Victory Automotive Group grew from very humble beginnings. Owner and President, Jeffrey Cappo, began his sales career going door-to-door, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners. Early on, Cappo, as he likes to be called, learned to be creative to increase sales. After he realized that many people wouldn't open the door if they knew that a vacuum cleaner salesman was knocking, he recruited his younger brother, who was barely a teenager at the time, to go knock on the door first and offer a free 2-liter bottle of soda to those who answered. Once the door was open, Cappo would grab his demo model and run to greet his prospect. Later, he even developed a relationship with a local banker so that he could finance vacuum cleaners, which allowed him to keep more inventory on-hand for immediate delivery and allowed customers to purchase a Kirby, as premium vacuum cleaners were very expensive back then.
Cappo eventually realized though that selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door wasn't going to be a lifelong career so he switched to selling cars. He started at a well-known dealership in Flint, MI, owned by Al Serra. He had to commute over an hour each way from his home in Ann Arbor, though, so he started looking for dealerships closer to home and subsequently landed at Varsity Ford, one of the largest Ford stores, by volume, in the country. Cappo became the top salesperson at the store, developing a very loyal customer base and selling over 400 cars per year.
Meanwhile, Cappo's love for the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor, in general, led him to start investing in student housing, a business that continues to this day under the Cappo Management brand, and even a local restaurant. As Cappo became a successful entrepreneur in real estate, he began contemplating putting his passion for selling cars together with his developing business acumen and started looking for a dealership to purchase. Ultimately, he found a little Nissan store in Morristown, TN, about 40 miles north of Knoxville that was for sale at a price that Cappo could just afford. In 1997, Cappo jumped in with both feet and moved to Tennessee to personally run the store, venturing into what would turn out to be the first of many dealerships that he would purchase. It was a difficult decision for Cappo to leave his wife and his two young sons at home; even though he worked long hours, he had always been home each night to see his family, but he didn't want to disrupt his boys' education or pull them out of the home they cherished. Instead, he would commute back and forth to Michigan often to see them and take the family to "vacation" in Tennessee when the boys had time off from school.
The first store, East Tennessee Nissan, grow rapidly though under Cappo's direction and soon Nissan was suggesting that he buy additional dealerships. Within a few years, Victory Automotive Group was growing quickly with additional brands and beyond the state borders. Cappo wanted to show his former employers that he wasn't just good at selling cars, but that he was truly a good dealer so he brought his enterprise to Michigan, with a Ford dealership in Stockbridge and a Honda store in Monroe.
Today, after 21 years, Victory Automotive Group has over nearly 40 locations in nine states representing 12 of the best automobile brands. Both of Cappo's sons, Eric and Michael, are now involved in the daily operations so Cappo is able to stay close to his family, despite crossing the country frequently to monitor the business. His nine-year-old twin daughters are even part of the business now, promoting some of the stores in television commercials! Although the footprint has grown dramatically, it is still a family-owned and operated business and Cappo is still on the sales floor everyday doing what he loves: taking care of customers.
While Victory has grown to become a large organization that customers can count on for all of the sales and service needs, those who buy from Victory are always pleasantly surprised at the level of personal attention they receive, including the fact that the owner might just greet them at the door