30 IN THEIR THIRTIES 2021

Eric Frehsée

35 • President/Vice President • Jeffrey Automotive Group, Roseville/Tamaroff Motors and Capture Automotive, Southfield • Employees: 185 • Revenue: $125M • College: Michigan State University

Eric Frehsée, president of the Jeffrey Automotive Group in Roseville and vice president of Tamaroff Motors in Southfield, had an inside track to upper management at the dealership organization founded by his grandfather. But he chose the more difficult road.

He started working at the Jeffrey maintenance department when he was 14, pulling weeds, painting curbs, and cleaning bathrooms. In high school and college, he was a service porter, an oil changer, a service writer, and a car salesman.

“My dad was a very strict product of Eastern European Holocaust survivors who came to this country as immigrants with $7 in their pocket,” Frehsée says. “He grew up working very hard for everything he had, and he wanted me to grow up the same way. The most valuable thing he taught me was to be successful on my own. It makes you appreciate things more, as well.”

Today, Frehsée owns the dealership in Roseville, which sells Acura, Honda, Nissan, and Kia, and is part owner of the dealership in Southfield, which sells Honda and Nissan.

He’s also vice president of Capture Automotive in Southfield, which acquires and delivers competitive vehicles for automakers for benchmarking purposes. Ever since he’s been in the business, Frehsée says he’s often the youngest person in the room at national dealer meetings.

“That gave me the courage and the confidence to know I would be successful,” he says. “I would sit in these meetings with my uncle and dealers who were twice my age, and when the subjects of digital and advertising and transparency came up, they would laugh about it, but I was thinking, ‘This is the future and they don’t see it.’

“I decided to go against the grain and embrace the future,” he says.

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>  dbusiness.com/business-features/30-in-their-thirties-2021/

NISSAN PICKS E-COMMERCE PROVIDER FOR NEW ONLINE SHOPPING PLATFORM

Well done Nissan!

The platform is called Nissan@Home, and Nissan chose CarSaver‘s e-commerce platform to support components of a new end-to-end online buying experience for customers.

“The Nissan@Home purchasing experience integrates CarSaver features such as end-to-end online purchase of new, certified pre-owned and used vehicle inventory” Coral Springs Nissan COO Jack Jackintelle said in a news release.

Nissan chose CarSaver after a pilot program with seven dealers, of which Tamaroff Nissan and Jeffrey Nissan (Eric Frehsee, president)

“Shopping for a vehicle with CarSaver’s tools is like ordering a pizza, but more fun,” CarSaver CEO Chad Collier said.

The only missing functionality from this suite of tools is getting non-prime consumers pre-qualified at credit online. I’m referring to a credit-first approach that could get 85% of customers approved regardless of their credit history.

Too many e-commerce tools focus on prime financing, leaving up to 30% of consumers without being able to secure financing online.

CarSaver, add Lucy’s API to your suite of tools and get 85% of your clients approved online! www.decisioning.it 🙂

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>  decisioning.it/digital-retailing/nissan-picks-e-commerce-provider-for-new-online-shopping-platform/

CARSAVER TO HELP POWER NISSAN HOME PLATFORM

CarSaver, a leading provider of automotive e-commerce solutions, has been selected by Nissan to power Nissan@Home, a new online shopping platform. After a successful pilot program with seven dealers, Nissan selected CarSaver’s industry-leading e-commerce platform to support components of a new end-to-end online buying experience for customers, from first click to home delivery. 

The ease of using Nissan@Home, and the customization of being able to sign in to your own portal and choose your own payments, run your own credit score, appraise your own trade-in, all in real-time and all with live transactional data is what sets the platform apart.

While e-commerce has become the norm for all manner of goods—books, travel, groceries, electronics—auto sales often still require a visit to the dealership to complete the transaction. Nine out of 10 customers already shop for cars online, but despite weeks of research, the average buyer spends 5+ hours in the showroom. 

To provide customers with a seamless online experience, the Nissan@Home purchasing experience integrates CarSaver’s industry leading features like:

  • End-to-end online purchase of new, certified pre-owned and used vehicle inventory
  • VIN specific pricing and payments 
  • Real-time, OEM direct rebates and incentives
  • AI enabled deal structuring 
  • Captive and retail lender loan and lease integration
  • eF&I
  • eContracting 
  • Guaranteed online trade-ins
  • Vehicle delivery management software 

“We’re a progressive dealer, so we’ve demoed every digital retailing tool that’s out there and ultimately, when I participated in the Nissan@Home pilot, I knew that this e-commerce platform was going to be the leader in the industry,” said Eric Frehsee, President, Tamaroff Nissan and Jeffrey Nissan. “The ease of using Nissan@Home, and the customization of being able to sign in to your own portal and choose your own payments, run your own credit score, appraise your own trade-in, all in real-time and all with live transactional data is what sets the platform apart. The real benefit of the tool is to the consumer.”

“Nissan@Home changes the customer buying and ownership experience and helps to deliver  contactless commerce,” said Jack Jackintelle, Chief Operating Officer, Coral Springs Nissan. “I can see why JD Power ranked this ecommerce platform the best for OEMs, because it has everything we need and it’s really easy to use.”

“Shopping for a vehicle with CarSaver’s tools is like ordering a pizza, but more fun. It’s easier for both the customer and the dealers, and it saves everyone a lot of time and money,” said Chad Collier, CEO of CarSaver. “We’re thrilled to work with Nissan to lead the way into the future of automotive ecommerce.”

To learn more and view testimonials from dealers, visit www.CarSaverCommerce.com.

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>  autodealertodaymagazine.com/364011/carsaver-to-help-power-nissanathome-platform

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO TRY A CAR SUBSCRIPTION INSTEAD OF A RENTAL.

Need a car only for the summer? Or maybe you want a 30-day test drive before committing to a purchase.

Or perhaps car ownership, its costs and maintenance, isn’t for you, but you need some personal transportation.

For those reasons and more, some might consider a subscription car service. One is now available in Detroit.

“There’s a section of our demographic that sees mobility as a lifestyle choice and wants to be unburdened from a (car) payment,” said Chance Richie, CEO of Mobiliti in Rochester Hills.

Mobiliti is a national multidealer, multibrand vehicle subscription service app. It is partnering with Tamaroff Auto Group in Southfield to offer a subscription car service starting Sept. 4.

“This really appeals to someone who is here on a temporary assignment where it doesn’t make sense for them to buy a car,” said Richie. “It gives them access to an amazing vehicle for a short period of time and optimal flexibility.”

 

IN DEMAND

The vehicle subscription program, which will be called Mobiliti, is like a long-term rental or short-term lease, but without long-term contracts and upfront costs.

The monthly fee, which starts at $599, includes insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. It gives a customer access to new and luxury vehicle options. There is no cost to join Mobiliti and customers can opt out after one 30-day subscription period, Richie said. The average subscription tenure based on its services in other U.S. cities is three months, he said.

A customer keeps the same vehicle for 30 days, then they can swap it for a different one or stay put, he said. The customer goes to Tamaroff to get the car, which comes with a full tank of gasoline. They return it there either with a full tank or their credit card is charged for refueling it, said Richie.

Eric Frehsee, vice president of Tamaroff Auto Group, predicts robust customer demand for Mobiliti here. That’s because Tamaroff has offered a rental fleet tied to its service and body shop customers for years. Recently, it put that rental fleet online for those who needed a car for a weekend move or a trip Up North, Frehsee said.

“We noticed there was a demand for the cars,” said Frehsee. “So when this opportunity came up with subscription, linking the product to us, we knew there’s a demand. Not everyone wants to purchase a car for five years or lease it for two to three years.”

For example, Frehsee said a doctor from overseas called him recently saying he would be interning at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for one year. The man did not want to lease or buy a car for such a short time. So Frehsee told him about Mobiliti. He has also referred Mobiliti to people who’ve told him they have college-age kids who return home for the summer and need a car for only three months.

“If we have a customer looking for, say a Nissan Rogue, but they are unsure about buying it, I would direct them to Mobiliti, let them sign up and do a 30-day test drive of it,” Frehsee said.

 

VEHICLE VARIETY

Initially, the fleet will have 10 different vehicles, Frehsee said. As demand rises, so will the number and variety of cars available.

Tamaroff sells Nissans and Hondas. But it owns other dealerships and has a vast pool of vehicles it can add to the subscription fleet, some of which will be new and others will be late-model used cars, said Frehsee.

“You’ll see everything available from Nissan small sedans to luxury vehicles such as Infiniti SUVs and sedans” in the fleet, Richie said.

Mobiliti’s monthly fee starts at $599 for small cars, but could go as high as $1,400 for a luxury sedan or SUV, he said. That might sound steep, but Richie said that it’s less expensive than renting a car for a month.

“My insurance rate is about $240 a month in Michigan,” said Richie. “Looking at rentals, we find the monthly rate is double that of $599 when you roll in the insurance cost.”

 

NATIONAL FOOTPRINT

Mobiliti is designed to have a national footprint so Detroiters who winter in a warmer climate such as Florida can subscribe to it here in the summer months, then use it in the winter when they are in Florida, Richie said.

In June, Mobiliti rolled out in Austin, Texas, partnering with one dealership there. It will add eight more dealerships by the end of September, Richie said. Already it has 300 registered subscribers in Austin.

Southeast Michigan is the fifth U.S. market where Mobiliti is operating its subscription service. Besides Austin, it’s offered in New Jersey, the New York City area and Pennsylvania. In October, it will launch in Florida and Virginia, Richie said.

Richie said it is in talks to offer Mobiliti through other metro-Detroit dealerships soon.

“We’re always looking to expand our dealer networks,” said Richie. “We give all of our dealers geographic exclusivity in terms of the brands they sell.”

Mobiliti in June acquired its only competitor here, a company called Condor Detroit.

But transportation options keep evolving. For example, in July, General Motor’s mobility unit, Maven, said it is testing a peer-to-peer car sharing offering through the Maven app in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Chicago.

The program, called Peer Cars, allows those who own or lease a 2015 model or newer GM vehicle to list their cars on the Maven app for rent to others when the owners aren’t using them. The owner keeps 60 percent of the revenue from renting the car; Maven gets the balance.

 

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>   freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/08/31/car-subscription-rental-mobiliti/1067007002/

SUCCESS STORY: #1 HONDA DEALER IN MICHIGAN

Competition between auto dealerships in the Detroit, Michigan market is off the charts.

Eric Frehsée, General Sales Manager at Tamaroff Motors, Inc., can look out his dealership’s window and see the neighboring dealership selling a lease on a fully loaded Jeep for $200 a month; the Hondas and Nissans Tamaroff sells are not even priced in that playing field.

So, Frehsée knew he and his dealership would have to work harder to capture their market share and more. Strategic thinking and planning have played a huge role in helping to make customers believe in the brand, but it’s not an easy market. Detroit is the only market where Cadillac, Buick and Lincoln outsell Honda, Toyota and Nissan. This is a huge challenge for Tamaroff Motors.

Over the years, Tamaroff Motors has had their fair share of challenges. The group is a family-owned business that was started by Marvin Tamaroff in 1969. In his time, he has sold every type of vehicle — from Buick to Rolls Royce. A true automotive pioneer, the 90-year-old Tamaroff still comes to the dealerships weekly to check in, ask questions and offer advice. He has an eye for the business and his passion has continued down the family tree. Marvin’s son, Jeffrey Tamaroff, is now leading the dealerships, along with his son, Jason Tamaroff and nephew, Eric Frehsée.

The dealership has seen a lot of changes and a lot of growth over the years. They have exceeded the competition in sales and most recently were named “The No. 1 Honda dealer in the State of Michigan.” The group has two campuses. The first campus, Tamaroff Motors Inc., has more than 22 acres that includes a Honda store, Nissan store, an indoor storage building, a leasing company, a photo studio, a body and collision shop, detail department and a shared service department. Tamaroff’s other location, the Jeffrey Campus, is 20 miles east and includes a Honda store, an Acura store, a Kia store and a Nissan store with a service department  and parts and body shop for each. It also includes a photo studio.

“The only thing constant in the business is change,” said Eric Frehsée, which is the mantra that helped develop the dealerships into what they are today. To survive the downturn and then take advantage of the rising market, many changes had to be implemented — and everyone had to be on board.

It started with the dealership’s website. If you look at www.tamaroffhonda.com, you will find one of the most informative websites in the business. It took Eric and his team nine months to blueprint and execute this site. He wanted an online place customers could visit and get all the information they wanted — including price — so that when they were ready to purchase the vehicle, there would be no frustrations and all their frequently asked questions would be answered. This not only made for a happy customer, but it also provided his team with a new sales tool. They are able to guide the customer through the site in person or over the phone, all the while building their authority and value in the eyes of the consumer. This has been invaluable to the team.

Once the website was complete, next came the strategic digital marketing plan. Tamaroff partnered with Team Velocity to target not just a large audience, but the right audience and send them the correct message to bring them to the store. This directed marketing is crucial because of the tight group of dealerships in a limited geographical space in Detroit. Being able to contact the perfect buyer in such a market may sound simple, but finding the right formula is difficult and finding a company specializing in this will save not only time, but money, as well.

Another challenge that targeted marketing campaigns were able to overcome was to bring in lost customers. The Tamaroff Group had an array of customers in their database who, for whatever reason, had not been communicated with in a timely manner or were simply lost in transition. With the strategic campaigns and the right messages, Tamaroff was able to bring those lost customers back to the store and regain them as long-term clients.

A complete marketing strategy also must deal with the service department. Tamaroff had many customers who were loyal to getting their service completed at the dealership but had never purchased a car from them. Team Velocity was able to set up a program to help turn those customers into repeat service customers, and Tamaroff car buyers, as well.

“Having a partner as driven and cutting-edge as Tamaroff Honda continues to make our products and processes stronger,” said Justin Byrd, President of Team Velocity Marketing. “We continuously strive to be the perfect partner and deliver optimal results for the Tamaroff organization.”

The final piece of the puzzle was to get everyone on board. Team culture and support can make or break a company, especially when changing the processes and marketing within a company.  Tamaroff has many seasoned team members who have been with the company for a long time, which says as much about Tamaroff as it does their loyalty. Thanks to the leadership skills that the dealership has honed over the past five decades, Tamaroff Motors has found methods to keep the team positive and ready to grow — even during challenging times. In some dealerships, team members who have been with a company for a long time get set in their ways and become unwilling to change or try new ideas. By valuing flexibility in the face of new technology and ideas, Tamaroff not only became the No. 1 Honda dealer in the state of Michigan, but also the No. 1 Nissan dealer in the Detroit market.

“Our goal is to be the No. 1 import dealer in the state,” Frehsée said. Thanks to smarter, more directed marketing and outstanding customer service, achieving that goal is well within Tamaroff’s abilities.

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>  autosuccessonline.com/1-honda-dealer-in-michigan-2/

HE LIKES BOTH OLD AND NEW IDEAS

Dealer Jeffrey L. Tamaroff likes new ideas as well as old ones that work. That’s how he and his general manager of 16 years, Rodger D. Lau, run the six-franchise Jeffrey complex in suburban Detroit.

As an innovator dedicated to employee training, Mr. Tamaroff, 45, is applying experience gleaned from the”family business.”

His father, Marvin Tamaroff, 72, is a pioneer Buick-import dealer across town in Southfield, and it was there young Jeffrey got the expertise to go off on his own and take over a struggling Buick store at age 29.

“One of the main things I brought here is how important it was to keep employees satisfied, because they in turn keep customers coming back,” he says of his namesake dealership.

“We were among the first dealers to drop 100% commission compensation for salespersons and give them a base salary of an average of $14,500, plus bonuses based on volume, total gross profit and customer satisfaction.”

Once he turned around the Buick dealership, where new-car sales had plummeted to 25-50 a month, Jeffrey began a franchise expansion process that continues to this day.

It’s led to construction of four modern showroom structures on a nine-acre corner. Nissan came ab-oard in 1985 and the 1990s have brought in Acura, Honda, Kia and now Daewoo.

“The added franchises, which have more than offset Buick’s downturn, also present opportunities for sales and service employee growth,” says Mr. Tamaroff. “We have five brand managers and 155 employees, compared to when I began with 50 employees, and all of the brand managers have been with us through many years.”

The Jeffrey complex finished 321st on the latest Ward’s Dealer Business 500, rolling up $79.9 million in sales and, Mr. Tamaroff adds, “all-time high profits, which we’re surpassing in 1999. That’s quite an achievement in a market with 23 other Buick dealers.”

Mr. Lau, 49, oversees the “innovation” department. He ticks off a list of new and old concepts in place at the dealership:

* An e-commerce department, whose trained specialists will take customers off www.jeffreyauto.com and handle their transactions through sales, F&I and used-unit appraisal. Seattle’s Cobalt Group is developing the Jeffrey Web site.

* Dealer Voice, a computer-driven reminder service making up to 1,800 phone calls a day to Jeffrey customers and former customers.

* Old-fashioned “greeters” at each of the four showrooms. They are middle-age women who welcome shoppers and answer questions before taking them to a salesperson. They keep a count on customer traffic for future follow-up.

* Installation last July of an Auto Credit Express office on-site, a new 20-dealership service expediting subprime loans so that customers can trade up their vehicles if they qualify for financing.

* Monthly owner service seminars, 24-hour towing, an on-site car rental facility, a “state-of-the-art” 20,000-sq.-ft. body shop and “reliance for customer follow-up on service managers themselves and not some customer relations person who steps on managers’ toes,” says Mr. Lau.

“These days, with sharper customers, a dealer has to be willing to try new things and reach out,” he says.

Adds Mr. Tamaroff, “We have faced the problem of declining new-unit margins by investing money in the dealership so that employees can broaden out in their jobs, with a regular trainer (Al Deareallono).

“The 35 salespersons get a fine-tuned training process and it’s a real pleasure to see how they improve, and how we have grown with them.”

VIEW THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE >>  wardsauto.com/news-analysis/he-likes-both-old-and-new-ideas