Frank Fuzy has shipped cars as far north as the North Pole and as deep into the Pacific as Tokyo.
“I’m advertising to the world,” said Fuzy, who co-owns the predominantly Internet-based Century Motors of South Florida with his wife, Gina.
“And we’ve got the shipping routes down pat. It’s so reasonable that it just opens up the world,” he said. “We learned the freight tricks and the routes, how to move a car from coast to coast.”
Sales to such faraway markets as Greenland, Iceland and Australia don’t make up most of their business by any means (90 percent of their sales are domestic), but these export sales do speak to just how far the dealership’s influence has spread.
“South Florida” might be in the store’s name, but its reach extends much further: 80 percent of their sales do come from U.S. markets outside their local area — many well beyond the Sunshine State — with buyers flying in from or shipping to all corners of the country, some hundreds or thousands of miles away. Just 10 percent of sales are local.
One way in which Fuzy’s reach has been helped is through his participation in the NIADA Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Program from the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association. The store sells about 50 to 60 NIADA CPO cars each month, but it goes beyond that.
Fuzy said his store is one of the top-selling dealers on eBay Motors, and having the NIADA CPO designation on that site has aided Century Motors of South Florida in its search results presence, helping the store extend its reach.
It also provides an additional level of credibility, Fuzy said.
“It works for us,” he said of NIADA Certified. “We love it. It’s a great, great opportunity, again with the eBay searches and offering a warranty. You tell a single mom with three kids that she has a warranty, and it’s so much easier to close the deal.”
And for independent dealers to be able to certify a vehicle, “it’s huge.”
“When we certify the cars, it makes it an even playing field, where now we can compete with the OEM’s new-car dealers,” he said.
An interesting facet to their operation is their standalone certification facility. The dealership bought a former Mercedes-Benz collision center three years ago and turned it into the standalone facility that it is today, with nine lifts, three mechanics and a full crew.
“I need a spot, basically, to park some cars. We keep about a 180-car inventory and our facility, we can hold 150 comfortably,” Fuzy said. “So, with the new certified center … as the cars sell, we bring the sold vehicles over there, and they get the final inspection.”
The 20 to 25 cars that the dealership sells each week and the “get-ready” vehicles go to this facility, where everything from breaks to lights, blinkers and washer fluid is checked out.
“Everything gets done. And then we store it there until, either A) a customer flies in or B) we ship the vehicle. So, literally there’s 100 cars sitting in this building,” he added. “It’s about a 22,000-square-foot building. So we safely park all the sold cars at that location, and we’re constantly revolving.”
Editor's Note: For a seperate feature, Frank Fuzy also shared his insight with Auto Remarketing about how to spot flood-damaged vehicles. Check out our latest story on flood damage to see tips from Fuzy and other dealers.