Ray Fidel: To Transform Your Career, Simply Plant Seeds, DriveTime CEO’s Perspective


Ray Fidel, DriveTime CEO

Ray Fidel, DriveTime’s CEO, says to simply plant seeds throughout your career, so that new opportunities can find you.

That’s not bad advice from someone who’s been a business executive since his mid-twenties (he’s currently 56) and has a 90% employee approval rating on Glassdoor. Ray has been DriveTime’s CEO since 2004 and transformed DriveTime from a traditional car dealership model to the comprehensive retail experience with a focus on customer satisfaction that it is today.

In a short video interview with DriveTime’s Talent Acquisition team, Ray explains the importance of finding the right employer and career path that fits who you are – not the other way around. Ray states:

“How can we setup a company, but have everybody here really invested in the assessment process?

To me, one of the most frustrating times is thinking, “how do I go through the process to find the right company that fits who I am?” Even if you are happy where you are, you’re on this [web]site for some reason, take the time to have a conversation, take the time to come meet with us.

What I have found throughout my entire career is to simply plant some seeds and you never know what comes back to you.”

Ray goes on to discuss a different type of diversity that often goes overlooked.

“Society now uses this word called “diversity” and we fall right into that category. That’s important to us.

But a part of diversity that isn’t discussed enough is the diversity of how people think, of how people are from a personality standpoint. I think it’s important that the introvert, the extrovert, the thinker, the feeler, whatever diversity they have as an individual, their voice can be heard and their voice can move up within our organization.

We are looking for that diversity; it’s that diversity that brings different thinking and a bigger mind theory, so to speak, to our culture.”

You can watch Ray’s full video below:

Has planting seeds helped you throughout your career? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Ashley Brown   •  

    We got our first vehicle with Drive time in February 2016. The 2008 Jeep Commander went into the shop with in the first week we had it. It was in the shop for 3 weeks with 2 different shops. On October 23, 2016 we had a total loss accident caused by a malfunction with the vehicle. It landed my 3 year old daughter in the hospital, broken bones, concussions, cervical sprains, and etc. We came in Saturday to get a new vehicle with no down payment. We had a 2010 GMC Acadia moved from the Lexington KY Drive time to the Knoxville, TN Drivetime. The Acadia was set for me to pick up on Monday. I came into Drive on Monday to learn the second vehicle was in the shop. I received a call from Drivetime on Wednesday advising the vehicle was ready for pick up. Today 12/8 my family and I went into Drivetime to pick up my vehicle. Unfortunately, one of the key features I asked for my children did not work on the car. The DVD was not working. I asked why this wasn’t looked at before I wasted my family’s time, and my response from the General Manager was I should be thankful that he got my Apr rate down to 13%. Never one apology nor would he even turn his head to look at me when I was speaking to him. This is 2 cars that has had repairs on it within the first week of purchasing it.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Ashley – I am sorry to hear about all of this and that you are not satisfied with your experience. I suggest giving our customer relations department a call at 800-965-8043. Customer relations is one of the highest forms of customer service we offer here at DriveTime and they will be able to work with you regarding your situation. Thank you. – Tiffany | DriveTime Community Manager

  2. Mary suggs   •  

    My husband and I purchased a vehicle from the albuqierque branch. We put $1300. down. A few months later my husband had a life threatening heart attack (widow maker). He survived, thank God, but was not able to work for several months. I called Drive time and explained the situation and asked if we could return car. We realized web would lose our down payment, but since we only had for a few months how’d they would understand. The manger told us to come in and bring car and he would see what he could do. He madd6 an appointment with us for a few days out. The following day they came and repoed the car. I attempted to contact manager several times, but could not reach him. A couple of months later we received a bill for over $10,000.00 dollars. Ridiculous. First, we had just purchased vehicle a few months prior and out $1300. down. Second the manager did he would work with us. Third I believe they put vehicle back on the lot and resold it for probably the same price they sold to us then tried to double dip with us. Third we tried to be upfront from the beginning. My husband almost died. We had no other óption. The fact that Drive Time would take advantage of us knowing the circumstances is disgusting! If this is not cleared up for us I will report to the attorney general and I will post on every social media outlet I can think of. Also I plan to contact the media and tell them what I think happened with the vehicle. Im sure they can track down the sale by the vin number. I also plan to write a letter to me. Fidel to ask him if these are the practices he teaches the employees of his company.

    • Customer Relations   •  

      Hello Mary,

      Thank you for taking the time to bring this to my attention. I am saddened to hear that all of this has occurred and I am thankful that he is okay. I am uncertain as to what was advised directly to you at our dealership. Please know that outside of the 5 day return period, returning a vehicle is against the contract and would be considered a voluntary surrender.

      I want to make sure that this is appropriately reviewed. Please contact my Customer Relations team at (888)290-0148.

      Thank You,

      Kaitlyn – Customer Relations

  3. Keith Herren   •  

    Hello,I had purchased a vehicle with drivetime,now the vehicle price was 11,000 dollars and then after the taxes and everything it came up to 30,000 dollars so I kept the vehicle for a month but after I had hard time making the payments they took the vehicle and I explained the situation to them but it seemed like someone was calling me 5 times a day,crazy drivetime is a total ripoff and plus who pays a car note twice a month,I lost my down payment but will never in my life get a vehicle from drivetime unless they change the way they sale cars.

    • Customer Relations   •  

      Hello Keith,

      Thank you for opportunity to provide your feedback. I am deeply sorry to hear that you parted ways with DriveTime feeling dissatisfied with the overall structure of your loan.

      Please know that it is our goal to be transparent with our customers in all aspects of their purchase at the time of sale. Because DriveTime and Bridgecrest (our new loan servicing company) specialize in working with customers with less than perfect credit, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) offered may be higher than expected. For this reason, we provide a Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure during the contracting process. This disclosure details the APR, the finance charge, the amount financed, the total amount expected to be paid throughout the life of the loan, and the total sales price.

      Regarding your concerns with the collections efforts on your payment, it is important to keep in mind that all loan servicing matters, including recovery assignments, are handled by Bridgecrest as of early 2016.

      I want to apologize again for any frustration this matter may have caused. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your loan, please feel free to contact Bridgecrest directly.

      Jacob – Customer Relations

  4. Sherieka Addison   •  

    I had a bad experience with drivetime in Midlothian IL. I was pre-approved and I brought in all the necessary documents everything was verified. I was supposed to get a call the next day but I didn’t. I call on Monday asked to speak to Miguel who handled my application, he was off. Kimberly stated she can help me I gave her phone number she pulled the filed stated, everything looks good your approve for the top of the line. I tell her I want to put $400 and what’s the price range I need to stay in. I was it’s my job to find you the vehicle to fit. I come in a week later on the set appointment date. I wait over 2hr then I see Dan who looks over my file. I tell him I want to put down $300-$400 he writes it down on the paper takes it to his manager to give him a list of cars. I wait another 45mins then Dan comes back with we are going back over the fines which had been done over a week with an approval from the finance department. He finally showed me a Dodge Dart it’s okay but tight. He brings two other car I tell not going to work. So he goes back to manager ask for more cars in the budget. He gives him four I only wanted to see one. It was cryslar 200, 2015. Priced 13,00 and some change. I like it we start paperwork I sign warranty and watch video. I then ask Dan am I putting down $300 or $400. He then goes back to James who is a different manager from the one who gave him the list of cars. He then tells me I $1000. I ask why was I showed a vehicle and allow to sign go over monthly payment if this vehicle was not in the perimeter of what I stated. Although the down payment doesn’t go toward balance it mainly is commission for salesman. I am disappointed for them waisting my time and poor communication. I walked out after 5.5hrs without a car not because I didn’t have the finance to cover the car note but because they wanted more than I had for the down payment.

    • Customer Relations   •  

      Hello Sherieka,

      Thank you for taking the time to recount your experience. I am saddened to hear that you are disheartened with us in regards to approvals. Please know that we do offer an online pre-approval which is the same as when you speak with a representative before coming in. While we do offer that pre-approval, please know that it is contingent on providing all the documentation that lines up with the information provided. At DriveTime we strive to provide a comfortable and rewarding purchasing experience. We appreciate all feedback, positive and negative, for it allows us to correct and better our customer experience. I want to apologize for the confusion and frustration that this has caused you. Should you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Relations team at (888)290-0148.

      Thank You,

      Kaitlyn – Customer Relations

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