OTTAWA — Daniel Jacobs, the new owner of Chevrolet of Ottawa, and his partner, David Li, are looking to bring the close, personal relationship formed in high-line vehicle dealerships to the Ottawa area.
“Why should this buyer be treated like a number and not be treated like high-line buyers,” Jacobs said. “This purchase is going to be a big purchase in their life.”
High-line buyers expect dealers to be there to answer any questions they have at any time, he said. They expect to forge a strong personal relationship with their dealers. Those people only keep their $100,000 vehicles for maybe three years and have a completely different mindset to vehicle ownership, while a farmer is looking to purchase a truck they can use for a lifetime and they’re treated like garbage, Jacobs said.
Three years ago Jacobs took over ownership of Mazda of Wooster, in Wooster. The dealership had problems making a profit and was mismanaged, he said. Jacobs implemented the more personal approach to care salesmanship and changed around the dynamics and within six months turned the dealership around.
“Within six months we became a Gold Cup Dealer,” he said. “Gold Cup Dealers are within the top 20 percent of all Mazda dealerships.”
Jacobs also became very active in the Wooster community, he said. He sponsored the Wayne County Fair and started a Christmas meal program, Wooster Elf Project, for needy families in the area. For the project, he gathered sponsors from local grocery stores and other businesses and provided hot meals to 13 Wooster area families on the night before Christmas Eve.
Jacobs said he took ownership of Chevrolet of Ottawa because at one time the dealership was top ranking in the area but during the past few years, because of mismanagement or other reasons, it had lost the community’s faith.
“We felt with the backing of General Motors and support of the community there’s no reason this dealership can’t be successful like it was in the glory days,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs eliminated some management staff when he took ownership the week of Oct. 12, he said. He replaced two positions with experienced dealers from outside the area; Andy Elliott and Heather Barner. All other positions have been filled with local employees.
Jacobs grew up in Cleveland and has been in the dealership business for 30 years. He started out selling vehicles at a Lexus dealership owned by a friend’s father, he said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362