Founded by Steve Nickelsen and building on his 34+ year career in automotive consulting, Nickelsen Partners is generally regarded as the leading expert in dealership processes based on the foundation of “customer retention”.

They provide expertise in used vehicles to include sourcing, pricing, turn, aging, merchandising and wholesaling. In service, they assist in growing customer pay gross profit and retention.  They provide professional level executive coaching for dealers and managers.



Steve Nickelsen, CEO of Nickelsen Partners LLC, has focused on improving dealership net profit for the past 34 years. In his personal consulting to dealers and as leader of other consultants, he has worked with more than 8,000 dealers, general managers, and sales managers to improve their businesses, and he has trained more than 20,000 automotive salespeople. His clients include some of the most profitable automotive organizations in North America, as well as some with among the highest customer satisfaction and retention.

He is a frequent speaker for companies and conventions related to the automotive industry, and he has been the highest-rated speaker at NADA. In addition to working directly with car dealers, he has worked with OEMs and importers to help them improve the sales, profitability, effectiveness, and satisfaction of their dealer bodies.

Examples of his work include:

  • For a group of domestic-brand dealerships, helping them rise from average to outstanding sales performance (including making their largest store the #12 Chevrolet store in the U.S. in sales) by coaching the dealer and his management team
  • For a dealer with both import and domestic stores, enabling the dealer to achieve greater profitability — and happiness — by helping him define and implement consistent, effective processes for major dealership activities, particularly the vehicle selling process, thereby creating an earned confidence that the operations were stable and under control.
  • For a Canadian importer, helping them achieve month-over-month sales growth in an otherwise declining market, by creating and conducting a series of targeted performance workshops.
  • For a distributor of Toyota vehicles, helping them grow their market share by more than 15% over two years, through work with the distributor and directly with their dealers.