Women in Auto: Allie Peters – mySA

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Allie Peters says she’s not really a “car person,” even though she’s deeply involved in the auto industry as the fixed-operations director at Land Rover San Antonio.

Instead, Peters thinks of herself as a people person, and working in the auto industry has allowed her to interact with a wide variety of people every day.

“I joke that I accidentally fell into the auto industry,” she said. “I am not a car person, but I love people. I love what I do, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to become a part of the auto industry,” Peters said.

She acknowledged that there have been some challenges that come from being a woman working in a male-dominated industry. But she said she has never let those deter her from working to succeed at everything she does in the auto business, a career that has already lasted more than 11 years.

Peters said she also believes her career was most likely part of her destiny.

“My legal name is Alex, and I like to tell the story about how when I was born in the ‘80s, my mom chose that name because she wanted me to have as many career options as possible,” Peters said. “She did not want the fact that I was a woman to hold me back ever in life.

“We laugh now, because while she did not know what the future held for me, I did find myself in a male-dominated industry. And I believe that my parents set me up for success from Day One. They encouraged me to set big goals, and after I reached those, to keep going for more. They taught me how to love people in all stages of life, and to show empathy and compassion for others. They taught me to be creative and think outside of the box. And they always told me that I was capable.

“At the end of the day, I do what I do for the people around me. I want people to love where they work, and I believe that when that is the case, our customers can feel that and want to continue to do business with us,” Peters said.

Here are her answers to some questions from the Express-News about her career:

Q.: Why did you choose the auto industry?

A.: I graduated from college as we were coming out of the recession, and my cousin was an intern with a dealership group in DFW.

She called me on her second week and said I needed to apply, as it was a job that was always busy, and one that I would get to talk with a lot of people throughout the day — two things that were important to me.

Q.: Is your current job your first in the industry, or have you had other roles?

A.: I have had other roles. I started as a service advisor, opened a fixed operations BDC, sales associate, service manager, service director and now fixed operations director.

Q.: What’s your overall view so far of working in the auto industry? Is it what you imagined it to be?

A.: I honestly did not have any set expectations, so it has been a fun adventure going through each chapter of my career.

I enjoy that it is a new day each day with a different challenge.

My overall view is optimistic, as one of my goals is to change the way that people perceive the auto industry.

And my favorite part is having the opportunity to be in a leadership role, and building teams and culture. 

Q.: What other auto industry jobs would you be interested in?

A.: I would like to continue to grow my career and scope of responsibilities.

I am still relatively young (34) and would like the opportunity to work with multiple rooftops to grow their businesses.

I would also be open to a general manager opportunity, or even one day owning a part of or even an entire dealership.

Q.: What is your typical day like at work? A.: Every day looks different for me. A perfect day for me would be knocking out my reporting/ administrative tasks early and being “in” the department, shoulder to shoulder with my team.

I like to stay as involved as possible so that I can do real-world coaching and give positive feedback as my team is performing their job. I like interacting with the customers and our team throughout the day.

Q.: What particular challenges have you faced as a woman working in a generally male- dominated industry?

A.: There are times that customers do not want to talk with me as a woman in this industry. They are shocked often to find out that I am the manager that they are asking to speak with.

I have also been told that I would never make it as more than an advisor; that I didn’t have what it took to be a leader.

Q.: What advice to you have for other women who might be contemplating careers in the auto industry?

A.: Do it! I truly believe that the auto industry is at a point in its life that it is changing faster than ever before. It needs smart people who are sincerely interested in other people, and who can be a part of this change.

Be strong in the knowledge that we are capable of taking exceptional care of customers and colleagues, and come be a part of making this the greatest place to work.

Q.: Would you recommend a position like yours to other women, or what positions might you suggest?

A.: Absolutely. I wear many hats in my position, and I am fulfilled each day in knowing that I made a difference to someone. It is a great position to have!

Q.: Do you have any other comments you wish to add to your story?

A.: I had the honor of being named one of Automotive News’ 40 Under 40 last year.

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