Legacy and Values: Joe Hay, President of Jim Burke Ford

In a recent Small Business Celebration, Michael sat down with Joe Hay, the President of Jim Burke Ford, to delve into the legacy, challenges, and values defining this family-owned business. The conversation offered insights into the journey of a company deeply rooted in its past yet evolving with the times.

Unveiling the Past: From Jim Burke to Jim Burke Ford

The story begins with the revelation that Jim Burke Ford didn’t always carry that name. Originally known as Haberfelde Ford, Joe Hay shares a fascinating history where Jim Burke was once his grandfather’s dealership. A rumor in the ’70s suggested a buyer from Los Angeles, but the corporate name, Haberfelde Ford, still traces its roots back to the early 20th century.

Two Locations, One Focus: Managing the Duality

Operating two locations just 10 miles apart presents its own set of challenges. Joe explains the intricacies of balancing commercial business at the Oak Street location and the efforts taken to keep both locations in

Joe Hay of Jim Burke Ford smiling during his interview while wearing a suit in front of a mural of Bakersfield, CA while talking about legacy and values
Joe Hay of Jim Burke Ford

sync operationally.

Behind the Scenes of Commercial Sales: Fleet, Telematics, and More

Joe’s experience leading the commercial sales department sheds light on the diverse aspects of the business. From discussions about commercial vehicles to fleet sales and the utilization of telematics software, it’s evident that Jim Burke Ford is not just about selling cars but offering comprehensive solutions to its clients.

Visioneer Question: Unraveling the Art of Emotional Selling

A question from Javier brings attention to a common challenge faced by businesses: the effectiveness of the management team in emotional selling. Joe recommends Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” and emphasizes the importance of understanding the organization’s purpose and assembling a passionate leadership team who can get behind your legacy and values.

Legacy and Values: Weaving a Tapestry of Purpose

For Joe, values and mission are not mere words on a wall. He shares a personal connection to the values that tie back to the company’s inception in 1913. Regular surveys and discussions with employees ensure that the values are not only understood but lived out by everyone in the organization.

Challenges and Ethical Decisions: A Test of Integrity

A poignant moment in the conversation revolves around a challenging time when the industry faced a scarcity of cars. The leadership team at Jim Burke Ford faced a crucial decision – participate in short-term price gouging or stay true to their commitment to building lasting relationships. The choice was clear, emphasizing the company’s commitment to integrity over immediate financial gains.

Living the Culture: A Call to Ownership

The video also underlines the importance of employees not just participating but owning the company culture. Regular meetings and discussions help employees connect with the company’s history and values, ensuring a shared commitment to building a positive and lasting impact.

Making Projections Amid Economic Uncertainty: New Insights from Joe Hay

Towards the end of the interview, Joe Hay addresses the challenge of setting projections in an economically uncertain landscape, such as the fluctuations experienced in 2023. The business’s short-term forecasting approach is highlighted, with a focus on adaptability and the ability to spot immediate problems.

Dealing with Parent Company Shifts: Navigating Unique Challenges

The discussion delves into the unique challenges faced by independent businesses tied to a larger entity, such as Ford Motor Company. Joe shares insights into dealing with unexpected shifts and emphasizes the need for resilience and a proactive mindset.

Financial Requirements for Owning a Ford Dealership: Understanding the Investment

Joe shares the financial aspects of owning a Ford dealership, emphasizing the need for a healthy balance sheet to successfully operate the business. The challenges of managing an independent business within a franchise model are explored.

In a world where businesses often grapple with the balance between tradition and innovation, Jim Burke Ford stands as a testament to the power of staying true to one’s roots while adapting to the challenges of the present. The conversation with Joe Hay provides a glimpse into the intricate dance between legacy and values that shapes the identity of this long standing family business.

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