To Al Hoffman, choice is everything as he goes about the business of building out the Antwerpen Auto World brand.
“In the pre-owned auto industry, selection is everything,” said Hoffman, GM of the Maryland-based car dealership for the last nine years. “With the 10 franchises we have, at all times we have access to over 500 pre-owned vehicles, everything from Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, Chryslers, Jeeps and Volkswagen.”
Hoffman said that providing such a wide selection, along with the dealership's commitment to quality service and a pledge to always “take care of the customer,” go a long way in helping to keep Antwerpen one step ahead of the competition.
“I’m constantly reminding my sales people that for pre-owned buyers, getting a used car is just like a new car purchase to them and part of our job is to make them feel like they’re being taken care of,” he said. “In the end, 95 percent of selling a car is selling yourself.”
Hoffman said that among the things that stand out in the minds’ of customers include Antwerpen's practice of providing buyers their first oil change after their purchase free of charge, and making sure all cars sold have a full tank of gas and are fully detailed. Since purchasing the space for the facility and converting it from a Chevy-owned dealership, Hoffman said Antwerpen has benefited from a marketplace where pre-owned vehicle sales now outnumber new sales by roughly a 3 to 1 ratio.
“It all comes down to people looking for the best deal for themselves,” he said. “Oftentimes, that comes down to trying to find a late-model pre-owned vehicle that's been well taken care of and has low miles. That’s what we strive to provide.”
Hoffman said that Antwerpen does not aspire to be the highest – nor lowest – priced dealership but rather provide a competitive marketplace where customers know they can get a fair deal on a quality vehicle.
“We serve everyone from the second-chance customer to the high-end buyer, and our approach and commitment is the same,” he said.