Jaguar Land Rover GM Grew Up and Raised Family in Southlake
According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released last September, the median employee tenure for men was 4.3 years and 3.8 years for women, relatively unchanged from 2020. Park Place Dealerships’ median tenure is nearly double the national average with 8 years for men and 6 years for women. Matt Woolsey, General Manager at Park Place Jaguar Land Rover DFW, recently celebrated 25 years at Park Place Dealerships.
“When I first started at Park Place, we were just beginning to use this thing called the internet,” Woolsey says with a chuckle. “Today, we have all the tools necessary to provide our Members (Park Place employees) with everything they need to do their jobs. What I love most about Park Place is the commitment to help our members learn and grow, and ultimately to ensure the client has the best experience.”
Woolsey moved to Southlake in 1980 with his parents and sister Kristina. “There were less than 1,000 people here. After graduating from Carroll High, I went to Austin and studied Business Economics at the University of Texas. Hook ‘em! I met my wife Anne there. I graduated in 1997 and got in the car business in ‘98.”
Woolsey started as a sales consultant at Park Place Motorcars in Bedford. He worked his way up to General Manager at the Mercedes-Benz store and has served as GM at Lexus Grapevine; Jaguar Land Rover North Austin; Jaguar Land Rover Porsche Volvo of Greenville, South Carolina; and Jaguar Land Rover DFW, where he currently works.
“Matt’s passion for our members makes him a leader that others are eager to follow,” said Tony Carimi, Park Place Dealerships’ Managing Director. “His relentless drive for excellence has helped him meet our clients’ needs and mentor hundreds of members. Over the years, he has assisted families with multiple generations of drivers.”
While everyone wants to be liked, Woolsey says it’s imperative he continues to earn his employees’ respect. “When I walk through the store, people see “the GM” walking by. Not the person. It’s just human nature to see the title, and not necessarily the person for who they are. I told one of my directors just last week: it is so much more important to be respected than to be liked. As leaders we have a responsibility to provide for our members and to make sure they can provide for their families. Having our members see our dedication and commitment to excellence will ultimately lead to respect. I’d love for all our team members to like me. I’m human, too! But I’d rather have their respect.”
He and his wife Anne raised their sons Austin (23) and Bennett (20) in Southlake. “They graduated from the same high school as me. Austin graduated from Carroll in 2017. He was the band president. He graduated from UNT with a major in Jazz studies. He married his college sweetheart, and they live in Austin. Bennett graduated in 2021. He’s in Nashville pursuing his dream of being a singer/songwriter.”
Woolsey’s advice to young people just starting their careers: “Stay the course. The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. It’s greener where you water it. Keep working hard and great things will happen for you.”
Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 and employs more than 1,400 members. Park Place Dealership operates three collision centers, an auto auction, and nine full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Acura, and Sprinter Vans. Park Place was acquired in 2020 by Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Duluth, GA. Asbury is one of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S. For more information, visit parkplace.com.