Julio Casillas – A Higher Standard
At Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills and the Rusnak Auto Group, the selection, show-casing and sales of pre-owned vehicles is a true art form.
Even for a prestigious luxury automotive company like Rusnak Auto Group, the acquisition and sales of pre-owned vehicles is not only paramount, it is essential to the overall success of the entire organization.
How can that be, you say? How can a world-famous automobile group that features Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover be so concerned about pre-owned vehicles and sales? Well, take it from Sven Larson, the General Manager of Rusnak’s Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills dealership, pre-owned vehicles, in the big picture, are just as critical as new-car sales.
“Used cars are not only important at this store but they are critically important to the Rusnak Group as an organization,” Larson says. “The way our founder Paul Rusnak and CEO Victoria Rusnak look at things, the used car department is a separate franchise in and of itself. The measure of a store is how well the used car department is functioning.” For those of you who are not privy to the inside world of automobiles dealerships and sales, that may come as quite a shock.
What may also be surprising is how a high-line dealership like Rusnak searches for, recruits and hires the manager of its pre-owned vehicle department. It’s similar to the way the Dodgers, Angels or Lakers chase after the best free-agent talents on the market.
One of the top pre-owned automobile managers in the country happened to be a stone’s throw away from Larson’s dealership. His name: Julio Casillas.
For years, Casillas, a UC Riverside graduate with a degree in Business Administration, was a top mortgage advisor. When the housing crisis hit, the company Casillas worked for dissolved and he had to reassess his career goals.
His wife, Gladys, suggested he return to his first love – automobiles. During college, Casillas sold cars. Problem was, his heart was not into selling cars at this stage of his life. But what he did find intriguing was becoming a buyer for a luxury dealership. He trained at CarMax and became so adept that the company hired him as a buyer. Later, they promoted him to train others.