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An Interview with Mackie Hughes

Simoniz divisional president, Mackie Hughes, discusses the latest developments with his company and much more
An Interview with Mackie Hughes

Mackie Hughes reflects on how he got started in the F&I industry and how he grew to be where he is today. He shares recent news on Simoniz products as well as what he sees for the future of his company and the industry as a whole.

1.Tell me a little bit about your company and its place in the industry?

Simoniz USA is a Connecticut-based brick and mortar company that operates 300,000 square feet of office, manufacturing, and distribution warehousing. Simoniz branded product are sold in more than 100 countries worldwide. Simoniz branded products, training and services are preferred throughout the country at new car dealerships. Our products are truly “The F&I Professional’s Choice.”

2. Are there any recent or future developments within your company that you would like to tell us about?

Simoniz Specialty Markets Division is constantly working on improving our brand and our offerings. We launched LeaseGuard on April 1, 2015, which incorporates our highly successful GlasssCoat program with day one, dollar one lease wear and tear benefits. We are also bringing to market new ways to offer GlassCoat with new coverages and terms that are palatable to the diverse ways dealers would like to do business.

3. How did you (personally) get started? What caused you to choose this career path?

I was in the service industry (men’s retail clothing) when recruited by Paul Cleaver, a car dealer at the time in Lexington KY, to come to work for him. He gave me the opportunity to take advantage of my skill set. Paul sent me to the Resource Group/Pat Ryan training. This kicked off my F&I career and I have never looked back. Since then, I’ve been very blessed to work with some of the best creative minds in the business.

4. What are your outside interests / what do you like to do on your days off? What activities/sports are you passionate about?

My outside interests are Kentucky Basketball (college sports in general), Pittsburgh Steelers football, golf, and of course my three children’s interests. All have played football, basketball, cheerleading and soccer. My wife, Diana and I enjoy entertaining, cooking, and sharing Kentucky Bourbon and fine wines with our friends and colleagues.

5. What are the biggest issues you see facing the industry today and in the future?

I see multiple hurdles in this industry, not issues. I believe we must be transparent and provide efficacy with our products. I also believe we all have the right to make honest money for our products and services. By being transparent, every party to the transaction understands where they stand and what is to be gained, without any hidden agendas.

6. What advice would you give to someone new to this industry?

I would recommend for someone coming out of college to get with a reputable company, train on the basics of the car deal, work in F&I, and learn how to sell products and paper to the banks. Build a strong working foundation of the car business from front to back, so when selling yourself and your products, you have working knowledge of the dealership and know what makes them tick. Listen to the dealer; they will tell you what they need to be successful, then provide them the answer. I’ve surrounded myself with a circle of influence – people, who are successful not only in the car business, but in other areas as well. These are people that I can bounce ideas off of, and share my thoughts with and I know they will give me honest feedback.

7. Is there anything else you would like to add?

In closing I would like for anyone interested in learning more about our brand to reach out to me personally. My goal is to “build on this brand” and make it a powerhouse! We are in the branding business – people buy brands and Simoniz has a 104 year track record equal to none! We are not diluting our brand, we are expanding and strengthening the quality of our products and services everyday!

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