Anxious to capture expanding internet
market share, Tamraz was always keen
on his successful Cadillac stretch limousine
manufacturing business, turning it into a global enterprise.
Focus groups told us of a growing interest in armor protected luxury vehicles as a viable target. We presented our findings to the Specialty Vehicle Division at GM in Detroit along with detailed armored protection
packages. GM approved and
was happy to sell him more base
model Cadillacs. Paul was
delighted to expand his growing
luxury transportation reputation
internationally. Meanwhile, back in the client-facing States…
When you count among your clientele the President of United Airlines…
or the CEO of Allstate Insurance… or the Chairman of Quaker Oats Company — just to name a few, including the upwardly mobile staffs and families of such industry luminaries, you are constantly aware to aim high in your messaging, never insulting the IQ of anyone walking through your doors, never underestimating the influence — good or bad — of every guest you invite to your place of business. This was Motor Werks of Barrington.
Paul initially expected his showroom
staff to be attired in shirt and tie.
Predictably he always preferred those
shirts be crisp white. On his way to
eventually exceeding $500-million in
annual revenues at five locations,
Tamraz' customer-centric tenets
delivered their rewards. Safe to say
he reluctantly lifted his crisp, clean
And where do you suppose this tough-as-nails Type-A personality acquired the patience and stamina to appreciate the long term rewards of hard work? How about by absorbing the ethos of literally every member of his family arduously toiling for years on the GM assembly lines when he was a kid growing up in Flint, Michigan.
"We're all in the personal service business first,
then the business of providing luxury vehicles."
And so his stores' 600+ eventual employees have been
chronically reminded of the virtues of adhering to
Motor Werks original culture as clearly defined by
owner and civic humanitarian, Paul Tamraz.
"Each day is our opportunity to make every customer experience at Motor Werks a positive customer experience.”
When I began my extended journey with Paul, he already was planning to grow his humble in-town storefront facility to a
17-acre parcel of prime turf at the edge of town. He proceeded to
engage the services of the firm that built the iconic shopping mecca, Water Tower Place on Chicago's Miracle Mile. Tamraz' dream would become one of the first indoor multi-showroom automotive sales and service facilities in the country: Six 2,000 s/f showrooms, plenty of visitor parking and acres of on-the-ground vehicle inventory. Motor Werks' immaculate service facilities alone would house 24 bays exceeding 20,000 s/f, employing 77 certified technicians.
Motor Werks backstory:
Whether a local newspaper classified recruitment ad or a or or or or a showcase display ad in the regional edition of the Wall Street Journal, since the mid 1980's Motor Werks was intent on branding itself as a truly remarkable breath of fresh air in the often thoughtless and crass retail automobile advertising category in suburban Chicagoland. And what a rare opportunity for an anxious copywriter and ad man like yours truly (probably not since Leo Burnett met the Kellogg Brothers in Battle Creek, Michigan)!
Domestically, the simultaneous benefit of an intelligent approach to Motor Werks public messaging was that we were able to bolster employee pride and mitigate employee turnover (a chronic problem in most retail automotive sales departments) as well as attract the attention of new recruits who responded to the respect we showed to our customers and our loyal staff.
Remarkably, all this was ignited long before there was an internet, email, social media or search engine optimization to help get the job done. Our marketing formula was always the same, even during the 2008 "financial pandemic": No matter the medium, no matter the theme, we married product loyalty to vendor superiority at every turn…
When Paul asked long time client and Super Bowl XX Bears championship coach, Mike Ditka to serve as radio spokesperson for Motor Werks, we were searching for just the right
language to marry the legendary Chicago sports
personality to the Motor Werks brand — and out pops
from the head of Jim Hub, Motor Werks partner and
COO the classic line… “In a league of its own” —
perfectly pairing the two popular icons.
From day one, that was the
principle tenet of a truly
remarkable retailer and
to-die-for advertising client,
Paul Tamraz — radical thinker,
industry visionary and change
agent of Motor Werks of
Motor Werks' often editorial-style messaging was no coincidence. In a print medium plagued with look-alike "pub set" ads, Motor Werks ads were written and designed to elevate credibility in a retail industry category desperately in need of it, and especially appropriate for buyers of luxury priced vehicles who expected and deserved every ounce of exceptional treatment you could provide. The more you tell, the more you sell. After all, Motor Werks only employed knowledgeable experts with answers that premium vehicle customers were seeking…
Here was a guy who pioneered
entrepreneurial spirit decades
before it became today's
popular buzzword. He had intractable beliefs. He stuck to those beliefs. He risked his own capital to support those beliefs. He's been handsomely rewarded for that tenacity.
Like Tamraz, chief operating officer Hub, a hands-on automotive logistics expert, the guy who oversees all the moving parts of a multi million dollar operation — is a master at successfully implementing what CNBCs Marcus Lemonis (The Profit) calls his mandatory business success formula, "the three Ps": Invest in the best PEOPLE, offer in-demand PRODUCTS, then maintain and constantly improve the efficient delivery of those products and services with the right PROCESSES.
Hub & Tamraz… definitely in a league of their own!
For several years I helped chronicle Motor Werks' journey with media messaging that went far beyond the price/item approach on which most competitors relied. These were storytelling opportunities that combined price, value and personality, resonating during every stage of the company's exceptional growth.
Today, Motor Werks' business is mostly an inventory driven proposition — accelerated with ideal web content (2,000+ vehicles in stock at any given time) and nearly 100,000 annual service appointment visits booked online for all five facilities, fueling substantial daily revenue. Good word-of-mouth courtesies always include complimentary service loaners or rides to home, to work or to the train station, as well as year round free car washes.
No surprise that Motor Werks still remains among the top 100 revenue producing privately-held companies in Chicagoland, with over 10,000 vehicle registrations in the state of Illinois. But there's more…
COO, Jim Hub