From continuing to support the restoration and build of vintage cars and trucks, to manufacturing some of the industry’s most noted performance machines, Chevrolet has been a staple in the automotive community for decades. But without people like Irene Rubin, a Chevrolet Product Trainer, the famed Bowtie-wearing brand would not be as successful as it remains today. Check out this incredible woman and her undying passion for the Chevy brand.
So many times, women in the automotive industry are lumped into very few categories, ranging from secretaries or assistants to spokes models and calendar girls. But females make up more of the industry’s inner workings than some may realize, and it’s about time they got the recognition they deserve.
Irene Rubin has worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years now, having worked her way up from sales positions to managerial spots, and now to a product trainer for one of the biggest car and truck manufactures here in the States. Over the years, she’s worked for both GM and Ford dealerships, with positions in New York, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Now, as one of about 100 In-Dealer Product trainers for GM, Rubin calls Texas home and is responsible for training in over 50 dealerships around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as west to San Angelo.
“I visit my dealerships on a rotating basis and train salespeople on cars and trucks,” Rubin told us.
“That means my mission is to have salespeople understand about the Duramax Diesel engine, direct injection, variable valve timing, active fuel management, G80 locking differentials, chassis, frame, infotainment, Onstar, new technologies and all things that a customer should know ‘what it is’, ‘what it does’ and ‘why they should have it!’ We also discuss the competitors and what they offer. I am not an engineer, but I am fortunate in that I have access to the engineers, the brand teams, and a variety of information that I share with our sales staffs.”
This position gives her the opportunity to travel all over, sharing her knowledge of new product lines with Chevrolet sales teams before they are even introduced at the dealerships.
One particularly rewarding training program Rubin was able to take part in was based on the brand new 2014 Stingray. For this training, a team of trainers, including Rubin, was flown out to the Ron Fellows Driving School at Spring Mountain Motorsports Park in Pahrump, Nevada to take part in a one-and-a-half day multifaceted training session, which included both classroom time and seat time in the seventh-generation Vette.
Rubin’s automotive career has not always been so glamorous, however. Just like anyone, she’s found challenges in her decided career path that she’s overcome to be as successful as she is.
“My automotive career has been a love/hate relationship of a career,” Rubin explained. “Being a woman, and when I began, there were few, if any, in the retail automotive environment, which was a challenge in a highly male dominated industry. I had found a way to support myself and my daughter, in a successful way; I was not going to let go of that for anybody! And plenty of ‘any bodies’ wanted me to go away!”
She continued: “When I started in the business I had no idea what it was, or what it was about – I just found it to be exciting, diverse, filled with drama on a daily basis on the showroom floor, and suited to my restless nature.”
It is that “perfect fit” that has led Rubin to her beloved position as a Chevrolet Product Trainer.
Working with Chevrolet in the capacity that she does has allowed Rubin to truly find her passion for seeing the company’s growth in technologies and manufacturing processes. In fact, she loves the products that Chevrolet offers to consumers so much that she owns a number of Chevrolet models herself, including a 2013 Z06, one of just 425 built due to the C6/C7 generation change, and a 2010 Transformers Edition Camaro SS. She also has a new C7 Stingray on order, which she hopes will be delivered in July. These cars are what Rubin says are her dream vehicles.
“When asked what my dream car would be for the future, I am fortunate enough to tell you that my dream cars are sitting in my garage as I write,” Rubin told us. “A 2013 Corvette Z06 and 2010 Transformer Edition SS Camaro sit side by side in my garage. I just adore my ‘Bee’ – never had so much fun with a vehicle ever! I had an SLP exhaust system put on the car, and when kids surround it (as they often do) I hit that remote start and those kids jump; they are convinced that Bumblebee will transform right there in front of them!”
Influential People and Inspiring Words
Like many successful industry personnel, Rubin has always had someone that she looked up to. Her hero of sorts in the automotive industry is Bob Lutz.
“An amazing visionary, he is a man that has always walked the walk, and talked the talk,” Rubin explained. “No matter if one follows his philosophies, or not, he has always remained true to his own ideas and ideals. I admire this very much.”
For up-and-coming individuals in the industry, Rubin could very well be her own version of an influential person in the automotive industry, especially with her advice for both males and females that would like to branch into an automotive career.
“In offering some thoughts to women seeking the opportunity of a career in the automotive industry I would say this, to both women and men: One- seek this position as a ‘bread winner,” Rubin noted. “Two- don’t fall victim to dressing in ‘trendy’ attire. Three- know your product! It will gain the respect of both co-workers and management. Four- be professional always. And five- persist, persevere, and be brave! It is a remarkable career if you want it.”
Moving forward, Rubin sees herself continuing to support Chevrolet and their sales teams across the country as a product trainer. Through this, she will be able to promote and share all the innovative technologies and vehicles Chevrolet has to offer to consumers nation wide.
“Our domestic manufacturers have brought the bar up several notches,” Rubin concluded. “We now stand toe to toe with any other manufacturer on the planet! Our quality, reliability, and durability continue on an upward trend. I am proud to be a small part of the automotive industry in America.”