Real Stories From Life at a Dealership

People are the experience


Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 




With all of the commotion about dealerships closing, you might be amazed that as General Manager of Sierra Motors, I am happy to be here.


When John called and asked me to come to Jamestown California from Boise Idaho, I had no idea what to expect. John explained things to me in a very direct manner. Sierra Motors is very important to the community. We are a very large employer. We generate tax dollars for the local community. We take care of people the way a business is supposed to care of them, like they are all friends of the owner. We offer the fairest way possible to do business, one low price, plain & simple…always. For being one of the biggest career moves of our lives, it was a quick & easy decision. Let’s roll.


One of the keys to the continued viability of Sierra Motors is very simply CSI, Customer Satisfaction Index. Out of a possible 4.00 our 12 month score is 3.96. That puts us among the very top of the top in the entire western third of the United States. Rarified air indeed.

That speaks volumes about our departments. In sales, service, parts or body shop, we are committed to your satisfaction.


We have lived in places like the Mojave Desert and Boise, never in an actual forest. Our amazing agent, Michelle A’dair found us the ideal place to live, Comstock Ranch in the hills above Sonora. We are on just less than three acres of solid Oak, Cedar and Pine trees, at an altitude of 3600’. I am not sure of all of the varieties of animals that walk through our place, more Deer than we can count and a variety of singing birds to name a few. Our dog even found a skunk nearby.


We know how important communication is so we have created the first social network for this area. You can make your own web page, write about your event, down load pictures, videos, and stories @ GOLD OF THE MOTHER LODE and it’s free.


It is a peaceful, serene home with just enough snow in the winter and all of the wonderful fresh air of the forest the rest of the time. Friends and family can’t get enough of it when they come to visit. I have regular fishing buddies that have taken me to some fun and productive places. What a beautiful place to hike through. We already have a favorite place to eat, Koto’s Japanese in downtown Sonora. Ogowa is the real deal, a traditional Sushi chef.


So, Sierra Motors is here to stay. We will continue to offer value, great prices and friendly service. If you have any questions or need assistance contact me directly. I am looking forward to getting to know more local people. I have met most of my neighbors and enjoy them. I have also met almost every business owner in Jamestown and am proud to be associated with them. See you soon.



May 17, 2009 Posted by | dealerships, eric prothro, family, gm, jamestown, motherlode, sierra motors | , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Legacy of Jack

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 


The Legacy of Jack

 Who is the most important co-worker that you have ever worked with? Most of us have worked with a lot of people, hundreds at least, maybe, over a thousand. Some of them have been very memorable, some you would like to forget. But who has actually affected your job and life? Let me tell you about Jack.

 In 1983, when I broke into the car business, the top dog in the store was Jack. He sold the most. He was there the longest. He took care of all of the Owners’ personal customers. He had a customer following that seemed like an endless supply of buyers. When we went through training, Jack trained us on the delivery process. He was a master of going over the new car in a methodical, yet comforting delivery that would ensure repeat business.

 Jack openly stated that one of his best skills was that of a bus driver. Not the public transportation kind, but the “If you don’t do things my way you will get run over by the bus named Jack” kind. He was even complete with sound effects. Whenever someone was about to be or had just been run over by the bus, Jack would come out to wherever was the biggest group of people and simulate the sound of a bus going through the gears and then running over something with a “thump, thump” sound. He would do the bus braking, putting it in reverse and backing over the victim again. Then he’d pull forward again to run over the poor schmuck a third time. All with the “thump, thump”. He smiled and loved to make a public display of all who opposed him or maybe talked to one of “HIS” customers.

 My Uncle Corky was in the dealership looking to order a new Corvette. He was working with Jack and realized that I worked there. So he told Jack that he would really like to buy from me if possible. Jack amazingly said no problem. He got me involved and walked me through the process of making my first factory order. Everything was finished, we took the deposit and said good-bye to my Uncle. My first week on the job and I already had a Corvette order. Jack was very polite and accommodating.


 Jack then pulled me aside and explained to me that the Corvette order would take at least a couple of months and in no uncertain terms that I would no longer be there and he would get the sale anyway. Then he walked away. I realized that this business might be a little tougher than I had anticipated, but I was no quitter. Let’s dance.

 It was about a month later when things came to a boil. Saturday lunch had just arrived for the sales department. The store used to buy lunch for the sales department on Saturdays. Jack went to get his. When he opened it up somebody had taken a bite out of his sandwich. Jack was out raged,” Nobody touches my lunch.” Jack started literally screaming that whoever did this was going to be fired. He was making an unbelievable scene over a free lunch. The store manager came to see what all the yelling was about, he ran into raving maniac Jack. The manager asked Jack to quiet down and explain to him what had happened.

 Just being questioned at all sent Jack into a complete frenzy. Then the threats started. Fire whoever did this or you all will be gone. Then he came up with his best idea yet, fix this immediately or I will quit and go over to your competitor and take all of my business with me and put the whole dealership out of business. Jack was really proud of himself. “That’s it…I quit” yelled Jack. He assumed that when the owners found out what had happened that they would beg him to come back. He thought that this brilliant move would totally solidify his already lofty position. I guess they didn’t feel the same way.

 The first thing that I noticed when I came to work Monday morning was that the dealership wasn’t closed. It was business as usual. A customer came in and asked for Jack. Someone else took care of them and sold the car. It actually got better without Jack. It became what was best for the store not Jack. When my uncle’s Corvette came in I was the one still working there and delivered it to him. The first of six Corvettes he bought from us.  Jack didn’t fair well at the other dealership. Most of the customers didn’t follow him. He only stayed in the business a little longer. I heard that he became a prison guard.

 I have always remembered what my Mom would call “getting too big for your britches”. Nobody should think that they are the business. It can and will survive without me or anyone else. I’m better off as a servant of all of those that work with me, to help them prosper. To get the customer what they want & need.

 Most importantly…Don’t be a “Jack”…



May 11, 2009 Posted by | 1984 corvette, Chevrolet, customer satisfaction, dealerships, eric prothro, jamestown, motherlode, sierra motors | , , , , , | 2 Comments


Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 




 I started selling cars in 1983. A long time salesman told me that I had missed the “heyday of the car salesman”, but that I should still do fine. Heyday could be defined as both the time before laws and regulations to protect consumers from predatory practices and when there were great profits to be made. In 1983 new trucks still did not have MSRP stickers in the windows. We were taught how to arrive at a starting price. Actually we were taught how to avoid the price and to focus on selling the product not the price.


 I soon found myself, at 24, to be the only person under the age of 40 on the sales floor. Working with “seasoned” vets gave me the education of a lifetime. The things that I have heard being said and the techniques that have been deployed are near impossible to believe if I hadn’t seen and heard them firsthand. As these guys did it, a car sale is an art form. To do the impossible was an everyday occurrence.


 It was an art form to take a total stranger and within hours to know everything about them and how to use it to close a sale. One of the single greatest compliments a car salesman can hear is “ we really didn’t come to buy a car today”.


 If you have any questions about car buying or selling, just ask. Do you want to know how those crazy worksheets, especially the four square, that sales use really work? I can explain in detail. What is true cost? How to be a great buyer or seller? What really makes someone completely satisfied? What goes on when the salesman goes in to that little room and talks to the guy behind the curtain? How to apply sales techniques to your job or life? Whatever the question, let’s try to answer it.


 I have worked at small town dealerships and I have been in dealer management of large auto groups with over 100 dealerships. I have been a liner, salesperson, closer, team leader, sales trainer, finance manager, desk manager, new car manager, general sales manager and general manager. I even stayed at one dealership for 15 years. Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota, Scion, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Oldsmobile, Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Daewoo are most of the brands I have managed.


The current environment that I work in actually put’s our best price, upfront, on every vehicle everyday. Our salespeople are paid on customer satisfaction not how much you spend. We have an industry leading policy that you can’t buy the wrong vehicle with a seven day, 500 mile full refund policy. No questions asked. That is why I am at Sierra Motors in Jamestown, Ca. Visit us at  One low price, plain & simple…always.


 One thing is a constant; everybody needs a friend in the car business. I’m that friend. Any questions, contact me directly at



May 6, 2009 Posted by | car saleman, chevy, dealerships, ford, gmc, msrp, sierra motors, toyota, trucks | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment