Seeing into the future doesn’t take a glass ball or tea leaves for Greg Balasco, owner of Lakeland Automall. “The future is built on hard work and integrity,” said Greg, “and, especially in the car business, the future is built one customer at a time.”
Greg, a Providence, R.I., native, got his first auto sales job at 19 while attending American University in Washington, D.C. In 2011, he bought Lakeland Automall, which encompasses 16 acres and about 100,000 square feet of buildings on West Memorial Boulevard and includes Ford and Hyundai franchises, in addition to a pre-owned business and body shop.
“We are blessed to have two wonderful franchises,” said Greg. “Hyundai is one of the fastest growing franchises; and last year Ford reported its third consecutive full-year profit, its largest in 13 years.” The 2013 Ford Fusion received the 2013 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money and the Best Cars for Families awards in the midsize category. Now in its 65th year, F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 36 consecutive years, the best-selling vehicle in America for 31 consecutive years, and the brand with the most trucks on the road with more than 250,000 miles. “We want to continue to grow our business,” continued Greg, “and we want to make sure we can take care of our customers in a timely, efficient manner. We believe in Memorial Boulevard, and we are going to make a substantial investment in Memorial Boulevard by building a new state-of-the-art Hyundai facility. We will also completely remodel and reface our Ford facility, build a new body shop and remodel and enlarge our used car building.” The first phase of the project, expected to be completed by year’s end, will include the Hyundai building, body shop and used car building. “We should be moving in Dec. 31,” said Greg, “if all goes well and Mother Nature works with us.
” The second phase will be the Ford project and will start Jan. 1, with completion estimated to be in April. “The renovation has many key features that will improve efficiency, vehicle uptime and the customer experience,” Greg said. “Both service shops will be air conditioned for our service technicians. The body shop will have two new state-of-the-art paint booths and 25 service bays to do body work. The Ford building will have a full-service café for customers, and all 15 acres will be re-asphalted with new LED lighting added.” “Everything on Memorial Boulevard will be state-of-the-art,” he continued, “and we’ll have the capacity to continue to grow.
We have 155 employees, most of whom are tenured with the organization. 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 believes that when it comes to the vehicle you drive, you should never settle for anything less than the best; and when it comes to Lakeland Automall customers, Greg gives them the best product, the best service and the best price.