Dealerships That Do It All

When selecting a car dealership, it’s usually best to pick one that can furnish all needed services. Why go to another garage for service when the dealer offers top-flight repairs? They’re usually well versed in the intricacies of their own vehicles and, should a recall occur, they’re in the best position to take care of it. Also, why wait for a dealer to send your local garage a hard-to-get part when the dealer has it up front? Of course, people should do the applicable homework and get consumer ratings on any dealership they do business with.

New or Used? What’s the Best Car for You?

When it comes to buying a car, nothing is more basic than the choice of buying new or used. Of course, new cars offer all the latest bells and whistles, technological advancements and safety features. They also typically cost about four times more than used cars and depreciate instantly upon purchase. Used cars, if properly maintained and cared for, could last for many more years. However, if they’re beaters or lemons, a buyer might wind up throwing a lot of good money after bad. There are many other considerations, and it pays being well informed before signing on the dotted line.

How to Wade Through the Car-Financing Quagmire

If someone has $40,000 extra cash in the bank and needs a new car, it’s very easy to write a check and be done with it. Most people, though, will need to finance their cars. Also, it’s not always the best idea to pay cash for a car. For example, buying a car through financing is a great way to build credit if you can make the payments. So, if financing is the way to go, here is a list of options:

The Dealership

The best part of this option is the convenience and speed. You only have to deal with one entity, and the deal is usually done by the time you get the keys. Negatives include high-pressure sales tactics and, generally, non-competitive rates.

Bank or Credit Union

These institutions offer better rates and no pressure. The down side is that many banks have tightened credit qualifications in the wake of the economic meltdown. Also, they’re not usually available in the evening.

Online Institution

Most of the time, this option will present the best, overall interest rates and will usually approve someone quite quickly. However, they are, by their very nature, impersonal. You also need to watch out for scams.

Home Equity Loan

With lines of credit interest rates hovering in the area of prime, this is a great option for someone buying a pre-owned vehicle. Loans for this kind of vehicle almost always have higher interest rates. Of course, doing this ties the risk to your home and might not be suitable for someone who’s struggling in the first place.

Friend or Relative

“Rich Uncle Joe” may lend money at a much better rate than anyone else and might be fairly lenient regarding payback. The Germans have an expression, however: “Mit der Geldbeutel hört die Freundschaft auf.” It means “friendship stops at the wallet.” Be careful not to damage relationships just to get a car financed.

Football Star Turned Business Professional

Alex Perdikis is just a few months shy of 40, but he’s already accomplished much in his four decades. From extensive charity work to shrewd business dealings, he strives to excel at everything he does. Often working far into the night making the business a better place not only for customers to shop but also for colleagues to work, he has dedicated himself to its constant improvement. Alex Perdikis of Koons of Silver Spring is a man of the area and was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland.

He has been a sportsman and athlete his entire life and was a high school football star. Perdikis also played football while attending the University of Richmond, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and management. He graduated in 1997 and has spent the past 16 years at Jim Koons Automotive Company. Even before he graduated, he was helping the business.

Almost immediately upon joining the business, Perdikis began establishing himself as a leading salesperson and innovative thinker. It only took three months for him to outshine all of his Koons colleagues, which included top salespeople from all 16 of the business’s dealerships. Shortly thereafter, he became the sales manager. In four short years, he was promoted to general manager and, leading by example, succeeding both behind the desk and on the sales floor. Well liked by teammates and rivals alike, Alex Perdikis from Koons was even elected class president when he attended the National Automotive Dealers Association’s Dealer Candidate Academy in 2000. He was general manager of both Koons of Tysons Corner and eventually Koons Tysons Toyota.

By 2007, Perdikis had become Executive Vice President of Jim Koons Automotive Company. Under his tenure, the company acquired dealerships of many automotive brands, including Nissan, Kia, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Ford, GMC, Buick, Jeep and Dodge. In 2011, he took over full-time management operations at Koons of Silver Spring, while becoming a partner in the business. This dealership focuses on selling Ford, Lincoln and Mazda models, and Perdikis is well on his way to boosting its success as he did Koons of Tysons Corner, which sold more than $150 million worth of vehicles annually. Combined with its superiority in customer service and the satisfaction of its returning customers, the dealership’s industry-leading achievements in sales and management style resulted in many awards, including the General Motors Mark of Excellence Award and the Jack Smith Leadership Award. Fewer than one percent of all General Motors franchises receive such recognition. By honing in on customer satisfaction, along with market share and profitability, Perdikis created a self-sustaining model for any other dealership to emulate.

In addition to his extensive job requirements, Perdikis donates time and money to more than a dozen charities. He also manages his daughter’s soccer team, runs 10-kilometer races, participates in triathlons and plays golf in his spare time. He admits he doesn’t get to play as much as he’d like. Perdikis, the son of a Greek diplomat, married his high-school crush the year after both of them graduated college. They have three daughters and live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.