In the past, I’ve come across sons of accomplished businessmen who were brought into their father’s organization believing they’d earned their lofty positions regardless of their meager skills. Mark Hanania’s father is a highly accomplished man, having accumulated eighteen brand franchises including Audi, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Buick, Chevrolet, FIAT, Ford, Genesis, GMC, Hyundai, INFINITI, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Subaru, and Volkswagen. Additionally, Mr. Hanania’s auto group ventured out of the Jacksonville market, opening Acura dealerships in Estero, Florida; Miami, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not too bad by any standards, though a bit off putting to those preferring a close-knit, personal relationship.
Now, some might think anyone holding such an incredible scope of influence in a basically unregulated industry would likely have perfected many if not all of the tricks and all-too-common schemes associated with car sales that consumers have grown to despise. I’ll leave that for others to determine, as I have limited experience with the Hanania empire; but what I can say is that his son, Mark, demonstrated a manner that was rude and distinctly condescending in his brief dealing with me.
Specifically, while looking for a particular vehicle and seeing an advertisement for one at Infiniti of Orange Park, I called the number on the ad. That number turned out to be for their Subaru dealership, not Infiniti. No big deal, mistakes in ads happen, of course. However, I was immediately switched around to different staff, ending at an empty desk and a voice mailbox that was full, accompanied by a recording directing that I call back. Upon recalling, I was given a number to reach none other than Mark Hanania, as he was apparently strolling by the receptionist at that time.
After doling out equal parts of uninspired and crusty sales cliches such as “I want to earn your business” that were almost painful to listen to, Mark Hanania asked me to email him a picture of my trade-in’s odometer, provide its VIN and describe its condition and/or attach other photos. I spent time and effort taking pictures and in sending the requested email early afternoon, May 31, 2019. When I didn’t hear back from Mark, I sent a follow up (a phrase he sorely needs to learn about) on June 4, asking simply for him to let me know if he still wanted to pursue a deal or not. Once again, Mark Hanania saw fit not to provide the courtesy of a response, TIP: Mark, answer your email, if only to say “Thanks for your inquiry”.
I sent a 3rd email on June 6, forewarning Mark of my frustration at being ignored and informing him of my intention to publicize his failure to follow through via negative internet reviews. I did that because I preferred some form of acknowledgement as opposed to writing a description of his abysmal inattention, something I’m confident his father was never guilty of when building his business. So, again not hearing back, on this afternoon of June 8 I am now sharing my take away concerning what I could only describe as a “hugely successful business, but one far removed from service concerns”, with such opinion being based entirely on my personal experience. My advice to those shopping cars: there are too many sources from which to purchase or lease a vehicle to subject yourself to unprofessional, inattentive practices.