Q & A with a Car Guy
Cars have always had a place in Fairfielder Mitch McManus’ life. For more than a decade, they’ve also been his business.
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Mitch McManus, son of Jim, the founder of Marketing Corporation of America, has been around the car business since he was a kid. In 2002, he became president and GM of BMW of Bridgeport, turning the marketing savvy that’s in his DNA to transforming the dealership into a world-class sales and service center for the brand.
We located Mitch en route from the family home on the beach, and had a chance to ask him about his business, living in Fairfield, and how the two connect.
What was your first car?
It was a Pontiac 6000 that my brother and I shared. A Pontiac/Mazda dealer was on the same property as MCA, and that got us into cars in the first place.
What are you driving these days?
A BMW M3. It’s a fun car, and it’s beautiful.
Wow. Do you wash it every day?
Not really. White actually never looks as dirty as black, and it’s an up and coming color, according to BMW stats, although the best-selling colors in our area are black, silver, and gray, in that order. One of the older models I always loved was the first car BMW sold in the States, the 2002. Orange was the popular color for that one.
Did you ever own a 2002?
We once found and bought a perfectly maintained vintage 2002, but it didn’t last long in the dealership. A collector bought it very quickly.
Your commute to work should be pretty sweet.
Where the dealership is located—off exit 5 on Route 8—it’s a reverse commute from most other folks going to work. That also makes it convenient for our service customers; it’s literally seven minutes from my house on Penfield Beach.
A lot of local folks recommend your dealership for service. Is it the short drive?
That’s part of it, but BMW of Bridgeport’s real strength is our people. We invested serious money to improve our physical plant in 2009. Even more important is the quality of the folks who work here; care for the customer is part of the work ethic. People notice the difference.
Apparently the big guys at HQ have noticed you as well.
We’re proud to be the only dealership in New England that’s achieved BMW’s highest distinction, as a Center of Excellence, for three years in a row.
What else makes you proud?
We’ve been successful, and we make an effort to share that success by giving back. We support the Fairfield Theater Company every year, and our continuing sponsorship of the Connecticut Challenge has helped that organization open a new Center for Survivorship in Southport. It’s very gratifying to do something for the place we call home.
43 North Ave, Bridgeport
Sales: (888) 696-4305