Grand opening for new Hyundai business on Rt. 9 Westboro
We wanted to have something for everybody.
WESTBOROÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â Automobile magnate Herbert G. Chambers of Boston held a grand opening ceremony for his 50th dealership earlier this month, strengthening his claim to be the second or third largest privately owned car sales company in the United States.
Mr. Chambers, who first achieved success as an office copier dealer, started selling cars in 1985. Now he employs more than 1,700 people, mostly in Massachusetts, and his combined dealerships generate more than $1.5 billion dollars in annual sales. Last year, 45,000 people bought a car from him.
His new Hyundai dealership is the third auto dealership he has clustered on a 12-acre site at Otis Street and Route 9, opposite Walmart. It joins his Infiniti dealership and a Ford dealership formerly owned by David Ã¢â‚¬Å“DuddieÃ¢â‚¬Â Massad. Mr. Chambers also owns a Honda dealership nearby.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was never our intention to have a company as large as it is. It (his first dealership, in New London, Conn.) was going to be a pet business, something that was just for my own enjoyment. But once I got involved with it, I loved it,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said at a glittery grand opening of the Hyundai dealership on Route 9.
Mr. Chambers, who drove a $200,000 Bentley GT convertible to the event, said he owns so many dealerships, selling most brand names, he is often competing against himself. His strategy, however, is to win customer loyalty at each dealership, in hopes it will lead friends and families back to another of his dealers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We wanted to have something for everybody. By having this array of automobiles we could just about cover everything for the other people in their families,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Besides Hyundai, Ford and Infiniti, his brands include Lexus, Honda, Porsche, BMW, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Toyota, Kia, Chevrolet, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, Mini, Vespa and Land Rover.
His says his experience with auto dealers as an owner or executive at A-Copy America and Ikon helped him develop a philosophy of good customer service at his car company.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Auto dealers would promise me everything when I went in to buy a car and then, when I came back later to get something done, they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know who I was,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr. Chambers said.
He said he can offer higher trade-ins because even if one of his dealers who is taking the trade has no use for the car Ã¢â‚¬â€ such as a Bentley dealer taking a Honda in trade Ã¢â‚¬â€ there is another Chambers-owned dealer who can get a good price for it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We can give them more for their trade-in because we have the ability to remarket that car through one of my other retail outlets,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Adriano Pucci, general manager of the new Hyundai dealership, said buyers can have cars serviced either in Westboro, at another Chambers Hyundai dealer in Auburn, or at any Hyundai dealership in New England.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want to make our consumers happy. Word-of-mouth business is the best,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The dealership opened to the public Aug. 23 and has built its inventory since then. It will eventually employ about 50 people.
Chambers Marketing Director John Covell praised local officials for helping get the Hyundai dealership established at the former site of a construction equipment firm.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have built about 50 of these and some of the towns have been tough to work with, but not Westboro,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mr. Pucci said Westboro has been Ã¢â‚¬Å“more than generous.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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