Redefining Female Leadership in Greensboro’s Automotive Industry

Mary Rice is the main dealer at Rice Toyota in Greensboro.

GREENSBORO, NC – “I really wanted it,” said Mary Rice, principal dealer at Rice Toyota in Greensboro. “I really wanted to be good at it. I wanted to make my family proud. I wanted to make my kids proud and I wanted to give back to this community because all I’ve ever had in my life is because the Greensboro people and Toyota people.”

She is the woman in charge of anticipating the future of the company’s electric vehicle!

“When my dad came of age when he was ready to retire, I naturally moved into his role,” Rice said.

But, this family business goes back a generation more. Rice says her grandfather bought Rice Toyota as the very first Toyota store in the Southeast.

“I learned wholesale selling on a whole new scale,” Rice said. “I learned them in real estate, which is very similar to car dealerships. You’re still dealing with inventory management, supply and demand, and financing an important item.”

Prior to being a senior dealer, Rice was more active in each department as a general manager for 10 years.

“There were days when I walked in and felt like it was going to be a tough day, I have a lot to deal with and I felt the spirit of my grandfather who opened this store,” said Rice. “I still feel his spirit whenever I’m in this story whispering words of encouragement. I felt the spirit of my aunt who was a head dealer in the 80s.”

Rice says she desperately needed the loving spirit of her family. As she built her career, she struggled with infertility at home.

“I struggled with infertility for 10 years and when I was struggling with it not many people were talking about it and it was around the same time I was learning about this new automotive industry.”

Rice says that by the grace of all good things, she now has a son, Ransom, and a daughter, Magnolia.

“There are no words to describe how lucky I am,” Rice said. “There are no words to describe the love I feel, the joy I feel to be home, the love I feel to be at work. Family here is just as important to me as family at home. Everyone here has been with me for the past 10 years and I’ve seen how we’ve turned this dealership into something truly unique and something to be proud of.”

Rice has embraced the emerging future of auto dealerships by integrating tablets through customer service, revamping the traditional dealership lobby with similarities to an airport lobby, as well as reshaping the service lineup with the use of tablets, smartphones and easily accessible services like Uber. !