In 2011, Tom Maoli, who had never worked in a car dealership, purchased a struggling Warnock Automotive Group. At the time, the group had four dealerships and an operation that modified fleet vehicles. Tom sold the Ford store, the two Chrysler stores and the fleet modification business. He kept the Lexus store and renamed it Lexus of Route 10. He overhauled the management and tightened its financial structure. Today, Lexus of Route 10 in Whippany, New Jersey is the number one Lexus dealer in the Northeast Region.
“The most challenging part was that the manufacturer wouldn’t approve me because I didn’t have the relevant retail experience,” Tom says. “But when Lexus saw how highly successful I had been in real estate and as an entrepreneur, it all came together.”
“In Lexus of Route 10’s first year, the dealership’s new and used vehicle sales rose 67 percent over the previous year,” Tom asserts. Through March, his new and used vehicle sales were up 30 percent over the prior period, he says. The store sells about 4,000 new and used vehicles a year.
Tom credits his success to precise marketing messages and switching from traditional ads to more digital and direct marketing messages. He also credits the culture he created. Tom fired some people and added about 15 new dealership employees. He also shifted some employees into jobs that better “suited their skills”. Tom also asked each employee for feedback on how the store could operate better.
“We listened to every single person’s concerns and complaints, and we addressed every single one of them,” Tom says.
The employee turnover rate has fallen from 50 percent to less than 5 percent since 2011. “The revolving-door policy in the industry with employees is a really bad policy, which is if they don’t perform they lose their jobs,” Tom says. “We want to get them the tools to make sure they succeed.”
Building on that achievement, Maserati of Morris County was established in 2014. This continued the company’s thriving expansion and support of luxury brands. Now, Tom has added Alfa Romeo to his Maserati store.
Tom did it again in 2015, purchasing BMW, formally JMK, and Fiat, applying the same business principles to his new BMW of Springfield on Route 22 in Springfield, New Jersey.
In 2016, Maoli purchased Maserati of Bergen County on Route 17 in Upper Saddle River, N.J, and Alfa Romeo of Morris County to further grow his automobile empire. In March of 2017, he purchased his first New York dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Goldens Bridge in Westchester County.
As Dealer Principal of Lexus of Route 10, Tom Maoli’s Lexus dealership is part of Lexus’ “Elite League” – 1 of 30 stores in the entire nation. His dealership is only 1 of 10 in the entire nation to be awarded the Lexus Circle of Excellence for Finance and Insurance. In 2013 and 2014, Lexus of Route 10 won the Lexus Crown Jewel Award.
To say Tom is a passionate collector of classic cars is an understatement. From owning a 1941 Cadillac previously owned by Bette Davis, a 1953 Mercedes-Benz owned by Errol Flynn, or a 1932 Packard Duel Cowl Sports Phaeton that took first place at the Pebble Beach famed Concours d’Elegance, his car collection is among the nation’s most impressive.
Tom traces his love for collecting classic cars back to when he was 16-years-old. That’s when he bought a 1959 Cadillac for $700. He fixed it up and sold it for $7,000 a year later. “I just fell in love with it,” Tom says. “It was my first venture.”
Years later, Tom’s classic car collection has grown substantially, and it ultimately led him into a partnership with President Donald Trump.