Jeff Wyler is the Founder and CEO of the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, a Cincinnati based retail organization that markets new and used vehicles. The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family operates dealerships in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. From its beginning in 1973 with 12 employees and 180 car sales, it has grown to one of the country's top 30 dealership groups employing almost 2000 people and retailing in excess of 40,000 new and used vehicles annually.
Mr. Wyler, although born in Cincinnati, left at age six to follow his mother and stepfather, a General Motors executive, around the country. Stops included Sidney, Bellefontaine, and Urbana, Ohio, prior to moving to Phoenix, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finally graduating high school in El Paso, Texas.
After a brief stint in the US Army he enrolled in college at Ohio State University, followed by a year at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, and three years at the University of Cincinnati where he graduated in 1965 with a degree in Finance.
Immediately upon graduation, he began working for the Chevrolet Division of General Motors as a sales trainee advancing to District Sales Manager and Truck Sales Engineer. In 1972 he elected to leave the security of a large corporation to begin his retailing career. First, as a general manager for a Chevrolet dealership in Newark, Ohio, then on to Batavia, Ohio, where at age 32 he opened his first Chevrolet dealership simultaneous with the first fuel shortage to hit the United States in 1973. With 6 service bays, 20 parking spaces, and a large inventory of new vehicles that only got 9 miles per gallon, Mr. Wyler sold 180 cars his first year.
In the mid 1970s, Wyler was not allowed to advertise in Cincinnati newspapers because his dealership was not located in Hamilton County, Ohio. Facing this challenge, he placed the majority of his marketing budget in television (a medium that was then relatively untried for auto dealers). With catchy slogans like "Cars, like eggs, are cheeper in the country" - Wyler soon built a brand image that remains strong to this day.
His decision to locate his dealership on the outskirts of Cincinnati was part economics and foresight. Building in the city of Cincinnati would have been too expensive, and locating his dealership where the new beltway interstate was being built, gave him significant growth opportunity.
Anticipating changes in the automotive industry, Mr. Wyler acquired imported cars franchises during the early 80's. He then consolidated his east-side dealerships into an "Auto Mall", an innovative concept where multiple franchises (domestic and import) and a used car lot were located at one strip. This unique approach was considered ahead of the curve for the automotive sales industry, where Mr. Wyler de-emphasized the car brand, and emphasized the selling aura of "convenience and price".
In June 2006, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Cincinnati a position he held until January 2009. He currently is a minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds, where he worked as a college student selling tickets to pay for his education. In 2007 he was one of the founders of CBANK, a de novo commercial bank in Cincinnati and he serves on its board of directors.
Mr. Wyler has always taken an active role in serving his community by serving as President of Batavia Rotary, Clermont Chamber of Commerce, Clermont YMCA, the first United Way of Clermont County Campaign Chair, Chairman of UCATS, Vice Chair University of Cincinnati Foundation, and Chairman of the Health Alliance of Cincinnati, Cincinnati's largest hospital group.
Jeff Wyler is married to the former Linda Schellenbach and is the father of four children, Julie Bristow, J. David Wyler, Jessica Zaring and James Wyler and the grandfather of nine.
The Wyler Family Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) was founded in 2009 to more formally address the resources of the Wyler family's charitible giving. It now serves as the conduit for the current and future charitable giving of the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family.