Never Settle For Anything But The Best


By Marialice Quinn

When it comes to the vehicle you drive, never settle for anything but the best. “We believe that everyone should be treated like a guest in our home,” says Greg Balasco, owner of Lakeland Automall. “This philosophy translates to exceptional service, money-saving specials and the latest Ford, Hyundai and pre-owned vehicle inventory.”

Greg bought the dealership from Bill Mutz and Marcy Mutz-Wickenkamp in 2011. Lakeland Automall encompasses 16 acres and about 70,000 square feet of buildings on West Memorial Boulevard and includes Ford and Hyundai franchises, in addition to a pre-owned  business.
” We are blessed to  have two wonderful franchises,” says Greg. “Hyundai is one of the fastest growing franchises, and Ford reported its third consecutive full-year profit, its largest in 13 years.”

Ford sold 17 percent more cars and trucks at American dealerships in 2011, with big gains for its redesigned Explorer utility vehicle and Fiesta subcompact car. This year, it is bringing out the all-new Fusion midsize sedan and the new Escape crossover, along with several plug-in vehicles and hybrids.
”We’ve got many wonderful new products coming in from Ford this year,” says Greg, “but I’m especially excited about the new C-Max Hybrid and the new Ford Fusion.”
The C-Max is the hybrid vehicle everyone’s been waiting for. You can enjoy the comfort of five-passenger seating and still thrill to some real horsepower. Whether you choose the standard hybrid or plug-in hybrid, C-MAX is impressing people wherever it goes.
This new Fusion combines spirited power with up to 37 highway mpg and 47 combined mpg for the hybrid version. Use voice commands to stay connected, get directions and adjust your climate control. This car makes life on the road easier.

With a growing lineup of quality cars and crossovers, Hyundai is now one of the fiercest competitors in the automotive market. Hyundai has added stylish design, interior quality, refinement and reliability to traditionally low prices, lots of standard features and a generous warranty.
The all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe achieved the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest honor as a 2012 Top Safety Pick recently. Azera, Elantra, Sonata, Genesis, Equus, Tucson and Santa Fe are all 2012 Top Safety Picks.
The Santa Fe showcases Hyundai’s cutting-edge capabilities through its bold design, impressive fuel economy and a host of features to delight drivers and passengers with high expectations for functionality and comfort. 
One of the best compact cars on the market, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra continues to be a winning combination of compelling styling, able performance and interior comfort. For 2013, there are more variants to love: the Elantra Coupe two-door, the Elantra GT five-door hatchback and the Elantra sedan four-door.
Since the launch of the all-new model, Azera has been the hottest-selling nameplate in its segment. According to J.D. Power PIN data, the new Azera sits on a dealer’s lot for an average of 16 days before being sold, compared with a Nissan Maxima at 65 days, Toyota Avalon at 28 days, Buick LaCrosse at 63 days and the Ford Taurus at 70 days.

This time next year Lakeland Automall will shine with more than just new vehicles. “We’re going to be building and renovating more than 100,000 square feet of building,” says Greg. “That’s a big project for Lakeland and a big project for Lakeland Automall.”
”We believe in Memorial Boulevard,” explains Greg, “and we are going to make a substantial investment in Memorial Boulevard by building a new state-of-the-art Hyundai store here. We will also remodel and reface our Ford store, build a new body shop and remodel and enlarge our used car building.”
”Our service and sales business continues to grow,” says Greg. “We have 155 tenured employees, 70% of whom have been with me eight to 10 years. These people are the best of the best, and partnered with the wonderful products that Ford and Hyundai offer, we look forward to many successful years of growth.”
Greg, a Providence, R.I., native, got his first auto sales job at 19 while attending  American University in Washington, D.C. “I’ve done nothing else as an adult other than work in the automotive industry,” says Greg. “It happened to be a job that I took to put myself through college, and it turned out to be my career and it turned out to be my livelihood.”
Greg and his wife, Meredith, a jewelry designer, have been married 12 years.

As a family-owned business Lakeland Automall supports United Way and many other causes. “We are a huge supporter of United Way,” says Greg, “and on Dec. 14, through United Way, we will be giving vehicles to two families that need transportation.”
Lakeland Automall carries an extensive inventory of new Hyundai, Ford cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, as well as certified, pre-owned vehicles. In addition to excellent sales prices, every Ford or Hyundai vehicle is backed with the Lakeland 12 month or 12,000 Mile Free Maintenance program. 
”Complete customer satisfaction is important to us,” says Greg. “We pride ourselves in giving our customers the highest quality vehicles and the best vehicle service in all of Florida.”