The business world is on a never-ending journey to find top visionaries and pioneers who can effectively develop and implement effective strategies to meet business goals. Jarryd Carver, the chief executive officer and owner of Virginia-based Winners Circle Automotive Group, is one such visionary.
Only 6 percent of auto dealerships nationwide are owned by minorities, and at age 35, Carver – who owns Winners Circle Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Winners Circle Nissan, both located in Hampton, Virginia – may well be the youngest among them.
Carver began his sales career after the untimely passing of his aunt, Sharon Carver, during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon.
“My aunt was a strong influence – a mentor and a supporter,” said Carver. “I vowed to make her proud of me, my vision and my work.”
After the 9/11 attacks, Carver began his career in retail sales of fine jewelry, using his military-influenced upbringing to develop a reputation for quality assurance, transparency and integrity in customer satisfaction. But when the 2008 recession negatively impacted demand for fine jewelry, Carver switched gears and entered the automobile industry. As a young but eager man, he jumped at the opportunity to leverage his retail-sales skills in a different market.
After just a few short years, during which he broadened his knowledge of dealership operations, sales, finance and marketing through promotions to various roles, Carver became the general manager at Sheehy Hyundai of Waldorf in Maryland. He also helped recruit [recruit what?] and improve operations and financial results at two other local Sheehy stores.
Carver later became a managing partner of both the Hyundai store and Sheehy Ford of Marlow Heights, also in Maryland; Sheehy is among the 25 largest auto groups in the country. His accomplishments there included generating three consecutive years of seven-figure sales increases, which is especially notable since the Ford dealership had been losing money.
At the same time, the stores also exceeded their previous Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores and ranked amongst Sheehy’s top stores in terms of sales and net profit. Carver also expanded the Hyundai dealership’s footprint, managing all phases of construction as the store transitioned from a small showroom and just four lifts in the service department to a brand-new facility with a 14-lift service operation.
Carver’s success has not gone unnoticed. In 2018, he was named a Top 40 Under 40 honoree by Automotive News and Automotive Remarketing magazines. And in 2020,Carver landed on the cover of the automotive magazine Treads. Carver is currently spearheading a major strategic shift in entrepreneurship while aspiring to become a certified dealer for other major automotive manufacturers and brands.
Carver credits much of his success to his parents and his upbringing in the Washington, D.C., area. He grew up in a single-parent household, raised by his mother, who worked for a local dry cleaner by day and took care of him and his siblings by night. During his early teen years, Carver developed a bond with his immigrant father, who instilled in him a sense of pride and stressed the importance of mentoring others.
“I learned the importance of providing value to others,” Carver said. “And the best way I learned to provide that value to them was through support as a leader and role model in my community.”
Carver says that the pride and responsibility instilled in him at such a young age molded him into the kind of manager and leader he is today. Carver has rapidly become a rising force in the automotive industry. His two dealerships combined are on pace for more than $100 million in sales for 2021.
Within one year, Winners Circle (WC) leads the industry in customer satisfaction, earning a J.D. Power Customer First Award for Excellence in 2020. Additionally, Carver has recently acquired 757 Drive, a luxury pre-owned vehicle outlet, where he has adopted the Costco pricing method, which offers customers a more efficient shopping experience at wholesale pricing.
True to the name, WC values strong connections between its stores, customers, employees and the community. In 2020, Winner’s Circle awarded four scholarships to deserving students of Hampton University. Since the passing of his Aunt Sharon, Carver has clearly fulfilled his vow in her memory and passionately made it his personal mission to promote growth in others.
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