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August 05, 2015

Lisa Copeland Finds Success in the Automotive Industry Her Way

Lisa_copeland_with_FiatsBy Jo Ann Holt

Texans like to brag that everything is bigger and better there.  If they’re talking about Austin’s Lisa Copeland, managing partner of Fiat of Austin, even Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne agrees.  After all, the Texas dealership has been the top Chrysler/Fiat retailer in North America since the brand returned to the U.S. 

Marchionne recently flew to Austin to congratulate Lisa and her team on their record-breaking Fiat 500 sales, adding, “Lisa is also an incredible salesperson herself, an excellent manager, and a dynamic leader, and what she and her team have achieved here at the Fiat of Austin store is unprecedented.”

Lisa_Copeland-Best-DealershipsA pioneer in the field of automotive marketing and management for over 25 years, Lisa is also a prolific writer and sought-after speaker.  She will be one of the speakers at the Women in Automotive Conference in Orlando, Florida, August 19.   Lisa says, “I am so excited and honored to speak at this ground-breaking conference . I will be speaking on ‘The psychology of a world-class leader.’  This is a tough business whether you’re a woman or a man. I have personally worked with the top mental toughness coach in the world for the last seven years. He has taught me strategies to lead myself and our sales team to victory.  His name is Steve Siebold.”

Lisa_Copeland-headshot-sHer popular blog,, educates women about the ins and outs of handling their own car purchases.  No need to drag your brother-in-law or a friendly neighbor to the dealership to steer you through the process.  The breezy blog is not only educational but fun to read, and it doesn’t focus only on Fiats but delves into other vehicles as well, discussing which types are best for family travel among other things.  Lisa says her top seller at Fiat Austin is “Our newest product the FIAT 500 X crossover percentage of sales it has blasted off!”  

One blog post offers her “Top 5 Reasons to Drive Instead of Fly,” which definitely made sense to me.  Like most Texans, I love to drive, and have always enjoyed road trips more than flying since your schedule can be so much more flexible.  Plus, as Lisa notes in her blog, “You can bring more stuff.  Airlines are notorious for their strict baggage limits.  This makes it difficult if you aren’t a savvy packer.  You also can’t bring snacks and drinks along with you past security.  When you decide to drive instead of fly, you can bring as much food and as many beverages as you want.”

Lisa_Copeland_and_FerarriLisa’s tips for finding the best car for the best price include doing your own research, which is easier than ever to do through the Internet.  After comparing types of cars and finding those that best fit your needs, Lisa says, “Make sure that you walk into the dealership as an educated consumer with real knowledge about the car so you can ask intelligent questions.” 

Lisa also advises speaking up and not being shy about your concerns, whether they include safety, fuel economy, or size of the vehicle.  The best results come from asking thorough, tough questions, adding, “…before you sign anything, always take the exact car you will be buying for a test drive.”

She also advises knowing the price you can afford to pay, and sticking to this during negotiations.  She advises shoppers to be careful not to let your emotions give you away, adding, “Never let them know you absolutely love the car because that gives them more leverage in the negotiation process.” And if you don’t like the deal they are offering, don’t be afraid to walk away and go someplace else. 

As the mother of two, Lisa knows how important safety concerns are to women.  She also realizes how important a really great service department is to women.  Since women are usually tasked with transporting their families and children on tight time schedules, it’s especially important that service departments are able to get them in and out quickly for needed checkups or repairs.

Lisa adds, “It’s equally important for the buyer to keep current by bringing their vehicle in for regular service checkups so they don’t miss any updates from the manufacturer.  This will help ensure their car lasts longer.”

WIA_WomeninAutomotiveConferenceWhen asked whether it’s better for a buyer to try to sell their own vehicle instead of trading it at the dealers, Lisa said it depends on the car.  She adds, “I always worry about safety and scam artists when consumers try to sell on their own. The dealer is a safe bet. You can do your research, come up with a reasonable amount expected. Also in many states there are sales tax advantages to trading in.”

For more information about this personable and successful professional, or to sign up for Lisa’s blog, visit

Register for the Women In Automotive conference today. Click here:  

JoAnn-Holt headshotJo Ann Holt is a longtime journalist based in Dallas, Texas, who started her career as a reporter for her high school newspaper, continuing as editor of her college newspaper and magazine.  Since then she has been a women’s editor, a lifestyle editor, and an entertainment columnist for various publications while also operating a boutique PR agency specializing in arts and entertainment.  As a freelance writer, Holt loves the freedom of the road as she covers the automotive and travel industries for several outlets.  She is the VP of Communications for Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), a group of journalists who hold two major events:  TAWA Truck Rodeo to choose the Truck of Texas in October, and the spring Auto Roundup to choose the Car of Texas.  



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