President & Dealer Principal
Honda of Downtown Los Angeles
Creating a Multi-Generational Customer Experience with the Latest in Tech and Green Design
Joe Shuster will discuss the journey to design a state-of-the-art, vertical next-generation concept that will usher in a new era for economic development and job creation for South Los Angeles. Just a few years back, this dealership was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and Joe and his partner had the vision to invest in the new project that is expected to become the No. 1 Honda dealer in America.
Joe will detail in his presentation how this dynamic design taps into how people shop for cars and exemplifies why Honda of Downtown Los Angeles is at the forefront of a creating a multi-generational family dealership experience.
About Joe Shuster
Joe Shuster started his automotive career in the early 1990’s while in college at the University of Maryland. Without any financial assistance from his family, Joe paid for his tuition and books while waiting tables and tending bar at a restaurant near campus. One night a car salesman from a local dealership came in and spotted Joe’s friendly attitude and desire to make money. He left his card and asked Joe to call the next day. Joe did. In his freshman year of college, Joe started selling cars at Darcars Mazda, VW and Subaru. He took to the business quickly and achieved top sales person numerous times in his 4 years at the store while going to school full time.
After college, Joe accepted a job and returned to NY to work on Wall St. as a junior broker for a year but quickly realized his passion was embedded in the automobile business. He landed a job at Paragon Honda as a sales manager but quickly got promoted to General Sales Manager. Joe was exposed to some of the best leaders in the industry and still credits much of what he has learned in the automobile business to the time he spent at Paragon. Years later, Joe’s hard work and dedication paid off when he was offered a General Manager position at a local Honda store on the other side of town. Joe spent nearly 10 years as the General Manager of Hillside Honda.
In 2011, Joe was able to buy a Honda dealership in Downtown Los Angeles. Although many people thought Joe was crazy for investing in a bankrupt store 3000 miles away, Joe saw an opportunity. Today Honda of Downtown Los Angeles is one of the largest Honda dealerships in the nation and still continues to win numerous accolades from American Honda.
By 2015 the store had outgrown its facility and needed to find a new home. Joe decided to purchase property near USC to build a state of the art facility for Honda of Downtown LA. Currently the new dealership is under construction and is scheduled to open January 2019.
Joe has many personal hobbies and interests including reading, basketball and traveling. He is a member of the Capital One Auto Finance Board, Honda Financial Services Dealer Advisory Board and California Hospital Board of Directors.