Car dealer expanding presence in Tri-State

Bo Wiley, the leader of the Wiley Auto Group that owns and operates four car dealerships in the tri-state area, is a firm believer in training, stemming from the 12 years he spent in the U.S.

Marine Corps.

"Being in the service is good experience for anyone," he said.

"It teaches you how to manage people and accept responsibility."

Wiley was a pilot in the Marine Corps and also served as a military judge for three years.

He was an attorney who practiced trial law 1974 to 1999.

The Wiley Auto Group began with the purchase of a Ford dealership in Needles, Calif., in 1994.

The group bought Cerbat Hills Ford in Kingman in 1999, opened a Ford dealership the following year in Bullhead City and purchased a Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership earlier this year in Needles.

Wiley also owns a minority interest in a Nissan dealership in Bullhead City.

The four group dealerships employ about 120 full-time workers.

Keeping those employees abreast of the latest innovations in the automotive field requires a lot of training.

"We spend more money on training than we do on advertising," Wiley said.

"Our employees don't just attend Ford seminars but those with independent trainers, too.

Ford Motor Co.

has joined with Reynolds & Reynolds to build a computer-driven parts acquisition system that ensures every part, whether in a dealer's inventory or not, is put into the system, Wiley said.

The computer system analyzes and diagnoses what parts are needed and automatically orders them, thus maintaining inventories with the most-ordered parts.

That system should be in place when Colorado River Ford moves into its new Kingman location on Stockton Hill Road in late February.

The new building will have roughly 40,000 square feet of space, nearly double the size of the existing one.

Wiley said he believes the success of the Wiley Auto Group comes from providing the communities it serves with good cars and service at fair prices.

It is a philosophy that is practiced by everyone at the various dealerships, not simply something talked about, he said.

Wiley lives in San Diego.

He flies to Kingman in his twin-engine Cessna and spends three to four days here and visiting dealerships in Needles and Bullhead each week.

He has been a commercial pilot since 1964 and has more than 6,000 hours in the air.

Wiley's educational background includes graduation in 1966 from the U.S.

Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.

He picked up a law degree in 1974 from the University of Arkansas.

Wiley has four children and five grandchildren.

One son, Trey, works as used-car manager at Colorado River Ford, while his son-in-law, Rodney Phillips (married to daughter, Leah), is a service writer at the dealership in Kingman.

A son, Matt Wiley, is in the computer business in Arkansas, and a daughter, Elizabeth, is a student at the University of Arkansas.

Wiley's wife, Carol, is a golfer.

He also likes to golf, twice a month on average, and has a 14 handicap.

In San Diego, Wiley is active in two civic organizations.

He is a member of the Century Club of San Diego, which annually sponsors the Buick Open golf tournament.

Wiley also is a member of the San Diego International Sports Council.

That organization hosted the last two Super Bowls held in San Diego and puts on a rock and roll marathon each year.

"The council also is primarily responsible for bringing the Olympic training facility to San Diego," he said.

Construction on the Olympic facility began five years ago and took three years to complete, Wiley said.

Wiley was asked about future plans of the Wiley Auto Group.

"After we get the new store open in Kingman, we'll move the Ford store in Bullhead into a new facility sometime next year," he said.

"We're also going to expand our service facility for the Ford dealership in Needles next year.

"But we have no plans to acquire existing or to build any new dealerships at this time."