Known for the ability to make people feel at home, Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars calls its current location “The Mansion.” The Mansion is complete with an outdoor golf green and a 45-seat movie theater. Cookies, ice cream, soda and gourmet coffee are served everyday so customers can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere while visiting Dimmit Motorcars. In addition to the facility in Clearwater, Dimmitt also has locations in St. Petersburg and Homosassa, Florida.
Larry Dimmitt Sr. began selling Fords in downtown Clearwater, FL in 1924. In 1933, Mr. Dimmitt added Cadillac, LaSalle and Chevrolet to its automobile choices. During the 1930’s Larry Dimmitt Sr. piloted the nation’s first long-term rental program to citizens who vacationed in Florida during the winter months. As the generation of excellence continued, Larry Dimmitt passed along the family business to his son, Larry Dimmitt Jr. in 1952.
The Dimmitt family has made many pioneering contributions to the automotive industry. In 1953 Dimmitt Cadillac sold the very first El Dorado convertible in the United States. During the 1960’s, Dimmitt was the first to offer the “quick” lube, which gave customers the pleasure of receiving an oil change in 30 minutes or less. In 1975, Dimmit Cadillac sold the first Seville in America. Following that, in 1986 Dimmitt became the 26th appointed Land Rover dealer (One of 26 Charter) and, in 1998, the dealership began representing Rolls-Royce and Bentley. They ushered in the new millennium by acquiring Dew Cadillac in St Petersburg, FL and two years later the Hummer Brand was added to the luxury repertoire. Today Richard Dimmitt, the 3rd generation of the Dimmitt family, sets a remarkable precedence by creating a buying experience that raises the bar for the hi-line automotive industry.
Today Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars includes Cadillac, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lotus. With such a portfolio of luxury automobiles comes an even bigger selection of accessories and options. One of key ingredients to the Dimmitt success is the menu of accessories customers are given to enhance their new purchase. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! They feel so strongly about the importance of offering the most up to date accessories and options that the dealership has dedicated one person to follow up every deal by presenting an array of amenities the customers can add to their vehicle. “In our division the most profitable department has been and still is today is the personalization of a Cadillac,” says Jack Doherty, president and general manager.
The most important component to Dimmitt’s successful Accessories Department, which is completely separate from the parts department, is to make the customer feel like the vehicle was customized to their specific needs. Their accessory department even has its own page on their Web site. Internet shoppers on Dimmitt.com have the ability to select the accessories page of the site and look at several vehicles that have upgrades on them. This allows the shopper to dream about the customization process. Richard Dimmitt’s son, Rick Dimmitt, who is the General Manager of the Tire and Accessory Department, (4th generation of the Dimmitt family) selects certain vehicles within the dealership inventory to be used exclusively for customers wanting option upgrades. The accessories Dimmitt offers to its clientele include anything from headrest televisions, flip down TV’s or a chrome package to the most customized vehicle which is a White Diamond Escalade that includes over $25,000 in accessories. High-end accessories for the Cadillac Escalade can be such options as stereo system that runs about 5000 watts, three 12” sub woofers, touch screen and voice navigation, lighted door seals or custom made LED taillights. “We try to think of this process as more personalizing than customizing,” says Dimmitt.
Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars also has four Paint Cars that have been custom built and painted with a one-of-kind color mixed by the dealership’s Paint Center. Dimmitt and his staff have taken a factory CTS, a STS, an Escalade and a fully loaded CTS 6-cylinder, 3.6L and completely changed the color of the vehicles. In addition to the color, they have also added unique accessories to each vehicle, showcased them and made them available to sell to any customer. Dimmitt makes sure that the Accessories Department is included in every deal. Employees are trained on specific scripts and how to appropriately incorporate accessories into their dialogue with each customer.
The key to upgrading and adding to a vehicle is not seeing how many things you can slap on the vehicle. It is not what accessories the dealer has to offer the customer, but how they offer it. The number one important factor at Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars is PERSONALIZATION. Make it personal. “When a person drives to the dealership with pair of 22” inch bright chrome wheels with a radical paint job,” says Dimmitt, “we use this as our basis for what the customer might be looking for in their next purchase.” It is important to make the customer feel that their new car has been made specifically for them. Are they partial to any particular type of wheel? What about color? What kind of style of car do they want? “We can match the color of your car to your lipstick or fingernail polish,” said Dimmitt. “We don’t just sell Cadillacs, Rolls-Royces and Lotuses, we personalize them.”
Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars has set high standards for the company and its sales professionals. “Our goal is to produce $300,000 in sales each month and retain 40 percent of that,” says Dimmitt. Customers are also given a variety of exclusive amenities when they purchase with Dimmitt. Along with the complete satisfaction of their purchase, customers get the General Manager’s home phone number, the Service Director’s home phone number and 24 hour answering service that can be accessed anywhere in the world toll free. Customers who purchase become a member of the Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars Reward Program and are given points each time they come in to have their car serviced. In addition, each time a car or truck is serviced customers receive a free car wash and can enjoy the luxuries of “The Mansion” while they wait.
As one of the top 100 dealerships (including all makes and models) and the second largest Cadillac franchise in total dollar sales, the Clearwater facility does 170M/year in sales! Dimmitt Cadillac has won numerous awards for it’s dedication to sales and service. In 2001, Dimmitt Cadillac was ranked #1 of all General Motors dealerships in the nation for customer satisfaction and service. The Cadillac facility has consistently ranked in the top ten in the nation in volume and top in CSI. Of the 1,492 Cadillac dealerships in the country, only five have ever been recognized as a Master Dealer 20 times or more. In 2004 Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars was given this exclusive honor. Today Dimmitt is currently #1 in pre-owned Rolls-Royce, #2 in new Bentley sales and #3 in new Rolls-Royce sales.
So what is next on the agenda for Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars? Rick Dimmitt would like to start adding new products to their array of options. “We could also offer services to other dealerships,” says Dimmitt, “maybe even take this show on the road and to the public.” Personalization is the open door to success for Dimmitt Motors. In a time where customers are always looking for the next hottest trend, cars are no exception. What is the latest and greatest car craze? “In the 50’s and 60’s people were loyal to certain products, today it is about what is the next new thing,” says Dimmitt. “We feel that if we can personalize vehicles we can increase loyalty.”
The Dimmitt Mission:
We believe that through teamwork and innovation, we empower passionate, satisfied associates whom provide exceptional personal service to our guests and community. By focusing on this belief, Dimmitt Luxury Motorcars will achieve the goal of being the Standard of Excellence in Customer Service.
Vol 2, Issue 11
Experts say new IRS rules are sparking a downward trend in refund amounts, threatening the loss of an annual catalyst for used-car sales.