Size is not the only thing that sets apart the El Monte, California, dealership, which is owned by the Penske Automotive Group. Longo really stands out because of the services it offers its customers and community. In this day of progressive car dealers, great customer service is expected, along with fair prices and a pleasant buying experience. Longo Toyota goes several steps beyond what customers expect, offering services that buyers would be more likely to find in a shopping mall than a car dealership.
"We want to give a guest the best experience and a convenient place to do business," Greg Penske, president of Penske Automotive Group, told Automotive News in 2006.
In the highly competitive Los Angeles County market, where nearly 500,000 cars were sold in 2012, Longo's amenities are unique. Within the dealership are a Subway restaurant, a Starbucks, a Verizon Wireless store, a full-service branch of the Automobile Club of Southern California and two Enterprise car rental offices.
At the Verizon Playground, shoppers can pay their phone bills, charge their phones or buy accessories. The Enterprise offices are not solely for Longo customers' use, but for anyone who needs a rental. The Starbucks Cafe is the size of a standalone store, and the onsite Subway has the same Five Dollar Footlongs, soups and cookies you'd find in your local strip mall location.
There is also a kids' play area, filled with diversions to keep them entertained. The play room has two Nintendo, two Xbox and one PlayStation kiosks, and more traditional board games, too. There's also a wide-screen television for watching movies.
Shoppers, meanwhile, can use a quiet business center that's equipped with high-speed Internet. Service department customers have free access to iPads while they're waiting for their vehicles.
And to make car-buying even more convenient, Longo has a Monday through Saturday delivery service that will deliver buyers' new cars to their homes (up to 50 miles away), without charge.
All of that focus on customers has paid off for Longo. Toyota has given the dealership numerous awards for top customer satisfaction, and it has won accolades from the Los Angeles Times, Automotive News and the American Heart Association. Longo also has won the Women's Choice Award, given by WomenCertified, in both 2012 and 2013 for consistently providing outstanding sales and service experiences.