Ernie Boch - On Automatic
He's one of the most recognizable faces in New England - much like his father, Ernie Boch Sr, was before he died in 2003.
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In addition to being one of the industry's true characters, Boch is one of the country's top car dealers. Don't let his sometimes zany personality fool you. His billion dollar empire includes the nation's top selling Honda dealership, the number three selling Toyota store and the Subaru distributorship for all of New England. He also owns a Ferrari store and a Maserati dealership.
His grandfather started the business by buying a Nash dealership in 1945. Ernie Sr. took over the business and grew it into one of the top dealer groups in New England, often using zany marketing ideas to differentiate himself from the other, more conservative New England dealers. His signature ad included using a sledge hammer to smash windshields to symbolize slashing prices.
Ernie Jr.'s first love was, and continues to be music. He went the Berklee College of Music before traveling around playing in different bands. Meanwhile, his father was building fortune selling cars. The light bulb went on for Ernie after watching music great Dizzy Gillespie get paid a measly $600 after playing at Harvard Square. It was then he decided to go make his millions before playing music.
His dad gave him a job selling cars. He was good at it and worked his way to sales manager of the Mitsubishi store. But the market dropped and father demoted him to salesman at the Toyota dealership.
Following his father's death 20 years later, Boch took over the empire and became its top spokesman. Boch Sr. was a showman, but Ernie has taken it to another level displaying an honest and sometimes over the top enthusiasm for life that friends say is contagious. That enthusiasm has made him a lot of money by selling a lot of cars. He's known for throwing lavish and sometimes wild parties at his home in Massachusetts. But he also doesn't hold back when it comes to charitable causes. In 2005, he pledged a cool half a million to Caritas Norwood Hospital.
In recent years, his blues band Ernie and the Automatics saw its debut album, Low Expectations, reach #7 on Billboard's Blues Album Chart for six weeks. He's also made three guest appearances on FX's Rescue Me.