When you receive a promotion and get nominated to a prestigious industry award in a matter of a few months, you’re guaranteed to garner some attention. This was the case for Matt Lawson, former Senior Sales Manager of Ontario Dealer Groups at TRADER Corporation, who recently moved up the ranks to assume the position of Director of Sales, National Dealer Groups. Matt, who has been a TRADER employee since 2005, was selected to lead all Canada-wide sales and customer relations for the company’s Dealer Group channel of customers.
“I’m proud and honoured to announce Matt Lawson as the new Director of Sales for TRADER’s Dealer Group Channel. This is a huge step in Matt’s career, and he is well deserving of this promotion,” says Jeff Woolcock, VP of Sales at TRADER Corporation. He goes on to say, “Since the beginning of his career at TRADER I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him grow and take on a true leadership role in the organization. He has made a positive and lasting impression in the new ways we look to better serve our customers, and I can’t wait to see what his innovative thinking will bring to this new role.”
Matt was also recently nominated to Auto Remarketing Canada’s 2016 Class of Remarketing’s Under 40. The award looks to recognize individuals under 40 for their outstanding contribution to the remarketing industry. Winners were selected based on votes submitted by fellow industry peers and colleagues.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt, to find out first hand, what his journey has been like thus far, and what he envisions for the future of TRADER and the remarketing industry.
CF: How did you get started at TRADER?
ML: I started with TRADER in September 2005. I was fresh out of post-secondary and at that time AutoTrader.ca had just started to publish multi-photos for car dealers. The TRADER marketplace was rapidly gaining traction online and TRADER was setting out to help all dealers across Canada capture their entire inventory for the digital marketplace. As such, our Digital Lot Capture team (at that time, not so digital) was staffing up to prepare for the dealer support demand.
CF: What are you most excited about in this new role?
ML: I have been working exclusively with Dealer Groups since 2013. I have grown up in the car business (grandfather was a car dealer for 40 years, dad owns a body shop and still works in that retail operation today). It is very interesting to see the different retail operations and dealer group dynamics across Canada. It allows me to deeply understand where different dealers or groups can create efficiencies in their day-to-day operations.
CF: Where do you see TRADER going?
ML: The digital landscape has progressed at lightning speed over the past 3-5 years and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. The thing that most excites me about TRADER is that our agile innovation/development strategy enables us to be nimble and move fast. Our mission at TRADER is to help buyers connect with sellers; quickly, easily and confidently. I think we have managed to deliver on the first two of those fairly well and we are now highly focused on the third piece ‘confidence’. Automotive consumers in today’s market with today’s market conditions have a growing need for transparency from sellers while in the process of selecting their next vehicle for purchase. I think TRADER is well positioned to help both buyers and sellers connect on that premise and facilitate the transaction more seamlessly using online tools.
CF: Where do you think the automotive industry is going? What do you think are the exciting things coming down the pipe that will change the way consumers shop or the way dealers manage their business?
ML: As I mentioned, there are and will continue to be many changes in the digital landscape that enables both efficiency and confidence for buyers and sellers. I think we will see technology continue to develop and evolve, and that will continue to change that very complicated concept we know as the ‘consumer journey’. I think we will continue to see technology companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft look at ways to both partner, in or disrupt, the automotive retail industry. And lastly, that really well known San Francisco start-up we know as Uber is going to continue to evolve and create a changing competitive landscape for both OEMs and Retailers across North-America and the Globe.