This Foss store set out to offer a luxury ownership journey that would exceed customer expectations… and they’ve certainly succeeded.
The Foss name is well known in the automotive industry. Founded in 1962, Roy Foss Motors now owns two dealerships, in Woodbridge and Thornhill, Ontario, as well as Foss National Leasing.
The latest addition to the Foss family of businesses is also Ontario’s first Cadillac-exclusive dealership, Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge. The store officially opened for business in July of this year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by GM executives, Foss senior management, and a number of city officials.
Bringing a great idea to fruition
According to Sam Alaimo, Managing Partner, and President of Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge, the seed for a Cadillac-exclusive store in the Woodbridge area was first planted over six years ago. Alaimo, a former GM executive himself, approached the Foss family with the idea that Woodbridge was ripe for a luxury dealership that could cater to the needs of Cadillac customers.
“Initially, I had the idea of a building that would look like a jewellery box with glass on all sides, including the ceiling, to showcase the latest Cadillac models,” Alaimo recalls. “As I consulted with experts they told us that it would be cost prohibitive and technically not possible. So we worked with General Motors on the idea and ended up with what I think still looks like a beautiful jewellery box. We’ve very honoured and privileged to bring this idea to life.”
The new 7,000 sq. ft. facility includes unique features including two Cadillac “delivery pods”— areas inside the dealership where owners complete their purchases and take possession of their new vehicles—as well as four Cadillac-dedicated service bays.
Better than imagined
Alaimo stresses that his goal, when working on this Cadillac-exclusive store, was to “do Cadillac right.”
“I always wanted to do retail differently,” Alaimo says, “so this was a glorious opportunity to build a brand-new space that looks even better than we imagined.”
The staffing process was also approached with a different view in focus. “We recruited for a new vision, bringing in people who are very keenly interested in retail, as well as developing themselves,” Alaimo explains. “We recruited them, trained them and groomed them to be guest-focused.”
All the key touchpoints were carefully scrutinized. “We looked at every way a consumer can interact with us, whether in person, online, on the phone, text, etc.,” Alaimo says. “Then we developed processes where we anticipated the customer’s needs and tried to exceed them.”
Sales and service
The entire sales process has been modified to better reflect what today’s consumers expect. “We know that luxury buyers don’t like the back and forth part of the process with a sales consultant who writes up a work sheet and then walks away from the guest to talk to a sales manager,” Alaimo says. “That’s traditional selling, but we know our customers don’t like it, so we eliminated it. You deal with a single individual and you are not turned over to someone else. Although we do have an F&I manager presently, we’re looking at a way to eliminate that step in the future.”
And when customers come in for a service appointment, they’re given the Cadillac treatment. “We have a standalone service drive,” Alaimo explains. “It’s like a showroom; there are no concrete walls. You are greeted by a concierge who confirms your appointment and then takes you to the service counter inside the dealership.”
As the first Cadillac-exclusive store in Ontario, Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge is quickly attracting both sales and service business. Word is getting out on social media that they’re the place to shop when you’re in the market for a Cadillac.
“The experts forecast that we would get to 300 new vehicle sales by 2022,” Alaimo adds. “But we’re on track to get there by next year. We’re also attracting service customers who purchased their vehicles from other dealers.”
Things are going so well, in fact, that the Foss store in Thornhill is looking at opening a standalone Cadillac dealership as well. Perhaps Travis Hester, President and Managing Director at GM Canada, put it best when he said, “Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge’s new facility is designed to offer a luxury ownership journey that will exceed customer expectations.” Mission accomplished!