June 8, 2023

‘Huge’ automobile dealer Billy Fuccillo dies at 64

ALBANY — Billy Fuccillo, an vehicle dealer well-known during the Money Location and elsewhere for Tv set adverts that boasted of “substantial” price savings — a term drawn out into a number of syllables by the businessman as “yuuuuuuge-jahhh” — died Thursday at age 65, according to his longtime attorney, Robert Scalione.

Fuccillo experienced been in declining well being for an extended period. His Fuccillo Automotive Team, based mostly in Syracuse, is the major privately owned dealership in the state, and has spots throughout upstate New York and in Florida.

Archive: Billy Fuccillo fell into vehicle profits just after college or university and has never seemed again

A philanthropist and frequent sponsor of sporting functions — particularly golf — throughout the location, Fuccillo was very best recognized for appearing in Television and radio adverts in which his outsized frame and booming voice went more than the best to pitch discounts.

“My mom tells me she mutes me when my commercials appear on,” Fuccillo informed the Instances Union’s Paul Grondahl in a 2008 interview. 

A Very long Island child whose dad and mom have been both beauticians, Fuccillo played football at Syracuse University. After graduation, he claimed, he “did not have a work, was broke and was going to be evicted from my condominium. The only job I could get was advertising autos. I discovered out I was very good at it.”

He acquired his 1st wholesale auto company in 1981 and his initially new retail store in Adams, just south of Watertown, in 1989.

Fuccillo beloved obtaining the superstar treatment method: “I was having evening meal in Saratoga very last night time and people today held coming up to my table, inquiring for autographs, shouting ‘huuuuuge!’ I get that wherever I go. I determine ‘huuuuuge!’ turns off possibly 20 p.c. I really don’t want to offend any one, but you have acquired to get their attention and get them in your shop,” he stated.

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He claimed the top secret of his success was his perform ethic. “I hardly ever cease,” he advised Grondahl. “I have salespeople earning $35,000 and a number of generating $200,000 a calendar year. The most prosperous kinds are with a shopper or have a mobile phone in their ear all working day extensive.”

Fuccillo’s outsized, outgoing personality served as well, say individuals who worked with him.

“He was a major dude. He was a massive persona,” said Kim Perrella vice president for Automobile Shows and Member Relations at the Japanese New York Coalition of Automotive Stores, Inc. in Albany.

Anywhere he was, persons understood that Fuccillo was in the area. He was also generous, Perrella explained. She recalled the time right after the 9/11 attacks in New York Town when he arrived at out to fellow car sellers who had gone to Washington D.C. and have been stuck there, and provided to get them house on his non-public jet. Another time at an vehicle dealer’s convention in New Orleans, he also presented the use of his jet if anyone needed it.

Fuccillo also was active in charities, donating to causes ranging from regional foodstuff pantries to police memorials.

There was a sharp mind driving the boisterous identity, however, Perrella stated, outlining that his more than-the-prime ads proved productive. “People today could chuckle at him but, you know what? That guy was just one of the smartest adult males I have acknowledged mainly because everyone knew his title. Marketing and advertising-wise, he strike it out of the park,” she reported.

He also experienced a mastery of operating and juggling numerous dealerships, which is a feat in by itself given the complexity of running even just one fashionable store.

“A car or truck dealership is a really sophisticated business it is four or five organizations in one,” Perrella mentioned, outlining that vehicle suppliers are restore and system stores as properly as retail services.

At its height, the Fuccillo name was affiliated with much more than two dozen dealerships across the Capital Location, Central New York and Florida.

Scalione, who was his law firm for a lot more than two a long time, remember’s Fuccillo’s generosity. “He was just one of the most offering people I would at any time achieved. He designed peoples’ lives better.

Scalione agreed that Fuccillo was a “excellent businessman” hoping new thoughts and methods, this sort of as managing contests in which family vacation cruises had been given absent.

“Billy usually did factors that other men and women wouldn’t dare to do,” Scalione explained.

Fuccillo had downsized not long ago, though his son Billy Jr. has opened up auto stores of his own.

In January Fuccillo sold a few dealerships in the Syracuse area and two in the Rochester location to Matthews Automobile Team which is centered in the vicinity of Binghamton.

And final 12 months, he marketed two dealerships in Port Charlotte and Cape Coral, Fla., to the publicly traded LMP Automotive Holdings firm based mostly in Plantation, Fla.

He also bought his $2.5 million property in Cape Coral, Fla., last fall in accordance to Florida information reviews. He had been dwelling in nearby Sarasota, Fla. at the time of his demise, experiences stated.

Inspite of his difficult get the job done, Fuccillo also understood how to delight in himself.

“Business enterprise receives slow in December and January, so that’s when I play. I go deep-sea fishing in Cabo (San Lucas),” he reported, referring to the Mexican resort. “I caught two massive sailfish past calendar year and fought one of them for much more than an hour. You know you’re previous at the close of that dance. I also engage in a large amount of golf. I am a 12 handicap.”

Fuccillo mentioned he experienced been approached about working for business, like for governor, but be hated politics. “No way. I am not enrolled and I usually never vote,” he stated.

He said his greatest working day as a automobile salesman was offering 514 cars in a single day in Adams in 1996, when stunt motorcyclist Robbie Knievel — son of Evel — jumped “a bunch of autos.”

“Now, that was certainly huuuuuge,” he explained.