When having a business, it’s always important to sit down with your customers to get their opinion on their overall experience as well as the service that they received. Easterns Automotive Group has always been a company that appreciates and values their customers input. Brittany Vergara of Centreville, Virginia recently had the opportunity to sit down with Easterns and discuss her visit. Vergara discussed how nice it was to walk into a car dealership and not be pressured into buying. Instead, she felt very relaxed and was able to make the best possible decision for herself at the time. She and her husband recently had a baby so it was time for them to get rid of their comfortable and purchase a Ford. Both Vergara and her husband are very pleased with the Easterns experience and have recommended them to their very own friends and family. According to Vergara, “Everyone needs a car at some point in their life… might as well go to Easterns because they were great.” We couldn’t agree with you more! #TeamEasterns
Eastern Motors and Fox 5 DC recently came together for a very special edition of Pay it Forward. The purpose of this paying it forward to this specific cause was to celebrate a young woman’s personal achievements and contributions to the community as her mother fights to keep her legacy alive. Jamahri Syndor was a very bright student that was preparing for college. She was loved not only by friends and family but also local members of the community. Many would agree with saying that Syndor was truly a special girl. She had just graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School where she was a cheer caption and member of the choir. As of that wasn’t enough, Syndor also found the time to have part-time job, volunteer with kids, and dance in a troupe.
August 10th, 2017 was the day that changed everything. This was the day that Syndor was shot by a stray bullet while driving through northeast D.C. This happened just days before she was scheduled to leave to attend college at Florida A&M University. Syndor passed away two days later and is survived by her mother, Queen Wallace, whom is a veteran police sergeant in the district. This has been quite devastation to the family but they are looking for a memorable way to “Pay It Forward” through the form of a foundation, scholarship, or dance program.
Fox 5 DC and Easterns Automotive Group received word about what happened to Sydnor and the legacy that she wanted to leave behind so they made a very special donation in her honor. The owner of artist of AA and Beek, Victor Barranco, created a very special memorial to honor Sydnor’s work with the children at Chevy Chase Community Center in northeast D.C. Francesca Scott, who is a program coordinator at the Chevy Chase Community Center accepted the art piece. Scott was able to speak candidly and provide insight as to just how much work Syndor and her sister did the kids. The two had planned and hosted the Valentine’s Day tea party every year for the kids. This story touched the Pay it Forward team so Joel Bassam of Easterns Automotive Group donated a total of $1,500 to the Chevy Chase Community Center to help out with the tea party and other holiday activities. Easterns also donated another $1,500 to the mother of Sydnor to officially kick-start the Jamahri Sydnor Memorial Fund. The overall goal of the fund will be to create a scholarship in Sydnor’s name to help heading to college in the D.C. metro area.
If you know someone in the DC, Maryland, or Virginia area that goes above and beyond the call and worthy of being recognized, CLICK HERE to nominate them.
Robert Bassam founded Easterns Automotive Group and serves as its chief executive officer (CEO). Based in Washington, D.C., Easterns features six used-car dealerships and is operated through a Sterling, Virginia-based centralized corporate facility. In 1986, Bassam relocated to the D.C. region from Miami, Florida, to serve as a Mexican restaurant waiter. However, his passion to break into the business of car sales was born when he visited the Salvation Army. It was there that he purchased two cars for $50 apiece using his tip money. He then sold the cars to his co-workers for a whopping $300.
After Bassam and a co-worker pooled their money, Bassam was able to purchase 20 additional cars, and he never turned back. In 1988, he established Easterns during a short time period in which he was involved in car wholesaling. When potential buyers started to shop Bassam’s wholesale storage lot in search of high-quality used cars, Bassam’s first commercial dealership started in the area of Arlington, Virginia. Bassam realized that other area dealerships had rejected many car seekers, and because he felt that the subprime auto loan market was mistreated and undeserved, he made his “Eastern Motors” brand the premier place for buyers to enjoy second-chance credit. He used the slogan of “Where your job is your credit” and was soon able to add stores to his operation.
The dealership began to quickly book more than 100 deals per month with CAC. Bassam eventually expanded his spread of lenders and ended up having dozens of banking institutions working with him. After signing up with the institution Capital One Auto Finance back in 2003, Bassam used Capital One Auto Finance as Easterns’s No. 1 finance source. The group now operates with more than 30 lenders, who include those typically not available to non-franchises: for instance, AmeriCredit, Ally, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo. In addition, Bassam holds positions on the national dealer advisory boards of Kar Auction Services, Capital One Auto Finance, and Cox Automotive.
Easterns has experienced constant growth since this brand was first established. During the past four years, brand new efficiencies and innovations in the group’s structure have enabled it to provide even more competitive pricing and still maintain robust gross levels. Bassam’s philosophy as Easterns’s CEO is to do things “better, faster, and cheaper” through centralizing operations as well handling business in house. Easterns currently operates the group’s corporate and central reconditioning facility located in Sterling, Virginia; it is a massive operation that takes place in a single warehouse spanning 90,000 square feet. All automobiles are bought and totally reconditioned here. In addition, all legal work, corporate accounting, marketing, customer care, tag and title, and human resource work is handled in this facility. The company furthermore operates a website along with an internet sales department, or business development center, that is centralized and makes all of the group’s 1,000 automobiles available to all customers anywhere. This department handles all outgoing and incoming communication with the group’s customers as well.
Bassam remains extremely passionate about motor vehicles; in fact, this car enthusiast’s constantly growing car collection is kept in the exact same park as his group’s headquarters. You can take a peek at Bassam’s collection here: Robert's Garage