Fletcher Jones - An Empire's Winning Formula
For years, Fletcher Jones Motor Cars in Newport Beach, CA has been the number two dealership in the world of any brand and of course, is the top selling Mercedes dealership, more than doubling the sales of its nearest competitor.
It's part of the Fletcher Jones Automotive Group whose 19 dealerships across four states ranked 16th on the Ward's MegaDealer 100 list with $1.3 billion.
Fletcher "Ted" Jones, the son of an automotive legend, Fletcher Jones Senior, presides over the successful automotive empire whose roots date back 50 years in southern California and the heady days of the post World War II era.
Jones is considered to be one of the most innovative dealers in the country pioneering a revolutionary approach in which "guests" not "customers" are treated with the same level of service you would expect from a five-star hotel.
It all started on a golf course in 1946, when Fletcher Jones Senior met a man who been highly successful selling cars. He was so impressed, Jones, who was studying law at USC, left school to make his way in the growing automotive industry.
Jones Sr. opened a small used car lot in downtown Los Angeles with $1,200 he pulled together. He sold his first vehicle for $70. Not much later, he opened his first new car dealership selling Chrysler and Plymouth vehicles.
He was one of the dealers who early on understood the power of marketing using himself in ads promoting his dealerships. The personal touch proved to be successful.
Jones Sr. expanded his operations the next 15 years throughout Phoenix, Las Vegas and southern California, markets exploding with growth.
Ted Jones entered the business in the 1960s working several entry-level jobs including sweeping floors and working in the parts department. Soon he advanced into sales and management positions.
He opened his first store -- a Mazda dealership -- in Whittier, CA, with his father's help.
Ted Jones soon began adding domestic and import franchises to the portfolio which grew to eight dealerships which he ran with his father until he passed away in 1994 at age 76
In 1991, armed with a strong vision of where he wanted to take the group, Jones purchased a bankrupt luxury dealership located in Newport Beach, a wealthy community in southern California.
Once construction was set, Jones meticulously managed the operation making it the top selling Mercedes Benz center in the world. Taking the same principles he developed in Newport Beach, Jones began operating the rest of his dealerships in the same manner formalizing the principles as the Fletcher Jones Fine Family of Dealerships.
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