Veteran automobile sales and leasing consultant Don Lewis of Findlay Lincoln has been around the car business for more than half of his life.
Lewis, who’s now 58, used to hang around his father’s small used car lot in Utica, N.Y., in the early 1970s. He was hooked on the business as soon as he started attending auctions while looking for vehicles to put on the lot.
“We used to sell mo-peds and used cars that we bought at the auction,” Lewis said. “My wife and I took our three kids and moved West in June of 1981 and I started working for another dealership 10 days after arriving. To put it simply, the car business is in my blood and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Lewis has a long list of customers who have followed him during the years. Many say they count on the automobile salesman in the same fashion they do a physician.
“My customers have become my friends. Many of us have become family, of sorts,” he said.
Among Lewis’ longtime customers is Phil Gervasi, who moved to Southern Nevada from Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1980.
“I have followed Don from the early 1980s when I bought my first used car from him on Boulder Highway,” Gervasi said. “I was very impressed with his knowledge then and have continued for 30 years to purchase all my vehicles only from Don because he still maintains that knowledge and honesty at the Findlay Lincoln, where I will be purchasing another vehicle from him in a few weeks.”
Tom and Barbara Paulus also have bought numerous cars from Lewis since the 1980s.
“We trust him,” said Barbara Paulus, who now has a 2012 Lincoln MKX. “This man is wonderful. If he wasn’t there, we probably would not be buying a Lincoln. There isn’t a time when we have not called him when he has not helped us. He has always gone way above where he has to. Everyone you talk to will tell you the same thing. He’s always available and I have never seen him not be friendly. I consider him a friend.”
Mike Farino has purchased 25 cars from Lewis since 1980.
“There is no more honest salesman in this city than Don,” Farino said. “I met Don when he was working at another dealership when we moved to town in 1980. We would not go anywhere else to purchase our vehicles.”
Farina said the purchases have been honest and fair.
Lewis is extremely loyal to Lincoln, adding that he believes heavily in the product.
“I like the fact that the Lincoln is domestic and I have always liked Lincolns even back when I was young. In fact, I worked for the old Signature Lincoln Mercury when Larry Ward owned it the 1990s,” he said.
Lewis said the Lincoln offers great quality and looks.
“The Lincoln is a quality vehicle that I don’t ever have to worry about selling to people. I have had hundreds of repeat buyers over the years and I just feel very comfortable selling a Lincoln to them. I sleep well at night and have a real peace of mind knowing my customers drive Lincolns.”
In addition, Lewis is comfortable working for Findlay Automotive Group.
“General Manager Nathan Findlay backs me and I really appreciate his support,” Lewis said. “There is a level of comfort working for the Findlays that you cannot put a dollar value on. I hope to be here many more years.”