Sewell Automotive Reviews

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
38 Reviews

3.5
38 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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J. Carl Sewell Jr.
29 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Conservative & Traditional Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - continuing education is required, and they will pay for your conference/travel/schooling that helps further your career
    - they really care about their employees
    - business is on the UP
    - great people, with a few exceptions
    - 401K match

    Cons

    - not great medical benefits packages
    - no vacation for the first year, 5 days for year 2, 10 days for year 3, 15 days after year 15!
    - very conservative with policies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on cleaning up some of the staff that does not fit the company values. Shift to a more appealing PTO structure, allowing for partial days off and more PTO from the beginning.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Politics, long hours, favoritism

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sewell Automotive

    Pros

    Income potential
    Demo program and gas allowance

    Cons

    Politics and favorites: be one of the managers boys or a good looking young female to get paid well and or move up.
    Long hours: kiss the family and life good bye
    Crowded lots: no room to do anything on the lots
    Poor inventory systems: from looking up cars to finding them it is a joke.
    WAY TOO MANY SALES PEOPLE: Flooding the sales floor has no positives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees like your customers. Quit the poltics this isn't D.C. Have a fair bone deal rotation instead of feeding the favorite sales people it lowers morale. Hire more managers instead of sales people. Have a better inventory system and more porters. Management is slowly turning Sewell in to the typical car dealership.

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Carrot and Stick Approach

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    I have been working at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Money can be good (when the floor isn't over crowded); coworkers are good high quality people; the company has a 100 year reputation bringing instant credibility, and the demo program is a great bonus (car, insurance, and fuel provided)

    Cons

    Hours are TERRIBLE; I currently work at a Sewell Location in sales and I work approximately 65-75 hours per week depending on how close to the end of the month you are.

    Many of those hours are spent siting around (after you've followed up with all of your warm leads, made appointment with your hot leads, and cold called or emailed the cold leads) and waiting for something to happen. If you're the type of person that would rather come in, work hard and get your stuff done then leave, this is NOT the job for you.

    Managers (senior, upper-level, and mid-level alike) tend to focus on petty metrics that don't necessarily paint the entire picture. And they really enjoy negative reinforcement for these. For example, tracking the number of phone calls you make/receive from your desk and the duration of those calls daily. Many of my customers prefer email or text, they are busy too! And I always give people my cell phone because in this job you aren't always at your desk.

    The demo program may seem great at the surface but they use that demo vehicle of yours as a carrot. They hold it over your head if you have a bad month, they loan it out to people that are not your customers at which time you have to sift through trade in's that are a) not in process b)not scheduled to go to a technician at 7am and c) has gas and no low tires or any check engine lights

    They promise college grads out of the gate $60k annual salary guaranteed for the first year. Then after that it can be difficult to make much higher while working many many more hours. Even with repeat and referral business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the negative reinforcement or at least balance it out with some positive reinforcement. Don't turn the other cheek when a top sales performer consistently and with no hesitation breaks the rules or flat out ignores them.

    Pay your good people to keep them. We've lost a lot of good people (not just in sales) due to managers greed and wanting to maintain or lower the bottom line so badly that they would rather let a quality hardworking caring person go then pay the a small raise.

    Try to keep in mind why we all come in everyday, to earn EARN a customers business. This is not the same process with each person. You won't find my progress with most of my customers in the number of phone calls I make or get in a day. why don't you take a look at the call log on my cell phone, or the text messages between customers, or the countless emails? Or better yet just focus on sales units and CSI!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    OK in a pinch

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales
    Current Employee - Sales

    I have been working at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Long hours, Little time off. Stop overstaffing the floor. It looks bad to the customers. It becomes to aggressive of an environment.

    Cons

    Overstaffed sales floor. Stop overstaffing the floor. It looks bad to the customers. It becomes to aggressive of an environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop overstaffing the floor. It looks bad to the customers. It becomes to aggressive of an environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you really want to work in the auto industry, Sewell is the place.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate  in  Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Really good people, and much more professional than other dealerships. Good training, good benefits, smart people. Made some good friends while working there.

    Cons

    It's retail. The hours are long and you lose your weekends. If the pay was really good, then it would be worth it, but they have WAY too many salespeople at Lexus to make a decent living (over 30 salespeople in new car and over 30 in used cars). They could get by with half that many, and then everyone would make good money. They love hiring young kids out of college, because to them making $70,000 seems great. Get ready to work 6 days a week, and 10-12 hours per day. Management frowns upon taking your scheduled day off. It's supposed to be a luxury experience for the customers, but management crams two salespeople in every office cubicle. You are literally tripping over each other, and if you have a customer, your office mate has to vacate the office for sometimes an hour or more losing all productivity during that time. There are so few customers coming in, that salespeople bunch up at the front door and almost pounce on the customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sewell is starting to slip towards being like other car dealership organizations. I've had more than one customer tell me that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Best dealership to work for in town.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate  in  Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, earning potential, training.

    Cons

    Retail hours, full commission, and career path.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Working here was the worst mistake of my professional life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Service Manager  in  Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Service Manager in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many nice co-workers
    Starting guarantee is higher than average (however, this is for a reason)

    Cons

    I worked as an "ASM" aka Assistant Service Manager or "Service Advisor" at Sewell Lexus in Dallas. At first, this seemed like an awesome job and opportunity due to the Sewell name and reputation. However, I quickly realized that the perception customers have & the reality of actually being an employee there is vastly different.

    The atmosphere at Sewell Lexus is a post-college clique. There is a lot of favoritism depending on the clique you're in and whether management likes you. This makes it easy for some advisors to get extra "gravy" customers, while others are left trying to fend for decent tickets to write up to make any money.

    You get to work at 7 AM every day & leave at 6 PM. This is an extremely long day on your feet. The starting pay they use to lure college grads seems high (60K in service at Lexus), but if you divide the pay by the # of hours you're actually working, you're not coming out much further ahead.

    You work every other Saturday in service, so it's hard to make weekend plans with friends or family who have a more traditional work schedule. On Saturday you have to stay there the entire time with no lunch break for 10 hours.

    Your first year you get 0 paid vacation days, that's right, 0. After you've been there 1 year, you get 5 paid vacation days, but that's it. You don't get 10 days until you've been there over 5 years.

    The insurance coverage is way more expensive than other corporate jobs. They didn't cover nearly as much on my prescription as my new job and the monthly employee contribution at Sewell was almost triple what I pay at my new job. Again, this impacts how much of that big 60K pay check you take home.

    The 401k matching is only 25% and it's tiered based on number of years of service. Many companies today offer 50% matching, so that's another area they are falling short.

    Due to extreme weather in Texas, it can be challenging being on the service drive which is partially outdoors in extreme wind, cold, rain, heat, etc. They let you wear polos during the summer, but the rest of the time you are out on the hot asphalt in a button down shirt & tie.

    You are also doing many low-level tasks such as handing out car wash packets and pagers, having technicians check air pressure on tires, writing up "luxury car washes" and moving cars up when the service drive gets busy. ... I didn't graduate from college to be a valet, sorry.

    Once you're off the guarantee that only lasts for a year, you are 100% commission. That's great for Sewell, but not good for you. That means you will have days where you are doing other people's work and not get paid for it. That's just how it is.

    Many of the girls seemed to get promoted to Finance (the most cushy job at the dealerships) not due to merit, but solely based on appearance or who they were friends with. Sewell seems to know people can only stand to work in service for so long & will try and "move" you to another job or give you a job at corporate, but the stints at corporate never last long, it's just a way to keep you with the company. Many people who went to "corporate" end up right back in their old jobs at the dealership.

    I hope people will really consider these points that are the honest truth about their practices and not believe all the hype they try and sell. I don't want others to make the same mistake I made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employee concerns & take steps to address them
    Stop the promotions based on favoritism and Sewell connections

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't work for Sewell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    They recognize talents and will find creative ways to use that in the business for you and the store. It is more corporate versus working at a Kia or Nissan store, lends itself to a more professional environment. They like to reward their employees for their hard work, the company functions are always impressive and they spare no expense to show that they appreciate everyone there.

    Cons

    I came from the Lexus store in Dallas, you don't make good money. The competition is Park Place and Sewell and Park Place undercut each other so much by the end of the sale you've worked for peanuts. Selling is harder because there are a minimum of 35 sales people so you can certainly end the month with a lousy paycheck. Research the brand and it's competition if you REALLY want to make money. Collegiate nepotism, it doesn't matter if you come from somewhere else and have a stellar reputation and known for your hard work if you did not come from one of the colleges that the managers went to you will not be treated the same, this did not happen to me personally but I did experience seeing it happen to other people. While they certainly like to promote women there is little to indicate promoting minorities-which is surprising since minorities also buy Lexus but you don't see that fairly reflected in positions such as management or F&I. This may not mean much to people but it indicates an unfair balance within the infrastructure. Favoritism is a stronghold there as well-they openly cultivate and spoon feed those they like while only fulfilling their job duties and nothing more to others. Management is poorly reliable. One manager in particular is known for mood swings he's been reported to HR yet it appears he's never been PROPERLY addressed at how he treats emloyees and yells and screams, another is widely known for being inappropriate with women by several employees but nothing has been done. I would never work for Sewell again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the things that are rotting at the core rather than lean toward long term relationships to overlook things that are clearly issues. Sewell is a strong name but it's losing quality people and leaving behind college grads that won't pledge their allegiance there for life anyway. Sewell is starting to be known for good service for customers but horrible service for its employees. Openly address reports to HR about management rather than sweep it under the rug. It's defeating to employees when nothing is done and leads to poor performance and eventual resignation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    DON’T BUILD A CARRIER AT SEWELL UNLESS YOU ARE IN THE CLICK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Houston, TX

    I worked at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Respectable Pay and rigorous Training, some really good people. ( some not so good ). High line vehicles and customers.

    Cons

    You will not see your family, you will be talked about poorly by management, and they will work you over and beyond what a human can endure.

    Unless you know someone high up, the odds you will last are slim. For those employees that underperform and are a drag on everyone else are allowed to succeed and grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The values you so publicly preach, start living up to it.. Carl Sewell, IF HE WAS AWARE, would not stand for it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Collin Sewell is the most caring and generous owner I have ever worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Parts Department  in  Odessa, TX
    Former Employee - Parts Department in Odessa, TX

    I worked at Sewell Automotive full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It is the greatest pace in America to work.Owner really cares about the employees and puts a lot back into the community.Sewell Ford has great health benefits.Lindsey and Sherrilyn really make you feel special and that
    you matter to them.You couldn't find a more caring place to work.

    Cons

    Hard to find a place to live.It never rains

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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