John Stokes

Inducted 1970

Developed a sophisticated operating control system for dealers, enabling them to track sales and financial results on a daily basis Campaigned for more effective and cooperative working relationships between dealers and auto manufacturers John Stokes developed operating systems that permitted auto retailers to become sophisticated businessmen. Stokes talents as an accountant and his work experience at General Motors gave him a unique perspective on automotive dealership management. For decades, dealerships had been plagued by operating problems that led to shortages of cash and inventory, and imbalances between costs and revenues that frequently led to business failures. Stokes revolutionized the business of selling motor vehicles by developing a system that allowed dealers to determine their financial status at the close of each business day. The use of Stokes operating control system stabilized the auto retail industry and permitted dealers to offer improved service to their customers and dependable employment to their employees. Stokes also became a national spokesman in dealer negotiations with motor vehicle franchisors regarding the integrity of franchise agreements. Stokes book on motor vehicle franchising and his personal leadership on behalf of auto retailers led to the development of revised franchise agreements that clearly identified the rights and responsibilities of both the manufacturer and the retailer.

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