The Herb Chambers Companies

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The Herb Chambers Companies
Private
Founded1985 in New London, Connecticut, United States
FounderHerb Chambers
HeadquartersSomerville, Massachusetts
Area served
Greater Boston and Rhode Island
ProductsAuto Dealership
BrandsAlfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Maserati, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, MINI, MV-1, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Rolls-Royce, Smart, Sprinter, Toyota, Vespa, and Volvo
ServicesAutomotive repair
Revenue$2.7 billion with 58,000 cars sold (2016)
Number of employees
~2400
Websiteherbchambers.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

The Herb Chambers Companies, usually shortened to Herb Chambers, is the largest automotive dealership in New England and is the world's 17th largest dealer group.[3]

Herb Chambers is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts and operates 56 retail car dealership locations,[4] representing 36 different brands. Herb Chambers has approximately 2,400 employees and was ranked one of the "Top Places to Work" in the Boston Globe for the ninth straight year in 2017.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

History[edit]

In 1983, after founding the largest office copier dealer in the world, A-Copy America, Herb Chambers sold the business to Ikon Office Solutions for $80 million. Ikon is now part of the copier manufacturer Ricoh. In 1984, Chambers was looking to purchase a Cadillac for personal use and while going through the process of buying the car he became so disgusted with the experience, he made an offer to purchase the dealership on the spot for $1.7 million. Chambers found the dealerships during the mid-1980s needed to improve customer service to sell more cars.

After opening the first dealership in New London, Connecticut, Chambers quickly added BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz franchises during the next few years.

In June 2012, Chambers began selling Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce brands in a showroom in Wayland, Massachusetts.[12] In September 2013, Chambers acquired a Volvo dealership in Dedham, Massachusetts.[13] In the fall of 2015, the organization's second Lexus dealership was opened in the town of Hingham, Massachusetts.[14] In June 2016, Herb Chambers Volvo Cars (relocating the franchise from Dedham) and Herb Chambers Lincoln opened along the "Automile" in Norwood, Massachusetts with both dealerships offering coffee/snack bars in their customer lounges along with WiFi connectivity.[15]

Today, more than half of the Herb Chambers locations sell higher-margin luxury brands. All of the dealerships are within 75 miles of Boston, the sixth-wealthiest metropolitan area in the country.[16]

Franchises[edit]

A Herb Chambers dealership in Boston, Massachusetts.

Herb Chambers currently consists of 56 automotive dealerships throughout Southern New England, primarily in the Boston-Worcester-Providence combined statistical area. The company holds franchises for nearly every automotive brand including: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Rolls-Royce, Smart, Sprinter, Toyota, and Volvo.

The company is also the exclusive franchisee for MV-1, A2B Electric Bikes and Vespa Motor Scooters for the Greater Boston area.

Sales strategy[edit]

The view at Herb Chambers is that the days of the hard-selling tactics of new and used car sales are over. With the availability of the internet to compare prices, and the availability of independent, third party reviews, the car buyer in now more in charge of the negotiation. Herb Chambers was one of the first dealerships in the United States to use a no-haggle pricing strategy called the "Smart Pricing" program. They also have all used cars undergo a safety inspection before purchase and attempting to insure there is no pressure from the salesperson. The dealer also has a refund program where the purchaser can bring the car back for any reason within the first five days and receive a full refund or within 30 days or 1,500 miles (2,400 km) for a full credit.[17]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In July 2018, 12 Herb Chambers dealerships in Massachusetts were awarded the J.D. Power Dealer of Excellence Award for the Customer Sales Experience for 2018. The dozen dealerships awarded were Herb Chambers BMW of Sudbury, Herb Chambers Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Fiat of Danvers, Herb Chambers Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Fiat of Millbury, Herb Chambers Ford of Braintree, Herb Chambers Honda of Burlington, Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk, Herb Chambers Lexus of Hingham, Herb Chambers Lexus of Sharon, Herb Chambers Lincoln of Norwood, Herb Chambers Mercedes-Benz of Boston, Herb Chambers Toyota of Auburn, and Herb Chambers Volvo Cars Norwood.[18]

In 2017 Audi Burlington, BMW Sudbury, Herb Chambers MINI of Boston, Herb Chambers Cadillac of Warwick, Herb Chambers Lincoln, Herb Chambers Lexus and Flagship Motorcars of Lynnfield each won the 2018 DealerRater Dealer of the year in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for their respective brand.[19]

In 2017, Herb Chambers BMW of Sudbury won 2017 Center of Excellence from BMW, Herb Chambers Audi Burlington won Magna Society Elite from Audi, Herb Chambers Audi Brookline won Magna Society from Audi, Herb Chambers Volvo Cars Norwood won the Volvo Excellence Award and Herb Chambers Toyota of Auburn won the Best New Car Dealer in Central Massachusetts award from the Telegram & Gazette.[20][21]

In April 2017, Herb Chambers Honda in Boston received the 30-year award from Honda Motor Company.[22]

In March 2015, Herb Chambers BMW of Sudbury was awarded a 2016 Center of Excellence honor by BMW of North America.[23]

In 2014, five Herb Chambers dealerships were awarded the DealerRater “Dealers of the Year” outstanding customer satisfaction.[24]

In 2007, Ward's Dealer Business recognized the Herb Chambers Companies as the 7th most active auto group based on Internet Sales Volume.[25] The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) nominated Herb Chambers Companies as the Massachusetts' nominee for the 2008 Time Magazine Dealer of the Year award.[26]

The Herb Chambers Companies has been given a number of awards, nominations and special recognition in the automotive industry. In 2003, Ward's Dealer Business, a publication of PRIMEDIA’s Ward’s Communications, presented Herb Chambers Companies with the Ward’s Dealer of the Year award "for honesty, exemplary customer service and employee care".[27] Also in 2003, J.D. Power and Associates awarded 7 of the Herb Chambers dealerships with the Certified Retailer award.[28]

Charitable contributions[edit]

Each year during the running of the Boston Marathon, Herb Chambers hosts three different viewing parties close to the finish line on Boston's Boylston Street. The event raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund and are held at Mandarin Hotel ballroom, and Back Bay Restaurant Group's Abe & Louie’s and the Atlantic Fish Co.[29]

Herb Chambers supports pediatric care at Mass General Hospital for Children[30], The Boston Cup classic car show on Boston Common[31], Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund UnMask Cancer benefit[32], and the NESN benefit to Strike Out Hunger.[33]

Controversy[edit]

In 2005, a Boston Globe report noted that four officials from the Herb Chambers Companies contributed to Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly's campaign efforts when he was attempting to run for Governor of Massachusetts. During this time, the auto dealer group had generated a large number of customer complaints to the Attorney General's office.[34]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coffey, Brendan (2015-09-26). "In Boston, dealer Herb Chambers builds an empire (and attracts suitors)". Automotive News. Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  2. ^ Dolan, Kerry A.; Kroll, Luisa (2015-09-29). "2015 Forbes 400, #392 Herb Chambers". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  3. ^ Sawyers, Arlena (2015-03-16). "Top 150 Dealership Groups" (PDF). Automotive News. Crain Communications Inc. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  4. ^ Speed, Kellie (2016-01-28). "Top 5 Luxury Car Dealerships in Boston". Haute Living. Retrieved 2016-04-21. Arguably, no one knows cars better than Herb Chambers. With 56 dealerships to his credit and still growing, Chambers has built his brand on quality and luxury.
  5. ^ "Top Places to Work". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  6. ^ Staff, Globe (2014-11-13). "Top Places to Work 2014". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  7. ^ "Top Places To Work 2009". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  8. ^ "Top Places To Work 2010". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  9. ^ "Top Places To Work 2011". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  10. ^ "The Herb Chambers Cos". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  11. ^ Staff, Writer (2017-11-16). "Top largest employers for 2017 in Greater Boston". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  12. ^ Atiyeh, Clifford (2012-06-14). "Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini find a new home in Wayland". Boston.com. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  13. ^ Atiyeh, Clifford (2015-09-17). "Herb Chambers opens first Volvo dealership in Dedham". Boston.com.
  14. ^ Torres, Ella (2015-10-15). "Openings, closings, and more in the south suburbs". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  15. ^ Libon, Daniel (2016-06-24). "Herb Chambers Opens Automile Dealership". Norwood Patch. Patch Media. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  16. ^ Coffey, Brendan (2015-12-01). "With a little help from Buffett, Herb Chambers turns billionaire". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-09-24.
  17. ^ Meerman Scott, David (2014). The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1118939116. Retrieved 2016-01-09.
  18. ^ Staff, Writer (2018-07-16). "Herb Chambers Hingham Dealership Wins JD Power Award". Norwood Patch. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  19. ^ "2018 DealerRater Award Winners". DR Media Holdings, LLC. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  20. ^ "Final Standings". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  21. ^ "Congratulations to all the winners!". GateHouse Media, LLC. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  22. ^ Staff, Writer (2017-05-01). "Dealer anniversaries". Automotive News. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  23. ^ Tremblay, Bob (2016-03-18). "Business Digest for March 18, 2016". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  24. ^ "Herb Chambers Dealerships Awarded as 2014 DealerRater "Dealers of the Year"". Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  25. ^ "The Death of the Internet Dept.?". Ward’s Dealer Business.
  26. ^ "Primedia's Mass. auto dealers honor Chambers". Boston Herald.
  27. ^ "Primedia's Ward's Dealer Business Announces 2003 Dealer of the Year Award". Prism Business Media.
  28. ^ "J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Certified Retailers". J.D. Power and Associates.
  29. ^ Halpern, Joe (2016-04-18). "Herb Chambers shares some thoughts — and a first-class view — at his annual Marathon Monday fundraiser". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  30. ^ "2017 Storybook Ball". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  31. ^ "The Boston Cup". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  32. ^ "UnMask Cancer". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  33. ^ "Strike Out Hunger". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  34. ^ "Reilly Courting Interest Groups For Campaign Funds". Boston Globe.