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By Patrick J. Bradley
New car buyers are seeing signs of change on Grand Island.
The franchises formerly owned by the Fuccillo Automotive Group are now part of the Maguire Family of Dealerships. Owner and President Phil Maguire said they're "super excited" to be here.
"We're here to make an impact, have fun and be a part of the community," Maguire said.
They also figure to sell a lot of Chevrolets, Hyundais and Toyotas at their three neighboring locations on Alvin Road.
Those dealerships were once best known for television commercials that featured Billy Fuccillo, a larger-than-life car dealer famous for promising “HUGE” deals. Fuccillo died in June 2021. The Maguire group purchased the dealerships last October.
The Maguire Family of Dealerships was founded in 1977 by Tim Maguire – he's Phil Maguire's father – and Tim's wife, Fran, when they opened a Ford dealership in the Tompkins County village of Trumansburg. The Maguires later expanded into Ithaca and the Syracuse area. The addition of the Grand Island dealerships brings their total to 23 locations that sell 19 brands of autos.
No stranger to Western New York, Phil Maguire said they seized the opportunity to expand to Grand Island when they learned the Fuccillo family was ready to sell.
"I grew up in a family business," Maguire said. "I went to college in Michigan, and my first job was selling cars at Gambino Ford in Lockport.”
While working there, he resided in Lewiston.
"I loved Lewiston, loved living there," he said. "I knew Grand Island, knew the location (of the dealerships). It sparked our interest as a great opportunity."
The Maguire dealerships don't do a lot of TV advertising. They promote upfront pricing with no haggling, bargaining or surprises, and strive to build market share and loyalty by providing quality sales and service that generates word-of-mouth customer endorsements.
They also take pride in supporting local charities and community programs.
"Two years ago we started a foundation, the Maguire Foundation. We participate in events and fundraisers that are helpful to our communities and very gratifying for our people to participate in," Maguire said.
The Maguire Foundation recently made a $1,000 donation to the Family Foundation of Grand Island.