Gregg Ciocca Jr., Regional Vice President, Ciocca Dealerships

January 4, 2023
ASOTU was on the ground during the Ciocca Dealerships Flemington and Southern Region Fixed Ops Celebration Dinner in December 2022 and talked with Gregg Ciocca Jr.
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Gregg Ciocca Jr. is the Regional Vice President for Ciocca Dealerships.

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In the Dirt With ASOTU.Paul Daly: 0:05

So we're here with the man of the hour.

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 0:07

You're the man of the hour.

Paul Daly: 0:10

Gregg Ciocca Jr. We just got out of meeting, which I thought was pretty amazing. It's, it was 150 plus of your fixed off staff staff, not just for one region technique for just one region, one of four regions, right. And this is a newer region. And the majority of the people here were with stores that were recently acquired. So can you talk a little bit about of what it's been like to bring stores into kind of the Ciocca family? And then have to convince them, you know, that you really are who you say you are?

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 0:40

Yeah, absolutely, Paul, thank you for coming out. First of all, we had Paul speak at our event I did, he did a great job with our people and really brought home the message, but, you know, trust us and earned obviously, in one day or one night, so it's, you know, doing what we say on a regular basis for weeks and months. You know, it's not even at this point, after a couple of months of acquiring Flemington card Truck Country, you know, I can't say we've gained the trust of everyone. 100% I think we're making huge strides. And I think we're getting close to that, but it's, you know, develops over months and years. So it's just showing them kind of, you know, what we have done in the past and have them talk to people that are in our company that have been through acquisitions and have gone through this growth and, and see that we're not we're not this bad company coming in looking at the cup, people are cut people's pay, we just want people to grow and, and provide better for their families and for themselves. So we just want to continue that and create that career path to grow their company.

Paul Daly: 1:29

What do you think? So you mentioned like, you spent some time like convincing. Why do you think people are skeptical when an acquisition happens? Like, what are the things that trigger and you're dealing with?

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 1:41

You know, I think it's kind of, you know, what some people have endured in the car business for as customers, they have that one bad experience, or they hear that one horror story, and they're kind of they have been some bad acquisitions. Yeah, they, they think that everyone's like that, or every dealers like this, and then it's not the case. And not every acquisition has to be like that. And I think our acquisitions in the past, you know, we bring them in as family from day one. And, you know, we don't cut anybody, we want to have them grow with us, and give them all the tools and resources that maybe they didn't have before and give them everything to, you know, bring up their full potential. So, but, again, I actually heard

Paul Daly: 2:15

quite the opposite happen recently, where everyone thought they were gonna come in and pay was gonna get cut. And it was like, no, actually, like, we do better here. Yeah, right, we

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 2:24

actually get bumped up there, some of the technicians paid a lot of the stores, you know, when they thought their pay was going to be cut. So we tried to bump it up, and you know, just show we're looking for them to grow and provide better for their families. Of course, you know, they have to put the performance there. But you know, it's, you know, opportunities there for them.

Paul Daly: 2:40

So I'm convinced. So since I've known you, you've gone from probably like 14 to 40 stores. And in that in that area, somewhere in this, we're only talking like the last four or five years, right, really all in the last 24 to 36 months. I'm always impressed with the CFO organization at how young your leadership is, I don't know, we have to pull some data or something. Because I'm convinced that you have the youngest average age of leadership of any store, or any group in the country about to figure that out. But can you tell me about some of the leadership in your company that's under the age of 40? Who are they? And what are their roles? You know, we

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 3:12

do a lot of start with yourself. Become a regional vice president, obviously, the Flemington dealerships previously oversaw our Mercedes Benz store in Flemington and started cleaning detailing cars in high school and, you know, go there after school and just, you know, I wanted to get involved. It wasn't like my dad said, Hey, you got to go clean cars, you got to go do this, I volunteered and said, I want to, I want to get involved and start somewhere and do something extra. And then, you know, through through the summers in turn, sell cars, and then out of college jumped in full time sales associate went through as a finance major finance director at our superstore downtown where I first I think, met Yeah. And then became new car used car General Sales Manager went through that that path that many of our GM have gone through. So it's, it's important that even me as the owner, son, and as a family business, you know, I go through the same path that anyone else has, I think it builds that respect and shows that it's not any different than anyone else. And, you know, I think that that instills that a lot in our people. And we do a lot of recruiting from the college campuses. So I think that's why I have absolutely,

Paul Daly: 4:10

but how old are you?

Gregg Ciocca Jr.: 4:11

I'm 33. Okay,

Paul Daly: 4:12

so you got seven years left to make 40 under 40, which is gonna happen. I'm calling it right now. Tell me about the other directors in your company and how old they are.

Unknown: 4:19

Yeah, so I mean, we have the largest Corvette store, you know, in the world, and it's an Atlantic City and Atlantic City. Correct. And the gentleman there, you know, he started right from college and started selling cars and went through that path and he's 30 31 year years. Okay, you know, running. Stops. Fix stops. Yeah, I mean, he's directing your fix stuffs. Yes. Helens? Yes. Came from he's about 34 35. Yep. Yep. who's directing your parts? Frank might be over for drinks. Yeah, he's got the age. You know, if you could do the job and you have the energy and

Paul Daly: 4:50

absolute drive, you know, it's the point I'm making is that there is there is a roadmap that you all are setting in place that I think a lot of others groups and stores can learn from showing that the car business, the future of the car business can be passed to a younger generation, who are eager and ready and who in some ways, in my opinion, are more capable of handling the dynamic environment. They're more native to it. Correct? Yeah.

Unknown: 5:16

100%. And, you know, it's that blank slate, you know, where they only know, this Ciocca process and the Ciocca way of handling customers. You know, I think there's something to be said for that, you know, not, not everyone develops bad habits at other stores. But you know, a little bit easier to kind of show him that, you know, this is the way we handle our customers, whether you buy a store in State College PA or Flemington, New Jersey, you're going to have that same experience, and then vigil is going to treat you the same way. So, you know, I think that's, I think that's one of the reasons still, it's just kind of that blank slate to kind of, you know, it's all you know, is how we treat customers. Well, that's

Paul Daly: 5:45

culture, right. That's what culture does it, you normalize excellence, right? You normalize treating people literally like family, not just saying it, you normalize career pathing and prioritizing that you normalize, taking, you know, students right off of college campuses. Yeah. And putting them into a dealership system. And like, I believe that in automotive, there's so many opera opportunities and career paths for kids coming out of college, that they're just not even thinking about. Yeah, right. By not. They're not even thinking a lot of motive. But the reality is, there's such a dynamic offering in automotive, whether you're turning wrenches, or whether you're in finance, or whether you want to be in business development and sales, like even creative now. Yep. Right. 100% there's just opportunity. So thanks for showing us the way Yeah, I know who's who knows what will be next time we talk, we'll probably see each other at NADA. And then, you know, next year, it'll be 70. Stores and you know, just cranking

Unknown: 6:38

out 150 list. Oh, you out there. But yeah, I appreciate you coming out I thought was a great event. And, you know, we do this every quarter, we're gonna continue it. And it's just, it's just good to bring the people together and award them and give them the recognition. It's not about the money we award to people. It's more of that recognition that, Hey, you're the top performer in this region or your store. And you might not get told it on a regular basis. But here you're recognized for all your peers, and they'll do the same thing as us. So it's cool for that recognition. And we do it on the sales end as well we ever. So this is something we started, you know, because fixed operations continue to grow in and see, it'd be a bigger part of the business, I think in the future. And for sure, we want to put all the resources into that as possible. So Greg Ciocca, Jr. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Paul Daly: 7:21

And we have one last thing to say. GO Birds!

Kyle Mountsier: 7:25

Thank you for listening to in the dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at That's a s o t We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations in the dirt with ASOTU

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