Women in Remarketing: Michelle Robertson
Auto Remarketing is recognizing the 2023 Women in Remarketing honorees in the April edition of the magazine and will be posting Q&As with each of these outstanding leaders on the website.
Next up is Michelle Robertson, manager of US & Canada auction operations at Ford Motor Co.
What is the top trend you’re watching in remarketing/wholesale automotive this year?
Top trend I’m watching this year is the impact of EVs as they are being returned and resold and how the industry will determine value on these vehicles from battery health to arbitration handling to secondary sale of batteries.
What do you enjoy the most about the remarketing business, and what would you change?
I love being part of the remarketing business and seeing how the market reacts to the economy and inventory levels with pricing. Remarketing is dynamic, interesting, full of characters and challenging. Engaging with my team at the various auctions and getting to know the auction management has been a very rewarding experience. I have learned so much from my area managers, regional operations managers and auction teams.
The industry has changed, but I would have enjoyed seeing the dealers, ring men, auctioneers and vehicles running through the lanes pre-COVID. The energy would have been amazing.
What piece of career advice would you have for someone new to the industry?
The best advice I could give someone new to remarketing would be to network and learn from your team, auction partners, other vendors and the dealers. Ask questions and bring forward new ideas.
You were brought in to remarketing because you have a fresh, new perspective to share with your team. I’ve been in vehicle remarketing a little over a year and have learned the leaders in this industry are generous with sharing knowledge and providing historical background on processes.
I’d also remind someone new to take risks and learn from your mistakes. Finally, new technologies are changing the business we’re in and you need to be prepared for change because it will continue to come to remarketing.
Describe a time you were either a mentor or a mentee and the value you found in the experience.
In my career I’ve been both a mentor and a mentee and have enjoyed both roles. I was fortunate to participate in the Menttium program through Ford where we were provided with a coach to tackle topics like communicating ideas to senior leadership, understanding and creating your leadership shadow and developing presentation skills for large audiences. Being able to brainstorm and discuss ideas with an impartial third party changed me as a leader.
My coach asked me thought provoking questions to help me formulate plans to improve my leadership skills and style. What I learned through this experience has shaped my career and helped me achieve my professional goals. A mentor can help you create opportunities in your career but more importantly they are able to share wisdom and knowledge to help you think strategically on how you want to be perceived and how to build your roadmap for a successful career.