All in the Family

East Coast Toyota helps three generations of Lombardis to go places—in cars, crossovers and minivans
by Dan Miller
Jan/Feb 2016
All in the Family
Mutual Fan Club
Cheryl and Alan Lombardi share a laugh with East Coast Toyota General Manager Jeff Brown (left). The Lombardi family not only buys all of its vehicles at the Wood Ridge, N.J., dealership, it has them serviced there, too.
Photos by Paul S. Howell
Alan Lombardi admits he has a weakness for Toyota vehicles. So when his niece Sarah asked her Uncle Alan and Aunt Cheryl to accompany her to East Coast Toyota in search of a replacement for her aging Corolla, he couldn’t resist.
“Sarah has been living with us and our daughter Gina,” says Lombardi from his home in Paramus, N.J., just seven miles away from the dealership in Wood Ridge. “Cheryl and I weren’t really in the market. But I joked, ‘If we go, we’ll wind up getting new cars, too.’ And, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. When all was said and done, each of us drove off in a new Toyota that day!”

Falling for Toyota
Four-year-old Alana, her mother Amy (right) and Cheryl and Alan’s niece Sarah enjoy a fun moment amid the leaves near their home in Paramus, N.J.

Sarah became the proud owner of a 2015 Corolla SE. Cheryl replaced her 2012 Camry XLE with a 2015 model with a Parisian Night Pearl exterior and Almond interior. And Alan changed things up and took possession of a 2015 RAV4 XLE, his first crossover vehicle. The higher ride height and extra cargo space reminded him of the old family van.
When the caravan made the journey home, they found a 2015 Sienna waiting in the driveway, owned by Amy Lombardi. And a 2013 4Runner owned by Vincent Lombardi. (That’s Alan and Cheryl’s son, not the Green Bay Packers’ legendary coach.) Gina’s 2014 RAV4, same as Alan’s except for the color, was also there—as was their grandson Nicolas’ 2010 Corolla.
Once again, Alan couldn’t resist.
“I saw all of those vehicles and I said, ‘Wow! We’re a real Toyota family. We should take a picture and send it to the dealership,’” he says. “We live next to a school. So we lined them all up in the parking lot and snapped some shots. We all got a big kick out of it.”
The Lombardi family’s love affair with Toyota dates back to 2009, when Alan and Cheryl were still driving the van they once used to transport their brood to Florida on vacations. Now that their nest is at least partially empty, Cheryl wanted to swap the utility of the van for the comfort of a sedan, specifically a Camry. That led them to East Coast Toyota, and they’ve been returning ever since.

Oh, What a Family!
Cheryl and Alan Lombardi (on the left) are surrounded by their extended family, not to mention their extensive collection of Toyota vehicles.

We work directly with (General Manager) Jeff (Brown),” says Alan. “He refers us to one of his salespeople, who works everything out. Then Jeff gives us the final OK.”
“We bring all of our cars to the dealership for service,” he continues. “Other than a cracked windshield, we’ve never had to do anything but the regularly scheduled maintenance. And East Coast Toyota just opened a new service center. It’s beautiful. Everyone there is a pleasure to deal with. We can count on them to take care of us.”
As far as Brown is concerned, those feelings are mutual. And they’re far from exclusive to the Lombardi family.
“It’s very common for us to start with one customer and then build on that with their family and friends,” says Brown. “Owning a Toyota is an experience. We want our customers to have an exceptional experience with their vehicle and our dealership.”
“I can hardly wait for the next time!” says Alan, who notes that his two grandsons, Kevin and Michael, will turn 17 soon and already have their eyes on Toyota vehicles. “We’re having a lot of fun with this.”
<< Back