Centrally located dealership offers customers wide array of inventory, financing, and home town feel; discusses win in local voting competition, not only appreciation of receiving award but why it holds importance to staff.
Selden, NY - March 21, 2018 - When you hear the phrase “pre-owned vehicle dealership,” it’s easy to imagine an unscrupulous salesperson determined to separate you from your hard-earned money - or even worse - selling you a lemon that won’t make it down the block. But Autoland USA of Selden offers customers something that literally no other used car lot on Long Island can, while simultaneously shattering the myth of the underhanded used car salesman.
The Autoland USA team (L to R): Finance Manager Paul Gomes, Owner Tom Cunningham, Manager Peter Mac. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Located at 835 Middle Country Road, Autoland USA is affiliated with eight new car franchise dealerships throughout Long Island, and that's where the strength of their business model comes from; Autoland USA procures the vast majority of their inventory from the vehicles that are traded-in at their affiliate dealerships. This puts them in a very unique position for a pre-owned vehicle dealership on the Island, becuase they don’t actually pay upfront for the vehicles they sell, and that proves to be incredibly advantageous for their customers in a variety of ways according to Peter Mac, a manager at Autoland USA.
“We take the cars here on consignment...we take the trade-ins that the eight dealerships we’re affiliated with get, and offer them for sale here. However, we only take the cars if we like them, otherwise they go to auction or back to the dealer,” he said. “We actually pass on about 80 percent of the cars we’re offered. We're able to have higher standards, so we'll pass on cars for almost any reason...if they have a knock in the engine, if it's smoked in, missing a bumper, even many minor miscellaneous issues.”
Autoland procures the vast majority of their inventory from vehicles that are traded in at their affiliate dealerships. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Given the fact that Autoland USA does not pay upfront for the vehicles they sell removes a major issue most consumers run into when buying a used car, mainly dealing with a salesman who has to move a vehicle because the dealership is already in the hole for it, something becoming all too common in the business. With that not being the case at Autoland USA, all of the pressure of making the sale is removed, with the added benefit of allowing Autoland USA the luxury of only selling the very best cars that they receive and turning away the rest, Mac said.
“A big advantage is that we don't own any of the cars here...if anything is wrong with the car when it gets here, we give it right back to the dealership we got it from,” he said. “We also test drive the cars ourselves and if there are no apparent problems, we hand them over to our mechanic to go over more thoroughly. If he finds anything wrong we cancel the sale and give it right back to the dealer. Nobody else does this, and as a result it's very, very hard to buy a bad car here because of that.”
“And the cars that we actually do buy here, we make sure that they're really, really good,” Mac added. “After all, why buy something that's trash? So if somebody brings in a car off the street or a customer wants to offer us a trade-in, we’ll really go over it thoroughly.”
At Autoland USA, all of the pressure of making the sale is removed, with the added benefit of allowing Autoland the luxury of only selling the very best cars that they receive and turning away the rest. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
And even with all of that protection, after a customer buys a car Autoland USA gives them a three month warranty, adding yet an additional layer of protection on top of everything else.
Another advantage that Autoland USA can boast of is the fact that when you walk in through the door, you don't really feel like you're in a car dealership; the office has a professional yet home-like atmosphere, and the salespeople typically favor a more casual approach to their work. That, combined with their unique sales model, goes a long way to making the usually stressful act of buying a car much less so, Mac noted.
“We're super laid-back here...this isn't really a shirt and tie place,” he said. “We make sure we have an extremely relaxed environment, and there's no pressure, ever. If you want to think about it, go home and think about it. We'd rather you not get a car from us then leave here upset.”
The laid-back atmosphere at Autoland USA goes a long way to making the usually stressful act of buying a car much less so. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Autoland USA originally opened their doors for business in December of 2015 under the ownership of Tom Cunningham of Medford, a veteran of the vehicle sales industry. At any given time there are at least 100 cars to choose from located on the lot, but Autoland USA's affiliation with numerous franchise dealerships bumps that number up much higher in reality.
“In addition to the cars we have on-hand, I can take any of the cars at any of the other stores as well. Ultimately, I have over 500 cars available,” Mac said. “So if somebody comes in and says they need a Nissan Rogue and it needs to be silver, I can go to one of the Nissan dealerships we’re affiliated with and find them one there. We have a used car locator, and we're probably the only used car dealership that can do that. If another dealership has what a customer is looking for, we can find it and bring it here for them.”
Financing is also a major part of any dealership’s business; again, due to their affiliations with big-name car sellers, Autoland USA has a leg up on the competition in this department as well, with the ability to draw upon a variety of financing companies in order to help a customer secure a loan.
“If someone buys a Chevy, and they want to, we can go through GM Financial. If someone buys a Nissan, we can go through Nissan. It's whatever best suits the customer’s needs,” he said. “Plus, we guarantee credit approval. No matter what your credit, we will get you approved, guaranteed.”
Autoland USA possesses the ability to draw upon a variety of financing companies in order to help a customer secure a loan. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
It’s that dedication to customer satisfaction that has shaped Autoland USA into what it is today; after all, it's not every business that's voted the Number One Used Car Dealership on Long Island by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, a distinction that Autoland won handily in 2018.
“That's something we're really proud of,” Mac said. “It means that anywhere else someone goes to buy a car, they're going to the number two dealership on Long Island.”
Being a Selden native, born-and-bred, Mac has been working for Autoland USA for the past two years and has a history in the car business dating back to 2006. He noted that he gets a great deal of satisfaction serving the community that he lives in, and often finds himself randomly running into his appreciative customers when carrying out errands around town; it’s that sense of community that makes his job especially rewarding, Mac said.
“I see all my customers when I go to ShopRite or Walmart...growing up in this town and living here still, and working and selling cars here, it's a really cool experience,” he said. “I meet a lot of people from the neighborhood, and I'm constantly running into them wherever I go. When I sell people a car, I joke around with them about how I'm going to bump into them at the store and how I don't want them throwing tomatoes at me! So it gives me added incentive to make sure that our customers are as happy as possible when buying a car from us. We all like serving our community, and we do the best that we can.”