By Laura Cronin 16 Mar 2023 6 min read

What does a dealership general manager do?

If you're an aspiring automotive professional looking to work in a dealership, you might have come across the job title of general manager; you may also be wondering what exactly a general manager does within a dealership. The general manager is a crucial role within a dealership, overseeing all aspects of the business and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. In this article, we'll explore the main role and responsibilities of a dealership general manager, and provide examples from some of the UK’s top dealerships.


First of all, let's define what a dealership general manager is. According to Inchcape, a leading UK automotive retail group, a general manager "leads the dealership team to deliver exceptional customer service, achieve sales targets, and ensure that the dealership is profitable and sustainable in the long-term." The role includes overseeing sales, service, and finance departments, as well as managing the dealership's inventory, budget, and staff. The general manager is essentially the leader of the dealership, responsible for making sure that everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives.



One of the main responsibilities of a general manager is to drive sales and revenue. This involves developing and implementing sales strategies, setting sales targets, and motivating the sales team to achieve these goals. In addition, the general manager is responsible for managing the dealership's inventory, ensuring that the right vehicles are in stock and that they are priced competitively. As Jardine Motors explains on their website: "the General Manager is the driving force behind the dealership's sales and profitability, working closely with their team to maximise opportunities and increase market share."


Another key responsibility of a general manager is to oversee the service department. This involves ensuring that the service team is providing high-quality service to customers, overseeing the department's budget and resources, and developing strategies to increase service revenue. The general manager is also responsible for maintaining strong relationships with customers and ensuring that their needs are being met. As Lookers, another UK-based dealership group, explains: "The General Manager will be responsible for driving service retention and customer satisfaction to ensure that our customers receive the highest possible levels of service."



In addition to sales and service, the general manager is responsible for managing the dealership's finance department. This involves managing the dealership's budget and financial performance, working with lenders and other financial institutions to secure financing for customers, and overseeing the dealership's compliance with financial regulations. According to Lookers: "The General Manager will be responsible for ensuring the dealership is compliant with all financial and legal requirements and working closely with the group finance function to manage the dealership's financial performance."



Finally, the general manager is responsible for managing the dealership's staff. This involves overseeing the recruitment and training of new employees, managing employee performance and development, and ensuring that the dealership's culture and values are upheld. According to dealership group Sytner: "The General Manager is responsible for leading and inspiring a team of sales executives, service advisors, technicians, and administrative staff to achieve exceptional results and customer satisfaction. They must create an environment that fosters teamwork, positivity, and innovation while providing ongoing support, training, and feedback to help their staff develop and reach their full potential."


In summary, the role of a dealership general manager is multifaceted and requires a combination of leadership, business acumen, and a customer focused attitude. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the dealership's operations, managing staff, building relationships with manufacturers and suppliers, and ensuring that the dealership achieves its financial and customer satisfaction goals. 

So, if you are an aspiring automotive professional with leadership skills and a passion for customer service, this could be the perfect career path for you.


Browse the latest general manager jobs here.