Tracy Myers enjoys what he does and he doesn’t bother keeping it a secret. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to visit Frank Myers Auto Maxx without seeing the smiling face of owner Tracy and his dealerships iconic mascot, Uncle Frank, at least a dozen times. And these aren’t the car dealer smiles so often associated with shifty eyes and plaid shirts, these are the faces of two men who genuinely believe in what they’re doing. And why wouldn’t they? After all, their family business has not only turned the car dealership industry on its head, but changed the face of the used car dealer forever.
“I’m proud to be an atypical car dealer with an atypical dealership,” says Tracy Myers. “Everyone sells the same cars that we sell, but it’s how we do it that makes the difference.” And that difference is showing. In fact there’s a long list of exactly what makes Frank Myers Auto Maxx not just different, but truly unique. One of the most important of these is that when you visit Frank Myers Auto Maxx, you won’t find a single commissioned salesperson on the lot. “We hire people who are focused on the customer and not the commission…on providing solutions instead of selling cars,” Myers said. “When we add someone to our Team, we make it clear to them that they will be well compensated BUT their focus must shift to helping their guests own a nicer, newer car. It’s a simple solution to an age old problem.”
The legend of the first Frank Myers store began more than 85 years ago when it was started by Tracy’s Great-Grandfather, Frank. Tracy’s father, also named Frank, opened their automotive wholesale division later on in 1988. Tracy helped start their retail division shortly after he joined the company in 1994. Since buying Frank Myers Auto Maxx from his father in 2006, he’s built a golden reputation. In fact, it’s hard to find an award the dealership hasn’t won. In 2006, Myers was even named the National Quality Dealer of the Year by National Independent Auto Dealers Association – the youngest person ever given the prestigious award. Myers has in turn used this recognition to spread his company’s message, even becoming a FOX News correspondent. The dealership was named the number one small business in NC by Business Leader magazine and INC magazine named them one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in the United States for the past 4 years. “I’m extremely proud of these accomplishments but God get all the glory and my Team gets a close second. They all make me look really good.”
Over the past few years, Myers has used his good, old-fashioned business sense as a foundation for the development of a number of unique programs like their Everybody Rides Program and an Iron-Clad Money Back Guarantee. “Most car dealerships only focus on price, which is usually misleading, or on good customer service,” says Myers. “In my opinion, providing good service is a requirement, not a bonus. That’s why we try to stay away from tired, cliched catchphrases and actually give our guests real, added value items and experiences that they want.” An example of a popular added value program is the dealerships lifetime engine warranty. “If a dealer isn’t unwilling to stand behind the cars they sell, why would anyone risk spending money with them?” Myers asks. “My goal is to take away all of the reasons NOT to do business with my dealership. When we do that, we don’t need high pressure sales tactics.”
On an average evening at Frank Myers Auto Maxx, you’ll see a number of things that make them different from other dealerships. You might show up in the morning just to pick up some of Uncle Frank’s World Class Blend from the free coffee bar, or you might show up on Free Family Movie Night, help yourself to some fresh popcorn, catch the end of your favorite family-friendly film or play video games in the free arcade. In fact, you might show up and forget that you’re at a car dealership at all. “The dealership is not just a family business,” says Myers. “It’s also not just a legacy-building project or just a way to make money. Of course, it is all those things. More importantly for me, it’s a passion that has my flair. The colors are a little bright, the showroom music is very loud. People are hi-fiving and dancing around with silly hats, having a good time. Some people don’t like to buy cars in that atmosphere and that’s ok. We’re not for everybody but we’ve created not only a fun place to buy a car but a fun place to visit.”
As you’d expect, this unique approach to doing business has made the Frank Myers Auto Maxx name a gold standard in the industry, allowing for a great deal of copy cat dealers out there. However, that doesn’t seem to worry Myers. “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I guess they’re right,” said Myers. “Other dealers see our goofy car ads, they’ve seen our documentary and they know how successful we are so they decide they’re going to be like us. The problem is, they can copy everything we do. The programs, the movies, the video games, the pay structure. All of it. However, what they can never copy is our heart, our passion and our culture. It’s the people that make the difference. They can’t copy that.”
Speaking of the Myers family documentary, Car Men, most people in the Triad community have watched it several times. Mainly because it was chosen to be the Super Bowl lead-in program shortly after its release which helped it obtain record ratings. After that, it was picked up to air on nationally on The BIO Channel which lead to it winning several Telly awards and being nominated for an Emmy award. The movie still airs constantly on local TV stations as well as at
If you ever have the pleasure to talk to Myers, you’ll find him to be just as engaging, friendly and enthusiastic as you’d expect. And if you miss him, he’ll be the first to smile and tell you it was because he and his Team were “out selling cars like candy bars.”
Given the kind of business Frank Myers Auto Maxx is turning, that might be Myers’ first ever understatement.