Meet Laura Lee Noriega of Laura Lee’s Auto Sales

Laura Lee Noriega of Laura Lee’s Auto Sales started out selling cars as a hobby. She’d park them in front of Frank Schram’s Sierra Auto Parts and wait for the phone to ring. But then one day, she received a personal invitation from the DMV to start a car dealership.

(That invitation was called a “Cease and Desist Order.”)

How did you bring Laura Lee’s Auto Sales to life after that?

A coincidence: Jim Musick, was standing at the parts counter when I told Frank I had to stop selling cars. Jim showed me his property which was zoned correctly. He built me a small shed for an office, cleared some trees, and graveled the lot so I could park five cars.

How is your business going?

Excellent! Now I have over 50 cars for sale.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and think others should do as well when they are starting/running a business?

Ask your customers A LOT of questions. Get to know exactly what they think and what they want.

What does your typical day look like?

I open at 10AM, make “to do” lists for my employees. After that, it gets wild and crazy. There is no such thing as a typical day!

What are some of the online tools that you use in your business on a regular basis? What about them makes them valuable to you?

  • DealerCenter – a Dealer Management System to track all my inventory.
  • Xero – a cloud-based accounting to track my payroll and expenses.
  • Facebook – (and social media) to show Mariposa what I’m doing and how I can help them! I would be lost without these 3 main online tools.

Who do you follow on Facebook or Twitter that inspires you in your business?

  • Linda Newton (My counselor)
  • Jenni Kiser (My friend and personal trainer)
  • Joel Osteen (Pastor)

If you had to start your business over again, what would you do differently?

I’d work at a new car store for 6 months (since I hadn’t worked in a dealership since 1984 when I worked at DeRollo Mazda in Stockton, CA).

Where do you see your business 5 years from now?

A second location in Oakhurst and sold to someone else (hopefully a lady)

If you closed your business today, what would you do tomorrow?

Vacation rentals or be a housewife and grandmother of my 6 grandkids.

Name up to 5 people that you would thank in your speech for Business of the Year, if you won:

  • Mike (My husband)
  • Jim Musick (My Landlord)
  • Frank Schram (My original partner in crime)
  • Steve Farano & Charlie Noriega (Who floor my cars and rescued me from Auction deadlines.)
  • Optional: John L Sullivan (Friend – John L. Sullivan Chevrolet & Roseville Toyota)

Laura Lee’s Auto Sales is located at 4659 Mormon Bar Crossing, Mariposa, and is open Monday – Saturday. You can reach them by phone at 209-966-6689. You can find them on the web at, or

Posted on March 6, 2017