Automotive Industry Faces – Helping manufacturers improve the performance of their dealer networks
Automotive Industry Faces: Fran O'Hagan
Fran O’Hagan is President & CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC and founder of Auto OEM Network: the largest automotive group on LinkedIn with 127,000 members and growing. Few people are better positioned to see the most important trends and challenges across the industry. Mr. O’Hagan spoke in detail with Automotive IQ about his experiences with and insights into the auto industry.
Part 1 of a 3 part interview:
"...part of the business that I came to really enjoy was rolling up
my sleeves and making things happen with the dealer network. I mean, that’s
where the action is."
Automotive IQ: Could you explain a little about your background and your interest in the automotive industry?
Fran O’ Hagan: I’ll give you the story of how I got into the auto industry. I was working on an MBA and one of my last classes of the MBA was this Capstone management course. We had to pick an industry to write a management paper about and I happened to pick the auto industry. I was interested in cars - not rabidly but as much as anything. Anyway, I wrote a paper comparing the marketing of Aston Martin and Range Rover in the US. And I had fun with it and I got a lot of information including from both of the companies. But I thought nothing of it.
I was working for a bank at the time while I was getting my MBA and got a call at work from my wife who said, "Fran there’s a message on the answering machine, a guy with a British accent. He says he’s from Range Rover of North America and he wants to talk with you about your paper. Are you sure you didn’t plagiarize or something?" Well, I didn’t think so. I got in touch with the guy and he said, we understand you’re about ready to graduate and I read your paper and found it interesting. We’re looking to hire somebody as a product information specialist. Somebody who will borrow cars from all the other manufacturers and drive them to keep us apprised of what’s going on in the industry and I thought to myself, you’ll pay me for that?! That’s how I started and one thing leads to another and I ended up working in the auto industry for 15 years for Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar. From middle management positions all the way up to being an executive...
This is part 1 of a 3 part interview with Fran O’Hagan