A Long History of Service: Owner of Faulkner Volkswagen Harry Faulkner

"UTI spends a lot of time holding people accountable. You have to show up on time and be presentable, be clean, and be good employees."


Harry Faulkner’s great grandfather was a submarine technician in World War I. He started a repair shop, was eventually offered the Oldsmobile franchise in 1932, and built his business around service. This ascent from such modest beginnings is the core of many stories of the American dream. And the Faulkner family honors their grandfather by continuing to expand their business and being committed to its ongoing success.

Now, four generations of family and 85 years later, Harry has a role in this family legacy of car dealerships. In fact, the business has expanded broadly to 23 stores across Pennsylvania, including Faulkner Volkswagen.

Faulkner wears a crisp white button-up and a black tie. He loves to talk about the family business. “Early on, he [Harry’s great grandfather] recognized that he could build a successful business not by selling a ton of cars, but instead selling them at fair prices knowing that he would retain customers and do the service work.” Harry continues to work under his grandfather’s customer-centered philosophy of service.

For this reason, Faulkner’s dealership values the professionalism of Universal Technical Institute graduates, whom it often hires. “They’re a big part of the local community,” Harry says, referring to the dealerships nearby the Exton campus.

“UTI spends a lot of time holding people accountable. You have to show up on time and be presentable, be clean, and be good employees,” Harry says. This results in students who are career-oriented, not just looking for a job beyond graduation.

UTI isn’t a typical tech school. “It’s a clean environment, professional teachers, high-quality equipment to learn with,” Harry says. If you look at the income potential of a technician, even right out of school, parents and students might feel a lot more comfortable with the decision of trade school. He adds: Students who come out of school with their inspections and emissions license stand out.

Skilled technicians are in demand, industry-wide, making career prospects plentiful for dedicated, quality techs. “When we forecast the amount of service we’re going to do in the next three years, we don’t have the manpower to get it done,” Harry says, unwilling to put customers in a position where it takes two to three weeks to get an appointment for service. Harry comments that the sales boom of the last few years will produce a boom in the service business very soon.

At the end of the day, Faulkner’s dealerships want to hire students with work ethic and desire to succeed and grow. “That’s tough to put on a résumé,” Harry laughs. He says, in an interview if I can sit across from a student who looks me in the eye and says “This is what I want to do” with a real heartfelt desire to grow, “that’s the student we want.” 


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