A firm commitment to the customer and dedication to service that comes with it, keeps Gerry Lane Enterprises at the top of the car dealership business in Baton Rouge. Despite entering this market almost 30 years ago in the face of poor economic conditions, Lane's business thrived, success Lane attributed to "treating the customer the way I'd like to be treated." The service-first attitude, an improved product line and an innovative sales and marketing approach contribute to Gerry Lane Enterprises' consistent success, even on the inevitable downside of the business cycle.
Gerry Lane passed away May 3, 2013, but he taught his son, Eric, now President of Gerry Lane Enterprises, along with partner/manager, Cedric Patton, to continue his successful recipe for success. The company that Gerry Lane started in 1966 in Bay St. Louis, MS continues to thrive, even with the up and down economic cycles. In fact, the dealerships have just had the best months in 28 years and that is with the advertising structure completely changing in 2012. The Lane Agency, run by Gerry’s daughter, Saundra, changed 80% of the budgets to social media. The remainder goes strictly to support the community with over 400 charities reaping the benefits of the Lane family generosity. Ads, promotions, public relations, social media and media placement are handled in house. Saundra's input has not only helped Gerry Lane Enterprises stay near the top of the state's auto dealers in sales but also has helped build name recognition that is higher than some of the oldest businesses in Baton Rouge. "When people think of buying a car, we want them to think of us first," she says.
Eric Lane, a former catcher for the San Francisco Giants, wears many hats for the family business and the entire family thrives on the healthy competition between the Chevrolet, Buick-GMC, Cadillac, Mitsubishi, two Payless Car Sales lots and the recently added MV-1. The MV-1 is a revolutionary vehicle that is made specifically for the mobility challenged and is over $30,000 less than it costs to buy a vehicle and have it fitted for a wheelchair. “We now have the privilege to work with a different demographic thanks to the MV-1, ” says Lane. Eric is active in a number of organizations and holds daily meetings at each of the dealerships to keep things in check.
Cedric Patton, partner and manager with Gerry Lane Enterprises has 31 years with the company. He started as a salesman and worked his way through the ranks. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in marketing and has been a partner since 1994. Patton keeps a low profile and is constantly walking around the stores to ensure the Gerry Lane philosophy is being implemented. The Lane family's "what goes around, comes around" philosophy of life has been a proven formula by which to run a successful business. "It's our way of life and that's how we do business," Eric Lane commented. Gerry Lane
Founder, Gerry Lane Enterprises
Gerry Lane has been described as an overachiever, hard worker, great leader, a country boy, a great visionary, kind, critical and always generous. “He didn’t know the phrase, ‘you can’t do that.’ That just made him want to do whatever it was, even more. He built a company that’s built on legends. He taught his children and employees to do their very best work, no matter what. It’s because of him, that we all are better employees and people,” commented one of his long time employees, “Catfish” Bill Carrigan.