MT. ARLINGTON, NJ - The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) announced that Virgil Matczak received the Circle of Excellence award.
According to the IARA, the Circle of Excellence is awarded to the individual who has clearly demonstrated outstanding contributions to the betterment of our society and to the remarketing industry. This individual is universally recognized for his or her significant contributions. The Circle of Excellence Award is bestowed at the IARA Annual All Member Winter Meeting.
Matczak joined the Chrysler Corporation in 1965. His job at the time was with Chrysler Leasing Corp., and his department was called "Finance, Sales and Operations." Matczak’s operation leased vehicles to large commercial accounts. According to the IARA, as a pioneer, he was actually doing leasing before there was leasing. Matczak recognized that Chrysler had too weak a captive finance operation to accomplish the company's goals, so he approached GECAL, GEs finance wing, to begin a retail and commercial leasing program for Chrysler. He also developed a retail training program for dealers to present leasing to customers.
"After some time on the job, Matczak recognized that Chrysler needed to improve its residual performance to be more competitive so he developed a program to subsidize leases, which brought Chrysler in line with its competitors and leases increased, which resulted in the production of more vehicles at Chrysler’s factories," according to Dave Alfonso, remarketing manager for KIA Motors. "In 1965, Chrysler was new at working with auctions. They were selling lease returns from both daily rental companies and commercial accounts. To better prepare themselves to work with auctions, the Chrysler selling staff met with the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) to learn the auction rules - and they were so impressed with the organization that they initiated a policy to only do business with auctions that were NAAA Members."
On the heels of Matczak’s success with leasing and the growing importance of selling cars through auctions, he was promoted to Used Vehicle Sales, known today as Remarketing, and Matczak was doing it before the word was coined, according to the IARA.
"Just as Matczak was a pioneer in leasing, he was now a pioneer in remarketing, driving change. He identified issues needing addressed and set out to develop solutions. A major issue was the lack of electronic support systems to handle the volume of vehicles being turned back and processed through the auction system," Alfonso said.
Matczak took his proposals to the Mike Richardson at Anglo American Auto Auctions, which later became ADT, and Darryl Ceccoli, who was heading up Manheim Auctions. "After giving them a reasonable amount of time to act, he decided it was taking them too long, so he developed his own systems at Chrysler and the industry followed," Alfonso said.
The 1990s saw vehicle quantities outgrowing the limited IT capabilities.
"He said consignments between the OEMs and auctions were requiring 'reams' of faxes going back and forth. He believed that there needed to be some standardization and compatibility in working with Manheim, ADT, Adesa and the Independent Auctions. Matczak again began meeting with the auction company CEOs and together, they worked to form what is now Auto Auction Services (Auto IMS)," Alfonso said. "Following a productive and rewarding 36-year career at Chrysler Corporation, pioneering what we now know as remarketing before there was a word for it, mentoring others who were entering the remarketing Industry including myself, and setting a professional example for others to follow, Virgil retired from Chrysler."
In 2001, Virgil joined Auction Broadcasting Company in a national position for 10 years. In 2011, he joined the Dealers Auto Auction Group and is currently national sales and marketing manager.
"As is the case with most of our Circle of Excellence recipients, we don’t know much about them outside the workplace in terms of what they give back, and who they’ve chosen to benefit with their kindness and generosity," Alfonso said. "However, we do ask them to tell us what little they are willing to share, and Virgil, in his most humble manner, has complied."
Matczak is a founding member of the Sterling Heights Knights of Columbus Council. He’s been active on the council for 20 years. He is a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and has been a member for 50 years.
Matczak and his wife, Ellen, are very active in their Parish, The Church of the Holy Spirit. They both have leadership roles and they do tithe to the Church. It’s their primary charity. Their second most primary charity is the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Matczaks are regular contributors and support the hospital’s research to cure childhood diseases.
Matczak and Ellen support the Lee Iacocca Diabetes Research Foundation, an organization founded by Lee Iacocca. And, they also support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Matczak and Ellen have a 16 year old Granddaughter who has juvenile diabetes, so all the diabetes research efforts are especially and personally important to them.
The IARA is not the first, and most likely not the last organization to honor Matczak as an industry pioneer and for having made a positive impact on society. In 1995, he was presented with the Chrysler Corporation’s CEO Award. In 1997, he was inducted into the NAAA Hall of Fame. And, in 2003, he was inducted into the NIADA Ring of Honor.