Shaun Jalili – Platinum Cars
Shaun Jalili leans against a black Lamborghini Gallardo in the lobby of his North York dealership, Platinum Cars. He’s surrounded by glass-walled offices furnished with custom black desks and white walls decorated with renowned racetracks, including Italy’s Misano World Circuit and Germany’s famed Nürburgring. Behind a glass partition one can see an array of BMWs, Porches, Maseratis, the odd Aston Martin and even a Rolls Royce Phantom. It’s clear Jalili understands luxury automotives and the lifestyle they represent. But while product is always crucial, there’s one aspect of his business that trumps the steel and rubber: service.
“Service is No. 1,” says Jalili, president of Platinum Automotive Group. “We go above and beyond what everybody else does.” Since the age of 18, Jalili has had an affinity for fine cars. During his career as owner of a chain of pizza restaurants, he amassed a sizable collection of luxury vehicles. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porches — Jalili gripped the wheel of all calibre of cars. But his dealings with various dealerships and leasing companies left him unsatisfied with the purchasing process. “Everyone was just trying to move material. It was never about building relationships with the client,” he says. The experience, he felt, should be more in tune with the essence of the luxury lifestyle, meaning forming relationships as opposed to just selling cars. He built Platinum Cars with that attitude as a pillar. The results have been nothing short of outstanding.
Jalili has already established a sizable clientele that includes restaurateurs, athletes, nightclub owners, businessmen and celebrity chefs, with referrals making up 80 per cent of his business. With its own in-house financing division as its backbone, Platinum Cars has quickly built a reputation based on unparalleled service and trust. “I don’t want to just sell a customer one car,” he says. “I want to gain their loyalty for life. And I’ll go the extra mile to make
Whether it’s car detailing, a simple oil change or finding a rare vehicle from international markets, Jalili does whatever it takes to fulfil his customers’ needs. Even in the late hours of the night, Platinum Cars is just a phone call away. “Maybe you’re having car troubles. You can call my guys at 10 o’clock at night, they’ll answer their phones and take care of you,” he explains. “Just because a customer bought a car and left here doesn’t mean that we’re not going to take care of them.”
He’s also concerned that customers find the car they really need, and not just one they want. Many may crave that sleek, sexy sports car, but Jalili knows desires and needs don’t always align. “I get to know my customers well and really understand their personality,” he explains. “My salespeople and I know who they are and we make sure the car they’re buying isn’t one they’ll regret down the road.” It’s unconventional, but numerous buyers have later thanked him for steering them in the right direction.
These efforts have drawn comparisons with superheroes from clients — a notion exemplified by the Superman logo on Jalili’s office door. He chuckles and explains the “S” is meant for “Shaun,” and that the symbol signifies his company’s dedication to customers. “It lets them know that we’ll always be there for them. Like Superman would,” he adds, noting Platinum Cars is also a sponsor at this year’s SickKids Foundation Rally for Kids with Cancer.
While this man of steel has climbed significant heights, his greatest satisfaction of all is seeing Platinum Cars licence plate covers on the roads. “It puts a smile on my face to see my cars out there and that people are proud to display my name on their cars.”