcover – there is a softcover edition as well).  The author is actually a reader of Dealer Refresh and has posted a few times – her name is Audrey Knoth, and she did a great job!  The photographer ain’t too shabby either.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
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    Audrey Knoth
  • August 29, 2008
Thank you, Jeff, for spotlighting "We All Win" on DealerRefresh ... it is truly appreciated. Something that I think makes this story relevant to DealerRefresh readers (besides the fascinating insights into where Alex Snyder came from - hah, hah) is that while it's about Checkered Flag, it really could be the story of many auto groups around the nation ... because quite a few of them started and grew exactly the same way -- from one humble location to what they are now, years later. As with Checkered Flag, it took guts, a tremendous amount of hard work, and resolve even through tough times. And even during hard times, Checkered Flag and these other dealers continued to support local charities, keep people employed, and keep going. It's the American dream and it's inspiring ... but the public and even many in the industry don't know this story. I think if they did, it would go a long way toward putting the humanizing and positive image on the car business that is the goal of the DealerRefresh community. Again, truly appreciate the post! Audrey Knoth
Audrey great book and very well researched it has lots of pictures and cartoons so even I can understand it ...LOL
By the way if you reference Alex's post back on growing a internet department I can hear the conversation now. "Alex I had to sell Toyota's when my PMA was a naval base in the 1960's, now what was that problem you were having with the website?"
Checkered Flag didn't exactly start with pocket aces back in the day but by thinking outside of the industry (where have I heard that before?) they were able to adapt and overcome.
The book isn't all praise either they even highlight some of the mistakes they made through the years and in some way I think this book signifies a renewed commitment to their customer base. (that last part is just a hunch)
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  • August 29, 2008
Nice work Audrey!

Very enjoyable story. It is great to hear the positive impact that the Snyder's have had on the Virginia Beach area. They are true pioneers in the industry and it shows in everything they do. Something to be proud of Alex!
Audrey definitely did a great job with the book! I learned a lot from it, and her research also did an excellent job of connecting some dots for me....as I'm sure it did for a few other Snyders.

Jeff - thanks for posting about "We All Win", and I'm glad you are enjoying all the pictures (something Jeff told me in an email).

Audrey - you rock, but you already knew that :)

Brian in Etown - yes, I've received statements somewhat like that from my grandfather. However, he has an amazing way of turning it into a valuable lesson instead of a lecture.

brianV - I do come from an amazing family. My grandparents are certainly the leaders of the pack, and their commitment to an ideology that goes through quite a few generations has made us who we all are today. It sounds corny, but they're definitely my heroes!