“Investing in Northwest Indiana.” Many times this phrase is spoken by political folks when talking about grand-scale visions for the future or theoretical plans for spending time or money on a project here in the region.
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time watching a very successful Illinois company and family, kick off quite an investment they have made here in Northwest Indiana. The Bermans have launched the top-to-bottom first class Infiniti new-and-used car sales and service center right here in Merrillville at 1794 West US Highway 30.
The event was led by General Manager on the Ground, Jae Chang, a sales driver with strong experience here in the region, Chris Zammar, the Infiniti Group Manager, and Michael Berman, the principal owner of the Berman family of dealerships. They also have Mid City Nissan in Chicago, Star Nissan in Niles, Infiniti of Chicago, and Mid City Subaru in Chicago. The night was to celebrate the grand opening for their beachhead here in Northwest Indiana that will help them better care for the family of Inifiniti owners in the Northern end of the state and the surrounding Midwest region, but also to introduce the brand and all of the polished, professional, first level customer support and care that Berman dealerships are incredibly well know for.
Jeff Harris from Infiniti Corporate was also there to see the dealership come alive and could clearly see the new frontier that they have built into an important new market.
They all spoke as ambassadors for a mission as much as they did for a place in Merrillville to sell cars. They want people to know about the Infiniti brand, the customer experience, the incredible technology, the refinement that comes when your engineers spend their passions on making the whole experience of buying and driving a premium ride everything it is wrapped up to be.
On this night, the arrangements were as smoothly handled as the turns are when driving the Q50, the performance was driven like the engine in the QX70, and the style was strong and sumptuous with a delectable food array from the talented folks at Gamba Ristorante.
Listening to the comments of the family behind this Berman group of dealerships, the executives from Infiniti here in the Midwest, and from Jae and the others on the ground here in Northwest Indiana, the common theme was investing in Northwest Indiana. They all did their research, and determined that Northwest Indiana is worth investing in. They have all put their time and resources in to do it first class with a long term commitment. They have hired a great team, brought in marketing talents across all spectrums, and brought the best of the “Chicago Experience” at Infiniti and custom-tailored it to what our region wants.
The common theme of the customers that I spoke to during the evening was appreciation. They were glad to have these folks investing to give them a home here for their vehicles, closer to the home, involved in their communities. Investing in Northwest Indiana.
Right in the middle of the automotive corridor in Merrillville, the dealership is brilliant white, very sophisticated and offers you amenities like the coffee and fruit bar, wi-fi and tv access, and a service, storage, and display floor that you literally could eat off of. It is peaceful, professional, and friendly, with some pretty incredible rides to choose from.
As someone constantly observant of, observing and thinking about awesome teams that “rock it” versus teams that go through the motions, I was impressed by the event and the people involved. Selling a premium luxury vehicle requires that everything you do, you do exceptionally well. Those vehicles set the bar for what you expect throughout the dealership from he minute you take a breath of their fresh leather seats or set eyes on the completely intuitive tech that makes a wired junkie like me drool. Then, you quickly wipe the edge of your lips remembering that this much polish takes a rare focus on incredible quality, serious investment of time, money, and talents to pull it off, and drooling is neither cool nor refined. They are the kind of cars that make you want to bring your A game just to see the grand opening.
So thanks to the Berman and Infiniti families, the team they have built here right here in our region, the city and Crossroads Chamber that worked with them to make it possible, and all who came out to celebrate a major investment in Northwest Indiana. They believed this region has what it takes to support and grow a thriving business.
Go see the cars. Get excited by their engines and tech. Feel pampered by their luxury and refinements. Just don't drool - these rides are too cool for that.