David Lata, Motoring Advisor.
Have you worked in the automotive industry before? What brought you to the MINI team?
I was a MINI owner first. My partner and I bought a 2010 British Racing Green Certified Pre-Owned MINI Cooper Hardtop. I was working for Apple at the time and like MINI, enjoyed their focus on people, products and environment. Summer of 2014, my partner, 2 roommates and I joined MTTS. We packed peanut butter sandwiches in a cooler, started a blog called 4guys1mini and drove to San Francisco. The MTTS trip introduced me to MINI culture and met owners from coast to coast. I knew I wanted to work for this brand.
Why should a person work for a MINI dealer over other car dealers?
The atmosphere at MINI was unlike any of the others dealerships I had been to. They were welcoming, friendly, and energetic. I learned quickly that working here is not about just selling a car. It’s about matching people with a MINI that’s going to take them on adventures. They will use the MINI to share experiences with their family and friends. And who knows, maybe drive across the country on the next MTTS!
What is the typical successful MINI Motoring Advisor like?
First - a love for the brand. You have to be able to speak to how this is more than a car. MINI has a full and rich culture of rallies, races and relationships.
Second - You need to have a love for people. You must be able to understand people in order to help them decide what MINI is best for them. Providing clients with a premium standard of service by earning peoples trust and respect, and nurturing that into a lifelong relationship. I always want owners to talk about how much fun they had at MINI of Manhattan.
Third - You need to have good communication and time management skills. This will lead to success at this job. You will need to be motivated to keep up with trends, news and a desire to learn more.
What is the most exciting or best part about your job?
I love meeting new people and learning about their experiences and aspirations. I watch their families grow; we have events and they bring their pets, friends and show off how cool MINIs are. It’s more of a lifestyle then a job.
As a Motoring Advisor, I had the honor of doing MINI Takes the States a second time in 2016. My husband and I got married in Vegas in a drive-through Wedding Chapel while on the trip. It was so cool to have my "MINI Family" join us in our special day.
What types of training are offered to MINI dealer staff?
We do a lot of training with MINI USA. Some of it gave me the opportunity to travel; I went to MINI Driving School in Georgia as well as Palm Springs for the launch of the new Countryman this year. We take online classes and have a MINI Product Trainers that come to the dealership for hands on training. I am constantly learning new things about the brand, cars, and myself.
Do you have any brand partnerships or sponsorship partners at your dealer location?
During MTTS 2014, MINI partnered up with Best Friends Animal Society to help animals in shelters. In 2016, MINI partnered up with Feeding America for several events throughout the year. While on MTTS, MINI of Manhattan sold T-shirts and stickers and donated the money to Feeding America that provided over 3,300 meals to families in need. MINI has also partnered up with HMI in NYC. We have participated in their fundraising events to help homeless LGBTQ youth. The MINI brand is committed to giving back to our community and participating with organizations that have a positive impact in people's lives.