Williamson Automotive has a new general manger. On June 11, former Coral Cadillac general manager Jeffrey Rogers took over the position formerly held by Mark Naszradi, a longtime colleague of his who offered him the position at the Cadillac, Buick and GMC dealership after deciding to move back home to Michigan for family reasons.
“I’ve been with Cadillac for 38 years and have known Mr. Williamson and his family for many years; they’re a wonderful family,” said
Rogers. “It’s a larger store with bigger opportunities, so I jumped at the chance.”
Rogers grew up just outside of Detroit learning and loving the car business. His father worked as an executive for Cadillac Motor Car’s wholesale department for 28 years. Conversely, the younger Rogers was drawn to the retail side of the business. “Every day is different in the retail business of the car industry,” Rogers said.
“Every day I meet different people and am put in different positions. When I wake up in the morning I don’t know what the day is going to bring. Some jobs, you know what to expect day in, day out. That’s just not for me.”
Rogers began his long career in 1977with the automobile brand at Don Massey Cadillac as a parts driver, an entry-level position at the dealership. From there he worked his way up to parts manager, service manager, assistance sales manager and, eventually, finance manager. In 1995, an even bigger opportunity presented itself when Massey purchased another dealership in the Detroit area.
“He tapped me on the shoulder and told me I was going to be the GM of that store and run it for him, so I did that until 2002,” he said.
But in 2002 Massey sold all 16 of his dealerships to Sonic Automotive, a public company. Rogers remained on as GM, working under the new ownership for five more years. By 2007, however, things in Detroit had become so dire that he decided to leave for the sunnier setting of South Florida.
“At that time, I could see the economic crisis settling into the Detroit area and the future just didn’t look good,” Rogers said. “I kind of reassessed my situation and said, ‘I think I want to work in Florida. I’m going to retire in Florida some day, so let me take a look.’”
He came on as GM at Coral Cadillac in Pompano in 2007 and worked there for eight years until his old friend Mark Naszradi, with whom he’d worked at Don Massey 38 years ago, made that serendipitous phone call.
“One of the reasons I chose to leave my former dealership is that Williamson Automotive serves a much larger area — Miami,” he said. “It’s one of the premiere Cadillac and General Motors dealerships in the country. It has won many, many awards for customer satisfaction and sales excellence.”
Walking around Williamson Automotive’s showrooms and service departments, prospective customers and clients are impressed with the countless accolades the company has amassed during its lengthy tenure serving South Florida. Rogers asserts that any changes he brings will be minimal, as there are few improvements that truly need to be made.
“The Williamson family has been in Miami for almost 50 years and they’re the ones who have brought this dealership into prominence and have done so many wonderful things in the community,” he said. “I’m just here to help in that endeavor.”
For information, go to www.WilliamsonAutomotiveGroup.com