Mike Uffner and his dealership team.
Joe del Tufo
Few things inspire trust in a business more than knowing it has been a valued member of the community for a full hundred years.
That’s why AutoTeam Delaware, founded in 1916 as Delaware Motor Sales Co., is able to sell about 2,000 vehicles a year, new and pre-owned, and rank in the top 500 in sales of the more than 22,000 auto dealerships nationwide.
“Obviously you need good products, but the strength of this business is our people, and the relationships they have with each other and with our clients,” says Mike Uffner, president and CEO of the dealership he and his wife Marilyn purchased in 1982.
Founded on Rodney Square in Wilmington and once the sole distributor of Cadillacs on the Delmarva Peninsula, the business moved west onto Pennsylvania Avenue in 1939. Under Uffner’s leadership, AutoTeam Delaware has added buildings and franchises, now carrying the Subaru, Kia and Saab nameplates as well as its mainstay Cadillac.
In addition to offering top-notch sales and service, AutoTeam Delaware operates one of the largest body shops in the area.
“Our primary competitive advantage is our associates’ motivation and skills,” Uffner says. “We will attract and retain the best, and it has really paid off for us.” One employee, a detailer, celebrated his 50th anniversary with the company last year.
“We’ve received just about every sales and service award from the manufacturers we represent, so we must be doing something right,” Uffner says.
Maintaining the standards of the Better Business Bureau
is a key part of the AutoTeam Delaware culture. “We ask
our vendors if they are members of the BBB, if they are committed to raising the level of ethics in the business community,” Uffner says.
“We sell and service things that break, so people aren’t happy all the time,” he adds. “But if there’s a problem, the BBB will help us resolve it.”