THINK perfect drive

The Perfect Drive

Follow Ed Crane from KFBK News Radio (92.5FM / AM1530) as he tours The Niello Company dealerships on his journey to find the perfect drive in his video series The Perfect Drive – In search of the best cars money can buy.

His most recent review is from Niello FIAT, a franchise recently added to The Niello Company line-up. Ed drove the 2013 FIAT 500 Sport, “A car that’s been around the globe… now being driven in 80 different countries.” After driving around town for a while, he stated, “This is perfect car if you live in the city. A perfect car if you live in Sacramento. Easy to park, good on mileage, comfortable if you’re in stop-and-go… If you’ve got friends at the gas station, write to ’em.”

While at Niello Porsche, he took a test drive of the 2014 Porsche Cayman S, which he calls, “A real sports car… This thing’s a rocket. Plenty of power if you need to pass, plenty of power if you need to do just about anything. It’s got that great Porsche styling… If you don’t like a sporty ride, if you don’t like two seats, if you don’t like a lot of fun on the road, this might not be your perfect drive, but it is mine.”

He stopped by Maserati of Sacramento to review the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport and its convertible counterpart. “You’re gonna like it. The muscular lines and attractive profile command attention. An object of refined beauty that combines sportiness, elegance, and increased performance. The GranTurismo Sport redefines the top of class in appearance and performance… Where’s the luxury? This just screams it. This is a very comfortable rocket ship.”

In a previous review, Ed Crane visited Niello MINI to check out the 2013 MINI Countryman. “You used to see these MINI Coopers on the road and I’d think to myself, ‘it’s like a Matchbox toy that’s come to life,’ but I’m walking the lot here at Niello MINI and I realize: not all the MINI’s are all that… mini.” After taking the Countryman on a test drive, he stated, “This is the kind of vehicle that screams ‘I have a personality, and this is why I drive this vehicle.’ This is about fun.”

He also stopped by Niello BMW Elk Grove where he met with Matt Ryan, General Manager, to take the 2013 BMW 328i on the road. “It’s engineered for somebody who really likes to drive. And it’s especially good on the highway. You have no fear of acceleration. You get it… A nice car if you’re driving around town, a nice car if you’re driving the long haul. If you want luxury, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it, if you want performance, if you want state-of-the-art technology, it could be your perfect drive.”

“It’s no trick finding comfort in an SUV, but if 60 years of SUV evolution, reliability, and a global track record where the track often unpaved, uphill, occasionally underwater, or buried in snow, you don’t want some prissy SUV; you want the original, the warrior. Your perfect drive could be a Range Rover.” This is what Ed had to say after sitting in the back of the 2013 Range Rover at Land Rover Rocklin‘s all-terrain test track. “Substantial!”

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In another edition of The Perfect Drive, involving a trip to Niello Volkswagen, he had this to say about the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: “Volkswagen has come a long way. Luxury styling, great gas mileage, and a great price… With the diesel version of the Passat, you can drive that baby down to Los Angeles and back before your first gas station stop, 800 miles plus!”

Niello Audi provided Ed a look at the 2013 Audi allroad. “Somewhere, you might see a bumper sticker that says ‘Crossovers Are for Soccer Moms’. Well, the person who put it on their bumper never drove this vehicle… Is it a wagon, is it a crossover, is it a luxury vehicle that just can travel on all surfaces? It might be all three.” After cruising surface streets and driving business 80, he called it “An all-terrain workhorse.”

“You remember the 90’s?” he asked at Niello Acura. “Bigger was better when it came to the automotive world. So many of us had these big SUV’s. They rode like trucks because they basically were ‘tricked up’ trucks and they got truck mileage… It’s all about luxury in the crossover. Acura has one of the best right now, the RDX… Soccer mom with style, or just an all-seasons, all-needs driver who appreciates value, this could be your perfect drive.”

The first video produced for Ed Crane’s Perfect Drive series was at Jaguar Sacramento with the 2012 Jaguar XJ. “You don’t want to get out of this car. It’s that comfortable… It’s the performance and the comfort that I would buy this car for, and they have everybody beat on those two scores.”

* Follow Ed Crane on Twitter @EdCrane1 or @ThePerfectDrive, or on Facebook at facebook.com/ThePerfectDrive.

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Posted in We hold high expectations

THINK big fun

Team Niello

The big Ferris wheel

The big Ferris wheel

The 2013 Niello Company Employee Appreciation Party was recently held at the California State Fair at Cal Expo. Since the State Fair is a robust celebration of the State of California, its industries, agriculture and diversity of its people, this served as the perfect location to celebrate with all Niello employees and their families. The State Fair’s motto is “Food * Family * Fun”, the perfect environment for a magical night. With over a thousand in attendance this year, 2013 is now marked as the largest Niello Employee Appreciation Party to date.

View from the top

A view from the top

Niello dealerships closed at 2:00pm on Friday, July 19th, and employees were encouraged to enter the State Fair at their leisure anytime thereafter, with complimentary parking vouchers made available prior. Under a Niello tent, a registration booth was setup at the gate to check in employees and their families. This welcome included friendly smiles and handing out some Niello swag. This was a great way to thank our employees for their valued support throughout the year, and a great opportunity for Niello employees to spend time with coworkers and their families outside the office.

Magical Midway

Magical Midway

At the Grandstand Clubhouse in the Cal Expo Harness Racing building, Niello employees and their families were then welcomed to face painters, balloon artists, a caricature artist, a Giggle & Riot photo booth to take ridiculous pictures with friends and family, and a private barbecue dinner from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, as well as a bar managed by drink coupons. And the mingling ensued! From 7:00pm until close, Niello employees and their families were able to enjoy the State Fair for some “Big Fun.” Check out the photo booth pictures at the link below:

Giggle & Riot Photobooth

* Follow The Niello Company on Twitter @thinkniello, on Facebook at facebook.com/theniellocompany. And don’t forget to follow the California State Fair @statefairca.

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Posted in We are a team, We respect each other

THINK best place to work

For the second year in a row, The Niello Company has been recognized by Automotive News in their annual look at the Best Dealerships To Work For in North America. “The recognition begins with this list of the top 100 places to work – a summary that honors new-car dealerships in the United States and Canada that have excelled in creating a high-quality work environment.” – Jason Stien, Automotive News Publisher.

Out of over 22,000 dealerships in the nation, and out of only eight chosen to represent California, The Niello Company was recognized as having four of the 100 best dealerships to work for in North America, including Niello Audi, under the leadership of Matt Phelan, Niello BMW Elk Grove, under the leadership of Matt Ryan, Land Rover Rocklin, under the leadership of Eric Niello, and Niello Porsche, under the leadership of Don Faerber. On October 17th, 2013, Automotive News will celebrate the 2013 Best Dealerships to Work For program to recognize each of the 100 best dealerships, and to announce the top ten.

Managed by the Best Companies Group, the survey and recognition program was established to find and recognize the best employers in the automotive dealership industry. The Niello Company is proud to have four of its dealerships in this program for two years running.

2012 Best Dealerships To Work For - Top Ten

2012 Best Dealerships To Work For – Top Ten

A special congratulation is in order for Land Rover Rocklin and Niello Porsche. This is the second year for both dealerships making it onto the list. Last year, in the inaugural event, ten dealerships were chosen to represent California, with The Niello Company having four dealerships in the top 100, including Niello Volkswagen, Land Rover / Jaguar Sacramento, and the aforementioned Land Rover Rocklin and Niello Porsche. Out of this list of 100, the top ten dealerships in North America were revealed in an awards ceremony in Chicago in October 2012. The #8 spot was held by none other than Niello Porsche, marking Niello Porsche as the top Porsche dealership in the country.

Last year, Rick Niello was asked to speak about practices and policies that helped make The Niello Company one of the great places to work, as well as participate on a panel discussing such work ethic.

Highlights from the 2012 event in Chicago

Highlights from the 2012 event in Chicago

“We are in the people business,” Rick Niello often proclaims. Nationally-recognized awards like these exemplify that statement, as does The Niello Company mission statement: We are committed to providing distinctive automotive products and exceptional service while treating our customers and employees with unyielding integrity, as well as The Niello Company vision: To be Northern California’s leading automobile dealer for the products we represent. On a daily basis, employees uphold the following core values:

  • We are a team
  • We respect each other
  • We encourage self-improvement
  • We hold high expectations
  • We embrace change
  • We enthusiastically value our customer
  • We support our community

The Niello Company philosophy positively impacts the community through employees and customers alike. Upholding such values is the reason why The Niello Company is such a great place to work, and likewise a great place to buy a car, and the reason many of its dealerships continue to rank among the top 100 in North America.

* Follow Automotive News on Twitter @Automotive_News or Best Companies Group @BestCompaniesGP. Don’t forget to follow our dealerships on Facebook: Niello Audi, Niello BMW Elk Grove, Land Rover Rocklin, and Niello Porsche.

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Posted in We are a team, We encourage self-improvement, We hold high expectations, We respect each other

THINK Italian

FIAT USA has named The Niello Company its Sacramento dealer. Soon you will see this popular Italian make alongside our Maserati lineup at the 2030 Fulton Avenue location, directly between Niello BMW Sacramento and Jaguar / Land Rover Sacramento. Niello Italian Imports, Inc. was recently established to give Sacramento a new home for the various Italian brands represented by The Niello Company, with future plans allowing for Alfa Romeo.

To accommodate these exciting changes, the existing 2030 Fulton Avenue building will go through a complete interior and exterior remodel. The existing Maserati showroom will be expanded, and split down the center, with the ever-impressive lineup of Maserati vehicles on one side and the sporty FIAT lineup on the other. A new service drive will be added to the building, as well as an expansion of the service bay, to provide customers with the award-winning service that has come to be expected at Niello dealerships.

Exterior building concept

Exterior building concept

Remodel construction will begin soon, but in the meantime, feel free to visit the 2030 Fulton Avenue location for all your FIAT needs. Sales hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Service hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, closed Saturday and Sunday. Parts hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, closed Sunday.

Call toll-free at 888.275.FIAT (3248), locally at 916.977.FIAT (3248), or visit online at  fiat.niello.com.

Interior building concept

Interior building concept

The addition of FIAT continues The Niello Company’s legacy of specializing in selling popular, highly sought-after automobiles. For FIAT, The Niello Company made the perfect partner for the Sacramento market because of both companies’ shared passions to exceed expectations in customer service, as exemplified by a few of The Niello Company’s core values: we hold high expectations, and we enthusiastically value our customer.

“We are in the business of providing an experience matched with unsurpassed service and quality in selling high-demand autos to our customers. Niello FIAT will provide the same exceptional customer experience found throughout The Niello Company.” – Rick Niello, President.

Fiat 3.5 hp (1899)

Fiat 3.5 hp (1899) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know FIAT was founded in 1899? Check out this 3.5 HP beauty from Turin Italy, the model that started it all. And in case you are wondering about the initials, FIAT stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Tornio, which was their first produced automobile, built 22 years before The Niello Company inception.

Today, FIAT is known for offering compact sport cars with an Italian flare, including models for everyone from the average driver to the sports car enthusiast, and everything in between. The FIAT brand identifies with sleek design, impressive performance and unmatched personality. FIAT is a vibrant and successful franchise whose models have won numerous awards for safety, consumer satisfaction and overall performance.

Among the offerings at Niello FIAT will be the FIAT 500 line, currently the subject of a national advertising campaign establishing FIAT models as the next wave of Italian immigrants coming to America. This model was reintroduced to the United States in 2011 by Chrysler after a 25 year absence. What makes the ‘FIAT 500 the perfect canvas for customization? See for yourself in the FIAT “No Dream Limit” video:

These are exciting times for The Niello Company, and exciting times for the Sacramento region!

* Follow FIAT on Twitter @FIATUSA, on Facebook at facebook.com/fiatusa, or check out FIAT’s line of videos on YouTube.

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Posted in We embrace change

THINK not so mini

Exterior Concept

Exterior Concept

Construction has begun on a new location for Niello MINI. Opening December 2013, this new 33,000 square foot facility will be located at 3210 Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento. Alongside Business 80, and neighbor to the beautiful Niello Audi building, the new home for Niello MINI will only be a short distance away from its current location. “Auburn Boulevard is morphing into a really nice automotive row, right along the freeway and very attractive. And really, part of the Fulton Avenue DNA is there too.”

Construction at 3210 Auburn Boulevard

Construction at 3210 Auburn Boulevard

Why the move? The MINI brand has grown significantly since The Niello Company first introduced the MINI brand to the Sacramento region in 2002. The current location of Niello MINI at 2020 Fulton Avenue, next to Niello BMW Sacramento, is barely able to handle the amount of business associated with the popular MINI brand. It’s time for an upgrade, Niello style.

Construction at 3210 Auburn Boulevard

Construction at 3210 Auburn Boulevard

The new MINI building takes shape, and is not so mini

The new MINI building takes shape, and is not so mini

MINI is a fun brand, with fun clientele. While the current home of Niello MINI embraces such an environment, its new location will be bigger, better, and more fun. The ultra-modern building will include a spacious customer waiting lounge, a MINI strapped to the side of the building, and even a car hanging upside-down from the showroom ceiling.

What will happen to the existing Niello MINI location? Stay tuned…

Interior Concept

Interior Concept

* Follow Niello MINI on Facebook at facebook.com/niellomini

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THINK spirit of caring

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The Salvation Army honors The Niello Company

The Salvation Army honored The Niello Company with the 2013 Spirit of Caring Award at a community luncheon held on May 28, 2013. The Annual Community Luncheon is The Salvation Army’s way of saying thank you to the many supporters, sponsors, donors and volunteers of the organization, which has helped Sacramento for the last 128 years. “From food assistance to after-school tutoring to emergency sheltering, The Salvation Army works diligently every day to restore dignity to our silent neighbors… Without the support of the Sacramento community, the people and businesses represented here today, The Salvation Army would not be able to live up to the motto of ‘Doing the Most Good'”.

The Niello Company is a long-time supporter of The Salvation Army, with pledges helping to fund projects such as the recent Oak Park day care center and a transitional living center. According to The Salvation Army Sacramento County “2012 Annual Report,” 1,324 individuals were served in the Center of Hope Men’s & Women’s Shelter last year, as well as 128,946 prepared meals and lodging for 40,609, as well as 381 admissions to the Adult Rehabilitation Center and lodging for another 37,849, including 135 clients admitted to the Interim Care Program. Support from local businesses, such as The Niello Company and its affiliates, attributes in assisting local families, child care, after school education, youth programs, and aiding Emergency Disaster Services (EDF).

The Perfect DriveEd Crane, co-anchor of the KFBK Morning News and the popular Crane’s Corner, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Ed is also known for Clear Channel’s web series The Perfect Drive, “a year long journey with The Niello Company to discover the perfect luxury automobile.” To date, he has reviewed the 2013 MINI Countryman, BMW 328i, Volkswagen Passat TDI, Audi allroad, Acura RDX, Jaguar XJ, and the all-new Range Rover.

Immediately following the luncheon, Diane Mizell (Advisory Board Chair) and John Frisch (Capital Campaign Chair) presented the Changing Lives video below, honoring The Niello Company for its dedication to supporting the Sacramento community and exemplifying the Spirit of Caring:

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Rick Niello, Jr. representing The Niello Company

Del Oro divisional leaders, Majors Bill and Lisa Dickinson, then presented the Spirit of Caring Award to The Niello Company. “Their mission has been to give exceptional service and to treat individuals with unyielding integrity. Whether through their automobile business or through their service to our community, The Niello Company has definitely lived up to those standards. It is for their commitment and dedication to the Sacramento community that we are here today to honor The Niello Company. They are truly deserving of the 2013 Spirit of Caring Award!”

Spirit of Caring Award

Spirit of Caring Award

In front of a crowd of nearly 1,200, Rick Niello, Jr. humbly accepted the award and expressed the need and importance for companies to support their community by supporting organizations such as The Salvation Army. “We’re very proud of the cars, but frankly, it’s not the cars that really make the company; it’s the people, our employees, and certainly our customers.”

Special thanks to Sacramento Magazine for posing pictures from this event, which can be found here.

* Follow The Salvation Army – Sacramento County on Twitter @salarmysacto or on Facebook at facebook.com/salarmysacto.

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Posted in We support our community

THINK humanitarian

Humanitarians

2013 Humanitarians of the Year: John Frisch and Jeff Einhorn

The Niello Company sponsored the Foundation for UCP of Sacramento and Northern California at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sacramento on May 16th in honoring 2013 Humanitarians of the Year: John Frisch (Cornish & Carey Commercial / Newmark Knight Frank) and Jeff Einhorn (NonProfits’ United). The Humanitarian of the Year Award is an annual award given to individuals or organizations who have displayed a passion for life and a sincere desire to work toward enhancing the lives of others. The emotional evening included a silent auction, a special welcome by the Masters of Ceremonies (Dave Bender and Christina Anderson of CBS13), a formal dinner for the supporting sponsors and guests of honor, and a presentation of the state of UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) by Doug Bergman, President & CEO of UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. Doug’s message focused on the importance of raising both awareness and funds for organizations such as UCP, and the impact this has in our community. This celebration of honoring Sacramento’s most elite humanitarians has continued for the last 20 years. The Niello Company proudly honors Jeff Einhorn and John Frisch for their contributions to the Sacramento community.

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Silent Auction

A live auction immediately followed Doug Bergman’s introduction, filling a humbled crowd with motivation to (as the auctioneer put it) “raise some serious cash for a wonderful cause.” The auction started with hands in the air for those willing to donate cash in $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250 and $100 increments. While there were no takers in the $5,000 range, there was a lone $2,500 donation, a dozen $1,000 offers, followed by an exponentially-growing amount of hands raised for the $500, $250 and $100 amounts. Cash donations alone tallied over $25,000. The momentum continued with live-auctioned items, including limo trips and box seats to see the San Francisco Giants, a dinner for 10 with Taro of Mikuni Sushi, and a 2013 Honda Fit. Sacramento apparently loves the Giants, because a trip for 10 raised $3,000 and a second trip for 16 raised $4,000, for a $7,000 total.  Sacramento also loves sushi. Midway through a dinner for 10 bidding war, Taro and company upped the meal to a dinner for 20, which raised $2,600. But this wasn’t enough. Taro and company then offered a second dinner for 20, which raised another $2,600, for a total of $5,200 by the two hungry bidders. The live auction concluded with the 2013 Honda Fit, which quickly climbed to $13,750. Who was the bidder? None other than Taro. Live-auctioned items tallied nearly $26,000.

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Table Decorations at the Hyatt Regency

Considering the $25,000 in cash donations, $26,000 in live-auctioned items, over $20,000 in silent-auctioned items, money raised by 56 sponsor tables, and the amounts donated by the Presenting, Crystal, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors, the math adds up quickly. Grand tally for the night? Over $306,000. The importance of company involvement in raising money for organizations such as UCP of Sacramento, and sponsoring events like the Humanitarian of the Year Award Dinner, could not be more justified. 2013 marked the most successful event on record for UCP of Sacramento.

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Shawn Harr

Shawn Harr, one of UCP’s amazing success stories, presented a special message for the evening. Shawn had lived with her sister in Fair Oaks before deciding she no longer wanted to be dependent on her family, and that a time for change was in order. “At the age of 55, she decided to live on her own for the first time in her life” thanks to UCP’s CLASP independent living program, which teaches those with developmental disabilities skills necessary to live independently. In early 2011, Shawn moved into her own apartment in Sacramento, where she has learned to balance a budget, grocery shop, and has also developed a passion for cooking. “I guess I have a lot more confidence than I thought,” she said. Shawn Harr’s emotional story is only one of many.

The night concluded with a tribute to Jeff Einhorn and John Frisch, a special message from each, and the Humanitarian of the Year Award presentation.

* Follow UCP Sacramento on Twitter @UCPsacramento or on Facebook at facebook.com/myUCP 

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Posted in We support our community