SEASON 4 | EPISODE 9: “Personnel is the number one challenge” || Steve Barna, Owner, Hawthorne Chevrolet

“There are a lot of bad habits being formed that are going to have to be addressed, once the situation becomes back to a normal cycle.”

Born and raised in Hawthorne, NJ, Steve Barna also owns Hawthorne Chevrolet, which has been a family-owned and operated dealership for over 90 years. Steve got his start in automotive sales when his stepfather asked him to fill in for sales staff who were unable to make it – the rest is history.

In this episode, Steve Barna sits with Derek D to talk about the pitfalls and advantages of a family business, his uncertainty in the last five years of the automotive industry and how he’s managed it and found avenues to succeed, and what the two most major immediate issues facing all dealerships are. He also weighs in on why it’s been especially difficult to sell commercial trucks since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has always annoyed his mom when it comes to Thanksgiving with a family of car dealers, and more.


Episode Highlights:

  • The benefits of consolidation and shifting location focus in a world still dealing with a pandemic
  • How rail transportation of cars from the manufacturer to dealers poses a logistical concern
  • The new system being used as a stopgap when premium options are unavailable due to the microchip shortage, and Steve’s concerns with this approach 
  • How the Northeast’s strong lease market makes it especially vulnerable to supply chain problems

| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media Production