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Meet the Mercedes Man !! – An interview with Doug Wells

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The effervescent Doug Wells; owner and operating manager of the new Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn dealership.

The effervescent Doug Wells; owner and operating manager of the new Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn dealership.

The effervescent Doug Wells; owner and operating manager of the new Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn dealership.

While New York City has no shortage of luxury car dealerships, shopping for a new set of wheels can be a daunting challenge for the automobile novice. With a seemingly infinite amount of car manufacturers vying for your business, the choices of models along with the discounts and services offered can be enormously overwhelming.

Walking through the doors at the newly renovated Mercedes-Benz of Brooklyn; one is immediately put at ease as friendly sales staff greet you amongst the bevy of shiny new 2013 Mercedes Benz models. On this day, however, the Jewish Voice is here to meet and talk with Doug Wells, the president of MB of Brooklyn. We want to learn more about this iconic car and what practical tips car buyers need before making a purchase.

Located at 1800 Shore Parkway, right on the Belt Parkway, the MB dealership is centrally located, but for shopping afficionados there is even more to sweeten the proverbial pot. Right before you enter the dealership, take notice of the fact that this commercial area is under a rapid and most tremendous development. In 2014, all of Brooklyn and the entire New York City area will be treated to their very own “BJ’s” store that is stepping up to compete with Cosco and Sam’s Club.

An extraordinarily affable man, Doug Wells sits proudly behind his desk at the his new MB dealership. “My motto has always been, if I sell you a car once, you’ll never go anywhere else,” he says with confidence. And Doug Wells would know. No stranger to the automobile dealership business, the New Jersey native started his career in the early 1980s at a Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Freehold, New Jersey and moved on to become the general manager of Ray Catena Mercedes-Benz in Edison, NJ in 1989.

Along with partners Manny Kadre and Armando Codina (of American Airlines and Home Depot), Mr. Wells saw a great opportunity when he learned that Alan and Edward Feldman of Sovereign Mercedes-Benz; a dealership that they had owned for 39 years were looking to sell. It was in the early fall of 2012 that Presidio Group LLC, (a personal and corporate financial services firm) through its subsidiary Presidio Merchant Partners LLC, stepped in and advised Sovereign Motor Cars on the sale of its Mercedes-Benz dealership in Brooklyn. The transaction was completed on December 28, 2012 and by 2013, Sovereign had become the new Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn.

“It was probably the fastest deal on record,” beamed Mr. Wells.

According to the Auto Retail Business web site, “this transaction in New York City suggests the automotive retail business is becoming an attractive option for private investors outside the automotive industry. That means more options for owners looking to sell.”

Bounding from his seat with an infectious energy, Mr. Wells takes us on a tour of his new dealership. Just like a new father proudly displaying his newborn child, Mr. Wells points to all the renovations that have taken place in the last few months and speaks with great excitment about more to come. “When a customer comes in to consider the purchase of a Mercedes, we have a legacy to uphold. We are the oldest car company in the world and the leader in the luxury car business. Our customers receive the red carpet treatment; and that means free pick up and drop off, servicing of vehicles done on the premises, coffee and snacks while you wait and much more,” he exclaims.

As a dealership that sells both pre-owned and new models, Mr. Wells says that purchasing a vehicle directly from a dealership beats out the often tempting deals that leasing companies offer. “Let’s me very honest. When you try and get a car from a leasing company, they basically throw you a set of keys and get you out of their premises as soon as possible. They really don’t want to be bothered with you, your questions, your concerns and needs. People need assurances when they purchase a car and that’s exactly what we give them,” declares Mr. Wells.

He says that unlike leasing companies who retain your personal information in their computerized systems which could lead to identity theft or sales harrassment, MB of Brooklyn respects the privacy and individual rights of automobile consumers. “At the end of the end, we are held accountable for every sale of every vehicle and we offer our customers the kind of security they need when making a purchase of this nature,” Wells added.

Amongst the varied services that MB of Brooklyn provides are a fleet of loaner cars for customers who have their cars in the shop. MB auto technicians are keenly aware that time is critical for a car owner and they need their car professionally serviced in record time. As such, MB service providers work from 6 am through 11 am, so no car owner will have to endure agonizingly long waits for their vehicle to be returned.

Moreover, MB of Brooklyn offers priority fulfillment on factory recalls and campaigns, unlimited car washes, valet pickup and delivery service, damage and excess lease mile coverage, a new owner 3000 mile welcome visit, and wiper blade replacement at first scheduled maintenance.

Mr. Wells adds that, “our customers are also eligible for earnings privileges redeemable in points.” Some of these are: future vehicle earnings exclusively at MB, the ability to earn point on qualified purchases, a family and friends referral bonus, a customer appreciation bonus, a first swipe bonus and an extended service contract bonus. Customers can also obtain a lost key protection program, preferred offers from retailers and a travel rewards package.

As Mr. Wells leads us to the service area, we get a glimpse of the sophisticated coffee bar, as customers gather around while watching television while sitting on comfy couches enjoying moments of leisure.

“I am not only a customer oriented dealer,” said Mr. Wells. “We are in sync with the diverse communities that Brooklyn is comprised of and their needs. For me that means becoming an integral part of Brooklyn; of its organizations and worthwhile charities. There are so many people in Brooklyn who can benefit from an MB dealership and we want to be a bright spot in their lives,”

With a palpable joy reverberating in his voice, Mr. Wells tells of his charitable endeavors which include taking disadvantaged children to sporting and cultural events at the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. “I remember that day with such fondness,” says Mr. Wells. “Just watching those kids and their smiling faces meant the world to me. We also have established relationships with the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team that plays in Coney Island every summer and the New York Mets.” Wells says that former Mets star player and Brooklyn native John Franco is a personal friend and one that shares his involvement in enhancing the lives of Brooklyn residents.

As he leads us to the fun part of our tour when we have the opportunity to see all the 2013 MB models in the showroom, Mr. Wells queries, “Did you know that most luxury cars in the entire Northeast region of the country are sold in Brooklyn?” I must admit ignorance in this area and was surprised to learn this, but nonetheless gratified to know that our local economy is on the upswing.

The showroom floor is replete with every MB model one can possibly imagine. Convertibles, coupes, sedans, sports cars, SUVs, Vans and Wagons stand before us in all their shining glory. The C-Class, the CL-Class-, the CLS Class, the E Class, the G Class wagon the GL Class wagon, the GLK Class wagon, the M Class wagon, and the new and exceptionally sleek S-Class and SL-class sedans. And let’s not forget the new and superbly enhanced Sprinter series of wagons and vans that have joined the MB family of classic cars. A truly awe inspiring sight for any car buyer.

Mr. Wells demonstrates the durability of the MB car and leaning his entire body weight on the open door of on of the sports cars. “We are proud to say that fro safety purposes, our engineers have designed these cars to endure maximum weight load. They will definitely not fall apart at the seams,” he adds.

As we leave the showroom I hear a bell ringing. Mr. Wells says that is a signal that yet another car was sold.

For more information on Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn please visit their web site at: www.mbofbrooklyn.com or by calling (718) 258-5100. Better yet, pay them a personal visit.

 

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