Billy Fuccillo Wiki – Billy Fuccillo Biography
Billy Fuccillo was an American automobile dealer and owner of the Fuccillo Automotive Group, which operates a total of 28 dealerships and represents 15 brands in New York and Florida. His son, Billy Fuccillo Jr., also owns 5 dealerships in total, 3 located in New York and 2 in Florida.
Fuccillo was born in Greenport, Suffolk County, New York in 1957. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After college, he worked at various car dealerships. In 1989, he went out on his own and opened his first dealership. Over time, the business grew and acquired more and more dealers. Today, Fuccillo Automotive Group has more than 25 dealerships in New York and Florida offering a variety of domestic and imported brands. Their trademark saying is “it’s HUGE!” Which often appears in their ads.
Billy Fuccillo Age
Billy Fuccillo was 63 years old.
Raised on Long Island, Fuccillo began selling cars after graduating from Syracuse University, where he played tight end for the school’s football team before graduating in 1978 with a major in marketing and a minor in psychology.
“When I got out of college, I went to a Chevy dealer in Buffalo, looking for a job in sales,” Fuccillo told The News-Press in the 2017 article. After being rejected four times, “the fourth time he I came back, they finally hired me, “he said. Three years later, he bought his first wholesale auto business and, in 1989, opened in 1981 and his first new store in Adams, New York, near the Canadian border, in 1989.
He then expanded westward, working to buy dealerships. He bought a bankrupt Hyundai store in Albuquerque, New Mexico for $ 25,000 (changing its name to “Billy Fernandez”) and then sold it two years later to Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller for $ 7 million, he said.
His Adams store was where he performed one of his many attention-grabbing stunts in 1996, when he invited Robbie Knievel, son of reckless motorcyclist Evil Knievel, to jump his bike over 19 cars outside his Adams dealership, the same day he sold a car. record 523 cars, he said.
In 2012, he threw a Styx concert on his Cape Coral lot, drawing thousands of fans of classic rockers and selling dozens of cars along the way, he said.
That kind of showmanship made him “one of the most unique guys in the entire auto industry,” Vaughn said in 2017. “When he runs these promotions, people come from as far away as Miami or Tampa. even though we had other dealerships in those areas. ”
Fuccillo also assisted non-profit organizations in their various locations. In 2019, he surprised the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida with a $ 100,000 donation, and praised the nonprofit for “making a huge difference in the lives of needy individuals and families locally for more than three decades, “he said at the time.
Organizations like the Salvation Army and the annual Big Backpack event have benefited from his generosity over the years.
Billy Fuccillo is survived by his wife, Cindy, and son, Billy Jr., who is the president of Fuccillo Automotive Group. Details of the funeral have not been released.
Cause of Death
A decade after Southwest Florida first felt its massive presence, legendary car dealer Billy Fuccillo died at age 65.
CNY Central reported that the Syracuse Automobile Dealers Association announced Fuccillo’s death Friday morning in an email to members. Remembered as an auto sales legend by Kia executive Percy Vaughn and many others, Fuccillo made sure to help others along the way, Vaughan said.
“Billy was an innovator. He did things other car dealers dream of. He did those commercials, but he always gave back to the community, that’s for sure, “he said.” Billy was a legend, man. There will never be another Billy. ”In March, his Cape Coral Kia Fuccillo sold for $ 13.1 million, ending an extravagant era marked by rock concerts, cruise giveaways and broken lease deals.
Fuccillo’s health had deteriorated over the past year, and last year he sold his Cape Coral home to the Lee County Commissioner and former Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane’s family trust for $ 2.25 million.
His Pine Island Road Kia dealership initially made him famous in Southwest Florida, along with his trademark “Huuu-ha!” and his partner Caroline Renfro. Within a few years, the Korean-owned company recognized its Kia dealership as the best-selling in the world.
Arriving in southwest Florida still reeling from the Great Recession, he rolled the dice on a property that had a Saturn dealership out of business, long before the Pine Island Road boom, when Cape Coral was the epicenter of the national real estate crisis. He did not hesitate to sell cars to those recovering from the crisis, defending the dealership’s practice of serving customers with low credit scores.
“How are you going to get people to finance?” Fuccillo asked in a News-Press article from 2017. “I think we did a lot of things for the community to change and they, in turn, helped us. Selling cars, that’s what we’re here for.”
As the most recognizable celebrity in Southwest Florida, he was the guy with the big friendly smile that you could walk up to and start chatting with.
One who did just that is North Naples resident Sue Smith who ran into Fuccillo at a happy hour at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Estero a few years ago. When Smith enthusiastically approached him to greet him, she was courteous and friendly. “I was so glad I met him,” she said, “and I always tell people that he was very different in person than he was on television.” Smith plans to return to the restaurant soon and toast her memory.