Lithia Motors Hired its First Chief Human Resources Officer – Why Your Dealership Should Do the Same

By Beth Kempton,
July 26, 2018

Lithia Motors, one of the largest dealership groups in the U.S., announced the appointment of Erik Lewis as its first Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) on July 23. The new executive-level role was added to support Lithia’s mission of “Growth Powered by People.” Lithia attributes much of its success and growth over the past five years to its people-focused culture and welcomes Lewis to help the organization continue to attract, grow and retain top talent.

In his new role, Lewis is taking over human resources responsibilities from Lithia Executive Vice President Chris Holzshu. In 2017, Holzshu attended Hireology’s inaugural Elevate conference, the retail automotive industry’s only summit dedicated solely to human capital management. During Elevate, Holzshu participated in a fireside chat to discuss how Litiha promotes an entrepreneurial environment at the store level, powered by people who generate innovative customer solutions and drive financial performance.

Embrace HR as a Leadership Partner at Your Dealership

Lithia is one of the leading dealership groups when it comes to embracing human resources as a true partner on the leadership team. Your dealership should identify and hire a strong HR leader who can not only take the charge of compliance and administrative responsibilities, but also turn your people into a source of competitive advantage.

A CHRO or other HR leader in a similar position can partner with your recruiting team to ensure you’re making the right hires to meet the dealership’s operational goals. He or she can also ensure you’re intentional about your dealership employment brand and culture as you continue to grow. Once employees are hired, an HR leader can also give them the tools they need to succeed with structured training and professional growth programs.

Learn More About Building Your Best Team at Elevate

The automotive industry faces many challenges when it comes to remaining profitable today – including declining new car sales, decreasing profit margins, increasing regulations and competition from disruptive business models.

To stay profitable, it’s critical for your dealership to rethink your people strategy and build your best team. This includes adding a strong HR professional to your leadership team, focusing on your employment brand and creating a compelling candidate experience.

To set yourself up for success, join 250 retail automotive HR leaders, along with their General Managers and Dealer Principals at Elevate 2018, the premier conference for human capital management in retail automotive. During Elevate, you’ll have the opportunity to network fellow retail automotive human capital leaders, hear from expert speakers on a variety of topics related to people strategy and tactically build your 2019 human capital management plan.

Elevate 2018 will be held on October 1 and 2 in Chicago, Illinois. Don’t miss out – register today.

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.