Westwood, MA—Prime Automotive Group today announced that veteran auto industry executive Todd Skelton has been appointed CEO effective January 1st. Skelton brings a wealth of industry experience to his role, most recently as President-Northeast Market for AutoNation, Inc., America’s leading automotive retailer. He spent the bulk of his career at the company which has 360 franchises across 16 states.
AutoNation has over $22 billion in annual revenue, more than 26,000 associates and is currently ranked number 145 on the Fortune 500 list, as of September 30, 2019. In his most recent role, which he held for four years, Skelton had full oversight of automotive dealerships across four states—Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and New York. He oversaw 1,600 associates and was responsible for all aspects of sales, service, parts, inventory, and accounting. The Northeast had a broad franchise mix, which correlates with the Prime Automotive Group range of brands, and included: Mercedes Benz, Subaru, Audi, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Toyota, Honda, Ford, JLR, and BMW.
“We are extremely fortunate to have found a CEO with such extensive automotive experience,” said Kevin Westfall, Chairman of Prime Automotive Group. “I am very happy to return to my Chairman’s role knowing that our day-to-day operations at Prime will be in excellent hands under Todd’s leadership.”
Skelton held several previous roles with AutoNation beginning as General Sales Manager for a Chevrolet dealership in 1996. He started his automotive career as a Sales Associate at Steve Moore Chevrolet in Florida which was later acquired by AutoNation. Within six months, he was promoted to various management positions including General Manager, and later became President-South Florida where he oversaw multiple automotive dealerships generating over $2.5 billion in revenue. The South Florida franchise mix included: Mercedes Benz, Lexus, JLR, Nissan, Toyota, CDJR, Ford, Chevrolet, VW, Volvo, Honda, Lincoln, and Cadillac. Skelton’s South Florida territory was the most profitable market in the company four years in a row, from 2010 to 2013.
“I look forward to using my industry knowledge and relationships to continue the innovation for which Prime Automotive Group is known,” said Skelton. “I’m pleased to partner with Kevin and the associate team to continue the significant success that Prime has achieved in the past year.”
Skelton noted that one of his first priorities is to communicate with the workforce and acknowledge their significant value to the organization. Of equal importance is providing the highest level of customer service to patrons of the dealership. Skelton believes that one cannot exist without the other.
“Part of my job is to ensure that Prime employees know that their contributions are important and that they are key to all of our operations,” said Skelton. “Well-trained employees who feel valued are essential to the level of customer satisfaction that we want to achieve in our dealerships.”
In addition, Skelton plans to use his long term relationships with numerous manufacturers to enhance Prime’s existing strong ties with automakers.
“A core foundation of our operations is the trust and loyalty between dealers and manufacturers,” noted Skelton. “After decades in the business, I understand these essential ties and will work hard to maintain and grow these relationships.”
Prime Automotive Group Prime Automotive Group is the brand and corporate identity for the portfolio of companies, owned by GPB Capital sponsored limited partnerships, and as of December 31, 2019 represents 54 automotive dealerships, 25 brands, five regional platforms across eight states, and generated $3.3 billion in annual revenue for all of 2019.