In recent weeks, the Evans County community has seen big changes at NeSmith Chevrolet in Hagan, but as a great deal changes, some pillars of the dealership remain. One of those pillars is also a backbone of the new car sales department – Mr. Earl Hutto, the dealership’s New Car Sales Manager.
Hutto has been at NeSmith for 20 years this month, having started his career as a salesman, he worked his way up to the position of manager where he has worked for 10 years. He is one of the longer-serving employees at NeSmith Chevrolet.
Hutto and his wife, Holly, have Evans County roots and have lived in the county for the entirety of his employment with NeSmith. Hutto ended up in Claxton after moving from a small town outside of Tallahassee. He’s always been into cars, though, from muscle cars to big trucks, so it is no surprise he ended up in the position he is in.
And during his tenure, Mr. Earl has seen NeSmith evolve and grow considerably.
“The car market is ever-evolving and ever-changing, so you learn a lot as the years go by. It’s kind of like South Georgia weather: you wait a few minutes and it’ll change,” Hutto said.
Currently, Mr. Earl oversees roughly 15 other people on the sales team and works primarily with new cars. He assists in special ordering vehicles and, often times, trading vehicles with other dealers. And of course, the best part…incentives.
Hutto says NeSmith has shipped cars as far as Washington state, but customers have even come from the far reaches of Alaska to purchase at NeSmith. He told a story about a military member who was based in Alaska and would return home to southeast Georgia to buy a car before driving his new vehicle all the way back to Alaska. NeSmith was always the dealership of choice and Hutto was always the point of contact.
That’s why Hutto says his favorite part of the job is meeting all the different people. “That’s the satisfying part of the job.”
As things continue to transition, Hutto plans to stay right where he is. NeSmith is home and the ‘local’ feel is what makes it a community dealership.
Mr. Earl and Martin NeSmith have a friendship that goes back decades, so not seeing each other on a day-to-day basis likely won’t have an affect on the pair, but Hutto stil says he’ll miss the drive of NeSmith. “He’s willing to do anything to help the customer achieve their goals: wash a car, fly to Washington D.C. to lobby for better opportunities, it doesn’t matter. And he’s always got someone in mind that he can help,” Hutto said.