Billy Fuccillo doesn't do anything small, including sales promotions. The owner of Fuccillo Automotive Group has raised his own marketing bar with a behemoth of a promotional event: a free, six-day cruise for every customer who buys or leases a Kia from one of his Florida Kia stores during an annual late-winter sales event.
"It's a tremendous customer-loyalty builder," says Fuccillo, a former tight end at Syracuse University who projects a larger-than-life persona that dwarfs even his commanding 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound presence. "Customers come back every two or three years to buy a new Kia because they want to go on the trip."
To illustrate the effectiveness of the annual Cruise with Huge promotion, Fuccillo recalls a customer who came in last year to trade in a 2016 Optima with only 800 miles for a 2017 Optima. "He told my used-car sales manager that he and his wife had dinner with me on the cruise," he told Automotive News. "He said they had such a good time that they wanted to go on another cruise and party with me again. Now that's not the case for everyone who takes the cruise, but it definitely keeps bringing back a lot of customers.“
‘The whole boat‘
The most recent cruise was Fuccillo Automotive's sixth. In December, some 3,200 customers boarded the Navigator of the Seas for a trip to Belize, Cozumel and Grand Cayman island. "We reserved the whole boat," Fuccillo says.
The price tag? A cool $1.5 million, says Fuccillo, who's well known for his oft-heard (and sometimes parodied) TV commercials in Florida markets, featuring his trademark slogan, "It's H-U-U-U-G-E-J-A!"
Fuccillo Group owns 30 dealerships in upstate New York and Florida. The New York stores sell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, Subaru, Mazda, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Nissan and Toyota brands. In Florida, the group has two Nissan and three Kia dealerships, with a fourth Kia dealership on the way. The Florida Kia dealerships alone sold 13,413 new Kias and 3,234 used vehicles in 2017.
Fuccillo is no stranger to over-the-top, high-visibility promotions. In 1996, Robbie Knievel — the son of the late, world-famous daredevil Evel Knievel — jumped a motorcycle over 19 cars at a Fuccillo dealership in Adams, N.Y., northeast of Rochester. The nationally televised promotion spurred the sale of more than 500 cars, Fucccillo says.
"The whole ship gets transformed into our exclusive boat. And when you check into your room, you get a tote bag filled with [Fuccillo] T-shirts, hats and other items. ... this is no Mickey Mouse deal.“
"I'm everywhere — radio, direct mail, TV," he says, noting that the Florida Kia dealerships spend about $2.5 million a year on marketing. "I'm really heavy on electronic advertising, as in drive-you-nuts heavy. We're really in customers' faces. Our advertising is not your standard car advertising — it's on edge. But whether you like it or you don't like it, you're always going to remember it."
Fuccillo started the Cruise with Huge promotion in 2012. The cruises usually are held in early December. To qualify, customers must purchase a car during the annual sales event in January, February and March, timed to coincide with the influx of retirees who winter in southwestern Florida.
The promotion started out with small cruise ships and gradually moved up to the giant Navigator of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International vessel that's one of the largest cruise ships in the world, capable of carrying 3,286 passengers.
On board, first-timers who might expect what Fuccillo calls a "dinky-donky boat" are in for a surprise. "They don't always understand that this is the real deal," he says.
Along with providing top-level entertainment, Fuccillo Kia branding is in full force everywhere, from banners hung high to lettering on the bottom of a pool. The Fuccillo name is emblazoned on glassware, slot machines and the felt coverings on the blackjack tables.
"The whole ship gets transformed into our exclusive boat," he says. "And when you check into your room, you get a tote bag filled with [Fuccillo] T-shirts, hats and other items. We don't fool around ... this is no Mickey Mouse deal.“
Why is the promotion so popular? For starters, Fuccillo points to customer demographics. Southwestern Florida is either a permanent or temporary home for a large contingent of retirees who have the time to take cruises.
Then there's the sheer value of the trip. "They're effectively getting a $4,000 value just by purchasing a new vehicle," he says.
Fuccillo finds the cruises rewarding beyond increased car sales. It dovetails with his belief that selling cars must include a personal touch that extends beyond websites and social media.
"The Internet is cold," he says. "It seems like it's nothing more than a race to the bottom — who has the lowest price. I'm not sold on that kind of marketing.
"Nobody wants to talk to anyone anymore," he continues. "But it's wonderful to mingle with people who buy cars from you. You can't have cocktails and dinner with customers on the Internet. But you can do it on a cruise."
In Fuccillo's eyes, that's, well, huge.
Reference Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20180416/RETAIL07/180419923/huge-promotion-floats-customers-boats
Most Recent Articles
- Oct 18, 2018 Billy Fuccillo parts ways with general manager Xavier Villarreal by Billy Fuccillo
- Sep 27, 2018 Billy Fuccillo, known for 'huge' radio spots for his car dealerships, locked in cyberpiracy battle by Billy Fuccillo
- Mar 28, 2018 Renovate, Reinstate, and Repair Your Vehicles!! by LimoBusTruckFleet
- Feb 21, 2018 Heavy Vehicles Repair Service Is No More a Headache by LimoBusTruckFleet
- Jan 22, 2018 Fuccillo Kia hires new pitch woman by Billy Fuccillo
- Nov 13, 2017 Fuccillo seeking ‘Caroline’ replacement: Is it gonna be you, SWFL? by Billy Fuccillo
- Oct 31, 2017 A Day in the Life of Billy Fuccillo by Billy Fuccillo
- Sep 27, 2017 Why Preventive Maintenance Is Necessary For Limo Fleet by LimoBusTruckFleet
- Sep 27, 2017 Best Quality Auto Repair service for Limo Bus by LimoBusTruckFleet
- May 24, 2017 Tips for Fleet vehicle maintenance by LimoBusTruckFleet
Colposcopy is a procedure that allows a physician to examine a woman's cervix and vagina using a special microscope called a colposcope. It is...
Personal fitness is one of the growing concerns of present times. Fitness is not only about reaching your optimum body weight, but it's about...
The other day my car started making a clunking noise, it had been on the drive for about a year. After further investigation I discovered the coil...
Another recipe thanks to the Good Cooking Club.com See the bootom of the recipe for the link to the site. Sometimes it is nice to cook your own...
Boost Your SEO