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Auto Show Panelists Highlight the Importance of Technology, Statistics, Innovation

February 21, 2014

Northwood University Florida welcomed three well known industry experts to its panel discussion as part of the official opening to its Auto Show of the Palm Beaches.Richard Earl, Howard Polirer and Ken Czubay shared knowledge and a variety of experiences while discussing current automotive marketing and management industry trends.

Richard Earl shared how his grandfather Harley Earl, the pioneer of automotive design, revolutionized the art by creating innovative models from clay, a technique which is still used today and which led General Motors to become the predominant global manufacturer of that period. Howard Polirer then reviewed the dramatic and evolving history of sales and marketing strategies and provided an eight-step evaluation of the actions necessary for a successful sales organization to thrive, while emphasizing that personal interaction is still paramount. Ken Czubay then illustrated the necessity for reorienting marketing resources by creatively implementing more cost effective ways of addressing consumer behavior and shared necessary steps for successful marketing and social media outreach.

Auto Show of the Palm Beaches Hours:

  • Saturday, February 22nd 10am – 6pm
  • Sunday, February 23rd 11am – 5pm
  • For further information please call (561) 681-7972 or visit

More about the panelists:

Richard EarlAutomotive HistorianCurator, Automotive Hollywood: A Tribute to Harley Earl Richard Earl is an automotive historian, professional speaker and curator of the photo exhibition Automotive Hollywood: A Tribute to Harley Earl. As the youngest grandson of Harley Earl, he has an intimate connection with one of America’s greatest 20th century innovators, Harley Earl, who revolutionized the auto industry with iconic business practices that helped shape capitalism as we know it.Born in Detroit, Michigan, Richard Earl spent his twenties on Wall Street, and returned to the Motor City in 1985 following a visit to the General Motors (GM) Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. It was during this visit that he became smitten with the ultra-futuristic clay model prototype cars he saw.  They ignited within him a desire not just to learn more about his family’s auto legacy, but about the rise of the automobile design profession at large. Fifteen years of research and over one hundred first-person interviews later, he is today a leading expert in the field of American automotive history.In 2002, Earl worked with General Motors and the advertising agency McCann Erickson to create a national campaign that used Harley Earl’s (name, likeness and image) story to provide inspiration and to illuminate GM’s pioneering roots. Directed by Tony Scott and featuring Tiger Woods as the modern-day spokesperson, this $200 million dollar commercial ad campaign enhanced the name value of Harley Earl and, in turn, the value of his creations. Soon thereafter, Earl helped Barrett-Jackson set a historic auction record of over $10 million dollars for three of Harley Earl’s Motoramic masterpieces.

Howard Polirer Director, Industry RelationsAutoTrader.comHoward Polirer brings more than 15 years of experience as a dynamic automotive sales educator to dealer audiences across the nation. As one of the nation’s premier automotive educators, he has taught thousands of dealers about effective online innovation and Internet advertising at hundreds of conferences for national, state and local dealer associations. He also serves as a dealership consultant for over 25 major dealer groups across the United States.

Having previously owned his own automotive sales training and consulting company and served as Executive Vice President of an automotive training company serving automotive clients, original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) and associations, Polirer has over 30 years of experience in the retail automotive business, and extensive dealership expertise. Having grown from a salesman at a Toyota dealership to sales manager and then to general manager for a Volkswagen, Subaru and Chevrolet dealership, he shares his extensive industry knowledge as a featured presenter at a variety of industry conventions and conferences.

Mr. Ken CzubayVice President, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service Ford Division of the Ford Motor Company (Retired November 2013)A 2011 Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader, Ken Czubay reported to Joe Hinrichs, president of the Americas, while serving as vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford Motor Company. Previously, he held the position of Ford Vice President of U.S. Sales and Marketing and was responsible for oversight of day-to-day sales and marketing of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the United States.

Czubay first joined Ford in 1970 as a financial analyst with Ford Motor Credit Company and went on to hold several positions for Ford Division and Lincoln Mercury Divisions.

In 1983, he joined Nissan North America in California, where he worked in sales and marketing until 1987, when he took a position as an executive with the Suburban Collection, a group of auto dealerships based in Troy, Michigan.

In 1990, Czubay joined Deerfield, Florida based JM Family Enterprises where he held various executive positions including President of Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC, the largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world and President of JM Lexus.

Born in Hamtramck, Michigan and raised in the Detroit area, Czubay graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He and his wife, Jane, have two children. Ken is also a Northwood university Outstanding Business Leader.

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