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Summit Auto Group

Did you know Syracuse holds one of the oldest, longest-running Auto Shows in the country? This coming Auto Expo will be the 112th show sponsored by the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association, and will feature hundreds of new and exciting vehicles displayed in two buildings (the OnCenter and War Memorial), and covering 135 THOUSAND square feet! Yes, that’s a lot of cars.

It goes without saying that from the early days of the Franklin here in Syracuse, through the Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler (and many more brands) and now into the days of hybrid, electric, and specialty vehicles, the automotive industry has seen a lot of changes in 112 years!

I spoke with Christopher DiMarco, General Manager of Summit Auto Group, who is this year’s chairman of the Syracuse Auto Expo. The show, he said, will be held February 6th through the 9th, with a Charity Preview on February 5th. “I’m happy to take off my Summit Auto hat for the event,” he told me, “and put on my Syracuse Auto Dealer’s hat, especially when it comes to getting people involved in the charity event. One hundred percent of our ticket sales for the charity event go back into local charities.” The charity event, DiMarco said, has raised approximately $3.6 million over the 22 years of the fundraiser – and participants can designate the charities they want to sponsor.

DiMarco graduated Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in marketing and jumped right into the family-owned Summit Auto Group —washing cars, working in the parts department, doing lot management – in other words, learning every facet of the business, including finance and sales— so his current title of General Manager was earned by learning the business from the ground up.

“Buying a family car can be an emotional decision,” DiMarco explained. “It’s probably the second biggest purchase any family will make. A new car should make the buyer feel good, happy, excited. But we know there’s some anxiety there, too. We want customers to feel confident that they have the right car for them so that the adrenaline high of getting the keys to the new car turns into a good feeling that they made the right decision.” He says that customers are far more educated these days than they used to be, thanks to the Internet. “People do their research. They’re pretty sure of what they want when they come in. Our job is to make sure they’ve got exactly what they need and want.”

With major brands including Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Lincoln, DiMarco says Summit doesn’t sell only the family SUV or sedan. “We work with everyone from families to fleet managers to the man or woman who’s going to operate a big commercial dump truck or construction vehicle. Our customers —all of them— come in with a need and a want, and our objective is to fulfill that.”

The group handles post-sales servicing and parts, as well, including full-body service. “Nobody wants to be in the service area,” DiMarco says. “It means they’re working on a problem. So we try to make that experience as painless as possible – fix the problem and leave feeling they’ve gotten their problem solved.”

“I’m excited heading into 2020,” DiMarco says. “Technology means there’s always something new with vehicles. We sell hybrids, electric cars, and trucks, and every year there’s something new, some innovation. We have great staff, we’ve developed a strong team that works well with everyone – every day is different. It’s a good feeling to find the right car for each customer and give them what they need.”

And one of the best ways to find out what’s new for 2020 is to stop by the Auto Show. Say “hi” to DiMarco when you do!

Summit Auto Group

318 Grant Ave

Auburn, NY 13021

877-353-8970

https://www.summitcars.com/

Auto Show Details:

Syracuse Oncenter – 800 South State St., Syracuse, NY 13202

Dates: Thursday through Sunday, February 6 – February 9th

Hours: Thursday – Friday: 4PM–9PM | Saturday: Noon-9PM | Sunday: Noon-5PM

Admission: Adults: $9 | Seniors: $7 | Children (6-12 yrs.): $3 | Age 5 and under: Free

Free parking provided with the purchase of an admission ticket.

Veterans, first responders, and military personnel are Free on Thursday.

Nancy Roberts
Writer, voice over artist, information achitect, very curious person.