Carla Cosenzi says that, like most companies in its category, the TommyCar Auto Group is always on the lookout for possible additions to the portfolio of dealerships.
But growth for the sake of growth is not what this venture — started by her father, the late Tom Consenzi, and taken to a new level by Carla and her brother, Tom — is looking for.
“It’s important for us to have the right brand at the right time and the right location moreso than just looking to grow,” she told BusinessWest, adding that all those boxes could certainly be checked with the company’s recent acquisition of Pioneer Volvo in South Deerfield.
Right location? Check. The dealership is only a few miles north on I-91 from the group’s other facilities — Northampton Volkswagen and the adjacent Country Hyundai, as well as Country Nissan on Route 9 in Hadley.
Right brand? Check. Volvo has always been renowned for its quality and focus on safety, and it has recently introduced several new models, including a small SUV, the XC40, that is turning heads in the industry.
Right time? Check. Auto sales in 2018 are just slightly off the levels set in 2017 — although the TommyCar Auto Group has registered growth over that span — but overall volume remains at very high levels.
Overall, this acquisition is solid in every respect, said Cozenzi, adding that that it gives the TommyCar Auto Group its first real entry into the luxury-car bracket, meaning a brand that won’t really compete with the three sold just down the interstate.
Meanwhile, the group’s size and economies of scale will enable it to give the Volvo dealership greater visibility and opportunities to grow.
“It’s a small dealership, and it was family-owned and operated, so we’re going to continue the same values they had,” she explained. “But since we’re a bit of a larger group, we have the ability to add more amenities than they were able to provide, but with the same core values.
“We’ll grow the brand — we’ll give the brand more exposure through advertising,” she went on. “And since we’re a larger group with more of a following, we’ll be able to attract more people to the dealership, and to Volvo.”
Given all this, it’s understandable why the TommyCar Auto Group has had its eye on the Volvo dealership for some time, and also why it moved quickly and decisively when the family-owned operation came on the market earlier this year.
“It’s a small dealership, and it was family-owned and operated, so we’re going to continue the same values they had. But since we’re a bit of a larger group, we have the ability to add more amenities than they were able to provide, but with the same core values.”
“This is a brand that we’ve been looking at for a long time because it fits in well with the other manufacturers we have in the group, it’s a great location, and it’s a perfect size for us,” she explained. “We’re really attracted to Volvo and everything it stands for in terms of luxury and convenience it provides to customers, the value of the brand, and the safety of the vehicle.”
Cozenzi said the dealership in Deerfield is, indeed, small compared to most these days, and not exactly modern. However, it is comfortable and well-appointed. She said it is likely the company will renovate it in the short term and replace it in the long term, meaning over the next several years.
In the meantime, as she said, it is a solid addition to the portfolio, a brand with a number of redesigned models, cars, and SUVs alike.
“So it’s an exciting time for us to be getting involved with the brand,” said Cosenzi, citing the XC 40 as one example of a Volvo model in strong demand. “I’m coming to learn the brand, and it’s clear that they’re very innovative.”
As an example, she noted ‘Care by Volvo,’ a comprehensive package of services that brings new layers of convenience to customers.
“They take care of the essentials when they lease you a vehicle, including insurance, maintenance, repairs, a concierge service, and more,” she said. “So you can see them changing with the times, and it’s exciting to be partners with an manufacturer that’s so on edge with what’s happening.”
Like she said … the right brand and the right time — and the right location.
— George O’Brien