To conclude, we hope you enjoyed this year’s Women in the Driver’s Seat segment, and were inspired by our female leaders from around the globe. Please stay tuned for a new group of amazing trailblazers for 2023!
MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: SAMMI LY, GENERAL SALES MANAGER, AUDI SOUTH COAST
“Don’t sweat the small stuff… it’s all small stuff.”
First Automotive Job: Inside the Finance Department
PAG Tenure: 11 years
What attracted you to the automotive industry? I recognized that the world has a heavy reliance on vehicles and that this industry drives the pursuit of advanced technology – simultaneously fulfilling a modern day need while at the same time inspiring innovation. The competitive environment and rapid pace of change is unyieldingly exciting and just inconsistent enough to keep you guessing!
Most satisfying part of your job: One of the things I love most about this industry is the customer connection. There is nothing quite like a returning customer that remembers how amazing their experience was even years later, and every time they bring their car in for service, taking the time to catch us up on what’s happening in their lives.
Proudest professional achievement: I am most proud of the record breaking numbers our team has achieved during my time as General Sales Manager, we are fiercely competitive, pushing out more units than ever before while holding gross and maintaining exceedingly high customer service scores.
Who was the biggest influence in your career? Those that have encouraged and inspired me to be the best version of myself professionally include, Patricia Lindseth, Regional Finance Director. Gary Stone, my current GM at Audi South Coast and Paul Liu, OC Area VP for Penske Automotive.
Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? I was fortunate to work with supportive and skilled industry veterans that saw my potential and gave me opportunities to prove myself. I quickly came to realize that the harder I worked, the faster I learned; and the more I learned, the more success I was able to achieve. This industry, and sales in particular, embraces talented individuals – there is tremendous potential for women to thrive in this environment.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Tennis, Hiking, Going to the beach, and Spending time with family.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I hope to continue proving myself as a competent and capable leader of my team. Eventually I hope to oversee a dealership of my own as the General Manager after learning as much as I can from my current mentors.
What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? I recommend taking the leap! I can only speak from my experience in sales; but gaining mastery over your mind and learning to navigate negotiations effectively are vital to success in business and in life. It is often said that life is about the journey, so let this industry be your vehicle to tremendous personal growth and professional success!
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t sweat the small stuff… It’s all small stuff.”