October 18, 2021

Final Manfredi dealership sold to Island Automobile Team: ‘This is the end of a legacy’

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Nick Manfredi, whose father, Joe, when owned the lion’s share of car dealerships on Staten Island, not too long ago designed a hard final decision to offer off his final franchise, Manfredi Chevrolet.

“This is an close of a legacy for us. It took me a extensive time to truly system it. There are a large amount of thoughts hooked up to it,” reported Nick Manfredi, an Annadale resident.

He bought the last of the Manfredi holdings to Island Auto Group — a corporation that in 2015 ordered eight dealerships previously owned by the Manfredi family.

But the sale wasn’t uncomplicated.

“My father experienced three passions: his family members, motor vehicle small business and Italian heritage,” mentioned Manfredi. “My father was an immigrant who arrived to the United States from Mola di Bari when he was a boy. His father told him, ‘You have to discover a trade.’ And the trade that he preferred to master was vehicle mechanics.”

Joe Manfredi, who died in 2015 at age 77, released the Manfredi Vehicle Mall in 1962, and acquired his to start with Staten Island dealership in 1985.

Island Auto Team not long ago bought the very last Manfredi dealership.

And as 1 of Staten Island’s greatest company proprietors, the elder Manfredi also experienced a enthusiasm for assisting the community.

“He normally experimented with offering again to the group. … He even sponsored a bunch of kids who played soccer to journey to Sicily. Soccer was an additional a person of his passions. …I’m happy to be his son,” he said.

Manfredi reported his father identified that sports activities enjoy an integral part in instructing young children beneficial team and leadership skills. That is why he launched the Mola Sporting activities Club and was a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Soccer Federation. In 1998, he obtained The Staten Island Vipers, an A-League Division Soccer franchise.

“He was my father, my mentor, my manager and my very best friend. I’m happy to have walked in his footsteps for a extended time, and he built me the male that I am right now. And maybe I never have a automobile dealership today, but I’m however heading to give back again to the group every time I can,” said a choked-up Manfredi.

Joe and Nick Manfredi

This file image, taken two decades back, displays the father-and-son crew in their previous Cadillac showroom, Grasmere. (Staten Island Progress)Staten Island Advance

MANFREDI Historical past

Released in Brooklyn in 1967 by the elder Manfredi, the auto empire started with a solitary dealership: Protected Rambler. Then just in advance of the fuel crunch strike, the elder Manfredi took on a Toyota franchise in Brooklyn.

“Back then, not far too quite a few folks bought Japanese cars,” mentioned Manfredi. “And I guess when the gas crunch strike, men and women understood these smaller sized, additional compact autos were improved on fuel than the domestics, and it really took off.”

Manfredi’s very first franchise on Staten Island was a Subaru dealership, and in 1987 he acquired an Island-primarily based Toyota dealership.

From there, the elder Manfredi designed an automobile empire that integrated: Manfredi Chevrolet in New Dorp Staten Island Subaru and Manfredi Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Grasmere Fiat of Staten Island, Manfredi Hyundai, Manfredi Kia, Manfredi Mazda, Manfredi Mitsubishi, Manfredi Scion and Staten Island Toyota, all in Dongan Hills.

But in 2015 amid a deal with Island Vehicle Group to invest in all but the Chevrolet dealership, Joe Manfredi died.

“We had been in deal, and unfortunately, my father handed absent, ideal in the middle of it,” recalled Manfredi. “And what we had made the decision to do as a spouse and children was to preserve one dealership, which was Chevrolet.”

Before long following, in a multi-million dollar offer, Island Automobile Team bought 8 Staten Island-dependent car dealerships in Grasmere and Dongan Hills that had been formerly owned by the Manfredi household. Less than the Island Car Team umbrella are Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Commercial Vans, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Manfredi a short while ago resolved to market off the past piece of the empire he assisted establish with his father.

“My wife, Christine, passed away eight years ago. I have a few daughters, a 15-calendar year-outdated and twins who are 12. Like my father, my precedence is my family,” he claimed of his conclusion to market the Chevrolet dealership.

The deal was finalized very last 7 days.

“As a family members we felt that Island Car Team is a fantastic in good shape for Chevrolet,” explained Manfredi.

Island Auto Group

Considering that opening, Island Automobile Group has started renovation tasks at each individual of its borough dealerships to make them far more customer-friendly. (Staten Island Progress/Jan Somma-Hammel)Staten Island Progress

“My father produced that selection to sell the franchises to them. And that’s why I ran ahead, and then marketed the final franchise to them. … The relationship was previously there. They’re great owner/operators, in my feeling, and they give back to the group just like my father did,” he extra.

Stated Marcello Sciarrino, parter of Island Automobile Team, which owns 20 dealerships in the Northeast: “When we acquired all the [Manfredi] dealerships, we needed to obtain Chevy, but Mr. Manfredi needed to maintain a single of the shops. But we’ve generally coveted Chevy we usually desired to make it portion of our loved ones. … We contemplate ourselves a family members-owned small business. We function like a big business, but we also function like a relatives business, just like the Manfredis.”

ISLAND Auto

In addition to the Manfredi dealerships, Island Car Team acquired the former Open up Road Volkswagen in Dongan Hills.

Marcello Sciarrino,

Mentioned Marcello Sciarrino, husband or wife of Island Vehicle Group, which owns 20 dealerships in the Northeast: “We operate like a major small business, but we also operate like a relatives business, just like the Manfredis.” (Courtesy fo Island Automobile Group)

Since opening, Island Vehicle Group has started renovation jobs at each and every of the borough dealerships to make them more consumer-welcoming.

“We have self check-in kiosks at all of our provider departments, so you by no means even have to see a individual. It is like when you go to the airport and get your ticket from a kiosk. You put your details in, fall off your keys and stroll out. It’s one thing we did during COVID and it has truly worked out,” reported Sciarrino, referring to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

And, among other expert services, all Island Auto Team web sites are interactive, and shoppers can even obtain a auto on the net, he mentioned.

As part of Island Vehicle Group’s mission, the organization shaped an intense community outreach method to help regional Staten Island businesses and causes, like an initiative in the course of the coronary heart of the coronavirus pandemic where they were being giving 1st responders with cost-free loaner autos to get to and from get the job done.

“We closed down for about six months through the height of COVID. And when that took place, we experienced taken our total complete loaner fleet and provided it to all very first responders,” stated Sciarrino. “There had been a whole lot of initial responders who weren’t snug getting the subway. And that [an Island Auto Loaner] was their principal means of receiving back and forth to do the job. … It felt excellent to enable the community in the course of that horrific time.”

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