The Paretti family began its automotive business in 1936 as a service station.
Over the years the business has sold and serviced numerous brands, including Pontiac, Alfa Romeo, Triumph, MG, Chrysler, American Rambler, Mazda, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Company President Craig Paretti and his sister Stacey Paretti Rase serve as fourth generation operators with the fifth generation waiting in the wings. Mike Rase is vice president and general manager of Paretti Jaguar Land Rover Baton Rouge and recently celebrated his 27th anniversary with the company.
WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?
In every situation we wholeheartedly try to put the customer first. Our staff is our greatest asset and we empower them to work with an ownership mentality. We have extraordinarily low turnover. In fact, one of our employees, Rufus Gatlin, has worked for all four generations of the Paretti family.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOUR BUSINESS HAS FACED AND HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH IT?
In 2004 our third generation family member suddenly passed away at the age of 56 and the fourth generation stepped in at an extremely young age. Less than a year later, Katrina crushed our Metairie campus and shortly after, Land Rover New Orleans burned down. It’s in these dire circumstances that family pulls together. You must rely on your team. We are blessed that our employees rose to the occasion in all of these trying times.
HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS AND WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED?
Not long ago, those in the car business struggled with the idea of selling cars through a dealership website, but that mentality has changed dramatically. Today, we receive thousands of leads per month via a multitude of internet-based applications. What was once a 9 a.m.-7 p.m. business is now 24/7. It’s important to find employees who see the value in being responsive to customer needs and embrace the 24/7 mentality.
WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Our brand-new Jaguar Land Rover New Orleans dealership will open in July. This has been in the works for many years and we are thrilled the time has finally come to further advance the brands in the marketplace. In other exciting news, we will break ground in Covington this year with a second Mazda location. This will be the family’s first adventure on the Northshore.
13934 AIRLINE HWY. • BATON ROUGE, LA 70817 • 225.756.5247 • PARETTI.COM