JM Family Enterprises’ JM Lexus in Margate, Florida recently marked 30 years in the business.
It was in 1989 when late JM Family Enterprises founder Jim Moran broke ground on the dealership with visions of selling what was then a fairly new Lexus luxury brand.
“Our founder, Jim Moran, was always interested in luxury Toyota sales,” Mark Hoppe, JM Lexus’ vice president and general manager, told Mega Dealer News. “Mr. Moran had quite a few conversations with the senior executive management at Toyota and always proposed to them that they could do very well with a luxury car line.”
The Chicago-born Moran was eventually granted one of the first Lexus dealerships in the U.S. and JM Lexus officially launched on Aug. 8, 1989, which was Moran’s 71st birthday, with a highly attended grand opening celebration the following year.
“We opened with 50 associates, and today we have 350 associates,” Hoppe said. “In 1989, we sold 255 cars for the year. This year, we’re going to sell close to 4,000 cars for the year.”
Hoppe says he considers Moran a pioneer of sorts.
“It was a big deal in South Florida business circles at the time that a Japanese luxury dealership was going to open," Hoppe said. “We made an impact right from the very beginning in luxury car sales.”
Since the first-ever customer walked in the doors until his death in 2007, Moran made frequent visits to the dealership to interact with every employee to get to know them better.
“That was one of the hallmarks of his management style,” Hoppe said. “He walked the shop. He walked the showroom floor. He made sure that everyone knew that he cared about what happened at JM Lexus.”
As a result, JM Lexus has emerged as the top-volume Lexus dealer in the country.
“JM Lexus, over the course of time, has been a certified retailer on at least three occasions,” Hoppe said. “For 25 straight years, JM Lexus sold more Lexus vehicles than any other Lexus dealer in the United States.”
Hoppe added that last year the dealership became a Lexus Plus dealer, which is “a transparent way of doing business.” According to the company, Lexus Plus dealers provide fair, market-value prices for every offering available for purchase at a dealership.
“Although it seems like customers are very interested in the beginning of the process, they still want to come into the dealership, make an appointment, and finalize their documentation.,” Hoppe said.
The 30th anniversary is part of a year of marking milestones. Last year, on what would have been Moran’s 100th birthday, JM Family celebrated the golden anniversary of its founding. Hoppe said that JM Lexus observed its 30th year with an advertising campaign with a specially designed logo and reached out to its most loyal customers.
The dealership also held a luncheon and a party, and the anniversary celebration will last through the rest of the year.
Hoppe, who has been with JM Lexus for almost a year, says he relishes the interaction with the guests, especially longtime customers.
“I meet customers every week that talk to me about how long they’ve been doing business with our dealership and how much they enjoy the experience,” he said.
The three decades in which JM Lexus has existed allowed the dealership to be a huge part of the South Florida community it serves.
“We do all the parades that they have, and we support a lot of community initiatives through the JM Family and JM Lexus,” Hoppe said.
The GM believes the dealership will continue to offer “better and better service to all ages of customers.” By 2025, there will be not one model of Lexus sold that does not have an available electric-powered component to it, he said.
“I think any year you can celebrate a continuous time of being in business as a single entity for 30 years, every year gets to be better and better,” Hoppe said.
According to Hoppe, if Moran were still alive today, he would attribute "his baby’s" longevity to the dedicated associates.