From his teenage years to his early 20s he had worked in a local dealership in Wilton, CT over the summers. While going to school at Western Connecticut State University he also worked at an ice cream shop, a men’s clothing store, and for the Connecticut State Assembly representing Danbury’s 110th district (he did the latter for 10 years). The first store was called Georgetown Jeep/Eagle — mistakenly named for the town of Georgetown where Paul was raised… even though the store’s property line was 10 feet over the border in Wilton. The name stuck for the first 20 years until it was changed to Garavel in 2012.
Paul’s second store, Subaru of Wilton, was established in 1997 in a tiny facility approximately the size of our current Subaru showroom. Having owned a used Subaru in college, Paul leapt at the opportunity to sell and service the relatively unknown, gritty, little Subaru brand. The parking lot held 20 vehicles (including those of our customers). At the end of 2000 we had sold 200 vehicles. In 2004 the number doubled to over 400.
Paul purchased his third store, Fairfield County Chrysler Jeep Dodge Plymouth. In our first month, our best selling vehicle was the Chrysler PT Cruiser. But manufacturers change quickly and Chrysler corporation went through many economic hardships.
By 2008, one in four Chrysler stores were closed, Chrysler Corporation had changed ownership four times in Paul’s life and filed bankrupcy… we survived with the help of our leadership, dedicated employees and loyal customers in our community. No matter what brand we represent, we represent the Garavel brand first.
In 2014 Garavel Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram became CT’s #1 Jeep store and DealerRater’s Dealer of the Year. We have repeated both accolades for the past four years. Garavel Subaru saw similar success - becoming on of the busiest Subaru service centers in the Northeast, and Subaru of New England's de facto #1 dealership of 65 in customer service. Garavel Auto Group now sells over 3200 cars per year.
We improved service capacity, added an enclosed service lane, expanded our customer lounge, added air conditioning to our shop, added new equipment, reconfigured our parking lot, and added high density parts storage. Our total investment was $2.5 million in improvements (all spent with local contractors and suppliers)!
We improved service capacity by 25%, added new equipment to the shop, expanded and added amenities to our customer lounges, and installed new high density parts storage. Our total investment was over $1.5 million in improvements (not as “minor” as you would think)!
Nobody wakes up wanting to be average...and neither do we. In 2018 some of our goals are: