September 24, 2023


Only Automotive

Gross sales Marketing consultant, Instagram Influencer & Working Mother

6 min read
The Car Mom 3

“I used to be very nervous when my dad determined to place me at our BMW retailer,” recalled Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Automotive Mother. “I used to be 22 years outdated; I had by no means offered a automotive, and but I’m now promoting $80,000 5 Sequence vehicles to individuals two or 3 times my age.”

An Uphill Battle

Stumpe, the St. Louis native and founding father of The Car Mom, stands at a important intersection between the automotive enterprise and girls. At the moment, there’s a vital cultural motion to acknowledge girls in automotive (and lots of different industries) for his or her contributions. Likewise, there’s extra acknowledgment right this moment that females are the highest auto-buying demographic. On the trade aspect, Stumpe can encourage girls who want to pursue an automotive profession. On the buyer aspect, her expertise and character decrease the reservations individuals have, particularly girls, about setting foot in a dealership.

From an trade perspective, the highway continues to be undeniably laborious for girls in automotive. In accordance with Automotive Information and Deloitte analysis, girls account for only 27 percent of the U.S. auto manufacturing workforce. In a survey carried out by each organizations in October 2018 known as Ladies on the Wheel, only one % mentioned automotive was the very best trade for females. Solely 14 % mentioned they’d encourage feminine relations and buddies to pursue an automotive profession. In the meantime, 74 % of feminine respondents mentioned they’ve completely different efficiency requirements versus their male colleagues.

“Being a lady, being younger, and being the proprietor’s daughter meant having all of those added expectations on me once I began promoting vehicles,” Stumpe mentioned. “I felt like I received examined quite a bit, particularly early on.”

The added expectations and elevated strain got here as Stumpe is now the third era of the Suntrup Automotive Group family, primarily based in St. Louis, Missouri. “My Grandpa and his brother began it in 1957, after which my dad and his brother actually grew it right into a multi-franchise group,” she defined. “After I first entered the automotive enterprise in 2016, everyone thought I might know a lot about it as a result of I had grown up in it. In actuality, I didn’t know a lot about automotive shopping for as a result of I had by no means seen the method truly occur.”

Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Car Mom.
Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Automotive Mother.

Strolling The Stroll

After graduating from William Woods College with a level in Equestrian Sciences, she returned to the household enterprise and the BMW franchise particularly. Though it could not have appeared prefer it to outsiders, the dealership was a unique world for Stumpe. Her studying curve comprised two uniquely completely different however equally essential and difficult areas. One was studying the dealership’s day-to-day operations and inside workings, from gross sales and repair to components and equipment. The second was getting acclimated to the BMW product line, a tough activity for any automotive skilled, not to mention someone new to the enterprise.

Luxurious manufacturers like BMW differ in that they’ve intensive lineups, many intricate tech options, and among the most superior engineering with regard to automobile platforms and powertrains. BMW’s terminology may be significantly overwhelming, particularly when seeing it for the primary time. Phrases and descriptors like “TwinPower turbocharging expertise,” “VALVETRONIC totally variable valve timing,” and “double-VANOS variable camshaft timing” are all frequent BMW lingo. Add to that BMW’s M lineup, the place there are quite a few choices and packages, and it presents one other problem solely. In brief, BMW isn’t a straightforward product lineup to be taught.

“Individuals would are available very well-researched, some with their leases even calculated by hand. I discovered shortly that BMW consumers are skilled consumers,” Stumpe recalled. “So I pushed myself to be taught every little thing about BMWs after which every little thing in regards to the automotive shopping for course of. I took each alternative I may to be taught.”

Automotive Offers & Hen Nuggets

As Stumpe discovered her footing, she started making a notice of the shortcomings within the gross sales course of. One of the crucial vital is how irritating automotive shopping for may be, particularly for girls. Whereas Stumpe was certainly a welcome face for automotive consumers at dwelling in St. Louis, she started to consider methods to develop on what she noticed to a bigger viewers. Stumpe needed to bridge the hole between dealerships and shoppers whereas retaining her id as an actual particular person with children and a household.

“The extra I used to be speaking about vehicles, the extra I used to be sharing my household life,” Stumpe mentioned. “I’m very sensible; my home is messy, and my children generally eat rooster nuggets for dinner, however I’m doing my finest. Individuals resonated with that, girls particularly. So I got down to share extra about my entrepreneurial journey, however that journey additionally includes my household.”

Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Car Mom, with husband Tyler and kids George (almost two) and Hattie (five months).
Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Automotive Mother, with husband Tyler and children George and Hattie.

The Automotive Mother

The end result of all this impressed Stumpe to launch The Automotive Mother platform in early 2020, simply as COVID-19 lockdowns had been beginning to be carried out nationwide. Stumpe was pregnant together with her daughter Hattie on the time whereas her son George was simply 9 months.

“I didn’t even really feel snug taking my nine-month-old child to the grocery retailer; how are girls speculated to take their toddler to automotive dealerships,” Stumpe continued. “These poor girls, or these poor households, are compelled to take their children to a dealership in a pandemic, give some gross sales man their license, meet the supervisor, get pressured right into a lease, all to seek out out their strollers and automotive seats actually don’t slot in that SUV the best way they thought.”

Stumpe hit the bottom working with The Automotive Mother, which has logged over 400,000 followers on Instagram as of this writing. “I believed, what if I may simply give mothers a primary have a look at a brand new automobile, and what if I may save them 4 or 5 hours on the dealership,” she mentioned. “That’s one thing I might need to do.” 

As a working mother herself, Stumpe places her focus and vitality into real-world critiques and car-buying suggestions. Her YouTube channel options complete overviews of the most recent autos, together with EVs, hybrids, and three-row SUVs. Stumpe additionally has movies that cowl prolonged service contracts and the most recent in-vehicle tech options. We additionally see Stumpe’s humor and beauty in movies like A Day in the Life of The Car Mom, the place she reveals her love for espresso, chocolate, and Weight loss plan Coke (fountain Weight loss plan Coke that’s).  

“As I give these first seems at completely different autos, I all the time need to maintain girls and households entertained and simply converse their language,” Stumpe mentioned. “I’m very passionate in regards to the household facet, and in some ways, I attempt to be the common particular person’s automotive reviewer.”

Kelly Suntrup Stumpe, aka The Car Mom.

The Carpool Podcast

Along with her Instagram web page and YouTube channel, Stumpe hosts The Carpool Podcast alongside her enterprise associate and sister, Lizz Suntrup. Behind the microphones, the duo goes past the concept of a normal automotive podcast to supply a mind break for working moms. “In each episode, we are going to discuss a bit of bit in regards to the auto trade, however we principally take listeners alongside as we navigate marriage, motherhood, and life as sisters, entrepreneurs, and finest buddies,” Stumpe mentioned.

Lasting Influence of The Automotive Mother

As an automotive platform, The Automotive Mother is comparatively new, however Stumpe’s speedy development in followers and followers proves her distinctive model and signature are vastly wanted. Traditionally, automotive has been a male-driven enterprise not readily accessible to girls, however that is changing today. Extra girls now occupy govt roles, and producers higher perceive how influential girls are within the car-buying course of.

As The Automotive Mother, Stumpe is uniquely (if not remarkably) positioned to serve each side of this important equation. Extra like her are wanted. And that’s the reason I love her work.

“Mothers resonate with me, they see what I’m doing, and I hope to carry that to the remainder of the automotive world,” Stumpe mentioned. “That’s a objective I’ve now, and I want to proceed to get the eye of the automotive world.”

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Affiliation and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of administrators for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Basis, is a previous president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

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