Photo of a man and car

Adam Goldstein

(SPEAKERS: Adam Goldstein, Synergy Media)

Adam Goldstein 

My name is Adam Goldstein. I’m the general manager here at Infiniti of Norwood.

Synergy Media 

Adam, how long have you been in the auto industry?

Adam Goldstein 

Since 1996. So 25 years this May.

Synergy Media 

And tell me how that began.

Adam Goldstein 

I’ve always been into cars. My father was a car salesman, way back in back in the day. I never went to college. I “took a year off” to buy myself a year to figure out what I wanted to do, knowing that I didn’t really want to go to college. I was working for Tom McCann shoes at the time, living in Connecticut. A customer came in and bought a pair of shoes. And Tom McCann’s return policy at that time was that you could return a pair of shoes at any time – doesn’t matter how long you’ve had them, you can exchange them or get your money back. So he bought a pair of shoes, came back a couple days later, said the shoes were falling apart and he wanted a new pair. And I asked him what could he possibly have done in two days to wreck his shoes. He said he worked at a car dealership and I asked which dealership. He told me he worked at Harte Nissan in Hartford, and I said, “No kidding, my father works for Glick Nissan in Massachusetts! I know about this car, that car. I’ve always been into cars.” And he said, “You should think about selling cars.” And I said that my father told me never get in the business. It’s not a good business to get into. And so I politely said thanks, but no thanks. And he said that I should think about it, come out to the dealership, check it out. So after a couple weeks of thinking about it, I went down just to say thanks, but no thanks in person. I met with the general manager. And he showed me a pay plan and the potential and said, “Well, if you’re used to dealing with people and you’re into cars and you already know Nissans you should give it a shot.” So at the time, I was 18 years old, still living at home. And I said to myself, well, now’s the time to do it. So I tried it. I liked it. And here we are.

Synergy Media 

So that was your first store that you worked at? A Nissan store?

Adam Goldstein 

A Nissan store in Hartford, Connecticut. Harte Nissan. Still there today.

Synergy Media 

Did you go from Nissan right to Infiniti? Was that the transition? Or was there something in between?

Adam Goldstein 

I lived in Connecticut from 1996 to 2001. And I worked for that dealership and then I also worked for Executive Nissan in North Haven, Connecticut for a little bit of time as well. I came here in March of 2001. Prior to moving back, I had already lined up a job at Fireside Nissan in North Attleboro, which is now Boch Nissan. I worked at Fireside for three years, from 2001 until I came here in June of 2004. I was the top salesman. And I had asked for a small raise in my salary two years in a row, and was turned down. After the second time I was turned down, I decided to look elsewhere. And back then, you’d check the classifieds in the newspaper. And at the time, [Infiniti of Norwood] was running an ad for a salesperson. I answered the ad and came in for a few interviews, and I ended up getting the job.

Synergy Media 

So you started there as a salesperson?

Adam Goldstein 

I did. I was a salesperson for a little over two years. At the time, there was a lot of turnover here in the sales manager position, so I went to the owner, and I said, “Give me a shot.” I was the top salesman at the time. And I said, “Give me 90 days. If it doesn’t work. I’ll go back to my desk. No hard feelings. I’ll just keep on selling cars. But give me a shot.” He gave me a shot. And it worked.

Synergy Media 

So has COVID-19 changed the way you do business there?

Adam Goldstein 

It has. It’s condensed the time that we do business. Our hours are reduced and we have fewer people here. There are a lot more appointments coming in throughout the day, but less walk-in traffic; most sales are done by appointment only. We are still open for walk-in traffic, but the majority of folks come in after scheduling an appointment via the phone or on the internet.

Synergy Media 

Do you think auto retailing will go back to how it was pre-pandemic once this is over? Or do you think that there are some changes that are going to stay?

Adam Goldstein 

I think you’ll see dealerships still do slightly reduced hours. I think one of the things that we’ve learned the most here is you don’t need to overstaff and be open these wild and crazy hours to still do business. We realize people will come at the times when you are open. For us, we’ve trimmed back on staff, we’ve trimmed back on hours, but we haven’t trimmed back on the business that we’re doing. We’re just doing it in a smaller window of time.

Synergy Media 

So Adam, what do you think about the transition to hybrid and electrics? Do you think it’s coming as quickly as people think it is? Or do you think it’s going to be a long rollout?

Adam Goldstein

I think it’s going to take a long time. I think that Tesla has that market to itself. I know that all the other luxury manufacturers and traditional manufacturers have tried to do electric, but they’re not going to do anywhere near the sales that Tesla is going to do. There are a lot of hybrid and electric vehicles that have come out that have been from Toyota, Honda, even Infiniti. We’ve done some hybrids and they failed. They’re no longer made. I still think that the public likes engines. I think that they like the power. They like the noise. I still think that people want that feel, and they want the ability to stop off and get gas wherever they want to, instead of having to worry about where the nearest charging station is and if they’re going to have enough to get there.

Synergy Media 

Infiniti has some new products coming out. They’ve got a QX55 coupe, which looks pretty cool. And a new QX60. What can you tell us about those?

Adam Goldstein 

The QX55 is based off the current QX50. They went back to its roots; they wanted to design it after the FX35, which really got Infiniti on the map for the cool SUV craze that has started. It has more of a sloping rear hatch, a little more aggressive styling, some premium interior materials, and it looks like a winner. It’s really, really attractive looking. And I’m really excited to get it a couple months. It’s coming out in April. As far as far as the QX60 goes, I’m beyond excited. The QX60 has been such a great seller for us and the new one has completely redesigned. It’s going to have the latest technology and it’s supposed to be gorgeous. There are some pictures online that show 90 to 95% of what it’s going to look like. From what I hear and what I read, it should be a home run for us and I cannot wait until it shows up.

Synergy Media 

I saw it in Automotive News. It looks gorgeous. Now let’s talk about Certified Pre-Owned cars for a minute. Your dealership does some pretty strong numbers there. So those are Infiniti vehicles that come in, they get inspected, they get certified, and sold.  To be the number one dealer, you must have a commitment to those certified vehicles between getting them, reconditioning them, pricing them aggressively…

Adam Goldstein 

All of the above. We really went after the market this year, and we sold more Certified Pre-Owned Infiniti’s than anybody in Massachusetts. In fact, out of 215 dealers in the country, we were number 14 in the entire country for 2020. So I really spent a lot of time picking the right vehicles, making sure they were presented properly, that they passed certification with tires, brakes, overall exterior and interior condition. We make sure everything is, as they say, up to snuff. And I priced vehicles very, very aggressively to make them very attractive. As far as selection and price – and our really great staff here – it’s really just a no brainer to come to Infiniti of Norwood for a Certified Pre-Owned Infiniti.

Synergy Media 

And you’re one of the few Infiniti dealers in the area who had an increase in sales last year?

Adam Goldstein 

We are! We were up 10% last year in new car sales, and we were up 35% in Certified Pre-Owned sales for the year. So 2020 was a great year all around for us; I’m very excited by it.

Synergy Media 

In a year where so many dealerships struggled, how did you make that happen?

Adam Goldstein 

One of the things that I wanted to do this year was just sell more cars, by any means possible. We did a lot of good advertising. We also have a really good staff here, as well as a ton of repeat customers. So I really targeted just bringing the volume up a few notches and it worked. One of the things that I’m most proud of here is our staff. We have a lot of people who have been here for a very, very long time. And we have a lot of loyal clients. You put those two things together and it brings you sales.

Synergy Media 

So tell me a little bit more about the store. Infiniti started in 1989. Has your store been an Infiniti dealer since the beginning, or were you were a Nissan dealer that became an Infiniti dealer, or did you buy it from someone?

Adam Goldstein

This dealership has been around since 1994. My current owner had a partner until 2004. And then he took over and he has been the sole owner since 2004. We were at a building in Westwood until 2006, when we moved here to Norwood. We’ve been here since. We have a ton of staff that have been here well over 10 years. A lot of salespeople, technicians, people in the office, my lot attendant – they’ve been here well over 10 years, some for over 20 years. So it really says a lot about this dealership, how we operate and how we treat people and it’s a great place to work.

Synergy Media

Adam, I want to thank you for taking the time to tell us more about yourself and Infiniti of Norwood, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

Adam Goldstein 

Thanks Steve, my pleasure.