When a ridiculously rich and famous athlete wakes up at 3 a.m. with the sudden urge to call his dealer, it’s normally not the kind that sells cars.
The online media has exploded with stories about tomorrow’s bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, with one of the biggest stories being, oddly enough, the cars of Mr. Mayweather.
When you or I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream in which we owned, say, a Bugatti Veyron, we shake our heads at the unlikelihood of it and go back to sleep. When Floyd Mayweather wakes up and wants a Bugatti, he calls his dealer and has a new Veyron in the garage by breakfast. That in itself is incredible, but it’s not the real story here.
This is, apparently, a man who appreciates the best cars money can buy. He also appreciates loyalty and people who can get stuff done. This is evidenced by the fact that Mayweather has purchased at least 39 cars from the same car dealer, a man in Los Angeles by the name of Obi Okeke. Autoweek says,
Okeke has sold 39 cars to Mayweather, including a $3.2 million Ferrari Enzo and three Bugatti Veyrons that are worth $6.2 million combined.
One of those Veyrons was the result of the spontaneous 3 a.m. phone call. Turns out Mayweather just wanted a different Bugatti to drive to the gym.
Must be nice.
We could talk all day about the cars Mayweather buys and drool over the specs and pictures, but there’s an even cooler story under the surface that applies to all of us: dealer loyalty. Does the concept hold true for the average buyers?
I knew an older couple who traded cars every 5 years or so and always used the same dealer. To them, their car dealer was equivalent to their accountant or lawyer or doctor. They had their guy, and that’s who they used.
That doesn’t happen much anymore, mostly because buyers don’t have much brand loyalty, either. In order to switch from a Toyota to a BMW, you also have to switch dealers. I wonder if things would be different if all car dealers had access to all makes of cars. Would people build a relationship with one dealer and trust him or her to always find the right car?
Probably not. We live in an age when personal relationships are trumped by economics, and if we can find a better price elsewhere, we’ll take it.
I like the Mayweather story because he’s committed to his dealer, who in turn bends over backward to make his client happy. That’s the way it should be, whether those 3 a.m. urgent phone calls result in the purchase of a Bugatti or a Hyundai.
Would you buy all your cars through one dealer if you could?