He received the award during Peterbilt's annual Red Oval Pre-Owned Truck Managers Meeting, held recently in Frisco, Texas.
In accepting his award, Wells, who became the dealership's used truck manager three years ago, shared some of his secrets to success. One of the first things he did in his new position was to upgrade the used truck sales force and bring on more experienced, team players to attack a large recourse liability and a lot full of "undesirable" old trucks.
"Next, we agreed not to keep any used trucks older than five years and not to stock anything but good-looking Petes and an occasional KW," recalled Wells, who joined the dealership about 11 years ago after operating a coal-hauling fleet for 20 years in West Virginia. "We're exclusive Peterbilt dealers at all our locations, and buyers come to our lots for one thing - Peterbilts."
Peterbilt of Knoxville, which was recently named Peterbilt's Southeast Region Dealer of the Year, has branches in Ringgold, Ga., Greenville, S.C., and Bristol, Va.
"Another reason for our success," Wells noted, "is the good relationship our used truck department has with its service, parts and body shop managers at all locations."
For the past two years, Wells has been responsible for both new and used trucks. That's given him "a tremendous advantage by eliminating the conflict that often occurs between those two departments regarding trade-in values," he explained. As general sales manager, "I can take what's best for the whole dealership into account."
Wells pointed out that Peterbilt of Knoxville has worked hard to develop niche markets and reduce its long-time dependency on owner operators. These new markets, such as construction, refuse and fire trucks, he observed, "tend to not require trade-ins, are easier to finance and are allowing us to keep up on our new truck sales volume while not becoming overloaded with used trucks."