Chickasaw entrepreneur adapts as auto industry undergoes change
The Chickasaw Nation embodies fearlessness and isn't afraid of challenges'
November 5, 2021
Chickasaw citizen Chad Col¬lier has had a business-focused mindset dating back to his earli¬est memories. He started working miscellaneous jobs at age 10. He has continued to expand his ho¬rizons since, and is now the CEO of his own company.
Mr. Collier, 44, said his entre¬preneurial spirit has motivated him to pursue a number of ven¬tures throughout the duration of his professional career.
He attributes much of his deter¬mination to his Chickasaw heri¬tage, and the core values of the Chickasaw people.
"The Chickasaw Nation embod¬ies fearlessness and isn't afraid of challenges," he said. "When I think about my heritage, as an entrepreneur, it's helped me to have the courage to take on any challenges."
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Mr. Collier's family has helped shape his work ethic and drive.
While in high school, he worked as a lot attendant for a car dealer¬ship his father, Ron Collier, man¬aged.
After a chance encounter with a customer, his passion for the auto industry bloomed.
"One day I was out moving the cars around the lot and one of the customers came up and asked me if I could help him," Mr. Collier said. "I told him no, I moved the cars, but I didn't sell them. He persuaded me into helping him and I ended up selling him that car."
Mr. Collier soon moved to sales and continued to work for his fa¬ther until he started college at the University of Oklahoma.
The mentorship Mr. Collier's father offered working at the dealership greatly impacted his decision to stay in the automotive industry.
Mr. Collier made the decision to move to Arizona to attend Arizo¬na State University where he once again found himself working as a sales consultant at a dealership.
Content with his profession, he knew a business management de¬gree would provide opportunity for him in the automotive indus¬try, as well as an entrepreneur.
He went on to earn a degree in business management from ASU, graduating in 2000.
Over time, he learned all facets that pertain to the auto industry – from detailing, to selling, and more complex, like owning and operating.
At Fisher Chevrolet and Fisher Kia in Yuma, Ariz., he worked his way up from a sales consultant, through management, and even¬tually became general manager.
Under Mr. Collier's leadership, the dealership reached all-time highs in sales and customer satis¬faction, earning the top non-met¬ro Chevrolet store in the Desert Southwest Region.
At 26, he became the youngest, non-succession Ford dealer in history, when he and his sister, Cimberlee Collier, bought a deal¬ership in Tennessee.
Going into business with his sister was a natural choice since all of his immediate family had history in the auto industry.
"When we decided to buy the dealership in Tennessee, every¬body wanted to come together and do it as a family," he said. "My mom and dad moved and worked at the dealership, and a year later my younger sister, Car¬rie, came to work at the dealer¬ship."
Their venture was successful, and they ended up purchasing three stores together, with their sister, Carrie, joining them as a partner in their second store.
They worked together until they sold their last store to Au¬toNation, a conglomerate automo¬tive group.
"The majority of the dealer¬ships we bought were underper¬forming dealerships," Mr. Collier said. "So, we would buy them and upgrade processes then turn them around and sell them. We would take them from last place in their region, sometimes up to number one in the region. A big part of that was having my family involved to be able to jump in and quickly turn those dealerships around."
CHANGING THE EXPERIENCE
After selling the dealerships, Mr. Collier moved into the tech¬nology and marketing world, and developed a mobile app, Car Fac¬tor.
Car Factor gave car shoppers access to 350,000-plus car op¬tions at the convenience of their mobile device. It soared to the number one downloaded app in the auto category.
Mr. Collier sold Car Factor, then developed I'm A Looker.
Customers interested in pur¬chasing a vehicle could do so without having to interact with a sales associate in person, but could do so virtually.
Mr. Collier's sole reason for de¬veloping the automotive apps was to try and improve the vehicle purchasing process.
"The auto industry has strug¬gled for a long time with the length of the process," he said. "Consumers love cars, but they don't like the purchasing pro¬cess."
He also explained the signifi¬cance of purchasing a vehicle.
"For most people, car purchas¬ing is a huge event," Mr. Collier said. "A lot of times it's tied to some type of life event – whether it's turning 16 and getting your first car, getting married and pur¬chasing a car together or there's a new baby in the house and more seats are needed."
Mr. Collier maintains that car purchasing should be a celebra¬tion filled with joy, not anxiety and hassle.
All of his past experiences within the automotive industry led him to found his newest en¬terprise, CarSaver.
"Our mission is to change the way the world buys and sells cars," Mr. Collier said. "We don't plan on stopping until we've achieved that mission."
CarSaver is an online purchas¬ing platform that allows custom¬ers to purchase vehicles from their mobile device and have it delivered directly to their home.
"We have a network of dealers, banks, insurance companies na¬tionwide that agree to their low¬est prices and the highest level of customer service to be to partici¬pate in the network" Mr. Collier said. "We help customers buy all brands, new and used cars, with the lowest price upfront and a lifetime warranty at no cost."
CarSaver currently has 85 em¬ployees, with business expanding rapidly. Through the platform, CarSaver has already helped tens of thousands of people purchase cars.
They recently partnered with Walmart to serve as that compa¬ny's vehicle purchasing platform, aiding their 250 million custom¬ers and 1.7 million employees in finding the best deals on vehicles.
CarSaver also licenses their technology to car companies, lenders and dealers to help pow¬er their online transactions and websites.
For Mr. Collier, founding Car¬Saver has allowed him to directly impact people's lives in a positive manner. He considers that the most rewarding aspect.
"It's been great to help build something that can make that kind of impact, that has directly affected our customer's lives, our employees and our communities as a whole," Mr. Collier said.
Mr. Collier is the son of Chicka¬saw citizen Cynthia (Thompson) Collier. He and his wife, Amber, have two children, Gracie and Cruise.